Monday, November 30, 2009

Day 30-November 30th (Monday Afternoon)

Instructor- Frank-1245pm
....And the end draws near....since my morning class was so energetic I truly believed my muscles were going to give out on me for this class, but once again I love it when I prove myself wrong:)I wanted to end on a high note so I put forth 200% effort and energy and for the first time Frank did not come over and try to correct me every other posture lol. There is no question I try to put forth much more than normal in Frank's class just because I know he expects so much more from me and with this type of challenge from him, I am able to push harder and exceed my own expectations of myself. It was also a treat to have Candice come in and take the class with us as she is my standing head to knee guru lol: her focus and determination is quite exhilarating to watch and her growth in advanced series postures inspires me to take yoga to the next level.
One thing I would like to mention about Frank's classes is his acknowledgement of each students participation in the class, every time the student's exit the hot room he is waiting to give positive reinforcement.
When I began my journey in August of 2008, I loved yoga from the start but because of personal issues a couple months later I was unsure of whether I was going to keep yoga in my life and that was when I first had Frank as an instructor. He came in with this cool collective confidence but also with this passion for yoga, he really made me see for the first time that yoga could really draw a life force from within and to grow mentally and physically if you were truly determined to. So I thank him for showing me the path of personal self discovery and I will take that forever in my journey through yoga as well as the rest of my life.

Day 30- November 30th (Monday)

Instructor- Diane-930am (making up for Day 29)
I wanted to start early and do something I have never done: double classes back to back. I really wasn't sure what I was expecting the day to bring but Diane's morning class was just the right amount of charm and humidity I needed to complete my make-up class. I was surprisingly much more flexible than anticipated, as the morning's do a number on my stiff lumbar region as well as my shoulders and neck. I don't think I had a weak posture, my energy was soaring probably due to the anxiety to complete this challenge but also to end on a strong note. The only thing that seemed to puzzle me was why Diane kept laughing every time we would complete a sit-up during the floor series. Nevertheless, I am glad I was able to finish off the month with lots of energy, no physical ailments or pain and a refreshing renewal through my mind and body of why yoga is as important to me now as it was when I started.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Day 29-November 29th (Sunday)

Instructor- 7th Annual Hatha Yoga Competition

Since the competition in Vancouver went longer than I anticipated, I had no chance to take class. So tomorrow will be a double day. This competition has inspired me to compete next bring it on!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Day 28-November 28th (Saturday)

Closer to the end and I am feeling a bit anxious, especially with the exciting weekend ahead, so I decided to start my weekend off with some yoga with a cool collect instructor named Katie. There was some very positive energy in the hot room today and Katie's humour filled the room with even more fun. If you have ever seen Katie in the room practising, you know that her tips and wisdom is based truly on her years of experience, her graceful yet strong poise is very inspirational to me and so having her every now and then as an instructor makes me want to work that much harder in her classes. However, since it was a morning class, my spine could have used a little more 'flow' as I call it, and towards the end of class my energy seemed to lag a bit but it still was a fantastic session. This is the first class I have had with Katie for this challenge but there is no question that when in her class you always receive what you put forth and she is detrimental on making sure you give it your all.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Day 27-November 27th (Friday)

I figured it was time to repay Stephen a visit to one of his morning classes considering it's been almost a month. Like I have mentioned before, Stephen's classes are always filled with humor and today was no exception; putting in a joke or pun here and there relaxes my mind, especially before postures such as standing head to knee and triangle. I really have noticed that the morning classes take a toll on my spine in the warm up, I am simply not able to do backward half moon or even the 'ham sandwich' forward bend as easily. My hamstrings are quite tight and there is tension in my neck and shoulders again but I suppose it is the price to pay for necessary changes in my body and if it brings more results my way than it is well worth it. I had to laugh during the triangle, Stephen is urging me to stretch my left or right arm up in the air because, as he claims " I know your postures, you can't fool me"; he is priceless!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Day 26-November 26th(Thursday)

My schedule has been out of sorts this past week and it can make my yoga times a bit rushed and a bit forced; once I was home this afternoon I crashed hard for an hour and with little energy decided to venture to the afternoon class. To my surprise it was probably my strongest class all week! I saw many familiar students, including my yoga buddy Raj, and it seemed because of that all of us were pretty much in sync. Do not be fooled by Diane's soft voice for when she observes that you can take the posture deeper, she will be adamant on seeing you take that challenge. As my thirty day challenge comes closer to an end I feel like my practise is just getting started for I feel like I still have so much more to learn from my body, it is still changing in so many ways, not to mention that throughout this year and especially the last few months this studio has become my second home. I feel like I am in a community where I can be myself with a group that has a passion for growth, well being and inspiration. Alright, enough of the sentimentality, Bikram, the man himself, will be in Vancouver on Saturday-very excited!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Day 25-November 25th (Wednesday)


Generally when I take a morning class I feel sluggish, almost like a zombie, running through the routines of the postures and today was not much different. Carol's assertive yet rhythmic voice was always present but it seemed to take a back seat to a silence in my head I don't 'hear' too often. Sometimes when I come to class I am so insistent to be 'in class' that it takes away from the whole understanding of yoga; the meaning of being present but in a state of complete surrender to your body and your energy. The mind should never take over for when it does you lose control and I suppose that is why I appreciate having a morning class so my mind is not fully awake (but neither is my back lol) but my heart is open to a wakeful sense of meditation. Carol's insistence on creating a vibrant and perfected class always leaves me with a motivation to create change for myself. My weakest posture today would have to be the back bend in the half moon series because I am feeling lots of tension in my tailbone (or lumbar) region.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Day 24-November 24th (Tuesday)

Today my energy was revived with Anthea's cheery personality and my ability to relax before class. I usually find that I have to work a routine around my yoga including my diet (eating no later than two hours before class), sleep (I am not one to function off of less than six hours a night), and keeping well hydrated (around two to three liters before class depending on the time frame). It seems if those align, I have a better chance of having a successful class. However, as Anthea claims "It's not about doing it's about trying the proper way" and she couldn't be more right I go into class with the notion that if I try at least one set, I've already succeeded. My strongest posture tonight would probably be my standing head to knee I seem to have some sort of drive to go down an inch more each class with my head as well as my balancing stick, keeping my arms stretched up and lowering my body down.
Less than a week to go and my body feels a little stiff in the tailbone but other than that, I feel rejuvenated. For those of you who don't already know, I am actually on day 54, not 24 and I am contemplating on continuing for another 46 days.

Day 23-November 23rd (Monday)

I was feeling sluggish and under the weather all day so notably, I knew this class was not going to be quite favorable. As much as I wanted some energy for this evening class it was nowhere to be found lol. Plus my mind was racing so much it was hard to be focused on even the little details of many postures. It is surprising how easy it can be to get caught up on the minor "fidgets" (as I like to call it) that distract you from complete meditation such as minor aches, to skin being itchy from sweat, to the discomfort of the humidity. On a positive note however, my standing head to knee has come a long way for me; I remember for months I would keep myself in the first step afraid to try to kick my leg out and perhaps it was a way to gain strength in my locked knee so when I kick out now I am absolutely sure it will not give out. But my balancing series otherwise was not my finest moments lol, and so as an end note I would conclude that I had a case of the Monday's!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Day 22-November 22nd (Sunday)

Saturday's seminar left me feeling a bit sore so I decided to take the last class of the day with my favorite instructor: Candice. I don't get the chance to have her classes too often but they are always worth it; she is motivating and keeps your focus on breath and attention to technique. No two classes with Candice are ever the same because she always helps me learn more about how far my body is prepared to go in each posture. I seem to notice lately once the floor series starts, I appreciate the twenty second savasana in between each posture, particularly in the last six sequences. Candice loves to give us the three second time frame to get out of the postures and into savasana which I finally understand the importance of. I am able to return my breath back to a steady pace and ease my body into a twenty second meditation. As Candice always says to us "open up your mind, open up your heart"and because of Candice I have opened up both to the energy I feel for Bikram Yoga.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Day 21-November 21st (Saturday)

Instructor- Esak Garcia-10am

I had the privilege of attending Esak Garcia's seminar on Saturday, the Bishnu Charan Ghosh Cup champion of 2005. His dedicated practise makes him an abundance of knowledge when it comes to the proper techniques in the Beginner series as well as the philosophy and understanding of yoga. "Hatha" the term meaning sun/moon which is used to understand the balance of our practise (left, right, feminine, masculine) made me realize the importance of driving energy from all parts of our body (my half moon's will never be the same because of that lol).

The class itself was quite large and it was a privilege to watch (when we had the chance) the 'back benders' who resided all in a line at the back of the room. The rest of the students were able to watch them integrate the full extent of certain postures such as cobra (Ellena looked amazing in that one) and camel and standing head to knee, just to name a few. I was surprised when Mr. Garcia entered the room and with a soft spoken voice apologized for starting late (just a few minutes), for I was expecting a taller man perhaps with an egocentric personality but he was anything but. His down to earth wisdom and humor made this class so inspiring, especially to watch some students take certain postures to a whole new level and depth, that it would be impossible to forget what I have learned. "Accessing the strength that you have with the form when you need it", a powerful quote by Esak himself to show that when you align major themes such as breath and formation you leave yourself willing to let the yoga take you somewhere you've never been before.

I would also like to say that I am inspired by the teachers/students in the coaching clinic, directed by Mr. Garcia, who demonstrated that with hard work and dedication you can be more than you ever thought possible. Great demonstrations by all and good luck to those in the Hatha Yoga Competition on Sunday the 29th.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Day 20-November 20th (Friday)

This certainly was not one of my favorite classes, the humidity was quite high for me and I was feeling nauseous the majority of the time. It was a large class this afternoon and yet the humidifier went non stop, I literally felt like my blood was boiling lol. Even so, my standing head to knee is much stronger than it was, being able to stretch out my right leg and bend my elbows down as well as bring my head to my knee when stretching out my left leg. It always amazes me that we have dominant areas of our body, areas that feel no tension (my knees are pretty good for that) and areas that need extra warm ups to relieve tension (my hamstrings are pretty good for that lol). I am quite excited for the seminar tomorrow, eager to learn more about my practise and areas that I need improvement.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Day 19-November 19th (Thursday)

For this blog, I wanted to incorporate both different times and different instructors so each student could get an idea of each teacher's personality. All I have to say about Carol's class is WOW, she is fantastic! It has been probably a year since I last had Carol, not because I didn't want her class but our schedules clashed too much I always seemed to just miss her. What can I say about Carol's classes? She is built on perfection to the tee; adamantly walking around the room devoted to making sure each student is in the proper setup and alignment. One thing I really enjoyed was she actually showed us physically how to set ourselves up for most postures. Carol's ability to show such dominance in such a small (but powerful) frame inspires me to work that much harder in class and to prove great things can come in small packages like myself lol. During the balancing series Carol used a metaphor of our legs being like tree trunks, never moving, always in place. As I thought about that concept during the series I realized it helps to visualize certain images in order to enhance strength and endurance and sure enough, I had some great postures today. I warn you though, you go to her class be prepared to work and possibly be pinched! lol

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Day 18-November 18th (Wednesday)

Yes, I was a bit hostile yesterday, today's class went much smoother. Surprisingly, for the afternoon, the class was relatively small but we still managed to have a newbie who kicked some serious butt! I remember my first class I was lucky to do about 60% of the postures and never mind both sets lol. Mary's energy always proves to be unwavering and the gentle but firm tone of her voice makes her classes very rewarding. Through my journey I have learned that every now and then I suppose when I need the dialogue the most, there are parts of the dialogue that speak out to me; if its when I forget to push my knee back with my elbow in triangle, when I need to hold my stomach in for the standing head to knee or when I need to push my hips forward in the standing separate head to knee, that make the posture easier to maintain and I am able to drive deeper in that posture. Mary's dialogue spoke out to me tonight and it proved to be quite helpful.
As many of you are aware the first male world yoga champion is coming to our studio this Saturday! I am absolutely psyched, a chance to see the postures in a whole new light I am sure will be absolutely inspiring.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Day 16/17-November 17th(Tuesday)

Instructor-Mary 930am
Yes, I missed Monday so I decided to come and make it up today starting with Mary's morning class. It started off oddly due to some repairs that needed to be done on the ceiling so the class itself started around 940 lol. The class heated up quickly so I was able to stretch in the balancing series but I still find that when participating in the morning classes my muscles are still stiff and my balance is off when I do triangle and separate standing head to knee. It seems my strongest postures are the full locust and bow lately, bringing my chest higher and holding the postures for the duration. Coming up to the last week and half my neck and shoulders are starting to become stiff once again but I feel so much physical power and energy outside the class; I have built focus, I am able to sleep soundly, to eat (or should I say not overeat), to balance emotions and feel confident in myself. I will be back for the six pm class!
Instructor-Anthea 6pm
There is a reason why I do not take the six pm classes, it's humid, it's crowded and generally the instructor refuses to make the class more bearable. Unfortunately, tonight was no different and the higher the humidity, the less energy I have for the class which I find unfair, I like to give 100% when I come to class. If my energy fails me due to my own physical well being then so be it, but when the humidity is so high that sweat is pouring rather than dripping and the heat causes me to lose focus I find that I lack any energy to want to complete the class. I maintained my composure for the duration rather than creating anxiety for myself but the point is it should be a balance of comfort ability as well as hard work. It's not boot camp, it's yoga.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Day 15-November 15th (Sunday)

It was not easy to drag myself out of bed this morning and prepare to take this class but I like to put a bit of variety in the times I go to yoga. The room was a bit cool since it was the first class of the day but the humidifier kicked into high gear once we were in eagle posture. I was not as stiff as I thought I would be, as I was able to maintain the standing head to knee, flexing both legs out but I have to say my balancing stick was probably my strongest posture today. Mary has such great energy in the morning, it's hard not to be awake and ready to give it your all.
Now that I'm half way through I feel my arms and stomach toning and defining as well as having a greater appreciation for breath and relaxing my face.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Day 14-November 14th (Saturday)

Two weeks in and so far I am feeling strong with energy that surpasses my expectations. Dale once said to me "enjoy your journey because it is your own journey of discovery". When I have Dale's class, I think I discover my limitations and I push past them with endurance that I could never have imagined brimming inside of me. The room was quite humid and I was thankful when he finally shut off the humidifier but there was a roller coaster of energy flowing through all of the students tonight; sometimes up, sometimes down but when we were high, all of us soared as one. Even though Dale says "thank yourself, not me for your determination, discipline, energy", there is no doubt without his motivation and humour I could not have chosen to strive for strength in what may have been my best standing bow so far.
One particular student brought up an interesting concept tonight; he was asking Dale to physically help him perfect one of the postures and so Dale replied "I cannot help you unless a)you are a regular student and I know your postures well and b)it is a matter of perfecting the posture for yourself, not for the instructors, not for the other students, for you". I could relate to this students frustration when I first practised because I thought "OK, just show me how to do it and I will master it", and it's quite clear it is not a cut and dry approach, I still learn new tips and ways to understand the yoga and it will be a continuation in my journey. And that is one of the huge reasons why I love Bikram yoga because I learn something new everyday.

Day 13- November 13th (Friday)

I woke up in the morning unable to breath, I was sure I was getting the dreaded H1N1 virus; my body was feeling sluggish and I had no motivation to do anything the majority of the day. Yet I was determined to go to the afternoon class in the hopes that yoga would make me feel more energetic and would help me combat this ailment. Right from the praneama breathing I could feel my respiratory system wanting to crash, it was hard for me to breath deeply and my throat hurt as my knuckles pushed against them while exhaling. However, as I was about to give up on being able to do this class, once the breathing exercise was complete a wave of heated energy revved my blood and I felt the oxygen fill my lungs up. I could not believe the energy I accumulated from the breathing alone that helped me drive myself into standing bow with my legs up farther than they have ever been. As well my full locust, which is generally my weaker posture, I felt like I could actually soar! I would also like to think I had some motivation from Raj, one of my favorite yoga buddies-he has such great energy! Not to mention my girl Ellena who never lets me leave the room feeling like I haven't given 100%, her soothing yet disciplinary voice makes you feel like working hard can be fun.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Day12-November 12th (Making up for Day 10)

....Like I said I would, I came back for the 8 o'clock class, although I felt like a zombie that evening. After my morning session it was a pretty busy day and no nap to get me energized for the night ahead but regardless, I managed to have more momentum than I anticipated. The room was very humid, just the way Diane likes it, but the crowd was minimal which is fairly unusual for the evenings. One thing I would like to bring up is the slight irritation I have with students who come in after I have my mat in place and they put their setting directly in front of my view of the mirror. I can see if the room is crowded, there isn't much leeway to position so everyone can see the mirror, but night's like last night this student had many areas and I find this very disrespectful and even though its a slight irritation, it already starts to change my mood for the class. Moving on...I don't get the pleasure of having Diane's classes too often but when I do, I find her voice so soothing and mellow I feel like I am being put into a meditative trance for ninety minutes. Plus I have the sneaky suspicion she knows when I am starting to get a little anxiety in the spine stretching series and she comes over and massages my feet lol.
One thing I have noticed on and off about my practise is that I don't smile enough and I catch myself in postures such as cobra or camel or standing separate head to knee crunching my forehead and not relaxing my face. Believe it or not, it can make such a huge difference in your ability to go deeper and to feel less pressure and tension in your body.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Day 12-November 12th (Thursday)

Usually, I do not get the privilege of being able to take morning classes during the week and so I wanted to take advantage of walking in the beautiful sun and take a class with one of my favorite girls: Ellena. The nine thirty classes are generally pretty full and this one was no different but I quite enjoy the humidity at this time and once again, my energy was soaring; it has been a great week for yoga! I did have some difficulty balancing with eagle, standing bow and standing separate head to knee and I know that can be due to my lack of coordination so early lol, however, I feel like my ability to stay in these postures for longer periods of time increases each and every day. One thought that was running through my head during standing bow was how determined I am to kick my leg higher until one day I will be doing the standing splits and it makes me smile because even though it may seem like a little goal, it means so much to accomplish it. Ellena is one of the sweetest instructors and she never lets me fall short, (making sure I have my hands holding my heels to create more of a stretch) she is very adamant on doing the posture correctly over depth.
..And since I missed Tuesday's class I will be back at the studio tonight, rocking the 8pm class!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Day 11- November 11th (Wednesday)

Instructor- Jaime-1245pm
Generally when there is a statutory holiday the room is fairly empty, however, it seemed many young practitioners were up and ready for yoga today. The room was quite cool starting out and I found I had some trouble warming up my body and pushing myself to the deepest levels of the first three postures. Regardless it was interesting to test out my body starting with a cool room and towards the end having sweat drip constantly lol rather than the usual heat wave ending with cool air flow. Even so my energy level has maintained it's high since Monday and I could really see some improvements in such postures as standing head to knee, cobra, full locust, and camel. Jaime's class was quite mellow but she is always observing every one's practise ensuring they go to the very deepest levels of their posture. Always a pleasure.

Day 10-November 10th (Tuesday)

Unfortunately, I missed today and so I will have to make up by doing a double day. However, I'm writing because I want to let beginner's or any 30 day challengers know that it's quite alright to miss a day if you have to or if you need a break. The yoga will be waiting for you when you come back to the room. ~Namaste~

Monday, November 9, 2009

Day 9-November 9th (Monday)

Today I pushed past the 'I can' to a whole new level of 'I will', a boundless amount of energy that broke new measures of my flexibility and endurance. With only a couple hours of sleep the night before, I was sure I was going to be dead on my feet for this class but as I walked to the studio I knew I had one assurance that this was going to be a good class: Frank. His vibrant energy and observant attention to posture perfection reassures one that they are coming to a class that is devoted to growth, perseverance and breath. My only hesitation was the standing head to knee on my right leg as I feel my body does not relax enough to align my hips and leg when flexing out. Regardless, I was focused and proved to myself that I could bring my body to a new level today. As Frank says at the end of the class "Relax your mind, relax your breath, relax your body", I feel like when I have his class there are no limits to my ability to grow, change and perfect as long as I can relax (with happy smiling face).

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Day 8-November 8th (Sunday)

This afternoon's class was not an easy one for me, before I came to class I felt physically unwell with a tension headache, fever and sore muscles in my shoulders and neck. As much as I would like to say that this yoga is painless once you leave the studio, the reality is your going to go through some rough patches just like any other form of exercise. As well, my body was not hydrated enough before class and about half way through the practise (which is somewhere around trikonasana) dizziness and a bit of nausea overcame me. I was quite relieved when Anthea put on the fans during our savasana but I still could not focus on the practise over the humidity. The good news is once I left the hot room I realized that all my energy and drive relieved me of my headache and my fever (as Anthea always tells us 'no pain, no gain'). One thing I would like to mention is the great example given to the new students by the intermediate students who practise at the front of the class, they work so hard with intense energy and focus there is no doubt they motivate me (one of the reasons I like to stay at the back lol) and give the newbies a goal to work towards. My strongest posture would probably be the half moon series tonight along with cobra.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Day 7-November 7th (Saturday)

The noon classes on the weekend are like the 4pm's during the week; the room is quite humid, classes can be quite full and I feel like I'm past the half way mark of my day. Unfortunately, I was not feeling motivated to come to class today, my body is starting to feel the necessary changes to create more flexibility and growth in my practise such as tightness in the shoulders and neck and a bit of cramping in my left calf. My strongest posture was probably the toe stand even though my energy gave out shortly after. I have also noticed that the classes for the past couple days seem stretched out, mostly because mentally I am feeling a little burned out. It was, as always a disciplined but pleasurable class with Dale and to all the new students, I highly recommend him when you are starting out with these classes, for he helps out the new students with tips on postures but most of all: to breath!

Day 6-November 6th (Friday)

As you can see I am very much a fan of the afternoon class, giving me time through the day to relax my muscles and to tire me out for a good night's sleep lol. This class was unusually small for this time of day but I had the privilege of being with all familiar student's, so I decided to surround myself with the strongest students I know which brought my energy level up (at least for the standing series). For the first time I was able to see myself in the side mirror, however, it revealed some major adjustments I need to improve on in such postures as standing bow, standing separate head to knee and floor bow. The front mirror can be wickedly deceiving when it comes to the full extent of my postures (I'm starting to think they may need a 360 degree mirror lol) but I know I have improved in many other postures. My strongest one last night was standing head to knee as I was able to finally bring my chest and head down to my knee, quite proud of that!:) When you have Mary's class come prepared to work your butt off, as she loves to make sure everyone goes to the fullest extent of each posture but through that she makes it so rewarding with her gentle voice and warm personality. Mary is always a treasure to have as an instructor.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Day 5-November 5th (Thursday)

Mentally and physically I was quite relaxed for this class and when I get to see familiar students, I know the class is going to be that much more energized. There is no question that days like today can make your practise that much more powerful and I was quite impressed with my floor and standing bows, as Jaime said later, I am only a few inches away from having a straight leg in standing bow. What I love about her class is the smooth and gentle tone of her voice that brings you into a meditative state but she makes sure no one gives anything less than 100%.
I have to say my favorite part of tonight's class was the brownies and red wine we got to enjoy after our practise:)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Day 4-November 4th (Wednesday)

This afternoon's class was nothing short of fun! My energy level was quite high tonight and I was inspired by a few students at the front of the class with their determination and amazing flexibility. Dale's aggressive voice and thunderous claps made my standing series disciplined and focused although my hips were not as opened as they could have been for my standing bow. My strongest posture was probably the half moon as flexibility came quite easy (along with dialogue on perfecting my half moon from Dale). Lots of positive energy all around I could not have asked for a better class!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Day 3-November 3rd (Tuesday)

Ahhh...the night classes..I use to dread these times but I welcome them now to release the frustrations of the day. However, due to personal reasons my mind was a million miles away and the class seemed to start intensely and faze out for around the middle mark. I don't think I had a weak posture tonight because I was so focused elsewhere but at the same time driving myself into these postures to relieve my emotional tension. And there is no way I could have made it tonight without that bubbly yet energy driving force that stirs from Anthea, her personality reaches out to you in the most peculiar ways, through her humour and her wisdom. As much as I was out of reach mentally, Anthea drove me back down to ground level, always a pleasure.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Day 2- November 2nd (monday)

The noon classes are one of my favorite times to go because it is quieter (not as many students) and my body is feeling relaxed. However I am revved up with energy just waiting to push me further and deeper into the postures. My strongest posture today would be the triangle (trikonasana) as I am working harder to keep my foot from sliding and keeping my hips up. My weakest posture today would be the standing head to knee and standing separate head to knee as my legs refused to lock out nor would my hips give me any room to move. Frank pushes me more and more each class, driving me to perfect and to learn from my body. His classes are filled with enthusiasm and energy it's hard not to want to work your butt off!

Day 1- November 1st (sunday)

Instructor- Stephen-4pm-
Stephen's motto for the day was "all about the breath, not the depth of the posture". Then the heat kicked out about half way through class and the depth became the key lol. My strongest posture was probably the half moon and my weakest posture was stretching, one I still have difficulty in understanding how to straighten my spine and pull.
Even so, the class was a bit challenging because I had given myself Halloween off from yoga so my muscles felt a bit tight and my energy was lagging due to taking the last class of the day. Either way it was a great way to start off the challenge and when you have Stephen's class your guaranteed to laugh!

Let me tell you about Bikram Yoga for me.....

I have dealt with anger, health and weight issues for most of my twenties and no matter what I tried; be it therapy, swimming, running, meditation, writing, alternative medicines and the good ol' fashioned gym I could never relieve the stress that accumulated over such a period of time. I was always looking for a challenge that was mentally and physically demanding but spiritually enlightening as well. As much as I dabbled in certain workouts, yoga was never on the top of my list to join because I never believed that it could provide the challenge I was looking for. When I thought of yoga, I imagined stretching into obscure postures and I believed I was too old to "start from scratch again". So here I was, in the summer of 2008 trying to challenge my repetitions at the gym, swimming lap upon lap and basically going nowhere in the hopes of breaking that cycle of stress and anger.
Then a revolution in my life occurred, I met a man who opened my eyes and ears to the world of Bikram Yoga. I had asked him how could I possibly be challenged in yoga? He gave me one of his sinister grins and replied "find a studio near you, check it out. I guarantee you it is the challenge your looking for". I was skeptical but I went out and bought a mat and oddly enough ( I like to call it fate) I drove past 88th avenue like I have thousands of times and the letters stuck out so vividly for the first time: Bikram Yoga.
My first class was tough: I went in the evening on a Friday and had my first and only class with Mak who sounded to me like a drill Sergeant but I realized later it was motivation. The heat overwhelmed me so much that I was lucky I made it through half the postures but the moment the class was over and I left the hot room to walk out onto the balcony for cool air my mind was made up. This is what I had been waiting for so long for; my blood coursed through thunderously and my skin felt tight but my mind felt clear. This is the challenge I had been waiting my life up to this point for and I would not trade it for anything else in the world.
It has now been over a year and I have felt and seen changes in my body, mind and spirit that could not been anything short of miraculous. And the most important aspect for me through this amazing journey so far has been the students and instructors who have motivated and pushed and inspired me to continue this journey. Not enough thank yous could ever be said for having faith in me so thank you all:)
Last, but certainly not least, I would like to thank you Grant, for opening my eyes and my heart to a world I could not possibly have imagined otherwise.