Wednesday, March 24, 2010

All five toes in the mirror!

So I am winding down my challenge. Friday night is my last class and for the past week or so I think I have lost sight a little on why I am doing this. I have been going through the motions and feeling good physically but haven't been reflecting as much.

This morning was a 6:15 and I can really tell my body is getting stronger from the inside. I am able to withstand the heat much better than ever before. I pushed through everything this morning and felt not nearly as overwhelmed and simply out of breath as I have been. I have also been trying to focus more on my breathing. I have to try to keep breathing through some of the harder postures but it makes them SO much easier and manageable. I had some weird balance issues going on this morning. I fell out of standing bow way more often than usual and during balancing stick I actually felt like a stick, blowing around in the wind. I shocked myself in Eagle Pose. For nearly two months I have heard "look at all five toes in the mirror" and thought, "yeah right, maybe one day." Well, it was today! I wasn't even thinking about it, I just did it and then I shocked myself. I could only do it with one side but it was such a major accomplishment. I was excited about the second set to see if I could do it again, and I did!

In general, I have realized how well I respond to "challenges." I am one of those people who need some type of goal. When I have nothing to work for, I just become lazy. Last year when I was in better shape it was only because I was going to Carnival and had to prance around half naked in Trinidad. After Carnival, it was a wrap and my daily activity consisted of walking to and from my car. I am thinking my next challenge will be some type of running. There is a 10k in June that if I get in gear starting next week, there is a chance I could do.

During the first 30 days I think I have was appreciating, and just noticing, particular body parts. I discovered my knee caps, foot arches, my pinky toes, muscles I have never given any attention to. Lately I have been appreciating the entire package. My body and how it all works together. My shape and size and the little things that it does. Its curvy and 100% hour-glass-like. It looks really proportioned. When I just look at myself during postures, in general I have been able to just focus on my gaze. I'm noticing the parts less and just the person looking back at me.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Second chances

After today, I will have three classes to go. I am going Tuesday morning, Wednesday morning and Friday night. I planned to take Thursday off so I am a day ahead. I have loved this challenge but I am really looking forward to getting some flexibility in my schedule back.

This morning's class was just OK. I was consumed by doubt. That alone isn't that big of a deal; we all experience self-doubt. But there is something in my brain that finds it unacceptable for me to not be the exact person I wish I could be. I want to be confident in every way all the time and when that doesn't happen, I feel like a failure. Then I get frustrated for even thinking that way -and repeat. So this morning, I was hyper-critical. Every little flaw I could imagine was glaring at me in the mirror. I would go maybe 10-15 minutes without criticizing myself but then get sucked back in. It was really frustrating. Then after all that I went home and weighed myself. I think I was looking to beat myself up this morning. It was not healthy in any way. Normally this is frustrating but this morning, I was really discouraged. I have come so far in this experience. I have been feeling so good, free and airy. This morning I felt tired, old and defeated.

Even though I was so frustrated, I think this morning is good motivation on what I need to work on.  One of the things that the instructor kept saying this morning was that “we always get a second chance.” People were struggling and she kept encouraging people to “just try” during the second set, even if they didn’t have a good first set. I am trying to take that with me today. I had a crappy morning but I have a second chance to have a great day, which is what I plan on doing.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Day 51 - I know I keep saying I am not going to write as much ...

I just had to! Today was AMAZING. Even more amazing than usual. I just had a wonderful day, the weather was fabulous, the Maryland Bar informed me I am not morally bankrupt, I even went to the dentist in the first time since before law school! And to end my day I took the 6pm with Megan and it was so fabulous. I am not sure what it was but I felt super strong today. My focus could have been better but I was going way deeper into postures that I usually do. I just felt like a regular. A part of me has really started to think of my centering place. Not quite in a spirtual way but in another kind of universal way. I can't put my finger on it.

I think so much tension was released after I had a successful character and fitness interview with the Maryland Bar people. I don't think I realized how much that bar limbo was stressing me out. I also am uncomfortable with the idea of actively finding a profession in which I ask to have my character judged. Something about that seems really unnatural. But I walked out my interview and went straight to yoga. It was such a fabulous way to end my day.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Day 50 - Gassy Men

This morning some guy had terrible gas, especially during the floor series. I really need to work on my focus because it was really throwing me off. I would try to think, "its only a fart" but then I would think about how my body was breathing a gaseous form of poop! Then I would get all distracted and grossed out and repeat. I think if I were truly focused on my yoga 100% I wouldn't have even noticed. Overall, this morning felt great. I have been kind of moody for about a week and have felt kind of stuck in my yoga. But this morning I felt rejuvenated again, even if I was pretty stiff.

I keep surprising myself with the body parts I notice. Lately I have been very aware of the arches in my feet. They ache during Awkward Pose. It seems new to have such a odd part of body feel alive. I have also been noticing my shoulders. I think they are getting stronger and I think I can see it. It is exciting.

More than anything I have just felt more and more confident. I compare my confidence to the first breathing exercise. I keep taking in more and more and just when I feel like I am at my limit for that particular moment, I can squeeze in a tad bit more. I walk confidently around the studio in my ridiculously small and tight shorts. I fix my clothes less and less lately. Wherever my clothes end up in class, I am more comfortable just leaving it there (even if it means a bit of pudge sticks out).

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

I should start counting down!

Today will be my 49th class :-) I am really in the home stretch.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Classes - 46

I got a pleasant surprise. Somehow I lost count of my classes and I am not behind! Whohoo! I am right on track again.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Classes 42 & 43 - Stubby McStuberson

It's official: I have short, stubby little arms. I'm OK with that.

Last night I went to the 8 and this morning I went to the 6:15. The 8 was wonderful. It was really hot but I felt super focused. The instructor even told me I was doing well during my standing bow pose. I think that pose is my favorite. It is the easiest to see my progress and it feels very yoga-like. I have also decided triangle pose is my least favorite. Such is life.

Starting now I am not going to write as much. I am running out of stuff to say. Maybe I am not reflecting enough but I am kinda enjoying just going, breathing and being there. This has been quite a journey and I think I have gotten exactly what I needed. I am excited to complete the 60 day challenge but at the same time I already feel pretty accomplished and proud of myself.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Class 41

It is becoming harder to wake up early to get to class. This morning I flopped out of bed and somehow managed to make it to class but it was as if I was in a fog the entire class. I am doing a double today to hopefully my pm class will be a bit better. I took a couple days off so I am once again three days behind. I am going to do a double today, Saturday and one next week to catch up. I made the unfortunate mistake of weighing myself. I have gained weight, which sucks. I think I may be bloated but I doubt that accounts for all of it. I find it hard to eat "light" while doing all this yoga. I craze meat a lot. I need to find a nutritional balance and I think I will feel a bit better.

I think I might start standing in the front of the room, maybe in a corner. I am certainly not the person to have beginners look at but at the same time, I am getting easily distracted by people in front of me lately. I wonder if it will be easier for me to focus if it is just me and the mirror.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Day 40 :-)

So I continue to feel amazing after class but during class I have really been struggling. I sat out a couple of postures in the floor series today. I am really beginning to be able to tell exactly what the temperature is in the room. I am good up until about 102. After that, its a wrap. A lot of the teachers leave the temperature around 100, which I love but when they crank it up the temperature it is actually supposed to be, I feel myself fading. But I made it through and am 66% way through my challenge.

I saw an old friend of a friend today in class. It was a great surprise but the look on her face when I told her what I am doing made me realize how bizarre it really is. Amazing for me, but pretty over the top for most people. I forgot about that.

I have also turned into a snob. I hate it when new people are next to me. This girl literally fell on my towel today during the standing bow pose. She was jerking all over the place because her knee wasn't locked and literally fell into me. It was so annoying. And then during the floor series she kept looking in the wrong direction so we would get awkward eye contact. I don't know why it is so hard to just listen to the intructor for new people. I was irritated. It showed me how far I have to go in the calming of my mind. That sort of distraction is a just a challenge and I need to learn how to focus on myself and push through it.

I felt so good about my body today. I just felt comfortable. It is such a new, exciting feeling of self-discovery. I even feel more confident wearing different kinds of clothing not just to yoga. Yoga is such a safe space, I could literally wear a bikini and nobody would care. But I find myself looking for sexier clothes to go out in. I may even buy a sleeveless shirt! Gasp.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Day 37, 38 & 39

Thats right - I did a triple! My back was bothering me yesterday so I didn't go to the Saturday 5pm but I didn't want to get off schedule so I went to the 9am and 11am, took a fabulous nap and then went to the 5pm. The 11am was rough but I made it through and now I only have one more double to do and I will be all caught up. I just really don't like the feeling of being behind. If anything, I want to be ahead. Clearly, moderation is not my forte.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Day 36

Today I went to the 9am and it was packed. I had a pretty decent class teven hough it was really distracting having all the people in class. There were also 6 new people and a bunch of deaf students who were also really distracting. It was pretty obvious they didn't look up any of the postures so they were doing things all wrong and then when the instructor tried to correct them, it didn't work so well because, well, they are deaf. I kind of felt like a jerk getting annoyed by the deaf students. I think the instructors should learn some basic sign language or something. I was thinking about learning some sign language too. I am so close to Gallaudet, whenever I go out around my house there are always deaf people. It would be neat to be able to communicate at least a little.

Anyway, I felt good after class. I am going to try to do a double today and take the 5pm. We will see...

Friday, March 5, 2010

Day 35

Took the 6:15 again today and felt WAY better than yesterday. Glad that feeling wasn't a trend.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Day 34

Ok. 1. I am still writing even though I said I wasn't going to. 2. This whole plan to do doubles for the next three days straight is becoming improbable. I am exhausted after yesterday's double. This morning in the 6:15 I probably laid there like a lump for a good third of the floor series. I could not pull it together. My attitude sucked and I left feeling just worn out. Usually when I get really tired and sit something out, someone else is sitting out too so it makes me feel like it isn't just me. Today, the entire class was going strong and I was gasping for air like I had just run a marathon, flopped out on the floor. I think I need a full 24 hours until tomorrow morning's class. I do have a whole month to do these three doubles I have left, so I may spread them out a bit depending on how I feel.

I weighed myself this morning. I have lost 3 pounds. It isn't that much but I have also been eating everything in sight. I don't know how to eat really healthy while doing this challenge. I need energy. But I also think my body has definitely changed irregardless of any weight loss. My butt is higher and everything just feels tighter. I like it.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Day 32 & 33

I did a double today. I took the 6:15am class, which was wonderful, relaxing and calming and then I took the 6pm class, which was like boot camp and I thought I was going to throw up for half the class. But I have one double out of the way. I am going to try to do doubles Friday, Saturday and Sunday and then I will all caught up.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Day 31

So I am not going to write as much but I have decided to turn my 30 day challenge into a 60 day challenge. I took 4 days off so that means I have to do 4 doubles in the next month but I am hoping to get them out of the way in the next week or so so I am right on track. This morning I took the 6:15am class and I stood in the front for the first time.

I know I keep saying this but I feel absolutely amazing! My mind is clearer and I am more comfortable with myself in every way. I only knew a certain level of comfort and self-awareness when it came to my body before this challenge. I feel as though now I am going deeper. I am aware of each one of my toes, my foot arches, my knuckles, my pinky fingers, my butt and even my upper back. I have thought about my lower back but I don't think I have ever really thought about my upper back. My body is way stronger and toner and I am way more flexible. Everyday I think about the first week when I was wobbly and falling all over the place. Now there are poses where I don't even budge.

I have also noticed I have short arms or a long torso - I can't figure out which one. I think this fact would have really bothered me in the past. "What is wrong with me?" "Great, yet another abnormality." "Why can't I do this and everyone else can?" "Oh my God I have stumpy little arms!" What amazes me is that none of those thoughts haven't popped up. At all. I think at one point I was just confused and then it just came to me that my body doesn't work that way. Done and done. That was all. More than thinking of it as a negative, it was like an epiphany. I was almost excited to have figured it out.

Most of all I just feel more confident. My posture is better and it isn't just because my core is stronger. I am proud. Even when I don't have a great class, I am super proud of myself. I don't aim for perfection I just try to stay in the room and it works every time. I walk around with a little secret - it is as if I hold the not-so-secret secret to peace. When I find myself stressed out, I think about what I have learned in Bikram and I bring it to my everyday. I look forward to going and I miss it when I don't go. More than anything, I am so grateful to have been introduced to this. (Thank you Peter and Erica!)  I am realizing how incredibly lucky I am. I have a wonderful partner, job, friends, family and home. And now on top of all of that, I have this wonderful new appreciation of ME. This is just amazing.