Tuesday, March 30, 2010


241 classes in 231 days.
94 classes in 88 days in the 101 challenge.

Well I had another topic I wanted to cover, but I was again derailed by some physical problems. It's been extremely windy in Vegas the past few weeks, which is normal for Spring, and it's kind of causing some problems for me. Congestion, coughing and recently my eyes have been extremely irritated. This makes some of the postures in class even crazier. You know, "Eyes open, throat choked, breathing normal." Pretty tricky when you're eyes and nose are already messed up!

Plus last night's class was an insane level of humidity that made me feel like I was in Alabama in August. And... I have someone that wants me to do a double on Wednesday. Oh boy...


Friday, March 26, 2010

The Perfect Answer

237 classes in 227 days.
90 classes in 84 days in the 101 challenge.

A few days ago in class there was a woman who was having some knee issues. She had a lot of knee pain recently and was talking to the teacher about this before class. During the class, the teacher would ask her a few times how her knee felt during some postures and the girl would answer.

When we got to Standing Separate Leg Head To Knee Pose, the teacher again asked her how her knee was doing, to which she replied, "I don't know! I can't think!" The teacher then said, "Good answer." I laughed. It wasn't a good answer, it was the perfect answer. It means she's doing the class correctly, and the teacher's doing a great job. If you're too preoccupied with the postures to worry about physical difficulties, that's a good thing, and it's a credit to both the student and teacher.


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Guest Posting on the 101 blog

235 classes in 225 days.
88 classes in 82 days in the 101 challenge.

I did a guest post today on the 101 challenge blog, so go over there and check it out! Still getting over my illness. It's been about a week since I've been able to breathe properly in class, which is very annoying, but it's slowly getting better.


Monday, March 22, 2010

In With the New

233 classes in 223 days.
86 classes in 80 days in the 101 challenge.

Ok, so this is the post I wanted to write last week, but was derailed because I was sick.

Last week, we had a wonderful new studio open up in Las Vegas, it's called West Side. So we're now back to three studios in the city. A number of the teachers from Green Valley are over there, so I was asked to come by during the first week. They had a great promotion going where all classes were free during the first week, so I went to two classes, one on Sunday (the opening day of the studio) and Tuesday. Both of them taught by Marie, one of my favorites.

After the Sunday class, I said to Marie, "It's definitely not like Green Valley. We've been really well trained over there." Like most studios I imagine, Green Valley has a nice core of regulars. They're not all crazy like me and come everyday (but there are others like me), but it's a solid group of people that practice regularly. It's not so much that we practice a lot, but anyone who practices at my studio regularly has a very key trait - discipline.

At the new studio, there were more people leaving the room and coming back than I can remember. Not to mention the water discipline and talking that was going on. I can go a few WEEKS at Green Valley without seeing anyone leave the room, even brand new people. At one point in my class Tuesday, the entire room was sitting out a posture except for the three people in the front row (including myself). And yes, all three of us in the front were Green Valley students. In case you're wondering, not all of these students at the new studio were brand new. A lot of them were from the previous studio in town which no longer exists as a Bikram Yoga studio.

I realized a few things from this experience. One, it definitely takes hard work and persistence from the teachers to instill the necessary discipline in students to get the full benefit from the practice. These various "rules" are just there to help us get the best out of our practice. They're not arbitrary or meant to punish anyone. Second, it makes me care even more about my own discipline in class, because it became really obvious to me how much harder it can be to practice in a room where people are talking, wandering around, etc. So by having a good practice myself, it makes things easier for everyone else around me. In fact, I've even been asked to come over there sometimes just because I set a good example for others.

The teachers at the new studio are great, so I'm sure they'll slowly but surely turn these students into people with a great practice, and it should be a lot of fun along the way.


Friday, March 19, 2010


230 classes in 220 days.
83 classes in 77 days in the 101 challenge.

After a few very tough days, my illness seems to be going away. Of course, I kept going to class throughout, which definitely helped. It's funny, but because I practice everyday, I just feel that any physical situation that comes up, whether it's soreness or a cold, is brought about by my practice. Most importantly, not only are these things brought about by my practice, the yoga handles it all too. It's like peeling the layers of an onion, or as I described in an earlier blog, like digging in the dirt. As you dig, you hit some rocks, but you're still making progress.

This is a benefit of practicing everyday. I know my body is constantly changing, and if bad things come up, it doesn't take too long for it to go away. It's all part of the process of re-building the body.


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Sick Again

228 classes in 218 days.
81 classes in 75 days in the 101 challenge.

Well I was going to write something more interesting today, but that's been derailed by getting sick again. Yesterday I left work early and took the 4 PM at our new studio in town (West Side). I just work up a few hours ago today and I'll go slog through the 5 PM at Green Valley tonight. Getting sick again is annoying, but I think there's some deeper detox going on, which is ultimately a good thing. Hopefully I feel better tomorrow...


Monday, March 15, 2010

A Fun Yoga Weekend

226 classes in 216 days
79 classes in 73 days in the 101 challenge.

Had a whole lot of yoga over the weekend, starting on Thursday. I did a back to back double on Thursday night and then another back to back double on Friday night. This is my first time I've done back to back doubles on consecutive days. I was quite dead after the second double on Friday night. I slept for about 9 hours after that, which is rare for me. Amazingly, the Saturday morning class the next day went well, and so did the Sunday morning class. I thought I would be wiped out, but I was pleasantly surprised. So to re-cap, the following were the first time for me:

Doubles on two two consecutive days.
Back to back doubles on a Friday.
3 classes in 24 hours (Friday 5 PM, 7 PM and Saturday 11 AM).
5 classes in less than 48 hours.

Then on Saturday night Green Valley had a party. There was no special occasion, we just like having parties. It's always fun to see your fellow yogis wearing actual clothing. It was a lot of fun.

On Sunday morning, after much pleading by one of my favorite teachers (Marie), I went to her class at the new West Side studio. They opened up yesterday, and were formerly the Red Rock studio. They have new owners now and the classes the first week are free! So I went to the 11 AM class. It's great. You have a nice view of the mountains outside when you do backbends! This studio has "taken" a few of my favorite teachers from Green Valley, so I'm sure I'll be visiting when I can, but I'm always for more and more studios, so it's definitely a good thing!


Thursday, March 11, 2010

My Nemesis

220 classes in 212 days.
73 classes in 69 days in the 101 challenge.

Everyone has postures they feel good about and even look forward to in class, and then there are those postures you dread. Of course, those are the postures our teachers tell us are the most important for us to do, because our body needs them the most. For me, those postures are the spine strengthening series. You know, those four postures where you lay on your stomach and lift up in various positions against gravity? I laugh when our teachers tell us near the end of the standing series, "We're almost on the floor!" All this means to me is "We're almost on to the postures you hate!"

From previous blogs, I mentioned that back pain is THE reason I started doing Bikram Yoga. Now, it's handled those problems well so far, and I definitely don't have pain any longer. However, my back is far from perfect. It's still sore and if I do certain things it hurts. So I obviously need the spine strengthening series!

I've gotten with some teachers recently about these postures as they were becoming increasingly frustrating. Without going into lots of detail, I did come to some sort of happy medium on what to do, so I can get some depth and still hold the posture and get benefits. For example, I can actually get fairly high up on Cobra, but I can't hold it for very long. So we worked out getting high enough to feel it and to a point where I can hold it the whole time, while also being able to push up a little bit to increase the depth. This might sound complicated, but it's simple once I figured out what to do. As a result, these four postures are now going much better. They're still tough for me, but I can feel it working the different areas of the back the whole time now.

For the next few days, I'm trying to do doubles on Thursday and Friday. We'll see if this really happens...


Monday, March 8, 2010

Weekend Reversal

217 classes in 209 days.
70 classes in 66 days in the 101 challenge.

I've discussed my weekend class problems in the past, as the Saturday and Sunday classes have always been a little rougher for me. They were downright awful when I did afternoons. I've been doing 11 AM's pretty consistently on the weekends for the past few months. It's definitely better, but still not as good as my weekday night classes.

There is one odd benefit, which showed up well this weekend. For my "normal" classes, I'm either about the same or more tired on the floor series compared to the standing series. However, on the weekends, the opposite seems to happen. I feel somewhat close to death during the standing series, and then much better on the floor series. The postures don't look magically better or anything, but I feel good. For those weekend morning classes, there are three factors I run into. One, my muscles are tighter, but then get warmed up nicely by the floor series. Two, for whatever reason, I have a harder time with the heat early on. I get used to it fast, but during the week, I'm fine with the heat right from the beginning. Three, I'm more dehydrated early on. The water I drink before class and during standing series starts to kick in around the floor series.

I'm still trying to figure out how to make these weekend classes smooth right from the beginning, but those classes make it very real to me why we're told the standing series is the warm-up for the "real yoga" in the floor series.


Friday, March 5, 2010

Four Hours

214 classes in 206 days.
67 classes in 63 days in the 101 challenge.

Another day, another double. Like most of my doubles, this was mostly unplanned. In fact, five minutes before the 7 PM I still hadn't fully decided to do it, but then I went for it. Jennifer was teaching the 7, so that greatly increases the chances of me doing a double:)

When I do these back to back doubles I end up spending about four straight hours in the studio. Four hours with no contact with the "outside world", and I never check my cell phone between classes. I just disappear from society for that time, and I love it. It's the ultimate escape. Just me and my postures and my breath. How many people get to experience four hours (or even 90 minutes) of peace in this hectic world? Well, we do, and it's great.


Wednesday, March 3, 2010

No Water

211 classes in 204 days.
64 classes in 61 days in the 101 challenge.

Let me set the scene for you. On Sunday night, I managed to get 5 hours of sleep. On Monday night, I was out late, had a few beers and got five hours of sleep. So on class Tuesday I decided to do a class without water! Good timing, right?

This is the first time I've done this, and after Jennifer challenged me to do it, I finally got around to it. I didn't even plan to do so during the day. It was a spur of the moment thing. To give you a little background, no one makes a big deal about water at my studio. No one really pushes "no water" classes, but I've definitely been told to try it, so that I can see that I don't "have to have" water. Well, I certainly see that I don't need it to get through a class.

The class itself really wasn't much different than a normal class for me in terms of the postures. I did well on the standing series but I did feel a bit loopy on the floor series. I didn't sit out any postures, but I was out of it mentally on some of the floor series. Sheri was teaching and had a good time harassing me, but I made it through.

I know there are some people who argue strongly in favor of no water classes. Perhaps I would see benefits in the long run. It is nice to prove to myself that I can have a good class without it and I'm sure I'll do it again at some point.


Monday, March 1, 2010

Change in the Weather

209 classes in 202 days.
62 classes in 59 days in the 101 challenge.

Over the past few weeks, my studio has been having, uh, "issues" with the temperature and humidity in the room. I've experienced quite a variety of temperature and humidity conditions, with everything from high heat, high humidity to low heat and low humidity and everything in between. Mostly it's been high humidity with various temperatures. When I say high humidity, I'm talking 60% and up. Think rain forests or Florida swamps.

This has led to some uncomfortable classes and various complaints from students. Not to mention a lot of drama in the classes themselves and of course the drama and complaints are very annoying to the teachers. Here's the thing, it's impossible to make everyone happy. In a typical class, you'll have some people who are fine with the temperature, people who are too hot and people who are too cold, so somebody can always have complaints.

The recent fluctuations in the temperature have managed to cause one thing with me. I don't care anymore, and this is most definitely a good thing. Yes, I notice the conditions in the room, but now I just acknowledge it and move on. If my focus is good, which it usually is, then it doesn't matter at all what the room is like, and I've been improving on this a lot in recent weeks. Of course, totally crazy extremes can still throw me "off my game", but for the most part, do what you want with the temperature. The postures and breathing are what matters to me.