Pain, pain, pain…

October 15, 2008

This isn’t going to be one of those fluffy, happy, zen-like Ren blog posts.  No, this is not that kind of post at all.  In fact, I am quite sure that tomorrow, or the next day, when I have recovered from feeling as shitty as I do, I will look back at this post and wonder why I felt the need to be so verbal.  But tonight, sitting in this hallway, I just gotta write.  So, if you are so inclined to read my whining, complaining, bitching, and moaning.. then read on dear friends.

I hurt.  All over from the top of my head to my toes.  My skin hurts, my back hurts, my joints hurt.  My hurt is so deep nothing touches it.  Tiger balm?  Ha.  Advil?  Not a chance.  I just hurt.  I don’t have any yogic insights into why I feel this awful, other than the MASSIVE amount of yoga I’ve been doing.  Of course, that is part of it.  But I suspect, as many of you probably also do, that my hurt probably also comes from some other place.  Emotions, grief, shit in the past.  Who knows, right??  I just hurt.

Emmy talked about Pain in week 2.  I remember when she came and she went on and on about it.  I was hurting then, a little.  I had a stiff, sore, aching lower back.  I thought surely my sore tailbone was pretty awful and I’d only get better from there.  HA..  Yeah right.

I sit on the floor hours and HOURS a day.  If it’s not in the yoga room, it’s in posture clinic.  If I’m not sitting on a floor, I’m sitting in a chair for hours, in lecture.  My body longs to rest supine.  Alas, those opportunities are few and far between.  Now, I know, this is my journey and all that and I’m supposed to be getting stronger.  I am, I really am.  I did sign up for this nine weeks.  This complaining is not about how I want out of my current state here in Training.  I just don’t want to hurt.  Or, at the very least, I’d like to not hurt quite as much.

Phew…  OK..

I’m trying to just let go.  Tonight in class I was humbled by having to lay out of a few of my favorite postures on the floor because my body just said no.  It just refused to do it.  Process.  All part of the process.  I trust the process.  I do.

So, I’m OK.  I will get over this and move on and something else will come up.  I will likely wake up tomorrow and be excited again.  But right now, after this long stressful day, I just want to cry.  It’s not even the Training getting to me.  I have said before I like it here and I do.  It’s just this body that’s a little bit worn down.  Not so good to need a weekend already on Tuesday, right??

Tomorrow’s a new day, thank God.



‘Nuff said Mr Tu.  I promise I’ll stop pushing into my hands in Cobra.  And I’ll save you the very lame excuse I had made for myself after doing it in class today.  Doesn’t matter anyway, right?  Right.  Onwards.

Oh HI everyone *waves*!!!  How are you all?  Me?  I’m good, thanks.  Yes, yes, ONE MORE WEEK!!  It’s coming, fast.  I’m so ready to go!!  Of course, I still need to pack.  But hey, I have a while, right?  Right.

It’s been interesting for me lately on the mat.  I’ve had some really strong classes and some less-than-impressive ones too.  Today’s class was sublime torture of the highest form.  I loved it and hated it all at the same time.  Truly, truly a love/hate thing for me.  I was inches away from the two people I was sandwiched between this morning.  The room was PACKED.  I could literally feel the heat radiating off of my two mat buddies.

But the heat didn’t get me too badly today.  I was feeling pretty strong for most of class but had some surprisingly strong emotions. I thought I was doing OK until I laid down for Savasana and then the tears just poured out of my eyes.  Tu was talking about fears, and the floor being a safe place and I couldn’t keep it in.  I have no idea where it came from or what brought it up, but there it was.  The tears came and went until I was standing in the shower after class when I finally recovered.  I’ve cried plenty of time in class. Plenty.  It never bothers me, and often feels good to get it done.  Get it out, move on.  Today was like that.  Just letting whatever “it” was go.  Buhbye anxiety.  But usually I see it coming.  Not today.  Today it got me out of nowhere.

I’m getting a little sentimental about the next week.  Tomorrow will be my last Saturday class at BYTW for two months.  Next week will be many “lasts” as I get ready to go off to Mexico.  Sunday will be my last Advanced for a while…  You get the idea.  It’s bittersweet, really.  This is my home.  I will miss my hot little orange room.

I’ve had SO many dreams about Teacher Training.  Lately I’ve been having tons of dreams about the hot room in Acapulco.  I’ve been dreaming about class, what it will be like to practice in a literal sea of bodies.  It’s not anxiety as much as just energy.  I want to get in there, feel it, get myself in the room.  Make my peace with the size of it.  I know I will, and I’ll spend far more time in there than I probably will ever want to, but still I think about it.  I think about all the things I’m working through here, all the challenges I have now, and how those things will show up on my mat in Mexico.  Even the little things like cheating myself in a posture because I’m tired, falling out early, resting weight in my arms.  That ain’t gonna fly at Training.

But I let it all go.  No matter what I say or do now, no matter the ways I try to prepare or the dreams I have, it will be what it will be.  I’m wide open and ready.


Day 74: 90 Done!

August 14, 2008

I am a day late getting this posted.  But yesterday was so, well… long that I went to bed early and decided to leave this blog until today.

I finished!!  I did it!  90 Bikram Yoga classes done!  I also, DID, actually do the 11 classes in five days that I talked about back on Friday.  And let me tell you, five straight days of doubles was something else.

This Challenge has been less about can I do it than the last one and more about how I do it.  In class I hear all the time stomach stomach stomach!!!!  But in my mind, I hear, attitude attitude attitude!!!!  In fact, the entire thing has been much more emotional than physical for me.  This is not to say I have not literally worked my ass off, but so much more of it has been internal.  I know I can do the yoga.  Clearly, I can do the yoga.  But the real question and yes, challenge, was – and still is – Can I do the yoga without complaining??  Can I do the yoga when my mind is screaming?  Can I do the yoga when I have a million things on my mind?  Can I let it go and do the class?  Can I release my control on stuff and do it?  Can I get through a class without whining about my back?  Can I choose to be thankful?  Can I do it with a smile?

Nobody’s perfect.

I’ve surely whined, complained, obsessed, and been far less than thankful.  You’ve seen it here on the blog.  But what I am taking away from this is where I am today.  Today am I closer to that ideal.  Today I am smiling, thankful, and resolved.  Today I am 90 classes stronger.

Daren asked me yesterday, Now what? Well, the truth is that nothing really changes.  I will, of course, keep going to class.  I will keep journaling here and chronicaling my journey through this yoga and Teacher Training.  I’ll sort of miss the countdown of classes, the feeling of pusing through, and the adrenaline of it all.  But even as bittersweet as that is, I look forward to giving my body a rest.  I need to learn Dialog, spend time with my family, and focus on the next month of my life here at home.  And yes, one month is all that I have left.

Last night as I was winding down my day, I became frustrated with something going on here at home and just lost my temper.  I got into the shower and let the hot water soak into my skin.  It was there that I craved my yoga mat.  I craved the space, the heat, the work.  Crazy, as I was literally exhausted.  But I recognized the yoga as my outlet.  It’s my solace and my release from the junk in life.  I take this as a sign of how far I have come.  Yoga is not a chore, it’s not a task to tick off of my list.  Yoga is a basic function of my day.  90 minutes on my mat.  Me and the mirror, the heat, and the postures.  That’s all I need.  And for that, I am truly thankful.


Day 70: Only today.

August 9, 2008

I don’t really feel like writing a blog tonight. I guess that’s probably not the news you all wanted to hear, is it? But here I am, and it’s not even that late, so I will write. I’m going to be up front with you guys. I am completely exhausted.. I will be really glad when this Yoga Marathon ends. Just being honest. It’s been an incredible journey and I wouldn’t trade it for anything (not even the sleep I missed for all those early classes), BUT mamma is tired.

I had two really solid classes today. And now, I have only 9 classes left. NINE! Nine classes to go until I finish. That’s a single digit number! Tomorrow, I will be down to six. This is getting real, folks.

Zeb said something today that has stuck with me all day. While my paraphrase is likely far from the actual words he spoke, the truth remains.. The past and the future can never feel like today. Today is truly all we have. RIGHT NOW is really all we have. And even with as much as I love to look to the future, I still only have this day, this moment. I can look ahead to Training. I do all the time. I get anxious and excited and nervous daily about the future. But no matter how amazing the past or future has been or is, all I have is today. Only today.

Tomorrow is going to be a very full day. I have regular class and Advanced. I will try to write a more detailed blog tomorrow.


Well, first of all, I am not sore. I went to bed SO incredibly sore I was near weeping when I pulled my aching frame under the sheets. But something happened between 11 pm and 7 am and I woke up with zero soreness anywhere. Really. I was so done with it yesterday evening that I told myself that if I woke up feeling stiff again, I was taking a day off. Nothing, not even a tight hamstring today. This yoga works, believe it.

Arnie taught 9:30 today. I haven’t been in that class in a while, but I love it. There’s so much energy in the room. There are a lot of “regulars” there every day. I took my new favorite spot and had a good class. It was HUMID to the max and my body moved well. I am thinking maybe taking it easy on myself yesterday paid off today. I was able to work a bit deeper than I have in a few days. Anyhow, boy was it a long one. Arnie taught a one hour, 49 minute class. I was feeling it by the end. I had a hard time in the first set of Ustrasana and ended flat on my back for fear of blacking out. I don’t know what happened. I wasn’t especially overheated or nauseas. But I couldn’t get myself even into the setup without the room seeming to spin. Second set was awesome and I felt that really killer stretch all the way up and down my body. So good.

So, since I’m always looking to educate myself further about my practice, this yoga, and all things Bikram, I have a special thanks to give today. Social networks are amazing things. Blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Myspace – they all bring us closer together. I think the Bikram world especially is tight in the virtual world. And since I never pass up an opportunity to live my life on the web, I really love it. I had the amazing opportunity recently to “converse” with Mary Jarvis on Facebook. Mary is the founder and owner of Global Yoga San Francisco. She is also a deeply respected name in the Bikram world. Mary offered me some fresh insights into my backbends. Since the Challenge began I have had a love/hate relationship with all things backward bending. But recently I’ve been having some discouragement and frustration with my backbends. Since Mary is all about the backbends I asked her for her insights. She gave them to me. My life and my spine will never be the same. Mary encouraged me to try some new things, do a few things differently and GO FOR IT!!!! I’ve been working on it. Today I finally felt it in the third part of Half Moon. I finally felt the zen of the backbend. I’ve heard about it. I’ve read about it. I’ve wished for it. Today I got it. And yes, Mary, I did squeeze the shit out of my hands! So, Mary, thank you. Thanks for encouraging and instructing, even from far away. You are a legend, and I long to meet you one day. Eventually, in the future. 😉

I’m considering a double today. I’ll keep you posted.


I’m having a hard day. I have an edge that won’t ease.

Class this morning was equally wonderful and torturous for me. I had a great class last night where I worked really hard. Apparently all that hard work only served to make me extra sore. I told Sheila after class this morning that I didn’t “pull” at all during class. My spine was tight and sore again. All over again. Sore. I’m sick of it.

I’m also carrying the shared grief of a friend’s loss. It’s tough for me to express how I feel when I hear a dear friend is losing their mother. So suddenly life is taken. So sad, even from a distance.

I don’t mean to sound grumpy. But the truth is that I feel down and this is my place to talk about this crazy journey I am on, so there it is. I’m saddened, sore, and edgy. That’s the Karen you get today. I’ve been working on more planning for Teacher Training. I’m not sure I’m in the best place to do it, but it has to get done. It’s getting so close now that I am starting to really see it. In six weeks I’ll be in Acapulco, and no longer sitting here in the comfort of my home. Time is passing faster and faster. I’m starting to realize things like the fact that I will miss Eli’s birthday, Simon’s birthday, and my wedding anniversary while I am gone. Nine weeks is both forever and not time at all.

So that’s me. Sorry for the disjointed post. I’m in a weird place.

If you are so inclined, say a prayer for the Simon family. They could use it.


Day 66: Decisions.

August 5, 2008

I have 39 days until I leave for Teacher Training. That’s not much. I have 15 more classes to go to reach my goal of 90. I have 25 or so days to complete those 15. I know, this is all very complicated math, and it’s late. But the point is this, I will finish my 90 for sure. The question is, how will I go about it? I’ve been considering doubling up for a week to see how it feels. This is how I will practice in Acapulco. Five days of doubles Monday through Friday and one class on Saturday. Off on Sunday. I have had been offered varying points of view on doing this much yoga so close to my Training. I know that I will need a break just prior to going to Mexico. But I have a taste for finishing this Challenge, and I want to do it. I believe in my body and how strong I am. I know, also, that I need rest and time to replenish before I go to bootcamp.

So, I guess I’m just talking through this for myself. Right now, I am going to just keep going. Do what I can do and let things happen as they will happen. This is how I have faced my Challenges anyway. I believe that things fall into place the way they are supposed to. I have rested when my body has demanded it a few times since June 1. I have taken deep care of my health these 66 days of Yoga. I have been careful. And at the end of the day I believe that my body will show up for me. It already has.

I had a wonderful class tonight with Nada. I felt amazingly strong and my body was really open. I felt that wonderful blessed ease of a class that just happens. I worked very hard and felt better than ever at the end. I love classes like that. They remind me why I love this yoga so much.

I am off to bed. Tomorrow I have early early yoga. See you all on the other side.