Saturday, May 9, 2009

Toe Stand (Padangustasana) & Balancing Stick (Tulandandasana)

Week 2 is officially over! The weekdays are so packed and busy that the week goes by fast! I could see how they say, "Before you know it, week 9 will be here."

Doing doubles every day (except Sat where we only do one, and we get Sunday off) has been great! Last Monday, we were up til 3:00am watching an Indian love story. We were let go "early" at midnight on Tues & Wed and we felt like celebrating!!! My roomie and I celebrated by heading straight to bed. On Thurs, we had another movie night until 3:00am. Bodies were sprawled out on the floor. I actually watch all of the movies. Man, they are long...4 hour flicks. My butt hurts soooo much from sitting in the chair for 6 to 9 hours!

On Friday, Bikram made a brief appearance and said goodbye for the week. He's traveling to Portland, Hawaii, Tokyo and somewhere else. If he's gone next week, that means there's no late night movies! yay! Next week we start anatomy and posture clinics. Time to start memorizing! However, I'm going to miss his classes. They are the most entertaining classes ever! One time he said our faces looked sad so he broke out singing an Indian song and flexed his chest muscles to the rhythem.

In yoga, the spaces in the back of the class are the first to be filled up now. Beforehand, I used to be able to get some real estate without any problems. I usually head down a few minutes before class so I get stuck being in the front/middle of the room. I actually don't mind it. Sometimes I can see a sliver of myself in the mirror. Most of the time, I end up staring at some girl's butt. I don't mind being in the front cuz I get more space to do Locust! Nothing runs into me when I'm a 747. :)

I still can't believe that somehow I find the energy to finish two classes a day! The human body has sooo much energy (we get into the scientific data later) and it's 90% mental power and focus to get through the class. The rest is practice and physical strength. So pretty much ANYBODY can do yoga. I don't get it when people say they aren't flexible or can't stand the heat. It's ALL in the power of the mind! Everybody should try Bikram yoga!

Typically when I'm sore, the two postures I fall out of are Toe Stand and Balancing Stick. For those of you not familiar w/the postures, see pics. My mind has ignored my quads and hamstrings crying out in pain. I've done both postures in every class (yay!). Plus, I haven't had a need to lay down or take a break! :)

Pic 1:
Toe Stand (Padangustasana) Benefits

-Creates balance and focus in body and mind
-Strengthens stomach muscles
-Strengthens joints (hips, knees, ankles and toes)
-Helps relieve arthritis in all leg joints including hips

Pic 2:
Balancing stick pose (Tulandandasana) Benefits

-Increases cardiovascular circulation, especially to heart blood vessels
-May help clear blocked arteries
-May help prevent future cardiac problems
-Creates a total spine stretch Relieves stress from spine
-Good for varicose veins
-Builds strength in legs
-Exercises pancreas, spleen, liver, nervous and circulatory system

Thursday, May 7, 2009

PBA (Peanut Butter Addict)

I like peanut butter. But I've never been a PBA (Peanut Butter Addict) until now. The past few weeks have been filled with so much stuff that my sole comfort has been my jar of crunchy Skippys peanut butter. During lunch and dinner breaks (and even at 3am in the morning after a Bollywood night), I grab a plastic knife, my jar of Skippys and go to town. PB tastes great with everything...trail mix, mixed nuts, bread, pretzels. Anything that can be dipped into PB is bound to be delicious! Maybe I am a PBA because it is my way of dealing with all of the emotional and physical stuff that's going on right now with training. Here is a taste of the daily schedule:

We start the day with a 8:30am yoga class (you have to sign in at 8:00am). Class is 90 min.

Line up to get small portions of grub (I call it 'leftover conference food' from the companies that have meetings here)

We have class in a small, cramped, extra hot room from noon til 4:00pm or so.

We get a little bit of time to go up to our rooms and change for the evening class.

Bikram teaches the 5:00pm class so you better be sure that you are putting in 110% bengal tiger strength into your postures or else he will make you do it in front of the entire class! (savasana is laying on your wet towel listening to bikram's greatest hits)

We get about an hour to grab something quick to eat. Let's just say that I can't remember the last time I had cereal for dinner.

We meet once again at 9:00pm and listen to Bikram's lecture. He likes to talk so who knows what time we call it quits for the day. On average, we get done around midnight. On a "lucky" day, we watch a Bollywood Indian flick until 3:30am in the morning (I pretty much want to commit murder when the alarm goes off at 7am the next day).

(Get up and do it all again the next day!)

So that pretty much explains why I seek comfort in my Skippys. I'll have to write them a letter giving them kudos for getting me through the first two weeks of Indian boot camp.

Enjoy the pics!
pic 1 - bikram checking out his new whip (SLK 550). he took it around the block and it made me miss my car (my super cool black infiniti G37!).
pic 2 - bikram in his comfy chair critiquing half moon
pic 3 - walking to your room after yoga class. ah, what bliss!
pic 4 - lecture room. it's 105 today and it gets to be 120 in there!