Archive for the ‘advanced yoga positions’ Category

Day 82 – A Good Morning

Wednesday, June 16th, 2010
Trikanasana or Triangle Pose

Trikanasana or Triangle Pose

It felt good to sweat this morning.  I really am starting to get addicted to the feeling of endorphins, which is very exciting.

Today’s pose is Trikanasana or Triangle Pose.  I am doing fine in this posture – when my right knee is bent.  The left knee is another story as we all know.  In fact, I thought I would include photos of my x-rays for you guys to enjoy as well.  I thought it was really cool to see x-rays of my legs.  I have seen countless x-rays of my cat’s insides and even my mom’s dog’s body parts, but not my own.

My Legs

My Legs

Anyway, back to Yoga.  I had a pretty emotional day in Yoga today.  Not sure why really.  My period was last week, so it’s no pre-menstral crap.  Maybe it’s because Bill is in Austria for 2 weeks, and I miss him.  It’s weird that I miss him.  I am ususally very excited about being alone, but I wouldn’t mind having him around.  He’s been really supportive of my business venture lately and it has made me feel closer to him.

Also, the anniversairy of a death is coming up for a friend of mine’s dad.  Well, the friend and I don’t communicate anymore – but we were great buds in high school, so I spent a lot of time with her parents and adore them.  Her father died July 6th of last year and I was thinking of her mom today.  And thinking about how it’s stupid that I miss Bill for 2 weeks when her mom has missed her dad for over a year and maybe even longer than that since he suffered from cancer until his death.

My Left Knee

My Left Knee

I’d love to talk to her mom and see how she is to ease my pain, but I don’t think it would be wise as perhaps it isn’t something she cares to discuss.

Other than that, Yoga was great today and even though there were more people in there than I care to see in there at 6am, I didn’t seem to mind.  I got my spot up front and was able to block out everything else in the room.

There is an older man that stands in the corner spot in the front of the room and when we do certain postures, he cannot get his arms shooting up straight in the air.  Makes me wonder if my dad could.  I think this man’s shoulders are tight or something.  I am not really sure, but it looks either painful or frustrating!  I know I want to go over there and help him get them straight!  I hope he continues to come and that I see improvement, as that will encourage me to find the human body more amazing than I already think it is.  Namaste.

Day 72 – Feelin’ Large

Thursday, May 20th, 2010
Half Moon 5-15-10

Half Moon 5-15-10

I feel fat right now as I type this.  I am sick of feeling fat.  I weighed in at the doctor’s office for my knee on Tuesday and found out that I hadn’t lost any weight.  Are you fucking kidding me?  I have been busting my balls in yoga class for 5 months now – granted I took some time off, but when I think about my eating habits now compared to one year ago, they are night and day – and yet, the weight remains.

As of late, I have had trouble going number 2.  So I have increased my fruit intake tremendously.  This seems to have helped. 

Last summer I spent six weeks in Albuquerque and lost 10 lbs while I was there.  I think being away from the stress of my home life, my family life and being in sunshine day in and day out helped me relax and not stress out.  I also took three dumps a day when I was down there.  Now I struggle to take one.

Last year when I was doing a bunch of holistic stuff to try and rid myself of Graves Disease, I went to a lady for Jin Shin Jyutsu® and she told me that my pelvis area was really blocked and that once I figured out my digestive issues that the weight would melt off.

Half Moon 5/12/10

Half Moon 5/12/10

Based on what I have been eating during the day compared to last year coupled with sweating my ass off in yoga, I am beginning to think it is a digestive issue.  I do feel like a million bucks when I finally do take a dump.  (side note: I really cannot believe I am talking about this when I know there are people reading this – but I like to treat this blog as a journal of sorts – to track my progress and well, I tell the truth too much, I’ve been told).  Any insight from my readers would be much appreciated.

Today’s instructor was Maria.  There were only 6 students – love it!  And Maria really had a good time today – or so it appeared during final savansana when she was talking about how we were all syncronized and feeding off of everyone else’s energy.  My mind was too busy on all the things I needed to get done today, so I am not sure if I fed off the energy or not or just saw what people were doing in my peripheral vision.  My guess is the peripheral vision thing, but I am glad Maria was pleased with everyone in class.

Today’s pose is the 3rd part of Half Moon.  I am getting better at this one, although I do not believe that the photo does it justice. My goal is to go further in this posture.  I’ve got a great lower back and I intend on using it!  Class is early tomorrow morning, but it’ll be a short Friday one as usual.  Too bad I am not in bed right now getting some good Zs.

Oh, which brings up a good point – I intended on going on Wednesday, but my eyes were so heavy – I felt like I was in one of those dreams where you are so tired you cannot keep your eyes open.  So I went back to bed and since I had a 10am meeting, I couldn’t go to the 9am, 90-minute class.  Bummer.  Namaste.

Day 70 – Knock ‘Em Dead Killer

Friday, May 14th, 2010
Standing Deep Breathing 5/12/10

Standing Deep Breathing 5/12/10

Super hat day Friday fun day!  In high school, which was 13 years ago for me, we were allowed to wear hats on Fridays.  I went to a small private school, so that was a huge priviledge for the guys…and they used to say that…and it is still ingrained in my head to say that,  so I couldn’t resist.  I cannot promise you that I won’t say it again.

This one is entitled, “Knock ‘Em Dead Killer” because seriously Friday mornings are like, “Wham, bam, thank you mam” classes.  I don’t know why they fly by for me, but they do.  I only got 5 hours of sleep last night and yawned the entire class, but enjoyed it nonetheless.

I used to be a field hockey referee for about 6 years after college.  I enjoyed it until I local school started a program and their coach taught them to play field hockey with the aggression and ready-for-battle approach of ice hockey. 

Standing Deep Breathing 5/12/10

Standing Deep Breathing 5/12/10

Those players had the worst sportsmanship I have ever encountered.  They were using the field hockey field of my alma mater because their athletic director wouldn’t spend money on making a field good enough for field hockey.

I have never witnessed a more disappointing situation.  There is nothing I hate more than poor sportsmanship to make up for poor athletic ability.  A few years ago the head coach quit – and I was so excited – although, of course, I had already quit reffing because of her coaching skills and the way her players “played”.  Turns out that head coach, Fran, is in my yoga class!!  So I think that’s why class flew by this morning – my head was busy thinking about those times.

I have been trying to be more positive about people and give them the benefit of the doubt – especially because I know people look at me and think, “Jesus Christ – lay off the donuts.” – but they don’t know the real reason why I got this size.  So, I’m trying not to dislike people immediately for things I see them do or say – and I was thinking, “Fran and I have things in common – we both like field hockey, we both like yoga – and apparently enjoy sweating our asses off…” but one thing I couldn’t find the benefit of the doubt for was that sportsmanship thing.  There is just no way to justify how her players played and how she allowed them to play – even after I gave them yellow and red cards.

Well, that’s all the deep thoughts I can handle today.  Namaste.

Day 54 – Not As Bad As I Thought…

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010
Locust Pose

Locust Pose 2/22/10

So I wasn’t as sore and inflexible as I thought I’d be after going to the 4:30pm class last night and waking up for the 6:30am one this morning.

To be quite honest, all I can remember about this morning’s class is how I want to order some Sanuk shoes.  I saw them on the shelving where everyone puts their stuff before class and picked them up and said, “Wow, these are cute.”  And my instructor turned around, and said, “Thanks, I got them on Amazon.com.”  Of course, she has a size 6 shoe, so anything will look cute on her, whereas I have a size 10 shoe, so NOT SO HOT.  My credit card billing cycle renews on the 8th of every month, so guess what is on my list to buy?  I haven’t bought shoes for 2 years, so I think it’s time to reward myself with some shoes.  What do you think?  Do you like them?  Tell me if there is a certain style you prefer.  My instructor said they are designed and made with a fabric that is supposed to be allow you to sweat and not have the shoe smell (as they are meant to be worn without socks).

Locust Pose Profile View

Locust Pose Profile View 2/22/10

Today’s pose is the locust pose.  Oh, the locust pose.  Also known as the arm breaking pose.  It doesn’t feel like I am breaking my arms any more in this pose, which is good, but I am still not where I want to be.  There was a lady in the class today, Pamela, I think her name is.  Anyway, she can almost get her legs over her head, with her toes touching her head (here’s an idea of what the locust pose should look like as one of the advanced yoga poses).  So in other words, you lay on your arms (palms down and elbows as close together as you can get them) and lift your thighs.  Unfortunately because of my pants, it doesn’t look like my thighs are off the ground, but they are.  Friends, I am going to look like the link above by the end of 2010.  It’s time to really master one of the advanced yoga poses.  It’s one I want to master.  Master of disaster. 

Locust Pose 1/8/10

Locust Pose 1/8/10

This is certainly one of the poses that I have gotten a little further in and one I mess around with a lot – but adjusting my arms or my legs to see what works best for me.  I remember a few years ago when I was really into yoga, I was close to mastering this one and remember falling out of it because I was in total awe that I was close.  Just my advancement from Jan. 8 to Feb. 22 gives me hope that I can get where I want to be with this one come December 31st.  Tomorrow is a short class – only 60 minutes.  Two 90 minute classes in a row is nice, but I am ready for a WHAM! BAM! THANK YOU MAM! 60 minute class.

Namaste.

Day 51 – The Curse

Thursday, March 25th, 2010
Standing Separate Leg Head to Knee Pose 2/22/10

Standing Separate Leg Head to Knee Pose 2/22/10

When I first got my period, I remember sitting on my mom’s toilet at the house I grew up in (yup, my mom had a phone in her bathroom) and calling her at my parents’ lake house (she was there for a month) and crying, telling her I got my period.  She replied something along the lines of, “Oh Jen, I’m so sorry I am not there.  You’ve got the curse.” 

Standing Separate Leg Head to Knee Pose

Standing Separate Leg Head to Knee Pose

It’s funny that it’s called the curse.  I’ve bitched about my cramps before on my blog, so you guys all know about my curse and well, it was a curse today in Yoga.  Honestly, I cannot figure out what else it could have been.  But I was weak physically, sick to my stomach, etc.   I decided to stand in certain postures too to save my left knee from further damage.  Not a totally rewarding yoga experience today, folks.

Standing Separate Leg Head to Knee Pose 1/8/10

Standing Separate Leg Head to Knee Pose 1/8/10

Today’s posture is Standing Separate Leg Head to Knee Pose, which I still struggle with because of my pulled hamstring and my lack of balance.  I am bound and determined to perfect this one though, as I did have it down before.  Anyway, in the two photos above, you’ll notice that the first one shows my bad hamstring, because one of my knees is bent.  The other side is better, and I don’t have to bend either knee to get my forehead to my knee.  I will totally have to wear a darker colored shirt for my next photo shoot though, as having to endure the photos of the bologna spots every post is a bit much.

There were 5 people in class today in addition to me.  One of those 5 people was Bill…so really it felt like just 4 more people in class.  Gotta love those early morning classes that no one wants to come to!  There was one guy today that decided to wear his underwear. YES! UNDERWEAR! in class which made for an entertaining distraction.  I would think that if I were a guy I wouldn’t want my willy hanging around like that — seriously, I got interested in watching how a penis moved in the postures.  Ha.

Namaste.

Origins of Yoga

Saturday, March 6th, 2010

In an effort to provide a little more educational information, I am going to try and post newsy like articles on Saturdays and Sundays when I am not practicing yoga.  So that I can learn a thing or two about it. 

The Origins of Yoga can be traced to India more than 5000 years ago. The Rig Veda which is the religious text of the Hindus is the first to mention Yoga. All the practices and beliefs were then documented in the 200 odd scriptures known as the Upanishad. Yoga is an ancient art which lays emphasis on both the physical and spiritual well being of the individual who practices it. Yoga is a way of life, a lifestyle and a culture that has gained a lot of popularity all over the world.

Yoga is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘Yuj’ which basically means to unite or join. The union that the word refers to means, the individual becoming one with the universal spirit. If practiced on a regular basis it has the potential to not just cure your physical ailments but also lets you achieve spiritual contentment.

There are various types of Yoga:

  • Hatha Yoga
  • Bhakthi Yoga
  • Karma Yoga
  • Jnana Yoga
  • Raja Yoga
  • Tantra Yoga
  • Purna Yoga

These different types of Yoga focus on breathing, postures and spirituality. Irrespective of age or gender anyone can practice it and it will help you gain mastery over your body and mind. There are beginner yoga poses and advanced yoga poses depending on the physical limitations and level of experience. As you gain confidence in doing the various postures, you can slowly increase the intensity and do more challenging poses.

The various physical and mental ailments that can be cured or controlled by practicing yoga are common cold, constipation, asthma, arthritis, diabetics, eye and skin problems, back pain, headaches, obesity, anger, anxiety, stress and depression to name just a few (which might explain why I haven’t been sick this winter!).

Regular practice increases your strength, vitality, energy, grace, poise, flexibility and level of endurance leading to a spring in your step and a glow on your face.

Day 41 – Unusally Weak

Thursday, March 4th, 2010

So I am typing this laying down on my bed.  I am really tired and weak.  I don’t know if it is the exhaustion from stress or what is causing it, but there is something that is making me so tired and weak.  I arrived at class this morning 10 minutes early and laid down until class started.  That was a mistake.  I was ready for bed after 10 minutes of laying down in that hot room.  I don’t understand how people do that.  There are always people laying down at the beginning of classes, how do they get energy for the rest of class?  Laying down to me is going to sleep.

I skipped class altogether yesterday and that’s why you didn’t hear from me.

I also hadn’t mentioned the minor detail that IT’S MARCH!  So that means I have two months under my belt and only 10 to go.  I know before too long I will be saying that I have 10 months under my belt and only 2 to go.

No pictures today because I don’t have them on this computer, so you have to deal with not seeing my fatass today.  Sorry.  I think I might have written about a lady the other day that was breathing really, really loud.  Well, she stood by me today.  God, I get so annoyed by that.  I guess I just think of it as noise waste and it’s inconsiderate and rude to everyone around you.  She was really good though.  She could get into every posture nearly perfectly – in other words, she was already in advanced yoga poses, so maybe there is something to that deep breathing.  Who knows.   I’m tired.  Goodnight and namaste.

Day 37 – Crampy

Thursday, February 25th, 2010
Half Moon Pose Back Bend From 2/22

Half Moon Pose Back Bend From 2/22

Maybe I should change the title of this post to “crappy” rather than “crampy”.  It’s that time of the month again, so I have cramps, but not nearly as bad as last month.  In fact, ever since I got off birth control (the reason I got on it was for cramps) for Graves Disease, I end up having bad cramps every other period and then regular cramps the other periods. 

I actually wondered if a bloated abdomen was the reason I struggled to get deeper into postures yesterday.

Today’s pose is the half moon back bend, which I seem to be advancing in.  If it weren’t for the Bikram’s Beginning Yoga Class (Second Edtion) I wouldn’t be able to know how far to go in this posture to make it one of the advanced yoga positions, as the instructors don’t really talk about it and other people in the class don’t seem to go as far…but believe me you, they go further in other postures than I do!

Half Moon Pose - Back Bend on 2/22

Half Moon Pose - Back Bend on 2/22

I am getting frustrated about this weight loss thing.  It actually consumed most of my thoughts today in class, other than watching the new guy.  I am curious about watching new people (who are in the class but have never taken a class with Bikram yoga poses in it) and seeing what they instinctually do wrong.  It is curious and makes me wonder if the instruction can be improved to the point where they don’t do that.  Also makes me wonder if the consistent wrong mistakes that new folks make getting into the postures is an American thing (like how we are trained to do things in gym class) or if new yogis across the board have this problem.  Anyway, I digress.  (BTW, “I digress” is one of my favorite sayings when other people say it, but I think that is the first time I have actually used it, other than by talking to myself for practice).

Half Moon Pose Back Bend 1/8/10

Half Moon Pose Back Bend 1/8/10

So back to my frustration about the weight loss thing.  I think my ideal weight according to the doctors and what not is 165 lbs.  Hmmm.  I’m 220 lbs., well, the last time I weighed myself.  I am not sure what the point is in weighing myself again right now as visually, I could bet you that the scale hasn’t changed.  This astonishes me because when I think back to a year ago, I was eating so many sweets and only exercising 3 times a week with a personal trainer and barely breaking a sweat.

Now I am busting my balls (okay, I don’t have balls, but that is a fun saying, so I must use it) 5 days a week…and not eating as many sweets…I thought this fat shit would fall off of me.  Then I think, well, it took me 8 years to pack this shit on, so if I get rid of it in 8 months, then I get an “atta girl”.

Namaste.

Day 30 – Feelin’ Icky

Tuesday, February 16th, 2010

Today my alarm went off at 6am and I felt horrible.  It was a combination of a sore throat and extra mucas hanging around in my mouth.  I went to bed at 11pm last night and was feeling fine. 

So probably one of the biggest benefits I received from my Graves Disease is that when your body needs to rest, let it rest.  I was raised to fight through it and be strong–push your body to the limit.  But sometimes the stronger thing is to obey your body’s signs of needing rest.  I had a pretty uneventful day today until my class tonight, so I decide to sleep another hour and a half and see if I was feeling better for the 9am class.

Rabbit Pose

Rabbit Pose

Sure enough, when I woke up at 8am, I felt better.  Weird.  But I still do not feel 100%, but the 90 minute class at 9am was great.  It kicked my ass.  I haven’t had a class kick my ass in awhile.  It is such a difference in the morning between 6:30am and 9am.  The 6:30am classes are mostly dudes and the 9am classes are mostly chicks.  In fact, I am pretty sure that my entire class today was all women.  I remember when I took Yoga in grad school – I went to the same studio, but I was in grad school.  I would go to the 9ams and wonder what all the people in that class did for a living.  Of course, I assumed because they were mostly women that they were homemakers or retired, but surely some of them are not.  I am curious what profession they have to be able to go to that class.

I did talk to Elizabeth behind me today.  She and I usually talked before class a few years ago when I was still going to that studio.  I said hello to her a few weeks ago in class and today we talked again.  I mentioned to her that I always wonder what everyone in the class does for a living that they can be there in the morning from 9am to 10:30am.  She said she wondered the same thing.  She mentioned that she had just quit her job as a VP of Finance with a company downtown a year ago…and said, “Life is too short to be miserable every day!”  Reminds me of my experience at the company I used to work for.  Maybe someday I will slowly make my way around the class and figure out what everyone does.

Today’s pose is Rabbit Pose or Sasangasana.  This is another love/hate relationship I have with a Bikram yoga pose.  The idea of this pose is to get your rear end “blossoming” to the ceiling.  I think one teacher in class once said, “Your asshole should blossom.”  An interesting concept.  Of course, she was Russian, so perhaps something is lost in translation there.  Nonetheless, this is a miserable pose for breathing when you have a well-endowed chest.  But in time, as your endurance builds, it certainly gets better. 

Namaste.

Day 12 – Pigeon

Tuesday, January 19th, 2010

Ahhhh, I love coming home right after yoga and not going to my personal trainer and not having any other obligations during the day.  I mean, I have to work today, but no reason to leave the house, like appointments or meetings.

Lisa was the instructor today and there were only about 6 people in the class.  One was actually someone who I coached in field hockey when she was in 8th grade.  A sweet girl and apparently not too shabby at the Bikram yoga poses.  One of the frustrating things about yoga sometimes is that you have to be quiet.  I wouldn’t mind chatting it up a bit when I am a holding a posture.  It would sure help the time go by faster.

I’m on my laptop today, so I don’t have the file of my yoga posture photos, therefore, you are going to have to wait a day until I show you the next posture.

Lisa did switch it up a bit today towards the end of class.  We ended up doing the pigeon, which gives you an incredible stretch in your upper thigh.  I quite enjoyed it.

Tomorrow is another quick class.  Funny to think that I think of an hour long class as quick…but it really does fly by and when you’re holding postures twice like today rather than once like tomorrow, you sure do sweat A LOT more.  I find that my endurance isn’t as great in the 90-minute class compared to the 60-minute class.

OH!  I almost forgot, the competition thing has started at the studio.  I think it is for 6 weeks.  But basically I commit to going to that studio for however many times a week and then after 6 weeks, there is a drawing to win a free yoga mat, another yoga accessory or even free classes.  I don’t have the greatest luck in winning things like this, but I figured I would participate as it will help me keep my 2010 commitment – yoga 5 days a week.