Hey, Everyone! I hope your week is starting off well! Mine has been awesome, and that’s really saying something since today is also the first day of my last undergrad semester. Then again, I’m only taking one class per day, so I really don’t feel like I had a school day at all! Now I’m treating myself to post-gym coffee love session at Starbucks before Sean and I head out for dinner this evening.
Any day that involves coffee is a good day for me, but the best part was when I got up at 4:25 the morning.
I’m used to getting up at roughly 4:40 on Tuesdays and Thursdays for Body Pump, but this morning was a special, very heated occasion. A nearby Yoga Studio (which I admittedly only visit when there’s a discount or free class special) is starting to introduce Bikram Yoga, and when I got an e-mail advertising two hot yoga classes for $10, I could not resist. I’ve always wanted to try Bikram, but the Bikram studios in St. Louis are way too expensive for me!
If you don’t think you’ve ever heard of it, I’ll bet you have. Bikram, or hot Yoga, is a series of 26 Yoga postures practiced in a room that’s been heated up to 105 degrees. You know, the type of Yoga that creates horror stories of puking and passing out.
But it’s supposed to be very detoxifying, mind-clearing, stretch-ifying, and stress-relieving. And since I can never seem to warm up during the winter, 105 degrees should do it. And, apparently both David Beckham and Lady Gaga practice Bikram, and so does my favorite Brit singer, Robbie Williams. Unfortunately, the thermostat outsmarted the studio owner, so we didn’t get the temp above 90, but still – it was HOT! The class was hard, too. I’m used to a Vinyasa flow style with long bouts of nearly constant movement. But in this Bikram class, we held poses for a long time. Chair pose feels pleasant and balancing at first, but it quickly became my worst enemy. We spent forever in Warrior III, too, and when we moved into tree pose right afterwards, my supporting leg was too tired to keep my balance. As a dancer, I’ve never had such a difficult time balancing, so it was great to be challenged.
When I left the studio, the sun was up, and my stomach was growling. I came home, still slightly sweaty, and made this:
Stovetop oats cooked in water with 1/2 a banana added while cooking, then drizzled with almond milk. All topped with pecans and protein
sludge pudding (just 1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder mixed with water and stevia).
Oh! And I stirred in a 1/2 packet of this:
So anyway, I’m totally going through a Yoga obsession. I love taking classes from Joe at Gold’s Gym, and on top of that, I also had the pleasure of taking class from his sub yesterday. She kicked my butt! Before the class even started, someone, um, kindly pointed out that I’m a rubber band. The instructor smiled at me and said, “Well, let’s see what we can do about that! I’ve never yet had a student I couldn’t stretch!” I’ll admit, I was a bit scared. The hour that followed was indeed challenging – she didn’t hesitate to push me beyond my happy little comfort zone – but I left the class feeling amazing. That’s one of the things I love about Yoga so much: classes can vary so much according to the instructor, and there’s something to learn from each one…
1. What I learn from Joe’s classes: The clear my mind for a whol hour (yikes!) and realign my mind with my body. It’s such a great mental exercise, and a refreshing change, since my gym visits are so centered on physicality.
2. What I learned from Joe’s sub: It pays to go beyond what I normally do in my yoga practice. You should never let yourself get stale, and the only thing that’s holding you back from advancing is your own head.
3. What I learned from hot Yoga: Sometimes less movement equals a harder workout. You don’t need heavy weights to max out your legs. I also learned patience from this teacher: I didn’t care for parts of the class, like the stop-and-go nature of the pose progressions and the fact that she played Taylor Swift and Miley Cyrus, but I had to remember to let it all go.
Ooops, time to go! Sean and I are going to Sweet Tomatoes tonight. It’s not exactly fine dining, but they have a HUGE salad bar with a HUGE variety of veggie options. Sean knows that’s just what I want!