First off, the formalities. I did two classes today. Not intentionally planned, but I did. I went to early class at 5:30 then figured out that Cynthia was teaching her last class at 9:30 so I decided to haul my achy bones back up to the studio. I had one of my strongest classes in ages, and felt even better than I did after the early class. I’m fighting some fatigue. But the double actually seemed to help today. The doubles are getting easier. I am going to take that as a good sign.

Well, as I said before, Cynthia is leaving us tomorrow. This makes me very very sad. I have loved her class so much. She’s a phenomenal teacher. So, in honor of her (temporary, as she promises) departure, I decided to write a little something for her.

Miss Cynthia,

I have to say when you came to BYTW, I was a little intimidated. Your reputation precedes you, afterall. But oh how pleasantly surprised I was with your class. This is not in any way to say that it wasn’t hard, or that you didn’t really push me. But, I have to admit that I fell in love with your class. I remember a solid week where I had you nearly every single day. I was really sore that week.

You are an amazing teacher and a beautiful soul. Your grace and ease on the stage is so inspiring. My practice is forever altered (for the better) by having your class. I look forward to the day that you can come back to our humble “hot little orange room” and properly whip me into shape in Triangle again. Seriously, that was a LONG Triangle today.. Just saying.

I hope that when I am finished with training, eventually.. in the future, that I have even an ounce of the confidence and focus that you exhibit with every class.

Thank you so much for pouring into me over the past few weeks. Our time together has been far too short and I look forward to seeing you again.


Day 9: Coasting

June 9, 2008

I woke up wicked sore today. Wicked, wicked sore. Thankyouverymuch Miss Cynthia Wehr. Yes, I am extremely aware of my hips now, thanks. Today’s early morning sweat-a-thon marked class 11 for me. YAYY for week two!

In spite of my near inability to pull my aching body from my bed this morning, I had an awesome class. I went into the room with no expectations at all. I decided to just let the class be. And much to my surprise and delight, I did extremely well. My stiff body opened up very quickly and I remembered how good it feels to go back to regular class after the grueling work of Advanced. It’s kind of like getting a nice break. After all the work and heat and sweat of Advanced, regular class feels like a cakewalk.. almost.

I cannot believe that by Thursday, I will be 1/4 of the way finished with the Challenge. This seems weird to me. But it’s nice to feel a little bit like things are coasting now, and smoothing out. Tomorrow I will do another Advanced with Cynthia. She’s leaving us on Thursday. I am very very sad to see her go. I have learned so much from her.

Sorry this is so short, but I have tons to get done today.

See you tomorrow!

Today’s early early class was wonderful. I got up with very little resistance despite the (still horrifying) early hour. I used to think that I had better classes in the afternoon or evening. Which, I guess, is sometimes true. But lately I am finding that the earlier I get on my mat, the better. Even when early means, yeah.. 5:30 am. early.

I am really going to miss Cynthia when she leaves. Her classes have totally changed the way I practice. I find her really encouraging and very detailed. I appreciate the fact, too, that she seems to know just when to give direct instruction.

Last night I mentioned breakthroughs and I wanted to expound on that a bit. Yesterday evening was the very first time I have held my foot in Dandayamana Janushirasana – Standing Forehead to Knee. Isn’t Joseph lovely?? Anyway, I’ve had some ummm.. issues even reaching my foot to do the set up for the ENTIRE two plus years I have been practicing. But last night and also this morning, I was able to pick it up. Now, I know for a LOT of people that’s not a big deal. But for me, it was monumental, I wanted to cry. I was so happy, I almost stopped and started laughing. I’ve only gotten the right one so far and it’s a struggle to hold it with the left leg locked. But dammit if it didn’t feel good to see such a breakthrough after all this TIME! My other exciting news was that I am now able to hold my Floor Bow in the right position!!! That means my thighs are UP off the floor and my knees are much closer together. This is HUGE for me since not even five days ago my thighs were flat on the floor. I feel like I am having major “lightbulb” moments with these postures. Seems my stubborn body can change afterall.

This weekend is going to be FULL of yoga. I’ve got class tomorrow morning then a double on Sunday including Advanced with Cynthia. I haven’t had Advanced in a few months. But I am excited to see where my body is now. I’ve been practicing some of the Advanced postures before and after class and I am anxious to see how it goes in actual class. Plus, the bonus?? Advanced counts as 2 classes on the challenge! Yay!

I made a conscious effort today to lay off the water. WOW what a difference it made. I had ZERO nausea and felt actually MUCH better when class was over. I’m still not ready to give it up for good, but I am taking steps.

Almost a full week in. Can’t believe!

See you again soon!

Well, after yesterdays whine-a-thon, today’s class was SO MUCH better. Of course, I know this happens. Have a bad class, have a good class, have a bad class… you get the idea. This is the life of day after day after day.. after day Bikram yoga.

I had the most lovely opportunity to take class with Miss Fabulous Cynthia Wehr.. Super Yogini Extaordinaire and former Bikram World Champion. She’s visiting us humble Texan yogis for a few weeks and lavishing her lovely accent and intense teaching style upon us. Oh how I have loved her class. Cynthia has a way of knowing everyone’s name and giving very personalized instruction, all the while leading the class in a graceful and encouraging way. So, as you can see, I love her class.

I decided today to NOT stand beside the stage and occupy my usual position. I just didn’t think I could take the “hot spot” today. And I had a very strong class. I felt amazing, and drank very little, much to my surprise. My yoga friend, Daren, had decided to do his challenge with no water during class. I salute him, but I am still hauling my water in. Even if I don’t drink it all.

Today’s lesson was, “Karen MUST learn to do Pranayama without backward bending.” I know this, really. The teachers say it over and over and over, “no backward bending, spine straight.” But somehow, when I drop my head back, I always seem to want to backward bend. So today I focused on this, spine straight, and found new room in my ribcage to breathe. It felt good, and I got a little bit lightheaded (GOOD NEWS!). See, I can learn!

Today’s a busy day in our family, but I am glad this class is done. As usual, the yoga has restored my faith in my practice. One day at a time..