Tag Archives: 60 day challenge

Guest blogger A: Yogibears

16 Feb

A is C’s baby sister, and has been a Yogi Bear for about 1 month now, and has been to Hot Yoga a total of 4 times…and is basically a Yogi Pro.

Like a Pro, I land that Savasana pose many maaany times during that ninety minutes in the chamber of secrets. (uhh I mean torture chamber) To be quite honest, the first time before entering the chamber on my Inagural Yogi Day (January 18, 2011), I was so scared I thought I was gonna vom all over C and L. (saary) The entire first class, all i remember was staring really creepy at big sis C trying to telepathically tell her “Yo, listen I have a feeling I might die in this class.” and her giving me death stares back saying “A, if you look at me one more time I will pummel your a$$.” After that class, I decided to buy 10 more classes, because I thought the peppermint towels at the end were DEFINITELY worth 20 bucks and ninety minutes engaged in a death match with my body. I made reservations to return the next night, but due to being stuck in a ditch and hitchhiking home during Snowpocolypse 2k11, I sadly could not make it until a few days later.

Anyway, the next few classes (count them…3…BOOM…I win at life) I thoroughly enjoyed having a tete-a-tete wif ma bootiful body! Also, the advise you need to adhere to when engaged in a hot yoga class would be these few things: 1. Don’t vomit in class (sorry L’s friend) 2. Don’t pass out in class (sorry teal shirt girl) 3. Don’t eat spaghetti before class (sorry to me, that caused about 17 savasanas during class) 4. Don’t leave class before its over [you miss the peppermint towels (heaven on a white cloth)] 5. Don’t get dressed, and hydrate to go to class, only to get there at 7:30pm and wait around until your sister gets out of class, then follow her to the grocery store stating “I couldn’t go, there were no parking spots” (sometimes I am seriously diluted, because honey there were about 45 spots open)



Day 25

14 Feb

Saturday day classes are usually disasters.  Fortunately (for me), I didn’t go out or even do much of anything the night before so I was ready to go for the 4pm class.  Earlier in the day, I finally broke down and went to lululemon.

Here’s what I ended up getting:

A tank top specifically designed for hot yoga, cinches up on the sides and has a special fabric designed to increase wicking abilities when you are dying in the torture chamber day after day.

Shorts that aren’t ridiculously short in order to hide my booty (something a lot of girls refuse to do) during class.

Capris made of organic cotton that have a nice amount of elastic and definitely flatter.

The damage on my wallet ended up being substantial because this place is incredibly overpriced, but DAMN I felt like a new woman in class.  We had a teacher for the first time today, Jayna, and I can’t really remember much about her because I was too busy starting a my million dollar outfit and slowly melting me in “90-minute moving meditation”.  But I think this means that she was a good teacher.  Class went really well, and my roommate came along with L and I because she wanted to see if going to class would help her head cold, which had been slowly developing throughout the week. Turns out, it did!   In other news, this whole dedicating classes to a single stream of thoughts has really re-tracked my focus and helped me block the outside world in each class. Left class feeling invigorated and fresh.

Lessons learned: Maybe fancy pants yoga clothes are worth it, if not only for being able to admire them thorughout class.

Goals: Work on finishing class strong. I have caught myself really slacking off in the two stretching postures at the end of class.

-C

For a Saturday class, today was okay.  For a normal class, this was a disaster.  I went out with friends on Friday night for a Valentine girls night and drank a lot.  So this of course translated into a miserable class.  My friend was visiting and came to the 4pm class with C and me, and I was hoping to impress her with my newfound bikram skills.  Instead, I impressed her with my amazing savasana skills.  This was the second class this week where I felt decently strong during the standing series and then just lost it during the floor series.  Every time I got to savasana (the little 30 second break between each floor posture), I felt horrible.  Heat was surrounding me like a cloud and I felt dizzy and nauseous.  I couldn’t even attempt camel pose and stared at the door for the remainder of the class.

Next weekend, I’m staying in on Friday and hydrating.  I can’t handle too many more bad classes like this one.

Lesson learned: Drinking isn’t worth the hangover or the bikram death class.

Goal: Stop sucking at Saturday classes.

-L

Day 20: One Third DONE!

8 Feb

Classes like last night’s make classes like 18 and 19 worth it- I had a great class!  I felt really prepared for class: I ate a lot of fruit and veggies during the day, drank more than 2 liters of water and had slept a good amount the night before.  And then on the drive over, two of the best songs EVER came on the radio in a row (Kenny Chesney “Somewhere with You” and Taylor Swift “Back to December”).  I was pumped.

Our instructor was Rana (one of my favorites…although I really do like all of the instructors) and I seem to have my best classes with her.  I felt strong throughout the class and for the most part, didn’t even notice the heat.  I had my best standing head to knee pose so far in the challenge, but still couldn’t straighten my knee.  That pose is a toughie…I wish it was later in the class!

Standing Head to Knee

My sister told me last week that my mom thinks bikram yoga is an “out of body experience.” (For the record, I’m pretty sure my dad thinks it’s the same as ballet…?)  I laughed when my sister told me this, but didn’t really think much more of it…until last night’s class.  Throughout the standing series, it felt like I wasn’t actually moving my arms…that they were sort of robots moving on their own.  On Day 19, I couldn’t hold my arms out to the side without them burning in pain….and then last night I was holding them there, but felt nothing.  It definitely wasn’t out of body since I was there “killing myself” as the owner likes to say, but I felt lighter?  WEIRD.

Lesson learned: Some days the bear doesn’t get you.

Goal: Stretch harder during each sit-up.  I bet every little bit will help!

-L

Unbelievably, we have made it through 20 straight days of bikram! Yesterday, I didn’t have the best preparation.  I didn’t really eat breakfast and for lunch I had a macaroni and cheese “Smart One” microwaveable meal…at 11:30, and then didn’t eat anything until class. So even before class, I started to feel really fatigued and hungry.

Regardless of my complete lack of nutritional prep,  last night’s class went pretty well for me. After L and I took our spots in the front right of the room, an instructor who was taking the class ended up putting herself right behind me.  I know it was all in my head, but this put massive amounts of pressure on me to not slack off.  So throughout class, I pushed myself harder than I ever had before.  I had to fight off thoughts of sleeping, pressure, and hunger throughout the class.  For the first time, I couldn’t get through both sets of camel pose (typically one of my strongest poses). 

In this pose, the instructors assure the class in between sets that the feelings of nausea and dizziness are “normal” and will pass.  I had never understood how awful this feeling is until last night.  After getting out of the first set and laying in savasana my heart was pounding in my face and I was nearly positive I was going to throw up.  As I got onto my knees for second set, the feeling didn’t go away AT ALL, so I turned back around and laid in savasana while the rest of the class went ahead into camel again. After class, in true revisionist’s memory style, I found myself categorizing the entire hour and a half as difficult because of this one pose.  This is really something I need to work on.

Lessons learned: Eat 2-3 hours before class.  That fuel is incredibly necessary during the tough parts of class.

Goals:  If there is a tough part of class, move on like it never happened  and don’t dwell on it.

-C

Day 19

7 Feb

Today’s class was another rough one.  It wasn’t a heat overwhelming, fight interrupted, shitshow of terribleness like yesterday’s (although 3 people did leave during class, and never returned) but it still wasn’t anywhere near my best.  I’m sore, really really sore.  Usually I don’t feel any soreness during class- the heat just sort of melts the soreness away.  Not today. Today, my arms burned every time I lifted them over my head, burned every time I held them open to the side, burned every time I tried to pull my body closer to my legs.  Oh and my legs…My legs/butt hurt in almost every posture.  My legs shook in pain multiple times during class, to the point that I’d only go halfway into postures.  During tree pose, I thought my knee would just fall off my body.  TREE POSE!  One of the easiest poses…and I couldn’t do it.

Tree Pose

But I’m starting to notice actual changes in my body now.  C told me today that she thinks my upper body looks more toned, and I agree.  I’m starting to actually get arm muscles! I wish my lower body would tone up a little faster, but I’m satisfied enough with just the upper body for now.  I’ve also started to notice that the heat/humidity is drying me out.  My hair is dryer, my nails chip a day after I paint them, and I woke up today with insanely dry skin under my left eye (and it looks weird). I guess this is the consequence of doing the challenge in the winter…

Lesson learned: Maybe it’s not just Saturdays that are rough…

Goal: Take it easy for the next couple of classes to let my sore muscles recover.

-L

Superbowl Sunday 10am class was expectedly crowded. In all seriousness, what American would go to a 6pm yoga class during the game?  Maybe Christina Aguilera.

The class itself was difficult.  So much so that 3 people dropped out during the hour and a half. I was, however, able to focus on my poses and push myself consistently throughout the class. I have taken each opportunity that I can to capitalize on good classes and work harder in poses that typically give me the most trouble (like triangle):

I have found that in this pose, it really helps to contract the inner thighs and pull the heels together on the floor. By stabilizing from the inside out, the rest of the body doesn’t have to work as hard to maintain balance. I did also start to focus on the limitations of my body in certain poses. Like the Eagle pose legs (garurasana):

Because I have been blessed with cheerleader’s thighs and a Cuban-American mother, this just doesn’t happen for me and I just can’t seem to hook my foot around the back of my calf. I’ll continue to try by crossing my leg up higher and bending deeper, but I have a feeling that this will take a while. I have also notice the stark difference in my ability to bend backwards and my non-ability to bend (compress) forward.  As I become more aware of my capabilities and limitations, the words of the instructors become increasingly important, as they really do give you the tools to deal with each posture in a way that won’t harm the body. Unlike L, I have not really noticed any changes in my body, but being only 1/3(ish) of the way through, I’m ok with that.  I realize that these things take awhile and I’m happy enough with the psychological benefits at present.

Lessons learned: Bad class one day=good class the next

Goals: Ask questions after class instead of trying to fix problems with poses on my own.

-C