Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Day 30- December 30th (Wednesday)

Instructor-Jaime-930am (making up for Day 1, yup that's right, Day 1)
I never made up for December first, so today, is another good ol' doubler! Starting off with Jaime's class was exactly what I needed and she had such amazing enthusiasm that brought everyone in the class high on the energy train! I don't see Jaime's personality come through too often in her classes but today she was fantastic, a cheery warm voice with such mellow atmosphere but she insists on working you, no holding back. My energy was untouchable this morning, I was able open my hips and with a little help of Advil prior to class, I had no pain in my joints. A great way to start the day!

Instructor-Ellena- 8pm
My last class for the year...I was feeling tired, sore and not exactly looking forward to exerting the little energy I had. I wish I could say it was a good class but right from the breathing I was hoping the class would finish quickly. The humidity was making my hands slip relentlessly in the balancing series but I put forth as much strength and endurance as I could with standing bow and Ellena proclaimed "as long as you try to go past your comfortability, push past your limitations, you can bring your body to a whole new level". I think I would prefer to do that with less humidity though so I can have some energy to drive deeper. Ten days left to my 100 day challenge but knowing me, I'll finish off January at least with an even 120.
Everyone have a wonderful evening as I am enjoying just being able to recuperate physically.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Day 29-December 29th (Tuesday)

Instructor- Dale-6pm
As the year draws closer to the end, I reflect upon 2009, quoting Dale "what you put into something is what you'll get, and what you want may not necessarily be what you need-be careful what you wish for". In other words, we come in to the classes always anticipating a fulfillment; physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually and sometimes it's not exactly the fulfillment we were hoping for but when we leave that hot room we exit with exactly what we need. I have gone through so many moments with this yoga of anger, gratitude, excitement, disappointment, sense of failure, sense of desire; buckets of sweat, cups of tears, ounces of blood, hours of stiffness and pain, loss of sleep, loss of appetite, pounds shed, endless water consumption, new friends, new sense of motivation, new sense of anticipation, sense of acceptance, sense of loss, sense of determination, sense of an endless possibility of life that is waiting to be played out. And many students would look at this crazy list and say 'is it worth it to you?' ....yes every aspect is worth every moment I have been in that hot room..just to take another breath.
Dale brings so much life to the class I just like to take a moment to thank him for all his advice, the countless times he has sat and chatted about his passion for yoga and how it all intertwines into our very lives. And just when we think about giving up on ourselves in class, you are there to plug us back in, as always, Namaste♥

Day 28-December 28th (Monday)

Today was good ol' double day! Started off with Mary's bright and warm class but as luck would have it, I have a kidney infection so half moon, standing bow, camel and stretching were all torture. I know, I sound whiny and a complainer lol, but when you have pain or injury it's the only thing you can think about, on the bright side, I don't think about the heat this way lol. The class was fairly small for the morning but everyone seems to still be in the 'holiday work-it-off' mode so the energy was very high, even when Mary was making us hold the awkward and triangle postures. Mary is such a gem with her powerful voice that instills discipline but she never lets us go without a smile or laugh for too long in the series. My body is going through a few changes again with my spine stiffening a little much to arch my back for the cobra as well as the full locust. The floor bow on the other hand, is beginning to gain a little more height and my shoulders are stretching out farther so I can relax them while kicking my legs up higher, a small success but one that gets me smiling after the posture is over.
Instructor- Candice-6pm (making up for Christmas Day)
I had a busy afternoon which made coming to the 4pm class virtually impossible which made me sad because it would have been Frank's class but Candice is my booster when I need it and there is no question I needed it! I had the privilege of practising beside two strong ladies: Anthea and Dana and again, the class was relatively small and my kidneys were giving me allot more trouble this evening, but overall this was a fun class although I think Candice may have been giving me a hard time about fidgeting- it's hard to relax when you want to remove the left side of your body lol.
I arrived a bit early so I could chat with Frank and I was happy to hear that he will not be leaving until the 18th of January, so come and take advantage of his classes!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Day 26 & 27- December 26th and 27th (Saturday and Sunday)

Instructor-Stefanie- 4pm
Boxing day was a bit of a struggle in the morning as the festive turkey from the night before knocked me out like a sedative. The family get together was not complete yet until I had to knock back a couple of drinks with relatives in the early afternoon lol. So, by the time I arrived at yoga I was feeling a bit loose, a bit limber and quite relaxed for this afternoon session. The class was very strong as I pushed some boundaries on my balancing series just to see how limber I really was. Stefanie's headstrong voice kept the students energy levels high with equal amounts of motivation and tranquility during savasana.
I really start to notice that having a day off here and there from yoga, especially during this peak season of temptations and divulging in succulent meals and treats, that my body feels like it is needs to cleanse itself of treats immediately. For example, I cannot consume as much alcohol as I use to, as if my body has become sensitive to the treats I give it every now and then including fatty foods, alcohol, some dairy products, meats and other unmentionables lol.
I suppose the life of a yogi is based on balance but there is no question that this yoga in particular tries to steer you in a healthier direction, whether you want to or not.

After my class yesterday the temptations ceased to end and I ended up staying out late, eating sweets, some alcohol and making the most of the season lol. Not to my surprise class tonight was not as strong because my right kidney is in pain and my body is feeling quite stiff. Most of the students must have had the same idea as myself to rid the holiday temptations because this was the biggest class I have seen since the Garcia seminar. Literally, we had to share the floor but the energy tonight was amazing as we all tried our best to work off the holidays. It has been awhile since I last had Ellena but it is always a treat with her soothing tones and her ability to make you smile in the toughest postures.
Tomorrow I shall make up for Christmas Day, I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday and continues to give themselves the gift of yoga.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Day 24-December 24th (Thursday)

Location-White Rock Studio
I strongly encourage visiting other studio's from time to time, White Rock, for example has a warm atmosphere, two doors for the hot room (one to exit, one to enter), and an inside cooling area. Plus it is an opportunity to meet new students and new instructors and give a perspective of what Bikram Yoga is like in other cities. The salty sea air awoke my body and I was revved up for this class but my spirit was broken a little by the reminder of why I went to this studio today; it would be the last or one of the last classes I would take of Frank's.
Frank reminded us of what this day was all about, or at least the way it should be for humanity; love, kindness, generosity and gratitude. There is no question that Frank is one of those people who lives up to such words of wisdom as he has always been generous in his ability to share the passion of yoga with students, his gratitude for those who welcome his thoughts on yoga, and his never ending love and kindness to those in his life.
Frank, we look forward to seeing you again in the future, until that time, Namaste♥

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Day 22 & 23 -December 22nd & 23rd (Tuesday and Wednesday)

My day was filled with Christmas cheer as I was able to finish up the rest of my shopping and wrapping and baking so by the time I arrived at yoga I was feeling relaxed, rejuvenated and ready for some heat! However, today was the first day where the room was much cooler than usual and there seemed to be a trickling waterfall making a small puddle in the middle of the room. Either way, Candice was full of holiday spirit, joking and teasing us about our 'miserable' looks lol, making this class a relaxing, fun filled way to spend the afternoon.
My spine was not as open to the standing bow or the spine series but nevertheless it was great to feel energy come pouring back into my body. I also seem to recognize the alignment needed for the triangle pose, I think I finally understand what she means by keeping my hips up.
After class was almost as much fun and I wish I had brought my camera so I could watch three ladies try to devour chocolate cookies behind the counter, it was priceless! It was great to see these women relax and be themselves, enjoying the small moments that bring people together.
Instructor- Candice 930am
The following morning my body was feeling very stiff, I could slowly feel the tension rising in my shoulders and neck plus I woke up with dizzy spells that created a throbbing headache. The worst is when I start the half moon series and I have to pull my shoulders out and stretch, I feel like they are wanting to come out of their sockets but once I stretch, especially in the second set, the tension is gone. The room was very cool again and Candice's holiday spirits were wide awake which helped boost my lagging body. During standing bow she had to hold my right foot straight because I have a tendency to twist it off to the left for balance and I know this is due to my right pelvis which is tilted which is a huge pain when aligning my body in standing separate head to knee, standing bow, balancing stick and tree/toe pose. Either way, I felt very strong regardless of the throbbing pains and tensions and as always Candice's bright bubbly personality shines through in her ability to make yoga a revitalizing journey each and every class with humour, enlightenment, guidance and discipline.

My body has been going through some transitions, in particular, emotional transitions that have caused frustration and even some crying episodes through class. As Dale has always put it, its a a break through in your journey, but I know one reason for my emotional upheavals; Frank is leaving us for six months to pursue another path of opportunity that yoga has presented for him. Tomorrow I will be taking a class of his in White Rock to at least get in a couple classes before he is officially gone, I know many students who hold him in high regard as one of their favorite instructors and rightfully so:)

Monday, December 21, 2009

Day 21-December 21st (Monday)

Even with the winter solstice upon us, there was no shortage of heat, thanks to the power driving force that is Dale. Although the humidity was cranked, I was determined not to let it get the best of me today, even though I was feeling under the weather all morning and afternoon. It is such a hard balance of force and breath about half way through the class for me lately that I start to feel a little discouraged. Dale always reminds us that each day you take class is different, your body will tell you where it is right from the get-go. I suppose if my body is talking, I should do a little bit more listening. One thing I have learned about depth in postures is that if it starts to feel too easy, your probably lagging on form, I seem to notice that one in half moon as well as awkward. My strongest postures today would be my eagle, which I have grown so much in flexibility as well as managing to keep a straight form, and my standing head to knee that I actually look forward to in my classes now.
I spoke too soon yesterday about my body feeling good, for I am feeling the aches in my shoulders and lumbar region.

Day 20- December 20th (Sunday)

Instructor- Hillary-4pm
I don't think I have had Hillary for the challenge so far, the first thing that comes to mind is her glow, she always has a bright warm smile and an energy driven voice that makes her classes a bit of a relief from the more challenging instructors. Plus she likes to incorporate new metaphors for postures, for example, the floor bow she refers to as a 'Vancouver rain drop' and she likes to snap her fingers during Praneama breathing as well as the postures that need a bit of driving force like the balancing series. It's interesting that she lets her personality come alive in the class through her own unique traits. It was also a relief to finally have some fans on lol, the heat seems to intensify as the day rolls on.
Eighty days in and although I have days where my shoulders ache and my bones feel stiff, there is no real pain, I feel tired and perhaps a little anxious to have a break, but I feel levitated with fuel to push a little farther. Maybe at this point I should consider taking some advanced series classes, at least to see what it's all about.

Day 19- December 19th (Saturday)

The past couple of days have been exhausting outside the yoga room and mentally I feel drained and it has showed itself inside the yoga room. Because of the rather unusual warm weather we have had, the humidity outside has been higher so I do not understand why the instructors insist on have the humidifier on for the remainder of the class...grrrrrrr!!!! Having it on to heat us up for the standing series is one thing, but by the time I hit the floor, I want to go to sleep or cry lol, so I kindly ask, turn it off, it is not necessary to boil our blood. Yes, I keep complaining about the same thing but it is the only thing that seems to have such a mental and physical effect on me. Jaime's soothing voice tames my frustrated mind at times but I could tell that afternoon everyone was struggling to hold on to whatever energy they could find.
I have noticed quite an improvement in my standing series, directing my form over depth lately has given me more of a perception of alignment in the half moon and balancing series. The only thing I have noticed is a pinching in my right hip as I go down in the separate standing head to knee.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Day 18-December 18th (Friday)

I woke up with a feeling of energy, just to have it zapped in class. The humidity was just too unbearable this morning, I tried to maintain most of what energy I had for the standing series but by the time we got to the floor I literally had moments where tears streamed down. I was told after class that this was a moment of releasement, your body trying to cleanse itself emotionally as well as physically. I personally, just thought it was too damn hot for my liking lol. I only got through this class because of Frank, he came by to practise with us, and I should have taken his slow and steady pace as a sign that I was trying too hard, forcing too much energy, especially with the higher than normal temperature. As I have mentioned before, anger can get the best of me and in my moments of anxiety and frustration, the balance of releasement and relaxation clearly did not coincide. On a positive note, my hips were out enough to align my head, arms and both legs in the standing bow, making it my strongest posture for the day.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Day 17- December 17th (Thursday)

Instructor-Anthea-4pm (Making up for Monday, Day 14)
I felt like a wound up ball of energy all day until the humidity made me fall on my butt this afternoon. Anthea sure had enough energy for the both of us though, as she was wired on Candy Canes lol. My back just could not handle many of the postures, especially the forward bend in the half moon series and the stretching series; basically it was feeling rough the entire way through and I felt relief as the class ended because all I could think about was going home and having an hour long salt bath.
It is amazing to see new students come into the room and complete the entire class, both sets and all. I remember my first class; I felt out of place, nauseous, dizzy to the point where I had to sit down, and wondering if I was going to survive the ninety minutes. There was no way I was going to complete every posture and set in my first class, I commend those who are able to, perhaps they are a new generation of yogi's.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Day 17-December 17th (Thursday)

Instructor- Mary-930am
This is my first of two classes today, second one to make up for Monday, and I woke up with an abundance of energy as well as some clarity. There are days when I get up only to feel dizziness for the next few hours as I was diagnosed a couple years back as having a type of orthostatic hypo tension known as Dysautonomia, yeah say that five times fast lol, where blood pressure falls too quickly and therefore, I feel dizzy, feelings of faint and imbalance. When I arrive in the morning for classes where I feel this way, some postures in the standing series are difficult to hold because I have to bring my head below my heart then suddenly stand back up. However, if I breath deeply in the postures that affect my balance such as standing head to knee, standing separate head to knee, etc, it helps a great deal in creating more endurance and keeps the focus off of my dizzy spells.
As always Mary loves to make us work for our yoga, holding us in the classic postures such as Triangle and cobra and locust for as long as she can but with those few extra seconds I can look into the mirror to adjust my form although the harder I think about my Triangle, the more confused I seem to get about alignment and having my hips up or down, oh well, a learning process.
I will be back at 4, time to rest and eat!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Day 16-December 16th (Wednesday)

Instructor- Stefanie-1245pm
It's interesting to listen to new teachers fresh out of training to gain insight into the experience they had and whether they recommend the training or not. As with the other teachers I have talked to, Stefanie had nothing but positive praise even if they were in a tent out in the desert to train lol. What really left a mark on my brain was her reply "You should really go if you have such a passion for it, even if you don't continue as a teacher, go for yourself you gain so much beneficial mental and spiritual awakening". Stefanie is a calm soul with strength and elegance to her practise and I was curious to see if she could bring some power to the dialogue; not only did she hold her own, she gave me much guided motivation to drive deeper into the postures where I might not have had the energy mentally to do so.
My lower back has been giving me some trouble lately, just a bout of stiffness and it holds me back from wanting to stretch deeper in back moon, cobra and camel. My half locust (with both legs extended) as well as my floor bow have been quite strong lately that I catch myself smiling rather than grunting after the postures lol. Stefanie is a treasure and it is nice to have a new addition to the wonderful staff.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Day 15-December 15th (Tuesday)

Instructor -Candice- 4pm
Tonight's theme: Karma~ I feel like I paid for not going to class yesterday, lol, sweat poured off of me rather than dripped and I had a few dizzy spells but loe and behold, the class went by very quickly. The Praneama Breathing seemed to last forever but once that was complete, the class was over like a snap of a finger. Another quality of Candice's teachings: she makes the class very concise and clear cut- she separates each series with humour and personality but makes you drive right into the posture not to miss a single beat. As I mentioned, the theme was Karma, how do we treat others and ourselves once we walk out the door? Do we take the time to help a fellow human being, do we care for ourselves with stress management, proper diet, even a simple smile? And should this be the only time of year that we take the moment to appreciate humanity and be sympathetic?
Through the months of practising yoga, I have learned so much more about myself and the majority of it has to do with my reactions to stress and emotions. It really takes discipline and focus to leave stress outside the hot room and when the negativity erupts during difficult postures I try to breath. The fascinating aspect of this realization is that it can and should be incorporated into the outside world of stressors, you learn to take things as they come and when challenges arise, you take a moment to breath. The positive karma you learn within the room should be encouraged into the rest of your life.
A wise folk singer once said "Act the way you want to be and pretty soon you will be the way you act". Thank you Candice, as always, for your positive energy, you may not realize it, but it goes a long way with each of us. ♥

Day 14-December 14th (Monday)

Life gave me missed opportunities of yoga today but I was told that it is not that your body is missing out, it will come back to the yoga when your ready for it, especially when you go as frequently as I. It is about peace and acceptance and making the most of your day away from the routine.
It is a busy time of year, we must take a a moment to reflect on all the things we do for ourselves and for others; what we sacrifice, what we reward ourselves with as it all plays a big role in the balance of life.
My only regret is that I could not take Frank's class~I hope to make it up to him♥

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Day 13-December 13th (Sunday)

This morning I knew I had to stock up on electrolytes, water and food to fuel myself for the day ahead. But once I entered the studio I felt reassured that this was going to be a good day; the temperature was balanced to my liking, the students were in positive spirits (maybe due to the snow) and the soothing voice of Ellena.
Some days I come in filled with anxiety, unsure of really wanting to do a class but today with two classes to overcome I actually felt calm and at peace just waiting to see where the classes would take me. I would have to say my standing bow was probably one of my strongest and I seem to venture to new depths all the time but as I have mentioned earlier this week, my endurance to hold many of the standing series postures has dropped but I have to keep reminding myself that the body changes and this too shall pass. This class was a great way to start my day.....
Instructor-Anthea-4pm (Making up for Day 8)
....and so I continue with snow boots on this time walking to the studio and hoping I wasn't going to be the only student there. Surprisingly there were six dedicated students whom I'm sure all felt pretty good about themselves for showing up. Another cheery lady to help us rev into the postures I felt this second wind to see where my body would take me in the afternoon. I have noticed lately my floor bow has had some major changes although I find it quite difficult to lean my body weight onto my chest as well as keep my knees inward. One trick about this posture that has helped me so much is to start by taking a deep breath in and looking straight up to the ceiling because as we all have heard "where your eyes go, your body will follow". However, my spine seems to have given me a little more leeway in rounding upward, giving me more strength to kick higher. It is encouraging to see little changes and amazing to know that my body was able to finish my day on a strong note.

Day 12-December 12th (Saturday)

I'm not sure what came over me this morning but this was one tough class to get through; the heat was overwhelming and I know I wasn't the only one who was having troubles with it. And it made it worse just staring at my water bottle while Elaine gave us water breaks.
This is the first time I have had Elaine for my challenge but through the humidity she is a treat, I like to call her my "full lungs lady" because during the breathing exercises or during certain postures where we must inhale she always replies "full lungs", makes me smile every time.
Before class I was mentioning to Dale how I was feeling through this challenge and I had noted that there are days where I have breakdowns and he replied "they are not breakdowns, they are break throughs". His statement is probably one of the reasons why I held on so long in class; break throughs in my focus, break throughsin my energy, break throughs in my determination to hold on to some sort of willpower. However, as much as I was able to complete the postures, my endurance simply wasn't there.

Anyway, Sunday will be a bigger challenge, I am doing doubles, 10am and 4pm....

Friday, December 11, 2009

Day 11-December 11th (Friday)

I woke up in need of a booster, a Candice booster. My mind was filled with anxiety and my morning had started rough but the moment I stood up for the class to start, her voice drifted away all the mind blocks I had rolling around. As I have mentioned before, you go to Candice's class to work hard and create growth, not to slack and she will make sure you know that which is why I have appreciated her classes from day one; from the need to abstain from too much water and other distractions, to getting into savasana during the floor series in a three second time frame, to making sure everyone gets into postures such as separate standing head to knee, triangle and standing head to knee in unison. She demands it and rightfully so; it creates a harmony of positive energy and ensures that each student is getting the benefits they deserve when taking this challenging yoga.
I had to laugh to myself though about the water intake, I have been good, waiting until savasana to replenish but I still feel the need before fixed firm as well as before stretching series. However, considering I went from a litre during class to around 250ml I feel I have more discipline.
Oh, and I feel treated when I get a quick back massage during half tortoise, the posture I still have trouble figuring out, I mean how can you manage to stretch your arms and put your hips back on your feet? Thank you Candice♥

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Day 10- December 10th (Thursday)

Instructor- Jaime-4pm
Two ideas that were brought to my attention today: one from a student who said after I complimented her practise and focus, "I only focus on myself, like there is no one else in the room." It brought me to the attention of where my focus is sometimes-do I manage to put 100% concentration on myself or am I easily distracted? For me, some days are easier than others to put all that energy into the image reflected back in the mirror and other days I need the motivation and inspiration from others (hence the reason why I go to the back of the studio). Some classes I feel relaxed when the blinds are open and I can few the sunshine outside giving me a feeling of calm when I'm doing postures such as eagle or standing bow. Other times I do feel truly inspired to challenge myself or see what corrections I need to make by looking at advanced students, so quite literally, I do feel like I can focus just let me choose the subject lol. When I have to view my stomach and the fact I cannot suck it in every second only frustrates me so for me, it's best to take a breath, look at the positive energy around me and smile.
Second idea has to do with monotony. As much as I adore all instructors here at this studio I find that when their dialogue comes across as a bit lifeless and monotonous, the zest of energy can quickly drain out of the students. In other words, if the instructor does not sound enthused, the students are going to find the class more like work than a time to self examine and have an exciting challenge. Either way, the class was soothing and it is always nice to see familiar students...yay Raj!

Day 9-December 9th (Wednesday)

Instructor- Ellena- 6pm
Yes, my dreaded time of day for yoga but as much as Tuesday felt unproductive, I made up for it today with tons of energy to tackle my morning and afternoon, and because of it, I felt lifted and relaxed.
Side note- I have started to decrease the amount of water I consume during class, for example, I avoid it now until savasana and let me tell you, it has revved my energy and focus and I don't miss it at all! I was told by a wise man that the water will just sit in your stomach, nowhere to go and so it can cause you to feel slightly bloated and even mentally distracted for the next water break. So, I only take small sips, especially when coming closer to the spinal series where sitting on my stomach with water and excess air only makes me feel nauseous; and the result with less H2O is pure focus. I recommend drinking water during the day before class and then rejuvenate once it is over. Perhaps there will be a time when I won't need it at all during class but hey..small steps.
Anyway, Ellena's class was fantastic, just what I needed after my day off; the energy in the room was really in sync as if every student was ready to give it their all. My balance has been a bit off for the balancing series but I feel my standing head to knee getting stronger everyday. My hips seem to be closed more often than open and it distracts me when I try to bring my body down in standing bow as well as balancing stick, something I need to work on outside of class. Either way, I felt uplifted and full of positive energy tonight, even for a 6'oclock class.

Day 8-Decemeber 8th (Tuesday)

Ever have one of those days where its seems like a challenge even to get out of bed? Physically my body was feeling good but mentally, I felt drained like I had run out of fuel. Literally I went out about my regular routine and then just curled right back into bed but I don't let it get to me too much; I just let my emotions flow and then start another day.....

Monday, December 7, 2009

Day 7-December 7th (Monday)

I came into the studio feeling a little nerved and little stressed but it melted away once the class began. I felt a serene calm that gave me a new heightened sense of body and space and how at that moment the yoga came together naturally. It also helped that Frank eased the humidity levels and motivated me to relax my shoulders and drive deeper into the postures. Sometimes there are moments when a teacher can get through to a student when no one else can, for example, during the standing head to knee he physically showed us step by step the importance of locking the knee, flexing the toes, bending the elbows and finishing the posture, as if he was a student doing it side by side with us. Those types of moments bring such motivation thus challenging my ability to prove I can be stronger and feel amazing after class.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Day 6-December 6th (Sunday)


A wise man asked me today "Do you know when the challenge ends?" I shrugged and he replied, "when it's no longer a challenge to come everyday." Challenge: defined as a demanding or stimulating situation; to engage in a contest or duel. How does this 'challenge' relate to yoga? Perhaps the demand to fight/duel the demons within, to stimulate growth, to create an energy that does not need to be challenged, but rather to gain balance mentally, physically and spiritually.

There were two main challenges to face in class today: the humidity and my brain, two variables that create anxiety for me. When I asked for peace my mind gave me noise, so many distractions that I can usually absolve from and yet the sweat, my towel, my breath, my hair, my outfit, even my heartbeat seemed to overtake the ability to stay serene.

Frank's determination to push past my barriers made me want to explode and yet all I could do was laugh, I think he does it on purpose to make me realize it's just yoga, make the movements come naturally or else you have to work that much harder to go half the depth you could otherwise. Relaxation, such a simple concept and yet that is why savasana can be the hardest posture to be in. Even though this class was a challenge I feel like I learn the most valeuable lesson: what doesn't break you, makes you stronger~thank you Frank♥

Day 5- December 5th (Saturday)

Why is Candice my standing head to knee guru? I told her 'I want to be in the Hatha Yoga Competition next year' and her reply 'To start, you need to get into the standing head to knee posture with no pause, no stops, lock the knees, and forehead firmly on the knee, you nail that the rest will be smooth.' So, each class from then on out I have been determined to go further and further with my standing head to knee, at least stretching my legs out and pulling my arms closer to my calves. It appears for reasons unknown to me that I can concentrate and focus more in this posture than in the standing bow, I seem to exert more energy physically in the standing bow and more energy mentally in the standing head to knee.
Anyway, if you have ever seen Candice practise, you would be aware of the fact that her standing head to knee is immaculate; she has the focus to maintain the form and the strength to hold the perfect L shape, thus holding her as my guru for standing head to knee lol.
Before I came to class I was feeling very nauseous and it took whatever motivation I had to take her class but it was well worth it, by the time I got home I had clarity and energy to seize the rest of the day.

Day 2,3 and 4 (December 2nd, 3rd, and 4th) Wednesday, Thursday and Friday

Day-2-Instructor- Diane-4pm
Diane's soothing tones were the much needed reward I was hoping for coming back after being so sore. Sometimes a day off is what your body needs to recuperate, to replenish itself so you can have energy to drive right back in! The room was quite mild especially for the afternoon but I didn't complain, I quite enjoy some slack on humidity and as a result, I was able to extend my form in the balancing series as well as the triangle. I had to laugh when Diane told us about a student who whacked her eye while trying to get a grip on her toes in the stretching posture, Diane can be so

Day 3-Instructor-Stephen-930am
Stephen's class was all about smiling and watching us like a hawk to make sure we were perfecting our postures lol. I have noticed the morning classes are quite tight on my hamstrings, it seems like the first set of most postures are a warm up to the second set which can be a little disappointing because as the instructors claim: it's half the time. I wish I was able to exert the correct form and depth all at once but the fear of injury is always at the back of my mind, perhaps it is something I have to let go of and just give my body the benefit of the doubt. Either way, Stephen comes in with a cheery attitude and a no bars hold and with that I try to always give 100% in his class.

Day 4- Instructor-Ellena- 1245pm
And as energy can soar, it can also plummet and unfortunately, as much as I tried in Ellena's class, my energy could not compete with the humidity. There are days when the heat rev's my body and there are days when the humidity exhausts and frustrates me. As many instructors have probably mentioned the "fight or flight" mentality, you can really only understand it by experiencing it. It seemed as though I was fighting to do every posture, every set because I knew that if I gave up, sat down, walked out, it would exert more energy than just completing the posture. I have also noticed that Ellena now seems to be more aware of my form which gives me more determination to do the postures the right way as best to my ability.

Day 1-December 1st (Tuesday)

.....And so I continue my blog by demand lol...however, I was so sore on Tuesday I could hardly get out of bed let alone go to yoga. I have learned that back to back classes must be done as long as I boost my energy far before the first class starts and long after the last class ends and stretch so my bones do not ache and my muscles do not tense up.
As many of you know, this is the continuation of my challenge~a 100 day challenge but it seems easier to go month by month, hence the title, 30 day challenge lol.
I appreciate the interest and by all means, any comments will be valued; let me know how your experiences are going, it fascinates me to know how others feel about classes and instructors and what you love about yoga.