Thursday, February 28, 2008

Vancouver musings...Another Transformative month ahead...

I have done NO exercising for two weeks. I feel lousy. While in Vancouver, I rode around "my" bike in Richmond & around the Pacific sea wall it was amazingly beautiful!!

Vancouver is the cleanest city I've ever been to. Also the healthiest city. It seems like the yogic lifestyle was prevalent almost everywhere I went. "Everyone" runs outside even in the winter. People take walks in central park & rent bikes all the time. I've never seen so many bike rental stores in one place!! I'm hoping that I can spend my summer working & exercising outside there. Wow- that would be bliss. And I thought central park was the be all and end all...Stanley Park, here I come!!

March 1st begins my fitness routine again. I can't wait to get back into my groove. This month I am mostly focusing on the other parts of health- cooking my own meals instead of store bought things. One of my goals is to cook every week for the week ahead and to eat something ever 3 hours or so. It may be a challenge, but it will be better for my metabolism in the long run and a cheaper way to live.

I will also be starting an 8 session dance class next week. It's a sensual African dance class. I will tell you more about it once I actually start! I can't wait to start swimming again! The March madness begins on Saturday the 1st of March:) February was awesome! Please stay with me through my journeys.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Living & discovering Yoga...

This morning I was up at 5am. At 6:30Aam I was in bed deciding whether or not to go to the 7Am yoga class...Then 10 minutes later, there was was outside the studio after a train ride, only to find out that the 7Am class was cancelled because of a mistake with building keys. There were 6 of us waiting out in the cold pretty bummed out about the fact that here we were up & about on a Saturday night, ready to medidate, or should I say, sweat!

Anyhow, it turned out to be quite an adventure...Two of the women there had been practicing at this studio for over 4 years and they began to gossip about different teachers...there seem to be a few types....

-the ones who are so strict & make you do every posture exactly the way the founder prescribes it, even though you may have injuries

-the ones who learn your name & acknowledge all your little progresses & help you modify asanas sensibly

-the ones who keep the room at 150degrees F & end up getting fired because people are burning up...

So far in my experience with fitness professionals & yoga instructors, I find that I'm extremely sensitive to negative energies. I've had two personal trainers & one of them is super hardcore & strict in an old school way but with little to be said about the emotional transformation & caring piece. But I do appreciate the END result...My other trainer was gifted in unconventional ways- his training sessions never included cardiovascular components. He would show me 3-4 excercises that involved core, balance & strength challenge all in one. The excercises were crafted by him & very hard, but super transformative for my body. We would also have very meaningful discussions & he was very profession, very personable & never got huggy or friendly in suspicious ways with clients. Flirting wasn't part of his image. He felt like a brother or father figure to me. I find that many personal trainers market themselves through flirting & I find that so unprofessional. Anyhow, it works though as a money making tool...
My experience with Bi.kram. instructors hasn't been too traumatic. I don't like the ones that don't learn the students' names. It's important to me that the instructor has excellent command of the english language...
I had one negative experience...I am happy with the progress that I've made with my supta vidrasana pose...but depending on the energies in and outside me, I don't always fully go into the posture. Even when I do go into it, my feet can't go straight back without pain. I also have very interesting shaped feet, so I may never be able to straighten the feet safely in this posture. That said, last week, one teacher was asking me to try to fix the feet. I told her that it hurt if I did so. Then she went on to tell me how important it was to try. I told her I tried every day & that I wasn't going to hurt myself in the process. Then she went on about how I need to try harder & how I was still new to yoga & bla bla bla. Yogic energy or not, I completely ignored her advice because it was coming from the control freak side of her- I wanted to beat her up. I don't appreciate anyone telling me what to do when it's not laced with love. I would NEVER do something that I wasn't comfortable with. I work hard in all my fitness & yoga endeavours & I'm one that knows to keep on trying, trying trying, until one day the change happens. However, it's only for me, not about any teacher or anyone else...

That said...Back to the cancelled class story...
So it's 7Am & we're all pretty upset that the class is cancelled. Two of the women were willing to do anything to find another class in a different Manhattan neighborhood. I was drawn to the idea of going back to bed, but I needed to be in Chelsea for my jumprope class at 10am, so the women were able to persuade me to come with them to a studio on the Upper Side. It was a little trek to get there but boy was it worth it!!! This studio is like a 5 star B.ik.ram. Yoga studio!! Fancy, two studios, amazingly well kept. I was blown away!!!I like my regular studion, but this one is quite something, I must say...200% more fancy, which I'm all about. I guess what can you expect from snotty Upper. Side??!!! I got to know two wonderful women along the way, experience this gorgeous facility & a brand new positive energy. I bought mat cleaner & yinyang earrings at the studio. Don't ask me how I was able to make my 10am chelsea class, but I was able to run from one end of Manhattan to the other in 15 minutes- using public transportation. I love this city!!

So here I am wondering around Union Square looking for Sports...I've been there a few times, but never on my own, so given my nonexistent sense of direction, I was getting lost...Here are the amazing things that happened to me this afternoon:

1. I stumbled upon the Union Square Bikram studio - it's gorgeous in there!! I didn't take a class, but I'm considering checking it out. Wow is all I had to say when I walked in there...

2. I stumbled across a huge yoga center called WOWWWW is all I can say. I walked in & I could feel my life changing forever. I spent time picking this staff member's brain about the center & what I could get out of it. They have a cafe in there & they gave me free food. All I felt was love & peace in there. I know I'm being extreme & cheesy. I will return to that place when the time is ripe.

3. I spent hours at P sports trying to find a bathing suit that was polyester(more resistant to chlorine), and that fit me, & whose style was acceptable in my eyes. Bathing suits can be way too expensive. You can find good deals online though...Anyhow, of course I wound up looking for a new workout outfit. Unsuccessfully.

4. Then I walked to J.ack Rab. & ended up buying a TYR swimsuit! Black & classy. Somewhat me.

5. I bought 5 amazing reads...
-The Joy of Partner Yoga (i've been wanting to do this for a long long time now & hopefully will find some friends to do partner yoga with)
-Bi.kram's Beginning Yoga class (I know I'm a sucker, but I just thought I should own this!)
-Jivamuk.ti Yoga (I can't wait to delve into this.
-The triathlete magazine
-Canada guide book

I've been transforming in many amazing ways, but the best is yet to come. A new 30 day cycle begins for me on February 25th. Meanwhile, I will continue to update you on my adventures. Thank you for being a part of this, virtually.

Friday, February 15, 2008

My 30 Day Bikram Yoga Challenge...

Is complete!! I am so amazed & extremely proud of me!

It has been an amazing month of intense training, wonderful eating & self reflection. I look fabulous, my clothes fit better. I've been eating very well. I feel confident in my body. I feel wonderful when I dance.

The biggest accomplishments during this past month have been non physical. I have taken care of business- things that I postponed doing for YEARS, I took care of. I have a to-do list posted on my wall every week and I ALWAYS accomplish what I should. I am very disciplined in my personal life & taking care of business. I am better at returning calls. I know what I want out of life and I'm ready to do what it takes.

I didn't get to write as much as I hoped. I took some rest days & felt alright about it. Last night I even had chocolate and that too was alright!

I know you're interested in the physical accomplishments:
-I am slimmer & more toned
-I can fit into clothes haven't worn in a while
-I can do pushups with 200% ease than I could/couldn't in January
-I can excercise for 15 minutes & break a sweat that equates to a 1hr workout.
-I am swimming 40 laps now!!!
-My eagle pose has improved

I'm an athlete.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

3 days to go!!!!

Yesterday I took two yoga classes in a row! Today I took a class at 7Am, then another one at 7pm. Pretty fabulous! I double up today so that on Thursday (valentine's day), I won't have to do any excercise, but I also won't have to feel guilty about it!

I feel good:)

Today I did't swim & I didn't go to the bootcamp class. I'm learning how to take little rests in between so that I don't burn out.

Otherwise, I'm flying!!!

Friday, February 8, 2008

Day 24...6 days to go!

I'm going strong!!! I had 2 rest days this week but I'm still on schedule!

My pushups are 200% improved from how pathetic they were 3 weeks ago!!! You wouldn't believe it!! I haven't weighed myself since Feb '07 but I feel very light...

Damn thunderthighs still exist, but I like the way I look in a bathing suit...

Yesterday my swimming partner & I saw this professional swimmer doing his freestyle- it was AMAZING- his strokes are long & powerful- it takes him 4 strokes to do a lap, yet it takes me 400 strokes to swim the same lap. I'm pathetic. I do acknowledge my little progresses though. I'm up to 40 laps a day (4 days a week or something). woohooo...


Saturday, February 2, 2008

Is it yogic to...

fantasize have sexual fantasies during yoga postures in class???

I woke up quite ill today, but I'm trying to fight it so desperately because I can't afford to miss work...I tried to sweat it out. I also drank the Cold Warrior tonic from JG on 72nd street.

Otherwise I'm feeling good & flying high athletically.