Day 61: Headache!

July 31, 2008

I had a really great class with Sheila tonight. I just had an awful headache the entire time. Ugh, misery. But I was able to push through it and had a very strong practice in spite of it. I am working hard to go step-by-step through each class, listen intently, follow the dialog as closely as possible, and not go on autopilot. I am doing pretty well at staying focused on myself as well. Tonight I felt really connected and focused. That always feels good.

I have another quick turnaround to tomorrow’s early class so I am going to close this post. Thanks to all of you reading it and who comment. Thanks to all of you who stop me at the studio to say hi. It feels good to know you are reading and enjoying it.

Oh, and I got myself another Challenge Tshirt..  Pretty swank, eh?



Can’t believe that today is really day 60 and I didn’t even go to class!!! Not to worry friends, I’m doing just fine. I did, however do my first ever Posture Clinic! Wow, what an interesting experience that was. I learned SO MUCH about delivering the Dialog and I feel better about continuing to learn it.

Anyway, I did write a great post on my personal blog which I want you all to read. So go over to my other blog and read my latest post.

More tomorrow.


Day 59: Briefly

July 29, 2008

Hello friends,

I hit 70 classes today! This is the longest I have ever done yoga at a stretch, ever. Feels pretty good. It’s also been an incredibly BUSY day and so many unexpected things have happened. It’s hard for me to believe I only have 20 classes before I reach 90. What an amazing accomplishment! It’s getting now to the point where it just feels normal to go to class every day. I think this is the point, really. Either way, I like it.

The rest of this week is crazy packed but I will try to keep up with the posts as I am able.


Day 58: Softening

July 28, 2008

Bikram Yoga has a reputation for being “tough.” It’s often described as brutal, the Torture Chamber of yoga. It is. It’s hot, it’s hard. That’s all very true. But what I was reminded of earlier today as I read Sean’s reply to yesterday’s post is that it’s not all about the hard. It’s not always about locking, kicking, pushing, and tightening. Yoga is about union, balance, and the equal and simultaneous contradictions of movement in life.

Today as I went to class I focused on the opposites. I focused on letting go instead of holding tighter. I worked to soften myself. It was a tremendous experiment and I found some amazing things in my body. This is only further adding to my journey of letting go. I held Triangle without the usual strain, I kicked my leg up farther in Standing Bow, and experienced a deeper Camel. All the while, I felt a softening of my body, and of my mind. When my body said to stop, I stopped. When my body wanted more, I gave it more. And in that softening, I had a deeper class than usual. It seems silly to have to tell yourself to listen to your body. It seems that I should know this, being the yogini that I am. But even I need reminders.

Sean finished his comment with this.

Every now and then, you gotta bend that knee. God put it there for a reason

I am sure he knows the implication of this for me. Bikram Yoga constantly demands that we “Lock the KNEE!” Again and again, over and over. LOCK IT LOCK IT LOCK IT! This very well may be the most common command in the entire series. However, Sean is right. Every now and then, I have to bed, soften, become malleable. Not just in my knee. The knee becomes the metaphor for me. In the room, on the mat, I lock it. I push, I work, I LOCK MY KNEE!! But there are times when I let it go and take the fall. Even on the mat. If I am kicking up in Standing Bow and my standing leg buckles, I take the fall. The fall is the result of the softening. And often I am tempted to view the falling out as the “consequence” of not following direction. However, the fall is just as important as the kick. The fall teaches me limits, balance, and where and how I need to work harder. The fall reminds me that Yoga is a practice, not a destination.

I appreciate these kinds of lessons. There is a time to lock our knee, and a time to bend it. There is a time to soften, to listen, to wait, and to let things go. I feel better tonight. Today I was able to observe the next six or so weeks with a different mindset. A softer focus. Maybe that alone is my yoga.


Day 57: Unsettled

July 27, 2008

I’m sitting here at 11:30 pm totally unable to sleep. I didn’t intend to get up and write. But here I am. And maybe the blogging will help my mind to slow down and rest.

Today was great. I took regular class at 9:30 then took Advanced at noon. I feel great. My body is really showing up for me and I can’t believe I’ve come this far already. 68 Classes! Wow.

But as I get closer and closer to Training, I am finding it very hard to settle my mind. Especially during class. I am constantly thinking. Constantly thinking about Dialog, constantly thinking about Training, constantly thinking about being away, traveling, what I need to pack, managing my life away from my family for nine weeks. It’s maddening. Some days are harder than others. Some days it consumes my thoughts and my energy. A week or so ago I had a very hard night, where I felt the weight of all of it hit me at once. I’m a strong person, I’m determined, I’m stubborn, I know I can do this. But, man, it can eat my lunch from time to time.

Even tonight, I was laying in bed, with a particularly tricky chunk of Dialog running through my mind. I knew I wasn’t getting it, I knew something was missing. So my brain ran over and over it. Then I started thinking of how I have less than seven weeks to go, and well, it didn’t help the relaxing part. So maybe I should just vent it all out and be real and transparent and vulnerable here for all of you. Maybe that will somehow purge this vicious anxiety for me.

Going away is huge for me. I’ve never spent more than three days apart from my children, ever. I’ve never been apart from Dave since we’ve been married for more than five or six days. Nine weeks is a little bit longer than that. And I guess really, it’s not about the time. It’s not even really the distance. The thing that sets my mind reeling is the unknown. I know I am ready for this, I know I can do it. I know that. I know I can do the yoga, learn the Dialog, I know I can face my demons, but what else is there? The unknowns of Training are the scary part for me. I like to plan, to make lists, to keep things orderly. I like to know when, where, why, who, and how. Yes, I’m a control freak. I readily admit it. It’s part of what I believe makes me who I am. But it also challenges me. Because flying away to Acapulco for nine weeks with a slew of unknowns ahead doesn’t exactly lend itself to a controlling personality.

I can’t control what will happen while I am gone. I can’t control how people will respond to my absence. I can’t control the grief I will have over missing my family. I can’t control how my life will be managed by others for that time. I can’t control the if’s and when’s of being in class twice a day for nine weeks. I can’t control the uncontrollable.

What I can do is believe. I can believe in my support system. I can believe in the path I am on and the direction I am going. I can believe in my own abilities, the strength I have, and my own determination. I can trust that the preparations I responsibly make for my family will work themselves out over time. I can trust Dave. I can believe that things happen, in season, at the right time, when we are seeking them. I can believe in the yoga. I can believe in the process. I can trust myself, and never give up. I can do all of those things.

Tonight, I got up and came downstairs frustrated with my body. I wanted to control it, make it sleep so I can make it get up and make it go back to my mat. I wanted that control. But Michael reminded me, “Your body doesn’t want to sleep, so listen to it.” He’s right, and I have. But the root of the issue is that more than just listening, I need to let go; let things be unsettled and messy from time to time. Let it go, Ren. Get on the plane, go to Mexico, do the Training. Let things be as they will be.


I wasn’t able to write yesterday. Things have been busy busy lately and add on top of that more yoga, well.. I’ve been busy. 😉

But I am here now and though I don’t have THAT much to say, I did want to stop in and say hello. Also, this moving around the room stuff has taught me some really good things about practicing. I’m starting to like moving back and forth because it’s forcing me to not rely on my own comforts day to day. Moving puts me in a new place, around new people, and forces me to adapt. I like that.

l am learning so much. I am growing so much. I am so thankful!

I did a double today and early class yesterday. Tomorrow I am looking forward to Advanced. It’s been busy, but great and I feel really good!

This yoga continues to amaze me.


This will be brief as I am super tired.

I did another double today and loved it. I am feeling strong! I was surprised, though, that I sat out a half set of Triangle tonight (something I haven’t done in a long time) in my second class because I just could not get my heart rate in check. No judgment, of course, just a little surprised.

Oh the HEAT today. I LOVED it and relished it. My morning class was hot hot and my evening class was WET! Both were great and I am feeling much better about dealing with the heat and humidity. I was struggling with it earlier in the Challenge, if you recall 😉

I am off to bed now to rest. Only a few hours to sleep before I get up and do this all again. I’ll try to get a longer, more thoughtful blog tomorrow.