Thursday, October 20, 2011

CorePower Day 1

The Motivation

I have not had a yoga class in two months.  My last class at BYA was August 19th.  I've managed to do the standing series following along to the CD a few times and I've thrown in some yoga poses at random throughout my days.  My body is aching like it used to before I met and fell in love with Bikram Yoga.  It's mostly my back and my neck that hurt.  They have every right to considering that I've broken T4, sprained my neck, and broke my coccyx in the last 13 years.  I've also had whiplash, horrible posture, unsupportive mattresses, long bike rides, and I've been using the same pillow for 22 years...  My digestion and anxiety have gotten worse since my move, granted I've got a lot of stress and I ran out of enzymes.  My muscles have lost tone, making my body change shape, and subsequently none of my jeans fit the same.  The tipping point was waking up yesterday with so much back pain that I felt like I couldn't sit up straight.  So, I did the only thing I could do.  I looked up CorePower Stapleton.

The Decision

Amazingly enough, they had a free beginners class at 4pm!  I had dinner plans with my new lady friend and her friends at 6pm.  That would give me just enough time to make myself presentable and hydrated on the drive to their house.  I attempted to convince this lady friend to join me but she was in study mode and would have had to have gone home to get clothes and supplies for the class.  She'd also had 3 cups of coffee and didn't think that was the best way to start her yoga journey (the one I will inevitably convince her to go on).  Luckily, I mentioned it to my friend/landlord and she was all kinds of excited to come with me and she even drove!  She's been to CorePower before, so it was nice to have someone to show me the ropes and put me at ease.  With that set, I attempted to eat lunch, start my homework, pick out dinner attire, and pack for class.

The Studio and the Teacher

My friend and I walked into the Stapleton studio and listened in as the teacher told the people ahead of us where the locker rooms were and where to put their shoes.  She seemed friendly and intelligent and the studio was nicely decorated.  I really liked these windows up high that were done like etched glass.  Each one had a woman in a different yoga pose.  There were, of course, yoga clothes and supplies for sale.  I giggled to myself because they sold pants, tank tops, and capris!*  When it was our turn to sign in, I filled out a little waver and my contact information and she gave me a key fob.  I explained I had never done Vinyasa Yoga before and that I couldn't put much pressure on my right hand because of wrist surgery.  She told me what poses to avoid, but because they weren't part of the Bikram Yoga series, I had no idea what she was talking about.  We finished the sign in and the new person talk and headed to the locker rooms.  There were nice wooden cubby holes, some with doors that you could put a lock on, toilet stalls, sinks, and showers with glass doors.  My friend said it looked like it was filling up so she took my mat in for me while I changed and went to the bathroom.  When I went to wash my hands my foot landed wrong.  I twisted it funny and planted my forearm on the counter edge.  Ouch!  I shook it off on my way to the yoga room.  There were only about ten students, so it wasn't crowded at all.  The room was less than half the size of BYA, but I was expecting that, and the floors were wood.  There were mirrors on the front and left walls.  The back wall had a huge chakra mural of a woman with lots of flowing colors.  It conveyed power and beauty.  The lights were low and there was music playing (and yes, this bothered me during the whole class, especially when we were supposed to relaxing).  It was warm but not nearly as hot as I was used to.  I laid down in Savasana and attempted to quell my anxieties and gain some focus.

The Class

This was a beginner's class.  The teacher explained that there would be a lot more talking than in a normal C1 class and that questions were welcome.  We started in Child's Pose which felt nice and relaxing.  It gently stretched my hips, chest, arms, ankles, and back.  She said that if you didn't want her to physically assist you in a pose to raise your hand.  I didn't raise my hand and she promptly came over and pushed my hips down while massaging my trapezius muscles.  It felt good and not invasive, which is what I was afraid of.  I breathed into the stretch and tried to relax.  She explained that Vinyasa was a flowing sequence (as opposed to the static postures I am accustomed to in the Bikram series) and that we would learn each posture and how they flowed then go through it a few times with variations.  Vinyasa emphasizes matching your breath with your movements, which we also do in Bikram Yoga.  My friend had put me right up next to the teacher so that she could give me modifications without having to yell across the room.  She explained the next series of poses as well as an aside to me.  I skipped Plank and Chaturanga Poses but put way more pressure than I'm used to on my wrist doing all the Upward and Downward Facing Dogs.  Doing the flowing series didn't feel graceful.  It felt like I was haphazardly attempting to do a dance I didn't know.  It felt rushed, uncontrolled, floppy, and spastic.  I would have preferred to have learned the steps and details of each pose, one by one, then worry about flowing them together next time.  I enjoyed the core work, though the muscle insertion points on my ribs were immediately sore!  There were a few poses that I knew from Bikram, like Camel and Eagle Poses, as well as variations of ones I knew, such as Cobra and Wind Removing Poses.  Overall, it was a productive class and I felt relaxed after.  When I was leaving, it felt like I could have walked right out of my hips because they were so loose!  I would have preferred more spine work, but it was a new experience.

Pros: calming and relaxing, teacher explained a lot, new experience, seriously stretched my hips
Cons: music was annoying, not enough modifications for my wrist, not enough spine strengthening

*BYA only sells shorts and bras because pants are not practical in 105 degrees plus humidity...

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Dear Yoga, I Miss You!

I moved to Denver August 20th and have not been able to make it to a class yet.  I have done a little at home yoga, but I lack the motivation.  Doing yoga in your kitchen with Bikram talking at you from your computer on the stove is not quite the same.

I miss everything there is about Bikram Yoga Andersonville.  I miss the people, the bike ride there, the stairs, the hot smelly room, the camaraderie of my classmates, the sun coming in the windows, the teachers and their nuances, and the combination of exhaustion followed by a wave of energy that hits me after a good class...

I haven't been able to sign up at Bikram Yoga Mile High because I don't have a job yet and therefore no income.  I emailed them last week asking about the possibility of a work study and I haven't heard back. I even looked into taking classes at Core Power.  They have a free week of classes to all first timers.  I looked over their schedules and they don't even offer  Bikram style class every day and some of the days they do I can't make it to.  I get an overall weird feeling about Core Power as it is so I haven't ventured that way yet.  Also, I'm scared to try other types of yoga.  I know Bikram Yoga and I know what my wrist can handle.  I'm scared to go to a new place with new teachers and try a new kind of yoga.  Even if I get offered a job tomorrow, which is a high possibility, I won't be able to get back to classes for probably another month.

I clearly don't want any of the available options to get my yoga fix!  But, fussing gets me nothing...

Friday, July 15, 2011

Yoga in the Sky

I've been inconsistent about getting to class but I feel alright about it.  I go when I want to go and I've been wanting to go more than I did before.  There have been some situational things that have prevented me from going to class as much as I'd like such as migraines, staying up too late so I don't make it to class before work and then having plans for after, oh, and that trip to Denver I just took...

I will be moving to Denver in mid-August!  I have decided to study holistic nutrition and there is a school there that I really think I'll like.  I just flew there, made friends, learned my way around, visited the school, found an apartment, got a tattoo and, of course, did yoga.  I only got to go once because I needed to acclimate to the elevation and only brought one outfit with me.

I have never done yoga at any other studio.  I only know BYA and I trust the teachers because they've proven their knowledge and insight over the last eight months.  I was scared to go to a new studio with teachers I'd never met and a room I'd never been in!  I read Bikram Yoga Mile High's website and prepared myself for some of the differences.  Everyone was very kind and welcoming, from the teacher when I walked in to the classmates in the hallway and locker room, but they weren't my yoga buddies and I got a wash of homesickness at the end of class.  Even though they do things differently, and yes I could make a list, I will be going back and not just because it's the only Bikram studio in Denver.  (There are other places that offer Bikram classes but I'd feel better going to a studio where I know that all the teachers primarily study and teach Bikram Yoga and have contact with other teachers.  I'm willing to check out other places that teach it, but I'll be pretty skeptical.)

I flew in Friday night and waited until Sunday to go to class.  I didn't feel quite up for it on Saturday and I'm glad I waited.  I had a few moments of low blood pressure where I started feeling funky and my vision started fading.  I haven't been having problems with that in Chicago lately, so I was pretty sure it was the altitude.  It happened at predictable times for me and I just took a step back, slowed down, and breathed.  I'd also been doing some risky eating (in the form of gluten cross contamination, see my other blog) and that could have played a part in my absorption of iron and therefore my blood oxygen levels as well as my sore muscles.  Overall the class went well.  I was able to focus despite my trepidation, constantly running mind, and new distractions.  I wanted to represent myself and my teachers and I think I did a good job of that.  When a difference in teaching came up I focused on remembering what I have been taught and not judging the teacher or their training.  This sometimes just meant doing my best to prevent disapproval from flashing across my face...  (Honestly, there is  nothing wrong with how they teach, it's just different than what has been drilled into me as best practices for the past eight months.  BYAs head teacher isn't nicknamed Little Sergeant for nothing!)

I will get used to the changes.  I will get used to the changes.  I will get used to the changes.

And my teachers and buddies are only an email away!

Thursday, June 16, 2011


I so needed that class. It's been a long week at work and I've been fighting an eye infection and dealing with the side effects of the antibiotics. I kept meaning to go in the morning before work but my body needed a ton of sleep. I hadn't been since Sunday. Tomorrow I go to the chiropractor, to work for 3 1/2 hours, and then to yoga. I hope. My body had some issues in class but I pushed through it. My mind had lots of things to think about but I didn't fight it. I had moments of clear focus but at other times my body was just on autdo-pilot, following the sound of the teacher's voice. I feel good about class because I was there, I worked hard, and I smiled just a little bit. I didn't feel like utter crap after. I listened to my body and backed off when I needed to. Why am I still awake? Goodnight.
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Monday, June 13, 2011


I accidently clicked on the tab to open my blog.  I meant to open  Oh well, that just means I should write a quick post!  I have been needing class by the time I get there.  I've had some very emotional classes but also very focused.  I don't get to go today because I am working 12 hours, but I should be able to go tomorrow.  I slipped on sweat in the locker room last night after class and hurt my left foot a little.  It might be a minor sprain, but so far I'm taking arnica orally as well as rubbing an arnica gel on the area that hurts.  It feels better than last night but I'll see how it is at the end of my long day!  I'm also dealing with an eye infection.  I had to go see a doctor and everything.  My eyes are one of those things I don't mess with.  I will let my body fight off anything else on its own, but not when it's in my eyes!  I got prescription eye goop on Friday and didn't go to yoga to spare my classmates and teachers.  I went Saturday and Sunday since I'd been on the antibiotic for at least a day.  Using my eye gaze in class has left me with some sore eye muscles, but I think it's helping me get better.  I feel like crap in general, always tired and feeling worn out.  Who would have thought that an eye infection would make me feel sick!?  Ugh.  I used to get them every couple of years as a kid, but this is my first one in probably 10 years.  The kids I nanny were sick last week, so I'm sure that this is from them combined with rubbing my eyes.  I've had a lot of eyelashes fall out lately and then they'd get stuck and I'd rub my eyes.  In other news, I gave away my old pink 1991 Caliente Schwin last night through freecycle.  I haven't ridden it since I hurt my wrist but I was very sad to see it go.  Her name was Pinky Tuscadero.  In yoga pose news, I've been working really hard on Standing Bow for quite a while now and keep figuring out or being told little things that make it better and stronger and help me hold it longer.  I'm feeling some sort of pride when I have a really good one, and I'm not sure what to think about all that.  Also, I'm reading Stretch by Neal Pollack to help lighten my mood.  It's hilarious, I highly recommend it!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Happy Medium

For about a month after my challenge ended (I got to 107 classes in 107 days) I struggled to go to class.  I struggled with myself in class.  I often did not want to go, whether it was because of physical complaints, my work schedule, or energy level, and when I make myself, I did not want to be there.

I think I am finding my Happy Medium.  I do not make myself go to class if I do not want to but I aim for at least two days in a row and allow myself one day off.  I mark and X or a star on my wall calendar to keep track of my classes.  I am not hard on myself when I do not make it to class which makes it easier to be there on the days I do go.

My practice has changed quite a lot and my body is readjusting to getting back on track.  The season changes were surprisingly difficult for my body to adjust to.  I've been having an exceptional amount of migraines and my wrist is not enjoying the pressure changes either.

My knee started hurting again, and a lot more intensely than before, a week ago.  My chiropractor adjusted it as well as my back and thinks it is mostly caused by kneeling a lot.  I have always kneeled down onto my right knee, since back in my bookstore days, wearing a hole in the knee of my pants.  I kneel at work when cleaning up after, playing with, and bathing the babies.  I kneel in yoga.  I usually push with my right leg first on my bike pedal when starting off.  I'm trying to be more conscious with how I use my body, and my right leg in particular.

I'm working on changing my attitude about a lot of things including how I act when I walk into BYA.  I think it's important to let the teachers know what is going on with my body but it's also important to have an open and positive outlook on the class I am about to take.  After venting about work to my buddies in the locker room one night, I realized my attitude could be affecting my classmates and their practice as well as my own.  When someone asks me how I am, I always answer honestly, but now I am working on staying a little more upbeat.

Another thing I am working on, though it's not yoga related, is asking people questions.  I spew a ton about myself and then expect others to say anything they care to share.  I don't like pushing, but I also don't like the idea of people perceiving me as self-centered or uncaring, because I'm not.  I just figure that people will tell me what they want to just because I do.  This wasn't a conscious thing I was doing and now I am working to be aware of it and change how I act.  I want people to know that I really do care what they have to say, I care how they are doing and what is going on in their lives.  I'm not going to stop sharing so much of myself, but I am going to try to ask more questions from those around me.

Classes are finally starting to feel like they don't drag on and on, like they were for that month after my challenge.  I am trying to listen to my body and my heart to determine whether I need to go to class each day.  I am finding that fine line between my practice being stress inducing and stress relieving.  I also need to make sure that I maintain my weight.  I've been stable between 98 and 101.  I do not allow myself to stress over the numbers on the scale, but I do monitor it every week or so to make sure I am staying stable.

I don't know how often I will write in  here, but I obviously had a lot to say tonight!  I know people read this, and I still would really love comments, questions and feedback.

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Day 127

Well, it would be if I weren't seven (I think) days behind. I'm okay with being off my count but I'd like to get to the bottom of why I've been resisting class. I did end up going to class today because dinner was canceled. It felt good to be there even though it was hard on my body. My back and neck do not like it when I miss classes and my wrist is still hurting a lot in class. But I went, put in a lot of effort and had fun. During Eagle Pose, I lifted my left leg up so forcefully that it spun me around. This made me laugh. I had to sit out a few poses but I made sure to do at least one of every set. When I tried Full Locust Pose I felt nervous about bumping my wrist on the person next to me. I only feel this way when it already hurts. I feel pretty wiped out but that also has to do with work today. I'm planning on making it to class tomorrow but I'm not going to force myself if I feel resistent.
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Saturday, May 14, 2011

Way Over Due

I've been having a hard time being consistent with classes since finishing my challenge. There are a myriad of reasons, or um, excuses, for this. I haven't been going to bed early enough to get up for the 9:30 class. I need my sleep and I don't function, especially in yoga, if I haven't had enough. I've had to work late a lot with my boss being out of town making it impossible to go to evening classes. I had to take a few days off for my hip. I was getting some serious sciatica after doing a double and the only thing for it was to rest. No matter how easy I took it in class, I'd be in excruciating pain after. Then there was the concussion and busted lip that I probably should have gone to the ER for. That was due to a bumping heads with a friend's dog. A friend's 15 pound schnauzer... That caused me to need even more sleep and to get dizzy in class. I also was emotionally off for a week or so, getting anxious, irritable and crying for no reason. I've had days I just didn't want to go to class, and didn't make myself because there were other things I'd rather do, like today. There have been days I've gotten to BYA and didn't want to be there, or got into class and just didn't want to be there. I'm fighting it. I'm fighting doing what I know is good for me and I'm paying for it. My wrist is still recovering from my FCE (a rigorous 4 hour test to determine my ability to do different work related tasks) and riding my bike, since moving my seat up to make my knee feel better, only agrivates it more. Two days ago I had the worst wrist pain I've ever had in class and I used that as my excuse not to go. But, I did use my free time to start looking at recumbent bikes, that will be much better for my wrist and allow me to enjoy riding again. So, I'm not going to class today, and tomorrow I have to work and then have dinner plans. I need to find my determination and motivation again. It's somewhere inside me.
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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Day 107

After Sunday's double my Sciatic nerve was pretty messed up. It was a bit better when I woke up and I did some self trigger point work and stretching. Walking home from work and then to the bus for class irritated it. I did what I could in class. Sometimes I could predict when it'd hurt but other times it would hit me out of nowhere. I'm glad I went to class and I hope this doesn't last long.
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Sunday, April 24, 2011

Day 106 - Part 2

I forgot my 2nd towel and my shower supplies. At least I had my underwear! I had a good 2nd class despite some knee pain and what I'm pretty sure is sciatica. I had some strong Standing Bows but had to back off or sit out of a few poses. I've got a bit of a headache now. Time to rehydrate and enjoy the fruits of my roommates' labors, aka easter dinner!
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Day 106 - Part 1

That was probably the sweatiest class I've had yet! I couldn't keep a good grip on my ankles in Standing Bow or my heels in Rabbit. My hands squished on my towel when I pulled myself up for the final breathing exercise. I had some dizzy spots but rested for a second and breathed throught them. Right now I'm sitting on a bench outside drinking the juice I made last night and smelling garlic bread or something and wishing I could eat it. I think I ate my yogurt too close to class this morning because I felt sick and full for the first half of class. Oh well, learning everyday!
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Day 105

It was gorgeous out yesterday and the room felt really hot. I felt better once I started sweating. My muscles have been sore from use but I didn't notice them as much once I warmed up. I worked hard on kicking my leg back in Standing Bow Pose like the teacher explained the other day. I've been able to stay in the pose longer and stronger the last couple classes. My knee is still having issues with Awkward and Triangle Poses. I can handle everything else most of the time. Tree Pose is getting back to where it was before and I've gone down in Toe Stand on my left leg a few times. Patience.
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Friday, April 22, 2011

Days 102, 103, 104

102 - I did not make it to class today. I needed a break and I allowed myself to take it.

103 - I again tried to go to a noon class that doesn't exist. I took the opportunity to head over to True Nature Foods for some organic produce to juice and then a leisurely ride home up Glenwood. It was nice to not rush and I made orange-carrot-honeydew juice. I of course regretted not going to class the day before. It was a good strong class even though it took me some time to get focused, but I ended class with a migraine that got progressively worse the rest of the night. My muscles are still aching and my knee is a little off today. I am glad I made it to class after work and it was nice having a friend there. When the teacher was instructing us on the Spine Twisting Pose it reminded me of a baroque dance move and made me almost bust out laughing. I made more juice when I got home. Kale-turnip-apple-celery-lemon, mmm!

104 - I woke up to my period, a feeling of heaviness, and I've been battling a sinus thing again with a low grade fever. I was also worried about getting another migraine. I didn't want to go to class today, but with a little bullying from a friend, I made it there just in time. I sweated like crazy and felt like I had a good focus. I'm exhausted and sore and my cramps started in class. I hope I sleep well tonight!
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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Day 101

There is no way that I am stopping even though I kept going back and forth about it. I don't know what I would do with another 2 hours everyday, or without my 90 minutes of meditation. I'd also really miss the people. I did not get enough sleep and my upper body is very sore. I knew i'd be taking it easy in class but then I got hit with a brick of emotions when I got into the locker room. I did Pranayama and one set of Half Moon Pose. Then I sat down, cried, focused on my breathing, meditated and blew my nose. I stayed in Savasana for the floor series except for doing Locust, Tortoise, and Spine Twist Poses and the final breathing exercise. I did Locust because it is good for my wrist, Tortoise because it gives me energy, and Spine Twist because it realigns me. The final breathing helps get out toxins and clear the lungs. It was thunderstorming when I rode my bike home but I felt much calmer.
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Day 100

I had intended to go to the 9:30am class but didn't make it. My body fought waking up and then the bus didn't line up right. My bike was at work, a ten minute walk away. I went and got it and started riding to BYA. I checked the time a few minutes into the ride and realized I had 6 minutes to make a 12 minute ride. I turned around and went home. I ate a piece of leftover pizza and slept for another hour. I made it to the noon class just on time. My body has been pretty sore the last couple weeks with all the make up classes, but I felt pretty good about my 120th class (total). I worked for a few hours and the rest of my 100th day was wonderful!
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Sunday, April 17, 2011

Day 99 - Part 2

I was really tired after the first class but my energy picked back up as soon as I got back in the room. My legs started shaking right away, but not nearly as bad as my triple last weekend! My arms protested vehemently against being over my head but I told them to shut up. I had a little bit of dizziness today but not nearly as bad as it used to be. Between that and my fatigued leg muscles, I fell down during triangle. It made me laugh, but now I know where my edge is and when to stop pushing it. One more!
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Day 99 - Part 1

Not a whole lot to say about class. I sweated a lot. The nerves in my wrist have been acting up, probably from the weather, and that caused some pain. I got tired and some muscles burned. I worked hard but not too hard because now it's time for #2.
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Saturday, April 16, 2011

Day 98

That was so much better than yesterday! I got more sleep, avoided coffee and alcohol, and drank kale-turnip-apple juice before class. My hamstrings feel tight and it was making my knee a little weird. I went into Toe Stand, with my good leg only, for the first time since my knee started bugging out. I put a lot of focus into Standing Bow Pose and felt pretty good about it. I'm doing a double tomorrow and then Monday is day 100!!!
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Day 97

I've learned that drinking a small amount of spiked coffee and not getting enough sleep makes for a shitty yoga class. Fortunately, I realized that it was going to be a rough one when I didn't start sweating right away. I took it easy, because I had no other option, and made it through. A couple months ago I would have fought it and ended up hurting myself. I'm learning.
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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Day 96

What a difference sleep makes! I actually had a little more sleep than I should have but I'm okay with that. My body felt pretty fatigued in class but I was able to do more on my knee than the last few days. In the last week or so I've been trying to figure out what makes me fall out of Standing Bow Pose. I think the issue is that when I bring my chest down and my leg up my weight shifts around on my standing foot. If I try to keep my weight forward I topple over. If my weight goes back to my heel then my knee unlocks, which I've only just recently been able to keep tight. I think this one calls for asking a teacher for advice. 5 more classes in 4 more days!
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Day 95

Even though I haven't drank alcohol since Thanksgiving, way before I started this challenge, I still do other stupid things that make class more difficult than it needs to be.  For instance, getting 2 1/2 hours of sleep after a double is a really stupid thing.  Eating gluten is another a really stupid thing I do.  I keep risking cross contamination and dealing with little symptoms.  So, no sleep, diner food and work before class last night was just stupid.  I felt like shit but I made it through class.  I still had to go easy on my knee but it was better than the day before.  I managed to do at least one set of all the standing poses and tried to stay standing as much as possible.  I think I drifted off a little in the floor series, but it wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be.  It was a pretty good class for being so exhausted and I'm glad I made myself go.  I got a full night's sleep but I still feel exhausted, so it might be time for a nap.  Single classes now until Saturday, then next week is all early classes because of evening plans and working late.  Somehow, I'll have to get myself to sleep at a reasonable hour.

Day 94- Double Time

I went to both evening classes on Tuesday and they flew by.  I had more energy in the first class, but I still think I did pretty well in the second one.  My knee started burning so I had to back off a bit.  I made a juice for between classes but the orange and the ginger clashed, so I only drank half of it.  I started playing around with my roommate's juicer saturday night, and It's been fun!  I didn't drink a juice on day 93 and I think that's why I didn't sweat and got too hot.  I like that I am getting more fresh fruit and vegetables.  It gets me more calories and nutrients but it also hydrates me.  I've also been trying to make sure I get more water than I was.  I was exhausted after both classes and left my bike outside BYA, since my knee was bugging me.  One double down, one more to go!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Day 93

I didn't want to go to sleep last night.  I was physically exhausted but sleeping just didn't happen until pretty late.  I got about 8 hours of pretty decent sleep and then I had to get to my Chiropractor.  It felt great.  I went shopping and found shoes to go with the dress I bought yesterday.  I also found enzymes for almost half the price I was paying at Whole Foods.  That might help me remember to take them with every meal like I'm supposed to.  I snuck in a quick nap at work while the kids were sleeping  I drank a ton of water but I don't think it was enough.  Toward the end of class, I stopped sweating and got really hot.  That made me pretty miserable.  My knee was a little sore and my muscles were protesting so I let myself go a little easier than I normally would.  I still think I had a pretty decent class.  I'm going to drink even more water today as well as making a juice for before my first class.  We'll see what my body has to say about all this after my double tonight!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Day 92 part 3

A bunch of yoga-buddies showed up for the 3rd class and that pepped me up, got me motivated to go back in the room.  I was feeling alright until I stood up.  As soon as we started Pranayama breathing, my legs started shaking, and not just a little bit.  I got them somewhat under control by the end of Half Moon Pose, but bringing my arms over my head was a very measured movement.  I fell down after the second set of Standing Separate Leg Stretching Pose.  This made the teacher and the teacher who was taking class laugh.  I laughed and then focused on breathing.  I did a lot more than I thought I would even though I kept getting muscle spasms.  I felt too tired to do most of the poses, but the teacher's voice kept telling me to do things, so I just kept going.  Standing up at the end of class was a daunting task.  I got a ride home and when I walked up to the house my roommates told me there were beef and vegetable kabobs, rice, chicken and potato salad inside.  What a way to end the day!  Now, I must sleep because my brain has not been working for a while and I have to get up at 8am for my Chiropractor.

Day 92 part 2

Class 1 had 19 people & class 2 had 20. It's this beautiful weather keeping people outside. I'm super tired and tuckered out a bit towards the end of class. My knee seems to be holding up and i'm taking it easy on a couple poses. Ok, time for #3...
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Day 92 part 1

I have 4 classes to make up before the 18th, my 100th day. So, today I'm daring myself to do a triple. Class 1 went well. I sweated a ton & worked pretty hard. My knee was tolerable for most poses. I had acupuncture on it and my wrist yesterday. I had a waffle-egg and two glasses of water before class & had a decent night's sleep. After class a yoga-buddy and I walked around because It's gorgeous out. I really needed to buy a belt because my shorts were too big & falling down. I found a summer dress and I can't wait to find appropriate shoes and wear it! I drank kale-carrot-apple-orangge juice and ate some macaroons. I made juice last night for the first time and it is now going to need to be a part of my day. My lower back is tight and restricting some poses. I was supposed to go to the Chiropractor on Thursday but I totally forgot. I have an appointment tomorrow before work. I wandered up to the Brown Elephant and bought 2 records and 2 belts. Time to get my ass back in the room for class #2!
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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Days 74-80

After a couple days of not writing, I started feeling like catching up was too big of a project for the time I had at any given moment.  I just kept putting it off and not finding the time to do it.  Well, that only made it worse!  What can I say about the last seven days and the six classes I took?  Not a whole lot.  There were moments of giggling, super concentration, pain, sweat, exhaustion, accomplishment, day dreaming, camaraderie, and a zombie sleep deprived moment where I tried to do Tortoise Pose at the top of my mat with my legs in Fixed Firm Pose.  I'm still feeling like I've made big improvements in Half Moon Pose, and keep working on it every day.  I love the way it feels when I lift my ribcage up right at the end and drop down more.  The stretch is amazing, now if only I can figure out how to keep my knees locked at the same time.  I've been able to lock my knees out in Hands to Feet Pose a few times.  My right knee is still painful at times and my right quadriceps were really swollen and sore.  I think they probably have something to do with each other.  I had a massage on Saturday.  Two hours.  She worked on the area around my scapula, mostly trapezius, for 45 minutes.  She also concentrated on my quadriceps, IT band and TFL.  It was much needed but took a lot out of my body.  We worked through a ton of trigger points.  Then I had Korean food and had a gluten reaction.  I didn't make it to class on Saturday.  I've been choosing to stay up super late when I know I shouldn't be.  Now, I have a sinus infection and can't sleep through the night because of it.  I haven't had a good night's sleep since Thursday!  I've also been getting migraines, which are probably from a combination of messing up my sleep schedule, not getting enough sleep, needing an adjustment, this sinus infection, and possibly not drinking enough water.  I've been dealing with a bit of stress as well, which is why I think I'm not sleeping well.  But, I am changing that.  I have to go to class before work tomorrow and friday, so I have to have to have to go to bed at a decent hour.  If I can just get my sinuses to let me sleep more than 2 hours in a row, I will be golden.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Day 73

I again didn't make it to class in the morning before work. After work, I made potato leek soup (the recipe happens to be on my other blog) but I couldn't eat it until after class. My hands smelled like onion and leek during class. That's better than garlic. I had horrible cramps and didn't want to do anything. Laying on my stomach hurts and makes me want to throw up when I'm on my period. Add spine strengthening poses to the mix, and I'm miserable. On my first couple days of my period, tightening my abdominal muscles and rounding down both make the cramps worse. Between this and me knee I barely did anything. The teacher encouraged me to do the stomach down poses, but I skipped Locust Pose and Floor Bow. I was okay with taking it easy in class but I'm ready for my knee to figure out what it's doing and feel better already!
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Day 72

Monday was Karma Yoga Day. That means that BYA donates $1 for every body in every class to an orgnaization. This month it went to a relief fund for northern Japan. It was also a classmates 365th class in 365 days. She's had to do a lot of catching up in the last month and has been doing doubles and triples most days. She did 3 on Saturday, 4 on Sunday and five on Monday! Three other yoga buddies did 4 or 5 classes along with her on Monday. I had been planning on going to the 9:30 class but my body decided that sleep was more important. I made it to the last class instead and I'm glad I did! The energy was amazing and it felt good to cheer them along in my head. A teacher took some pictures of her in her final class. Since I was nearby I used the risk of being in the background as a motivator to watch my form and try not to fidget. I can't remember much about the class but I fel reasonably focused. I'm still being careful with my knee but the pain is less accute. I'm writing this post while stretching my quads, gluts and TFLs. I mean to stretch more often, but it just doesn't happen.
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Monday, March 21, 2011

Day 71

I didn't sweat nearly as much as I did yesterday, but it wasn't as awesome of a class. Stuff's going on in my back and I really need an adjustment. Between that and my knee, class was on the painful side. I did what I could with me knee still acting up. I'm just biding my time and taking it easy while it figures itself out. I had a really hard time concentrating because of a few stressful things that were making camp in my mind. I accepted that fact and did the best I could. I don't have high hopes for class tonight but you never know!
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Sunday, March 20, 2011

Day 69 and Day 70

Day 69 - Pause

When I woke up at 8am, I knew there was no way I'd make it through the day if I went to yoga.  Changing my schedule, shitty sleep, and the time change caught up to me all at once.  I went back to bed.  I had plans for right after work, so I couldn't do the 6:30pm class instead.  I think it was the right decision.

Day 70

Class felt pretty good, even with my knee still mysteriously hurting.  I was able to do a little more and I did some poses part way, avoiding the parts that would hurt my knee.  Sometimes there is a sharp pain and sometimes it just feels irritated and sore.  It still hurts when I go down stairs or ride my bike.  I took the bus to class today.  I don't really like taking the bus.  I prefer to ride.  One of my classmates pushed me up in Full Locust Pose.  What that means, is that our arms overlapped and she just kept bringing her arms up even though mine was in the way.  I didn't expect it on the first set, so I felt it in my shoulder.  For the second set, I was prepared.  I felt stretching in the front of my chest and I felt my rhomboids and trapezius contract tighter between my scapula.  It was pretty intense.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Day 68

I am exhausted.  I had slightly better sleep last night, just not enough of it.  It was a gorgeous day and it made me really appreciate the fact that I ride my bike to BYA everyday.  Class was okay.  My knee is still being weird so I took it easy.  I forgot to do my laundry yesterday due to late onset yoga brain.  I had to scramble this morning to find the old shorts and sports bra that I used for my first few classes.  The shorts are now loose instead of tight.  The bra was roomy and felt like I was going to fall out the top when I leaned over.  My body has changed so much in just a few months.  Last week, I had gained a pound and then a few days later, lost two.  I stressed out a lot over this and after talking with a friend, I decided to abstain from weighing myself until April.  I'm worried that I'll weigh myself April first and I will be down even more and then I will super freak out.  The reasoning behind not weighing myself is that numbers are arbitrary, I like doing yoga and don't want to stop, and that I am eating and feel pretty healthy.  I've been crazy hungry since starting morning classes again, but also super tired.  It's like I can't get enough food in me.  I'll eat something, feel full, and then feel hungry again an hour later and need to find something else to eat.  I'm hoping this is a sign that my body is saying it needs more fuel and it will use that fuel to stay healthy and not lose anymore fat weight.  If April first comes and I've lost more weight, I'm not exactly sure what I'll decide.  For now, I'm trying to find a few pairs of pants in my drawer that don't fall off me.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Day 67

I did it!  I woke up and got out of bed and ate breakfast and went to yoga.  I've had pretty rough sleep for the past few nights and I felt like I barely slept at all last night.  I did not want to drag myself out of bed, but I knew that I'd be disappointed with myself if I made that choice.  Class was good, despite needing to sit out of certain poses because of my right knee.  I felt good about the poses I could do and about listening to the needs of my body and backing off.  I had a funny conversation about smells after class.  Sometimes all I could smell was sweat and human smells from everyone around me and the carpet.  I've also smelled grape bubblegum, elmer's glue, fava bean flour, garlic (it was on my hands), soap from my skin, and my own boy odor.  I am so exhausted right now, but it's time for me to get ready for work.  I'm hoping I'll pass out early tonight after a good dinner and feel rested in the morning, when I get up to do this all over again!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Day 66

I didn't make it to morning class today because I stayed up way too late.  I guess right after a time change is not the best time to adjust my schedule...  The goal is to be tucked into bed by 11.  I'll get up at 7:30 so that I can eat a light breakfast and drink some water.  As for class today, it was okay.  My shoulder and neck muscles are still aching but at least I didn't have vertigo again.  What I did have was pain in my right knee that started this morning.  It hurts going up and down stairs, riding my bike, and doing certain yoga poses.  I gave 100% until I felt pain and then backed off.  If it hurt the first time trying the pose, then I didn't do it the second time on that side.  I avoided Triangle Pose completely because I had a feeling it would hurt.

Day 64 and Day 65

Day 64

Class on Sunday was pretty good.  I felt like I worked as hard as I could and made some changes.  I've been working on making corrections in certain poses and I feel like I'm making progress.  Most days!  It's interesting how much clearer my mind works and how much more focus I have during class now compared to before the challenge.  There are days that my mind wanders to what I need to buy, what's for dinner, the changes going on in my life, but in general, I'm a lot calmer in and out of class.  I used to feel like I was missing half the instructions and focusing on hearing them and getting my body to comply took a lot of energy.  Now, I notice when the teachers mess up lefts and rights and the differences between the teachers styles and wording.  Also, my body just reacts to the instructions with less translation from me.  The down side of this concentration is that I have been finding that I'm doing things just a second before their actually said because I know what's coming next.  That makes me think I'm not quite as focused on each moment as I am what I know the next moment will be.  Time to slow down and wait for the instruction.  I've been working on backing off in Half Moon Pose and getting my hips and shoulders in line before going deeper.  It seems to have paid off because it looks and feels a lot better to me.  I've also been trying to start Full Locust Pose differently.  I've been putting my arms straight out in front of my before arching up in an attempt to get my chest to open up more.  Both of these changes have caused my rhomboids to burn, so I must be doing something right!

Day 65

I was not expecting to be as miserable during class as I ended up being.  I figured that if anything, I'd have to go easy on a few poses because every muscle attached to my scapula have something to complain about.  They were barely noticeable.  I had a headache earlier in the day and took some medicine and drank some water.  It felt a bit better but as soon as I sat up for the beginning of class I got knocked over by a wave of dizziness.  It wasn't like my usual dizzy spells in class.  Those are like I'm blacking out.  It clears up when I squat down for a second.  This was straight up vertigo.  I felt completely off balance and my eyes couldn't focus.  I sat out the most sets I ever have had to before.  I'd try to do a pose and then fall over from complete lack of balance.  Sitting up and keeping my eyes open was hard enough!  I think this was a combination of dehydration and needing to see my Chiropractor.  By the end of class the headache was a lot worse than before.  It felt like there was a really tight band all the way around my head as well as pain at the base of my skull and down my neck.  The vertigo was better before I got on my bike for the ride home.  After eating, drinking water and getting a quick shoulder rub from a roommate, I felt a lot better.  I didn't get down on myself for this class because I knew why I had to sit out.  I did have to run to the bathroom after the first set of Tree Pose because I brought my heel up right into my bladder!  The goal today is to get more water in me so I don't have a repeat of yesterday.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Day 63

I contemplated not going today. I figured a break might be good after how horrible yesterday was. But, I knew not going would be worse and that I'd regret it later. In the past, the class after a bad one was never nearly as bad as I'd feared. So I went with renewed vigour. It was challenging but mostly because I pushed myself. I felt the need to make up for yesterday. I didn't do every set, but put 100% effort into the ones I did. I had to sit down a few times when my blood pressure went funky. I felt better after. Now for some chores and then to work.
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Friday, March 11, 2011

Day 62

I started feeling tired and slightly feverish about an hour before class. I was okay until we started. Then, I started resisting. During Pranayama Breathing, I started feeling like I didn't want to be there. I wanted to be anywhere else but that room. I haven't had this kind of reaction in a while and I don't remember feeling this angry about it before. I stayed. Before the first set of Half Moon Pose was done I was holding back tears. I just wanted to crumple into a ball on the floor. There wasn't any particular reason for this. Life has been difficult, emotionally tumultuous, and full of change, but I usually know what is making me upset in the moment. What is triggering an overflowing of emotion. I attempted to concentrate and told myself that all I had to do was stay in the room and not run out. I let myself skip a lot of sets but tried to do at least one of each pose. I noticed that the pelvis opening poses were causing me to tear up more than others. I had to work harder to keep myself together during and after anything that stretched my gluts or opened my pelvis. That's a good number of poses... Every sit up took a lot of strength of will. I had to force myself to keep moving. I knew that if I just stayed in Savasana I'd lose what little control I had over my tear ducts. It felt like I was just oozing negative energy and I felt bad for the people around me. The class dragged on and I dragged myself through it. I only attempted Camel Pose once and held back a lot. I knew that if I went into it as deep as I usually do I'd turn into a blubbering mess for sure. I wasn't chatty after class. I showered, acted polite and kind and left. On my way out, the teacher told me "nice class!" I said that it wasn't and that I just managed to stay in the room. He said, kindly, "just say thank you." I said "thank you, but that's a crock of shit." I went to Jewel and bought some food stuffs including 2 containers of ice cream. I also got decongestant to help me sleep tonight. Tomorrow will be better. Tomorrow has to be better.
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Thursday, March 10, 2011

Day 61

Today's class was not nearly as rough as yesterdays. I've been pretty congested today and that gave me some trouble breathing, but no fever! I wasn't in the best mood today between not feeling well, playing catch-up at work, adjusting to changes in my life, and my third flat tire in 2 months... then a yoga buddy invited me to come hang out between work and yoga. That put me in much better spirits. Green eggs and ham, laughing, and terd dates can have that affect. I'm still pretty sore from those two days I did doubles, but I pushed myself pretty hard. There were a couple sets I didn't do, but I didn't sit down and I didn't skip any poses completely. There's a fine line between listening to your body and slacking off. I'm trying to find it and stay on the right side.
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Day 60!!!

Yay, I made it! For real this time... Class was seriously rough. I'm sore from doing five classes in three days and trying to fight this sick at th same time. I definitely had a low fever during class. My stamina and motivation were shot. I did only one set of mose poses. I sneezed during Spinal Twist, which would have been bad if I hadn't felt it coming and untwisted! I stayed in the room and made it through the class. That's what matters. When I got home I was super hungry. In two hours I ate my leftover Korean food with rice (dak bulgogi), half a bag of popcorn, and a big bowl of ice cream. I was stuffed! I'm hoping I can keep this appetite thing going because the scale said 96.4 today!
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Day 59 - Part 2

I didn't have nearly as much energy for the second class. I did what I could and focused on myself. I didn't get an energy burst when I got home, like I did on sunday. I pretty much ate and sat around then went to bed. The whole point of doing a double was to get fully caught up. I feel better about my challenge now that I'm not behind. Now I just need to stay on top of it and not get behind, or lose count, again!
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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Day 59- Part 1

I feel like I've been here before... this first class was not as awesome as sunday's first class but not nearly as crappy as last night's class. I feel tired and sore but my brain isn't really foggy. I let myself sit out some sets but worked really hard at every set I did. I felt like my eyes were going to pop out of my head in the second Camel Pose. And. It. Felt. Great.
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Monday, March 7, 2011

Day 58

Rewind!  I totally miscounted my days when I lost count a week or so ago.  I counted them on my BYA account and on a calendar and somehow did it wrong.  Two whole days off!  Will anyone ever forgive me for misleading the, into giving me applause and encouragement two whole days early!?!?

Anyway, class today was a real challenge.  I didn't go to morning class like I thought I would because I needed sleep after yesterday's double.  I woke up every few hours and I feel like I wrote about this already...  So two of my roommates are sick and so are both the kids and the dad of the family I work for.  I have not been truly sick since I started doing Bikram Yoga in November.  I've fought off two colds.  I had a crappy class both times I was about to get sick and then I was fine.  I'm hoping that tonight was my crappy class and now I won't get sick.  When I was locking my bike up outside, I felt like I might have a low grade fever.  I didn't have a way to check, so I don't know for sure.  I felt wiped out for the whole class; weak and fatigued and just not myself.  I'm feeling alright now, just a little worn out.  But that could be because it's midnight and I need to be awake at 7:30 to go to morning yoga.

Day 59- Part Two

I ended up changing into clean shorts and bra for the second class, after having sat there freezing for 30 minutes.  Now I'll know just to do it right away and to bring long pants and a shirt to put on over during the break.  I did use the same towel which was only a little uncomfortable.  I will probably bring a clean towel next time I do a back to back double.  I pushed myself just as hard in the second class.  My muscles were fatigued and I let myself skip a couple second sets of poses.  I did not let myself sit down, though.  I had to squat a couple times when I started to get really dizzy.  I felt pretty blah right after class but started to perk up as we walked to dinner.  We had Korean food, it was just what I wanted.  I got some unpacking done when I got home and then the real tired hit me.  Sleep wasn't that great.  I was sore and achey and woke up every few hours.  I didn't go to morning class today because I needed all the sleep I could get.  I'm off to class now, and will probably do a double tomorrow.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Day 59- part 1

I pushed myself pretty hard during class and concentrated something furious. I feel very aware of my body, especially the fact that all the sweat is drying off my sking & clothes making me very cold. I didn't want to give myself any breaks during the first class. I wanted to give it my all so that in class 2 I can sit if I really need to. I had some dizzyness and squatted down for a second each time until my head cleared. The reason for doing a double is 2 fold. First, my friend wanted to do a double and second, I want to be at an even 60 classes in 60 days tomorrow. In order to do that, I'll have to do a double tomorrow, too. I plan to go before work and after. The other reason for doing the double tomorow is because my roommate is going to take her first class tomorrow. Yay, I'm converting more people! Pee then back in the room for round 2.
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Days 55-58 (Wednesday-Saturday)

I kept meaning to write after class, I swear!  Now they are all blurred together and I can't remember enough distinct comments, so I guess I'll for general instead.  I haven't been drinking water in class, which I feel good about.  I've had some really focused classes and some that felt like I was just biding my time until the end of class.  I've been getting neck pain, headaches, and low back pain.  The low back pain is getting less constant and I've been able to get deeper back bends in the last few days.  I bought myself a Gaiam towel last week when I stopped at Target after the doctor.  I don't sweat that much to need a super absorbent towel, but I like that it fits my mat and it doesn't slide around as much as my beach towel.  I also got my replacement thriv shorts in the mail, and am very pleased!  The story is that I bought two pairs from Sports Authority and one started the come undone at the seem after only a couple weeks.  I couldn't find my receipt so I didn't try to take them back.  Instead, I emailed thriv directly and they told me to send them back and they'd send me a new pair.  I took forever sending them back because I couldn't find the padded envelope that I knew I had, there was that blizzard, and then I had to move.  I finally got it sent right before I moved and the new pair arrived promptly.  As someone who has practically grown up in customer service, I was very impressed with their response.  They didn't hassle me or make me feel bad.  They offered a perfect solution and followed through with it in a timely fashion, even though I wasn't so quick on my end.  The best part of it is that I love their product!  The fabric is super soft and is made of cotton and bamboo.  It's absorbent and clings to my body without chafing my skin or restricting my movement.  It does lose a little of it's softness over time.  That could also be because I use soap nuts for my detergent and hang the shorts to dry.  (This typically makes clothes a little stiffer until they are worn but it's safe for all types of fabric, cheap, and safe for the environment.)  I wish they came in more colors; I'd buy every color if they did!  ... back to yoga...  I've still been struggling to get through all the sets of Awkward and Eagle Poses because my quads start to burn and I have to fall out.  A few days ago I fell out of Eagle Pose and landed on my right knee on the carpet.  It made me laugh even though my skin burned for a bit.  I'm glad it was carpet and not wood floors.  I'm not sure what to do about that but I'm pushing through the best I can.  I have been feeling good about Standing Separate Leg Stretching Pose.  I can feel my hamstrings, gluts, and lateral rotators stretching and opening up.  I had some positive feedback from teachers about this pose recently, which encourages me to go deeper.  The point is to straighten your spine completely, but since I can't see myself in this pose, it's all by feel.  I've been enjoying Camel Pose a little more again, even though it still hurts a bit.  I've started to occasionally kick out in Standing Head to Knee Pose again.  I had stopped because my wrist acted up during it one time a few weeks ago.  I play it by ear each time and don't push myself if my wrist starts to twinge.  I think that's good enough for now, time to get ready for a double today!

* Neither of these companies have encouraged me in any way to write about them.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Day 54

Yesterday was a rough day. I knew I had to go to yoga even though I wasn't really in the mood. I was determined to focus on each posture despite everything else going on in my life. I allowed myself to sit out when my quads were burning, but otherwise, I pushed myself as hard as I could. I felt a bit better after class, but it didn't last long because life happened again. It was a big class and it felt good to be surrounded by so many focused people. I was going to go to the 9:30 class this morning but I stayed up until 3am working on unpacking books. So yeh, I knew I wasn't going to get up for that! But because I made that choice I can't do what I was going to after work. Ah, choices!
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Monday, February 28, 2011


I just counted on a calendar from January 6th (my start date) and today is day 53.  I have done 51 classes in 53 days.  I do hope to make those up, but it really is up to my body as to whether or not that's a good idea.  I am encouraging it by eating steak, gf noodles, homemade sauce, broccoli, gf chocolate chip cookies and kombucha for my post yoga dinner.  (Much thanks to my roommate, who made the sauce and broccoli!)  I also bought ice cream, chocolate kefir, tamales, and potato and sweet potato fries so that I have food to eat this week.  I did not get to go to class on Saturday due to moving.  I made a point to go on Sunday, thanks to an encouraging yoga buddy.  All it took was some logic; a simple reminder that class will "unload some of the stress."  Saturdays class was a wonderful way to start Moving Day #2.  I was in the front row with 2 yoga-buddies and I was able to play off their energy and concentration.  The rest of the day still felt daunting, but I knew I did what was right for me and went to yoga.  I had a lot better concentration and put 100% of myself into it.  Oh, and the hot water was out, so I did not shower after class.  That was a first, but there was no way I was going to freeze my ass off in the name of hygiene.  Today was also a good class.  It was a big class and there were distractions, but I had a good time and worked really hard.  I was next to the aforementioned yoga-buddy and we had a case of the giggles.  Also, the woman behind me kept tickling my feet with her fingertips when she did sit-ups, which made me laugh.  I mean, I would have been okay with her not extending her arms all the way and distracting me almost every sit-up,  but I made the best of the situation and found the humor in it.  I really should go to morning classes but I'm reveling in sleeping in.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Day 49?

I put a lot more effort and concentration into class last night. I needed that hour and a half of concentration on something other then life. Thought crept in and tried to distract me but I just kept going. I had some dizzy spots and my quads burned. My lower back is still stiff and stinging but I worked through it & did all the poses anyway. Today I won't be making it to class. It's day one of moving and day three of painting. Somehow it will all get done.
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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Day 46

My count might be off, I'll have to go through and check one of these days.  And that's not including the class I didn't go to and haven't made up.

I intended to go to class this morning.  But I woke up to my period.  I had no desire to suck my belly in and lock my knee out and sweat my ass off while dealing with serious cramping and bleeding.  I went back to bed and slept until I woke up on my own or Nina woke me up, I can't remember.  I went to the last class tonight because between work and yoga I went to paint my new room.  Well, prime it.  Tomorrow is the painting.  So I really do have to go to morning class tomorrow because I need to get straight to painting after work and there is no 8/8:30 class on Fridays.  I was in a shitty mood all day today and class was not great because of it.  I let myself sit out even though I didn't have to.  I only gave about 70% effort.  I did not bust out balling in class so I consider this a success.  My lower back has been bothering me a bit more the last couple days.  There is a burning and sharp pain.  I think I'll have to try to get back in to see my chiropractor this week.  I have been having a hard time with the deep back bends like Half Moon Pose and Camel Pose because of the burning and pain.  I avoided doing Full Locust Pose and Floor Bow because of it.  I did not feel like making myself suffer.  There's a lot going on in my life and going to yoga every day is a consistent that helps even on the days I just don't feel like it.  Making it through class without crying was where most of my energy went.  Tomorrow will be a different day.  Try and try again.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Day 45

I made myself get up and go to class this morning.  My mistake was getting up at 8 instead of 7:30.  I try to wake up 2 hours before class starts so that the little bit of food I eat has time to digest.  I was very aware of the yogurt I ate for the first half of class.  Then, I got hungry.  I don't think I've been drinking enough water, so I made a point to drink constantly while at work.  Well, it was more like work, work, work, oh shit where's my water? chug, chug, chug, refill glass, repeat.  As for class, I was in super concentration mode again.  I had some dizziness but it was manageable.  I think I've been concentrating better in the 3rd or 4th rows than I was in the front.  My quads haven't been able to handle all the squats lately.  They start burning and then I have to fall out of the pose.  My lower back is sore again, no idea what's going on with that.  I'm supposed to go to morning class again tomorrow.  I think I'll have some ice cream for dinner, it's all I've wanted all day, and then go to bed.  Then maybe I'll actually have the energy for class tomorrow, even though my joints will sound like rice crispies!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Day 44

(I'm sure I'll end up doing a double to make up for yesterday.)

I had an appointment with my wrist surgeon today.  I have to see him every 4-6 weeks because of Worker Compensation rules.  Seeing my doctor is an ordeal but at least I'm no longer in super amounts of pain and doped up on hydrocodone.  The journey starts with a ten minute walk to the train (I rode my bike today).  Then, the train ride is 20-30 minutes (ran into some track work today).  Next is the 30-40 minute bus ride.  On the glorious 152.  Over the summer, part of Addison was redone, and there were always Cub's games to contend with.  This time, it was smooth sailing.  Well, except for the motion sickness.  I used to get it really bad when I was a kid; my mom figure it was part of my migraines.  I have not thrown up from it since I was a kid, but today was really rough.  I sometimes get it when I'm riding on the bus.  It's worst when reading with sun in my eyes while not sitting sideways.  Something about sitting sideways really helps me with motion sickness.  I started not feeling so hot on the train, but didn't connect it with motion sickness.  Shortly after getting on the bus, it started to hit me hard.  I tried eating, drinking water, looking out the window, breathing in and out my nose, but people kept texting me about important things and I had to keep responding.  So, reading might have played a part.  I stayed queasy all through my appointment.  A whopping ten minutes (barely worth the horrible trip, but I didn't pick this doctor and at the time I didn't have Worker Compensation insurance information, and no one else would take me without it).  As soon as I got back on the bus home, which I knew to run for thanks to my fancy phone, I felt horrible all over again.  I decided to stop at Target for a break from the bus and to purchase some things I needed.  By the time I left the store, I felt a bit better, but then I had to get back on the bus...

Anyway, this did not put me in a good place for yoga tonight.  As soon as I walked in the room I felt off again, so I went and talked with the teacher.  She thought it best for me to be by the back door.  That way if I needed to leave and puke, which I'd do anything to prevent, she'd be able to follow me easily.  It's also a bit cooler right there.  I fought nausea the whole time.  It got rough halfway through the floor series, around Bow Pose, which has mad em queasy before.  Then, hunger tried to equal nausea, which was really weird.  I never felt like I was really going to puke, which is a rare thing for me (except for extreme amounts of alcohol and Post Operative Nausea and Vomiting, which is super duper fun!), but I did take me a lot to get through the nausea.  I had a pretty good class despite wanting to puke and having skipped yesterday.  I was expecting worse, though I'm not the kind of person that can easily psych myself out, making it bad just by thinking about it.  I only sat out a few sets, less than I have been lately, and I had minimal dizziness.  Now it really is time for bed, I've stayed up late just to write this on the same day of class.  But now it's past midnight, oh well!

Monday, February 21, 2011


I felt really good about Saturday's class.  It was one of my best in a while.  It charged me up for my performance that night.  Other than that, I can't remember much about it.  As for Sunday,  I was exhausted from staying up so late and dancing for hours.  I woke up yesterday not wanting to go to yoga.  I knew I didn't want to go.  I had probably 5 hours of sleep, including a 20 minute nap on the couch.  I had circles under my eyes and must have bruised my leg dancing, but I don't remember it.  I went to yoga anyway, and nearly fell asleep between floor poses.  I sat out some sets because I knew I did not have the energy for them.  But, at least I went to class.  Unlike today.  I went to bed around midnight, but should have made that happen an hour earlier.  When I was supposed to get up at 7:40 to eat and get ready for yoga, I knew that it's be a repeat of last night and I'd be miserable in class.  I decided to stay in bed and sleep.  I needed that.  I feel a bit better now, but there won't be another time I can get to class today what with work and dinner plans with a friend.  I'm okay with that.  I don't know if I will do a double to make up for it, seeing as I don't eat enough those days.  It seems my renewed appetite is sticking around and that makes me happy.  I will probably regret not going to class tomorrow, but I'll deal with that then.  I have to do an evening class tomorrow because I have a Dr's appointment in the morning.  Then, I'll be doing a morning class on Wednesday since I'll be working late.  That can be either exhausting or energizing, we'll see!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Day 40

I don't get quite the yoga brain that I used to.  Even though I'm usually pretty drained, hungry and thirsty after class, I can think clearly and make complete sentences.  I can carry on full conversations, which was impossible before I started the challenge, and even a couple weeks into it.  I feel bad sometimes in the locker room because a lot of the other women are grimly quiet and I'm Little Miss Chatterbox.  It used to be me that was silent, just trying to go through the motions of getting showered and dressed, while barely understanding anyone who happened to be talking around me.  My brain would take so long to process anything anyone might actually say to me, that I tried to avoid conversation most days.  Some days, it is eerily silent in the locker room.  That's usually after small classes where there is no one that I'm really chatty with.  Then it's just a handful of exhausted women silently, slowly moving around.  I feel really bad when my old friend is in class (we ran into each other for the first time in over 2 years in the locker room before class) because we are very loud.  We just talk in circles and I'm sure it makes everyone around us dizzy.  Anyway... last night's class was alright.  My lower back is still sore but my toe is better.  I haven't been pushing myself super hard because I'm in class everyday.  When it was only a few times a week, I could push myself to my maximum, but if I did that everyday there would be nothing left of me for the rest of the day.  Eek, I gotta get ready for work!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Day 39

I'm really glad that my toe is not broken and it's feeling much better.  Last night's class was alright.  I had some dizziness and felt fatigued, but I was able to do almost everything.  Sometimes, I think I'll sit out the next set and then the teacher talks about something, giving me ample time to call myself a wuss and stand back up.  Over the last week or so I've been having lower back pain and stiffness.  It's been since my Chiropractic appointment, but I doubt that's the cause of it.  Because of this pain, I've been dreading Camel Pose.  Only a few weeks ago, I couldn't get enough of it!  I think I need to be drinking more water during the day before class, I don't feel hydrated enough and have let myself take a few sips of water during class.  By the time I get to BYA on my bike, I'm pretty thirsty and just want to chug water.  My appetite is still back, I'm crossing my fingers that it stays!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Day 38

I did not want to go to yoga today.  I wanted to eat a bowl of Moose Tracks ice cream and go to bed really early.  Maybe even read a little.  I sent a Facebook message to a yoga-buddy asking for motivation.  I went to class.  Part of the reason why I was not in the mood was that I got another flat tire on my bike.  I found it when I left yoga last night and ended up walking my bike home.  Without my bike, it's very stressful to try to get from work to yoga using the bus.  I get out of work at 6:00 and class starts at 6:30.  I can just make it if I ride my bike.  It's a little less stressful if I get my yoga gear on under my clothes before 6:00.  Adding to my lack of motivation are my wrist and a possibly broken toe.  Besides those two things, class was alright.  I had a hard time doing a few things but I only felt dizzy twice.  As usual, class flew by and I can't really remember much about it.  For the second set of Standing Bow Pose, the teacher counted to 20.  I was able to hold the first one to 20 and the second one to 18.  That felt good!  The numbers gave me something to focus on and I just kept telling myself to hang on and stick with it.  I think I might have regained some of my appetite!  I've been hungry and able to eat more without feeling so full.  I hope this sticks around for a bit so I can regain some of my lost weight.  I'm so tired and so ready to brush my teeth and collapse into bed.


I had hardly any time on the computer this weekend so I failed at my goal of writing about each class on the day it occurred.  This means that I don't remember a thing about them.  I've had some overall thoughts about yoga and my practice, but the individual classes blur together.  They seem to go by very quickly these days.  Before I even know it, we're two-thirds of the way done and into the floor series.  I've been avoiding drinking water in class, but still bring it with me most days just in case.  I had one sip yesterday, which was the first in a few days.  I just make sure I drink a ton of water during the day and chug most of a bottle right after class in the locker room.  I bounce between being crazy hungry by the time class ends, or feeling like I could only eat a little bit and then I'd feel sick.  On the days I don't want to eat, I try to drink some chocolate milk or juice so I'm getting some nutrients while also rehydrating.  My muscles have been feeling fatigued and burning during class, especially my quadriceps.  I have been allowing myself to sit out of the second sets of Awkward and Eagle poses.  If I don't, then I'm wiped out for Standing Bow Pose and Balancing Stick.

Unfortunately, I had some issues with my wrist yesterday.  I was able to kick out during three out of four of Standing Head to Knee.  On the last one, my right wrist started aching in a sharp way and I had to stop.  I was not able to grab my right foot for Standing Bow Pose because of the sever pain and stood there cradling my wrist.  This has not happened before.  I have felt soreness in the muscles in my arm and hand and pain in my knuckles from the intense grips, but I've never wanted to cry out in class from pain.  There were noticeable changes in the scars on the side of my wrist.  There were bright pink splotches and the scar lines showed up very white.  I felt pain a few more times during class and backed off immediately.  I even took ibuprofen when I got home.

I've been in the first or second rows with a decent view in the mirror for most of my classes lately.  I've noticed that I get a little more distracted in the front row than I do in the second row.  I thought I'd give the back row a try since I've only tried it a few times.  Sunday I picked a spot in the back row and was pleased that I could see part of myself in the mirror.  After Pranayama breathing, a classmate decided to move their mat directly in front of me so they had a better view of the mirror.  I was frustrated for a minute but then saw it as an interesting challenge.  My first class was packed because the Regional Asana Championship was held earlier in the day.  This canceled some midday classes and brought more people in from out of town.  I was at the back and unable to see any part of myself in the mirror.  I just thought back to that day and let go of my anger at my classmate.  I know that I get distracted when I am too close to the mirror, that's part of the reason I wanted to try the back row again.  I found that during some poses it was easier for me to hold my gaze steady when I couldn't see myself.  Others, I felt were made more difficult, like Standing Bow Pose, because I could not see the alignment of my shoulders and feet.  I'd like to try the back row again but with at least a small view of myself in the mirror.  Because I do yoga without my glasses on, I can't see very clearly.  When I am close to the mirror, my eyes work to try to bring things into focus and dart around getting distracted by movements.  When I am farther from the mirror, my eyes don't work so hard to focus on my image so I get distracted less.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Day 34

Look at me!  I'm writing about my class on the day it happened!  I went to class before work today.  I was exhausted and really didn't want to wake up, but I made myself because I knew I'd regret it later if I let myself sleep and skip class.  I think I prefer doing Bikram Yoga first thing in the morning over later in the day for the sole fact that I get more calories in me.  I don't usually like to eat a lot first thing in the morning, so it works for me to have something light as soon as I wake up.  Then, after class I eat a decent lunch or a protein shake with fruit and the rest of the day I can eat whatever I want to.  I can't eat as much as I used to be able to, but it's a big improvement from the days I do class right after work or right before bed.  Class was less hard to get through than last night.  I had lots of sinus and lymph drainage during class today.  Stacey, ewww...  I felt less like a puddle of mush after class but still pretty exhausted.  I had to squat down a lot from dizziness and sat out a few second sets.  I forgot something from last night's class.  There were a lot of men!  I think I lost count at 15.  I don't recall ever noticing that many men in a class before.  The usual is 3 to 5, a little more in really full classes.  There weren't nearly that many in class today.  Another interesting tidbit, hardly anyone showers before leaving after evening classes but there are always lines for the showers in the morning.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Days 31, 32, 33

My brain is complete and utter mush.  It feels like I am in a fish tank and the world is being filtered through the water.  Nothing sounds right or feels right.  To add to it, there is a lag time between my brain and my body.  Somehow I've been able to do some stuff on auto-pilot.  I'm actually pretty impressed that I think I'm making sense here.  This feeling started right after Pranayama breathing tonight.  There are a myriad of plausible reasons for this feeling:  I got a much needed adjustment today, I might be fighting off a cold, I experienced some anger and frustration directly before class, I've been dealing with a good deal of stress and change in the last few weeks.  In contrast, I felt pretty good about Tuesdays class.  Yesterday, I started out with a headache even before I got to class, so I took medicine in an attempt to cut it off before it got worse.  It ended up getting really bad, full blown migraine by the time we got to the floor series.  As soon as I got out into the cool, chatting with yoga-buddies in the locker room, and chugging water it felt  a lot better.  In fact, it went away completely, I was very relieved and I attribute it to one yoga-buddy in particular who really helped to lift my mood after such a C- kind of day.  I felt so much lighter and was in a much better place by the time I got on my bike to head for the train.  I really didn't want to go to yoga today at a few different moments.  I'm pretty tired and just wanted to sleep.  I accidentally forgot to pick up my bike by the train station where I parked it last night on my way home today.  So, I didn't have it to get from work to yoga, which is a very small window.  I tried to catch a bus, but they were leap frogging and the bus in the lead was packed and wouldn't have gotten me to BYA on time.  I went home and waited out the time until the next class.  When I bus tracked, one bus was at the stop right then and the next said 30 minutes.  I was prepared to try to walk it, but the bus got here much faster and I made it with a couple minutes to change and get into the room.  Throughout this whole fiasco of realizing when I got home before work that I'd left my bike, to trying to make it to both classes, I really considered just not going at all.  I'm glad I did even though I feel like crap right now.  I'm hoping that with some proper sleep I'll be better in the morning and ready for the 9:30 class...

Monday, February 7, 2011

Day 30

WooHoo!  I made it to 30 days.  A nice round number.  And look, I'm even writing my post directly after class.  Pretty impressive, huh?

Today was a down day and I had my reasons.  I didn't want to go to class tonight.  I could have gone in the morning but I wanted to get some extra sleep since I had a migraine after class last night.  I dragged myself to class, had to ride my bike in the snow because the CTA is no help at all, and by the time I got there I still didn't want to be there.  It was after the first time the teacher made me laugh that I started to feel lighter.  I had a couple moments in class that I laughed and by the time I got to the locker room I felt much better.  I feel pretty bubbly and energized, which is a huge change from earlier today.  As for the actual class, I had a good time and worked really hard.  I didn't have to sit out any sets and I only had to squat down to clear my head of dizziness a couple times.  I could tell that the woman behind me was watching me, and I knew she was new.  The woman behind her was watching both of us.  That was a lot of pressure on me!  It helped to push me just a little further into my postures.  But I found out afterward that the first woman was a little intimidated by me.  So, I felt all embarrassed.  My right shoulder has been tight, which I attribute to my wrist injury and months in a sling, and I've been trying to get myself deeper into the poses that are uncomfortable for it.  The teachers like to tell us that the poses that are the most beneficial for us are the ones we hate the most.  Standing Bow Pose with my right arm back, Half Tortoise Pose, and Triangle Pose with my right arm up are all very uncomfortable for my shoulder.  Today I was able to push myself further into those uncomfortable spots and I feel good about it.  I think I'm starting to feel tired now, so I should probably get ready for bed.

Day 29

Yesterday's class was okay.  I was pretty fatigued and had some dizziness so I felt it necessary to sit out a few sets.  I figured it was better to do some of the postures and give them 100% than to force myself to do all of the postures and not have enough of me to go around for each one.  My wrist was also bugging me a bit and it made some of the grips difficult.  I was very hungry by the time I was done so I treated myself to a salad & a gluten free pizza.  I wasn't too impressed with this restaurant the last time I dined there.  This visit was not redeeming.  I usually can't handle these cold temperatures, but this winter has been a little easier.  I can only think of one time that my back spasmed this winter, which has been a part of my winters since I broke T4 in 2003.  I attribute this positive change to all this yoga I've been doing!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Day 27, Day 28

Day 27- Friday
Didn't I just get done saying that I needed to make sure to write about class directly after class?  I don't remember anything about Friday's class!  I went to the 6:30 one right after work.  The teacher made jokes and lightened the mood.  I was very serious, and I don't think I was the only one, so it made a big difference for me.  I was very hungry after and had two tacos, almond milk, and mint chocolate chip ice cream.  I was pretty sore and tired and just wanted a night in, so I decided not to go to a friends' house like I'd planned.  I ended up staying up too late, then having fitful sleep.  I woke every few hours and had very detailed dreams.  I was very thirsty and drank a ton of water and never felt satiated.

Day 28- Saturday
Not a whole lot to say about today's class either.  I got hungry during Wind Removing Pose, which isn't unusual.  I was tired but not enough to have to fight falling asleep.  I had some dizziness and sat out a couple sets.  Some poses I felt good about, others I felt not so good about.  I was very hungry after class and I'm still thirsty.  Concentrating during class hasn't been easy for me lately.  There're a lot of changes happening in my life right now and I had to keep bringing myself back to the present.  My mind seems to be anywhere but in the room with me.  I was going to take an epsom salt bath tonight but instead I did some cleaning and organizing.  To make it more pleasant, I listened to some CDs and decided whether to keep them or not.  Time to feed the cats and then pass out.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Day 26

It was so hard to stay awake in class last night. I'm not quite sure why seeing as I had a full night of sleep.  As soon as we got to the floor series it was almost impossible for me to keep my eyes open.  I had a few times that I got to that edge between awake and dreaming where random images and disconnected thoughts float around in my head. I'd come back to just this side of awake when the teacher started talking again.  There was a delay between her instructions and my body's response.  Towards the end, I started getting a headache which promptly turned into a migraine about an hour after class.  I ate as soon as I could and drank lots of water and coconut juice.  I still ended up having to take medicine and it was gone when I woke up in the middle of the night.  I can't really say much else about class.  I gave it my best go and I got pretty sweaty.  I've only had a few other headaches during and after classes but they usually went away after refueling.  I'm hoping today is better and that I can get back to writing my post directly after class instead of the next day.  I forget most of what I could write if I wait too long.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Day 25

That means I'm a quarter of the way into the 100 day challenge!  I've done 25 classes in 25 days.  I'm pretty pleased that I've been able to stick through it this far, even with all the changes going on in my life.  It makes all the difference knowing that every day I will go to BYA and concentrate for 90 minutes, focusing on my breath, my movement.  It is a constant.  Every class has it's differences, but they are minute compared to the other parts of my day.  The postures are cathartic and draw my attention to different areas of my body.  They are a physical and emotional release, building up pressure and then letting it go.  It allows me to let it go.  Sometimes, I laugh or grin in class.  Other times, my tears mix with my sweat or I break down after class.  It fits with what I learned in massage school about the body's memory.  We store different memories and emotions in different areas of our body.  The spine is such a huge part of our body and of Bikram Yoga that it's no wonder all the thoughts and emotions that come up during any given class.

As for yesterday, I tried to make it to the 5:45 class but there were no busses on the bus tracker and I didn't know how long it would take me to walk it.  I decided to leave around 7 for the 8pm class.  When I got out there, a few minutes later than I'd wanted, a 147 bus was coming.  He was driving the 22 route because Lake Shore Drive was still closed.  This was great, I didn't have to trudge the half hour to the studio!  I got there super early and got right into the room.  I hardly ever get the chance to really just sit and warm up in the room, so I took full advantage of the opportunity.  I did some deep, slow breathing in Savasana until my face started to tingle from all the oxygen.  Then I started stretching a bit and slowly waking up my body.  By the time the teacher came into the room to start class, there were a total of 9 students.  This was the smallest class I've ever been in.  I felt this serious concentration in the room.  It was beyond calm.  The class flew by faster than usual and at the end the teacher told us we'd finished 10 minutes ahead of time!  I felt a little fidgety during class, but the lack of other reflections and movements out of the corners of my eyes made it easy to just focus on myself for each pose.  I can't say I like it any less or any more than the 70 person class I was in recently.  They were so completely different and good in their own ways.  When there are that many other people in the room, there is this chatter of bodies concentrating.  It can either be distracting or energizing.  I've been sleeping better in the last couple weeks.  I usually only wake up a couple times and I fall asleep faster.  I wonder what today's class will bring for me after work.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Day 22, Pause, Day 24

Between my busy schedule, changes in my life, and my fancy phone being fixed I have fallen behind on writing my daily post.  Here's to catching up!

Day 22- Sunday
I don't really remember much from class.  I know I sweated a lot and felt pretty good about class overall.  I was really hungry after class but then I filled up after eating only half my dinner.  This seems to be a trend lately.  Because I need all the calories I can get, I think I won't be doing any more doubles.  I don't get enough to eat on a regular day, let alone if I spend 3 hours doing yoga.  I weighed in at 96 1/2 pounds today.  That's down from 103 when I started Bikram Yoga in November, and from 100 when I started the challenge.  I know this isn't the weight issue most people have but it is a pretty big deal.  My body is changing so rapidly and I'm scared to lose anymore weight.

Pause- Monday
I somehow got it in my head that there was a 6:30 class tonight so I spent the night at a friend's house the night before and intended to go after work.  Sometime after I got to work, I checked the schedule card I keep in my planner and saw my mistake.  I debated going to the 8:00 class but I really just wanted a night in.  I wanted to cook and eat a big dinner and watch an episode of Skins.  I debated back and forth and dinner one.  I felt a little bad about making this choice, but I need the calories and I had a double from Saturday to count for today.  I figure some people wouldn't count this, but I'm playing by my own rules and I'm making them up as I go along.

Day 24- Tuesday
I did not want to get up this morning.  I wanted ten more minutes and then after Ash woke me up again, I didn't make myself get out of bed.  I allowed myself to fall back asleep instead, trusting that I'd wake up with enough time to make it to the 9:30 class.  I don't have the option to go to the 6:30 class after work (there really is one today!) because I will be heading straight from work to a friends' house to babysit for them.  I won't be able to ride my bike because of this vicious storm we are about to get so I will have to take the bus.  Bummer.  I just got my tire and brakes fixed!  When I got to BYA the teacher told us we were to switch locker rooms for the day because there was a man in the Women's locker room fixing something.  Men in the Women's and women in the Men's.  It was  interesting to see the Men's locker room.  It's completely different but I definitely like the layout better.  There is a big open space for the bins and benches as opposed to the the long narrow area we have in the Women's.  I  liked the big windows but it made it shockingly cold at first.  Then there was the obvious difference of the number of toilet and shower stalls.  There are two toilets and three showers in the Women's locker room as opposed to one toilet, one urinal, and two showers in the Men's.  There are usually a lot more women in class than men, so it makes sense for the Women's to be the one with more showers.  The shower I used in the Men's had a really nice shower head, I'm a little jealous!  As for class, I barely sweated at all.  My body retaliated a lot with aches and pains and it by far was not my best class.  I had to come out of Bow and Camel Poses early due to some lower back pain.  I was able to do a pretty good Locust Pose, which has only happened a few times.  The third part usually gives my wrist issues and so I avoid it.  I figured that'd be the case today since my wrist started hurting during Pranayama, which was a first, but I actually got both my legs up pretty high in both sets.  I experience mild dizziness today, which I didn't expect.  I switched back to the iron supplement I was taking before.  I'd had a better time with my blood pressure during class when I was on that kind and they didn't mess with my GI tract as much.  Time for a little nap so I can make it through the rest of today!