spiritual self-exploration through health, fitness, and nutrition

Posts tagged ‘fitness’

Day 24: Final Stretch and a Thought

Today marks the first day of my last full week! I’m going to most likely keep going after Friday. But I’ve decided to keep it a weekday thing going forward and giving my body a chance to rest over the weekends.

I’ve also been contemplating maybe going to teacher training one day. November marked 1 year of semi-regular Bikram practice for me, and about 3 years of hatha yoga practice. I’ve met so many inspiring individuals who had dropped everything to follow their passion. I wish I could say it was that easy for me. I guess I’d need to learn more about it. But I do know one thing for sure – I really love this community and everything it has to offer! I  not only want to share my passion with others but the businesswoman in me wants to open up my very own studio one day (whether it’s a hot yoga studio or not, I’m not quite sure yet).

If you’ve been through/are going through teacher training, what made you decide to do it? How many years did you practice beforehand? And how did you handle the sudden lifestyle change? Or did you ease into it? Any tips?!?

Day 22/23: Double!

Two nights ago, I considered doing a double then chickened out last second. Last night, I mustered up enough confidence to walk in and tell Carrie that I’m ready to do a back-to-back double (I guess technically I’ve done a double before, just not one class directly after the other).

While this is one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do, I’m really glad I did it. First class was with Tandy, who I’ve never had before… I know she must be really popular because she’s been teaching for many years and the class was so full that they had to ask people to line up their mats in 5 rows. I liked her dialogue because she was very specific about alignment and it reminded me to think about that more.

Between classes, I gulped down a Zico to reenergize and got a fresh new towel. I’ll need to remember next time to bring an extra set of clothes, it’s not fun to start practice when you’re already soaked in your own sweat. The second class was led by Francisco, and I couldn’t imagine having that second class with anyone else! Less people, but his energy was amazing as usual. I was flying through each pose with ease since my body was so warmed up (the ladies next to me must’ve thought I was out of shape because I was sweating like crazy after pranayama breathing!). But, of course, I ended up pushing too hard, and by the end of camel pose… I felt so incredibly spent. To a point where I had to sit out a set of rabbit pose. The room was spinning and my mind was panicking because I was almost out of water and we still had about 20 minutes left to go.

Francisco’s encouraging words kept me going though.

Don’t freak out. Just chill…

We are more than this body. We are more than this mind. If you’re attached to your body and you think that’s all you have, you are mistaken.

Let me say, water tasted extra good after class, and my half hour shower felt amazing too! I will definitely be doing this again but only when I plan ahead of time and eat/drink properly the 24 hours before.

*sigh of relief*

ONE MORE WEEK!

Day 20: New Limits, Calm Mind

Today’s class was filled to maximum capacity: around 50 people! Luckily I got into a habit of getting there a half hour early and reserving my safe corner spot 🙂 Let me just say, regardless of where anyone positioned themselves in the room, it got REALLY HOT in there. But I got through every single pose without rest…and pushed myself to a new limit. I feel really good about it…but of course, my body is paying for it now!

Seriously.. ouch. My shoulders and legs are so pissed off at me right now.

Mentally though… so… incredibly… ZEN ❤

Day 19: Discovering the Joy Within

“I know, it’s hot in here, but it’ll be cool soon. Just get over it.”

“If you’re thinking of something else, you’re not doing the posture correctly. Lock the knee. Tuck chin to chest. Don’t think. Just do. Stay in the moment.”

“What the mind perceives, the body can achieve.”

These are just a few of the many quotes of wisdom that Francisco shared with us tonight. I really love his class because not only am I going in with no expectations of what I’ll be able to accomplish in my practice…but I also have no idea what types of stories he’s going to share! He had a bunch of us cracking up in the first half of class, then toned it down in the 2nd half by telling us about some really serious, hard times he’s been through in his life. And how yoga has helped him be more in touch with his emotions and conquer his fears, by letting out all that was being balled up inside.

His story really struck a bittersweet chord in my heart. We all have our own stories of struggle, pain, and loss.. but to be able to talk about that openly with others is so very humbling and helps to appreciate the present moment. Yeah I’ve been through some hard times, but I got through it. Yoga tonight was harder than usual, but I got through that too. While this is much like my marathon training in the last couple years, I didn’t really get the sense of calm from running the way I do with yoga. I’m finally starting to let go of temporary pleasures in my life and discovering inner joy through this experience.

Eckhart Tolle said it best:

“Pleasure is always derived from something outside you, whereas joy arises from within.”

Day 18: Bitter Cold, Refreshing Heat

Another day, another practice. I can’t believe I’ve made it this far!

For Sunday night, when Insel asked us to set an intention… this time it didn’t seem so hard to do. I immediately thought “I will be more compassionate with myself.” I don’t know why, but it just seemed appropriate. It definitely felt hotter in there today but it’s probably because the wind chill outside made it feel like single digits.

I’ve found my favorite spot in the room: far left next to the window… furthest away from the door. So I can’t sneak out, but close enough to the window so I mentally trick myself into thinking I’m outside. Works like a charm! 😉

Day 16: Mental Block

Each day I come to class is a completely new experience. I learned early on, before starting this challenge, not to expect anything and go in with a clean slate and open mind. I recall days where I felt confident and ended up having a terrible class, and other days I felt out of my element but had one of my best classes.

I spoke with Insel briefly before class and shared my concern about my hip discomfort. He said this is normal…after all, we’re stretching and tearing every tiny little ligament in our bodies, so it’s bound to happen. The more I come, the more I can adapt. He also tried to convince me to sign up for the 30 / 60 day challenge starting January 1st and I hesitated, making up excuses about having to travel to Jersey and possibly California. Of course I could find studios in the areas I go, but I definitely think my body will need a little bit of a break after this 30 days is up! I mean, I’ll be finishing these 30 days a week after everyone else is starting theirs… I think that should be enough, shouldn’t it? I guess I’ll play it by ear…

I never, ever have a bad class when Insel teaches. I don’t know what it is, but this man has some seriously amazing energy and motivation unlike anyone else I’ve met. He is the epitome of the word teacher. One thing he does is ask us to set an intention at the beginning of the class, come back to it in the middle, then again at the end. I don’t know why but I always have trouble doing this! There are so many things I could think of but I usually hit a mental block and come up with the first thing that comes to my head. Maybe I need to do some more spiritual reading (just picked up “The Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle on my Kindle…this book is incredible)… then I’ll hopefully be able to be more in touch with my inner intentions.

Day 15: Halfway Mark!

I walked into class yesterday evening on a more positive note. I was more conscious of what I ate for lunch (Maui salad from Mixt Greens…yum!) so I was feeling energized and ready. Class went smoothly, I kept my mind focused, but I do admit I sat out on one set of 3 or so poses. I’ve been starting to get a bit of hip pain, which I really feel during the Standing Separate Leg Stretch Pose. I’ve been trying to do some more at-home hip stretches to help this out but last night it got to a point where I had to pop a couple motrin. This helped, but now I’m wondering if I overexerted myself a bit at the beginning of this challenge. Now that I’m aware of it, I will go forward with more caution and take things one day, one step, one pose at a time!

Today is Christmas Eve and I’m finally feeling festive about the holidays so my dear friend Caroline and I found an amazing Chocolate Cheesecake recipe which I’ve started making, and it’s baking in the oven now! My family will be pleasantly surprised…especially since it’s rare that I cook or bake much of anything. I hope to change this soon.

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