Monday, July 29, 2013

Traffic, a Birthday and Bikram!

Happy (why do people say that?) Monday!  What a lovely weekend it was.  Getting to it was the hard part!

Thursday before I left the office for the evening I checked the traffic on WBZ online. UGH! Every direction was just solid red lines.  Not good.  I knew this was going to be a tough commute. I just didn't realize it would be one of the worst commutes EVER.  I hopped on the highway at 4pm.  I finally arrived home 2 and 1/2 hours later.  It was just terrible.  I might have even shed a tear! (ok..i did).  Once I got home it took another 2 hours just to calm down. The traffic guys on the radio described the roads as "miserable". 

I woke up the next morning and decided to work from home.  I could not get back in my car. I just couldn't. PLUS it was my Birthday!  So I worked from home and took the afternoon off to go shopping.  Treated myself to a few things including these earrings which I love mostly because they are my favorite color :)

Dinner and drinks with friends followed which was just perfect.

Saturday:  I needed a good solid Bikram class!  And that's just what I got.  The 3pm with Lucas. I walked in 15 minutes early to place my mat down and...WOW!  Intense heat wall hits me.  I take a peak at the temp on the wall...111 degrees and class hasn't started yet.  This is gonna be good!  And it was. Even though there were only 5 of us in that room it was a wonderful class.  I felt stronger than I have in 2 months (that's when I fractured my heel).  For the first time in what feels like forever I was pain free. YIPPEE! I truly can see the healing process now. Almost there!

Saturday evening after yoga was the family birthday party at my parents for me and my sister (hers is a day after mine). It was so much fun!  I truly have the most wonderful, fun family.  Love them!  My niece Hanna (10) is a competitive gymnast along with my older niece Emily (16).  Hannah is intrigued with Bikram so I literally did every posture with her. She totally rocked!  Standing head to knee first time she tried it! HA!  Really fun night with the family.

Sunday:  I decided that Books on CD might help dull the pain of the commute.  So made a Barnes and Noble trip before Bikram.  I started it on my commute in this morning. It's 17 hours long!

Bikram was the 3pm with Lucas again.  And today was HIS birthday!  He's a chocolate lover so I got him a couple of Theo dark chocolate bars (one with Chili peppers, one with orange zest).  Happy Birthday, Lucas!

Class was great.  About 15 people maybe?  I think about 5 newbies.  One was behind me so I kept trying to show her the postures.  She was following my every single move!  I told her she did great and should come back! I hope she does.  I wonder how many people actually come back after that first class?  I think some are so shocked at how challenging it actually is.  But that's what we love about it. The fact that every class is different. Each offers a different challenge.

One thing I have to mention about yesterday...Not sure how to phrase this but...The middle aged woman beside me just seemed a bit off.  In her own little world. Doing her own postures.  I've seen her do this before...she has on a very loose low cut flowy tank and no bra!  So when she bends over to get into posture..yup..you guessed it. Boobs completely exposed.  Not what we all need to see lady.  Cover it up!  The poor guy behind her had to be distracted.  That's what we saw when we looked in the front mirror!

And check out the beautiful tomatoes my garden is yielding.  Nothing better than fresh off the vine with a little sea salt, mozzarella, basil (also from garden) and balsamic. Perfection!

 
 
Have a wonderful Monday!
 
Pending the traffic situation hoping to get to Bikram tonight. We shall see! If you see a girl on the news stuck in traffic crying...it could be me! :)
 
 
Cheers!
Traci


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

"Be positive, ignore the critic, follow your heart, invest in your passions, believe in your dreams and get busy making them reality." Josh Cox  

I just love that quote.  Short and sweet and says a lot!

Hi! Very rainy day here in Boston. Free water for the lawns! :)

Last night my commute was easy breezy.  I flew home and made it to Quincy with plenty of time to spare before the 5:45 Bikram class. Chilled out in my car catching up on some emails, eating strawberries (SO good this time of year!) and a Balance Bar (Peanut Butter is my favorite).  It's Monday so I'm a bit sluggish.  I make my way down Hancock street slowly with bag and mat in tow.

I get to the studio...look at the stairs..sigh (loudly) and make my way up.  Expecting to see Lucas behind the desk..I instead see..Ashley!  Yeah!  Such a treat. I adore Ashley's classes.  She is just an amazing Bikram instructor. Being a yoga instructor was most definitely her calling in life.  She is just wonderful.

Another surprise?  Well...the Monday class is ALWAYS busy.  Maybe 25 plus people. Class starts at 5:45. At 5:40 Ashley says to me "where the heck is everyone???"  Tonight there would only be 6 people in class.  But 6 people who have been practicing for years and know the practice well.  I knew this would be a great class!

And it was just that. Ashley speaks the entire class, stories, corrections, cheerleader and the like.  This is a class where laughing is common.  She's funny. She's motivating. She provides the tiniest corrections that make all the difference in the world.  I just had the very best feeling class. I gave every posture 100% and (umm...does my back actually feel sore today??? The good kind of sore) I walked out of class very tired but very happy.  Very peaceful. How it should be.

My commute was nearly 2 hours in this morning (damn rain!) so not sure what the roads have in store this afternoon.  If I make it back in time I'll be heading to Bikram.  Fingers crossed!

Almost halfway through the week!  Not that that's a good thing since I will be yet another year older in a few days. NOT a fan of birthdays!

Happy practicing, running, biking, swimming or whatever way you choose to move your body!

Traci

 


Josh Cox

Monday, July 22, 2013

1 great...1 not so great

Weekends. Love em. But why oh why do they seem to fly by!

Let's get right to the weekend workouts shall we:

Saturday Bikram: 3pm class.  So I was unsure about how many people would show up for class given that it had been 100 degrees yesterday and Saturday was still around 95.  I was pleasantly surprised to see it was me and 14 others!  Good size class.  Enough to keep good energy up but not too big.

A minute before class starts water goes down the wrong pipe and I start choking. UGH!  I hurry myself to the ladies room and am choking and this woman is trying to talk to me.  I just keep putting my hands up to indicate I'm "OK".  Ha!

Anyway, this woman is looking nervous and asks where she can put her back and lock it up. Um..just put it in the cubbies and come on, I say. Class has already started! 

I leave her fumbling in the locker room and get myself back in the hot room, where breathing has started.  a couple minutes later the newbie comes in with 4 water bottles, her wallet and wearing flip flops. Oh first timers are funny.  Immediately the teacher says...no shoes please.  So she just put them off to the side. No..all the way out of the studio.  Poor thing looked terrified.

Class was great though. Very hot as expected and challenging.  The type of class where at the end you are SO happy for air.  The Newbie? She almost bailed 1/2 way through. She started to roll up her mat saying out loud "I can't take it!"  Lucas is very calm and said "just leave your mat and go sit down.  Come back if you feel up to it. She came back in for floor and stayed the rest of class!  Congrats, Paula!

Sunday Bikram: 3pm class.  Ok..so this is the not so great part. I have come to really enjoy Lucas' class.  He is consistent, leads a true Bikram class. He is motivating and engaging and has a wonderful energy.  Saturday he told me he wasn't teaching Sunday and Linda was subbing. "OK, I thought, I'll give her a shot."

I always say it's never a bad idea to show up for yoga. I might have to edit that thought now.

In typical Sunday class fashion there are about 7 people in the studio today. I chat with the new teacher pre class.  She seemed to have  a good energy.

Sitting on my mat now waiting for class to begin.  Teacher enters the studio, lights off and fans are on, temp is not hot.  She moves right to the front of the room.  Fans still on high, lights still off and no heat going.  I'm concerned but thinking "maybe she just does breathing in this environment." Let's see what happens when we get to Half-Moon."   And with the breathing she only did about 1/2 the time and her dialog was not good.  so what happens as we go into Half-Moon?  Nothing!  Still no lights etc.

After 30 minutes I give up and do something in all my years of practicing I have never done.  I rolled up my mat and left.  It might seem rude but here's the thing. I practice Bikram.  I pay $150/month to practice Bikram as it should be. I love the practice. When Instructors put their own spin on the class, it changes the dynamic of it. Practicing in the dark pulls the energy levels down. I was very frustrated and it was not good for me to sit in there getting more and more frustrated. So I left.   And I will make sure I never take this instructors class in the future.

Well...Traffic has been horrible lately. Hoping to make it to the 5:45 tonight but we will see what the traffics gods have in store.  Fingers crossed!

Have a happy day!
Traci

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Bikram vs Crossfit....Hot Room vs The Box

I'll get to the meaning behind the title post in a minute...

First about last night.  I get in my car to start my commute home not knowing if I wanted to go to Bikram or not.  I'm tired. It was a long day. I approach the highway and say "OK, Traci...here's the deal...If there's light traffic and you're back in Quincy by 5pm (1hr drive time) you're going to class.
I start making my way onto the highway and it's nearly wide open!  Hit the jam as always approaching Route 9 and the lane drop but then it was pretty seamless.  Made it by 4:45. Well...looks like I have to drag my tired body into the studio!

Quick stop by Good Health for a few things, eat a snack (watermelon, blackberries and a Balance Bar), grab my green mat with the blue underside (I have red, black and gray ones as well but the green is my favorite) and bag and head down the street to the studio.  It's a slow walk.  My energy is low. I pop open the door and make my way up the stairs.  I'm surprised to see such a full house on the hot Monday evening! 

25 people will be sweating tonight...a good old fashioned, hot, sweaty Bikram class!

I say old fashioned because when I first started practicing (2 studio owners ago) the classes were always very full and very hot.  25 to 30 people plus a class was normal.  People use to get there 30 minutes early just to stake out a spot. Mat to mat, having to stagger with the person beside you so as not to hit each other.  I actually have seen that happen.  Another person hitting another person. Usually in a posture like Poorna Salabhasana. Pretty funny. Anyway, fast forward a few years and I can get there 5 minutes before class and be just fine.  I actually have come to really enjoy the smaller classes now.

Last night was hot. And humid. There were a few new people in the room who looked less than happy. One left he room at least 3 times. By Rabbit I'm thinking "air..where did the air go??" "I'll just walk out for a minute to get some air."  Of course I didn't. In all my years of practicing I have never left the hot room during class..not about to start now!

Class ends.  I'm tired. But a good tired, ya know? 

Now about the Box vs Hot Room...
Walking back up the street to my car with a fellow yogi we encounter the Crossfitters!  You see, a Box opened up about a month ago right beside our studio.  As we make our way up the street they decide it's good timing to do sprint drills on the sidewalk!  Seriously 30 people running at us, behind us. We look at each other..both tired and sweaty and say "they can go around us" :)

They we start talking and realize that Crossfit and Bikram, while very different, have some similarities. We both agreed it takes a very goal oriented, focused person (who also might be just a little nuts :) to to either. She likened both to having cult followings! ha! In any event I respect their practice as I hope they do ours!

Home!  Home by 7:30 asleep by 10!  I totally crashed.  Right before I made my way to bed I stepped out into the back and was drawn to the moon. It just looked beautiful last night!

I'm taking the night off from Bikram tonight..I think. Unless my car has a mind of it's own and heads there.  I have my bag packed...just in case :)

Enjoy the day and SMILE!
Traci

Monday, July 15, 2013

Tune it out -

Monday! Looks like we have another hot, humid week in store for us in Boston.  Looks like 95 or so straight through to Friday. Yay!  I actually love it. When someone starts to complain about it I say "Stop!  Do you NOT remember this past February? Remember that ONE snow storm that buried us in 30 inches of snow? Remember the nearly 100 inches total that we got?" That usually makes them appreciate the heat (for a minute anyway).

Mondays. Weekends go by way too fast don't they? Once I'm out of bed, showered and in my car I actually don't mind Monday's too much.  It's like a fresh start. A fresh set of days to get things accomplished!  I actually don't sleep well on Sunday nights because I start to think about the week ahead. Then the alarm rings at 5:30am and I'm like "already?!?!" 

Lot's of lovely Bikram yoga this weekend:

Friday evening Bikram with Tracey was so-so. Not my favorite class but felt good to be there anyway.  Tracey keeps the room way too cool and then (I think out of habit) puts the fans on.  She's known for keeping the room too cool.  My water was still cold after class. And swear I got goose bumps when she turned the fans on.  I got there 15 minutes early and was the first one to arrive.  Finally with 10 minutes to spare 4 more people came!  I was considering leaving if I was the only one. Solo class would just be weird!

Saturday 3pm with Lucas:  Small class of 7.  Great class.  I love weekend classes. And I really have come to truly like Lucas very much as a teacher.  His dialog is slow and strong where he needs to be.  He's good about giving corrections (the littlest thing can make a HUGE difference). He keeps the room heated to where it should be. He's good about assessing the room and turning on the fans for a minute to re energize and refocus the group.  He's still a newer teacher but already great and very motivating.

In Saturday's class there's this guy.  He's very good and gives 100% effort with every posture. However...He's a grunter.  And not just here and there.  With every posture!  It gets a little distracting for sure. And then there was the fidgeter beside me. I kept telling myself...stop concentrating on them!  Think about your own practice.  Yeah. Didn't work.  Kinda focused on that the entire class.  Felt strong though.

Sunday 3pm with Lucas:  It was 90 plus degrees and humid out so I was unsure how big class would be. We had 10 people.  Good class for a Sunday!  Some faces that weren't familiar to me either. But the grunter was there again and he set up camp right near me. Each and every posture..grunt. And beside him was a girl that sits out every other posture and is constantly playing with her multiple water bottles. That's fine. But it's probably a better idea not to be front and center. Behind me was a woman who kept huffing and puffing and sighing loudly.  Just one of those classes :)  But it was nice and hot and it was a wonderful class.  As I lay on my towel, feeling the heat come through the mat, I thought...I love this practice so much. My legs were actually a little shaky.  Good class!

After class in the locker room the huffer and puffer says to me "lots of noises in the room today huh?" I laugh.."yes"  She says "I guess that's part of the challenge of the practice. To try to forget about all the noise?" Me "Yes!"  It's always something I struggle with.  Trying to not be bothered by peoples noises etc. Constant battle for me!  Have to keep working on tuning it out!

I love Sunday late afternoon classes.  Great way to end the weekend and get a jump on the week ahead!
Bill and Judy (mom and dad!)

After class I went to hang out with my two favorite people..my parents!  We sat by their pool and just chatted and laughed (my dad thinks I'm hysterical/my mom lovingly says I'm wacky!).  Married for 51 years and still best of friends.  It amazes me that they spend nearly every waking moment together and still have so much fun.  And at 77 and 71 they still run at least 5 days a week.  Inspirational.




Lovely Sunday. 

  Whether you are struggling on a run, struggling with full locust or camel or whatever remember this...."I'm overwhelmed by the strength of my body and the power of my mind. For one moment, just one second, I feel immortal. " Diana Nyad

Happy running and happy yoga!
Traci

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Foggy

Middle of the week already!  This time last week we were all getting ready for a nice long, hot, sunny weekend.  Oh what a difference a week makes!

Today as I look out my window it is once again very gloomy and foggy and hovering around 69 degrees.  Summer!  Some back!!! Please? Summer is so short around here as it is that when we get a week of this it just doesn't seem fair :)

I left work yesterday and had yet another pretty easy commute home! Lots of people on vacation equals less traffic equals one happy girl.
I could have easily made the 5:45 Bikram class last night.  But by 3:00 yesterday..I was sitting in my office with a very sore and again swollen foot.  I feel like I am going through the whole recovery process again.  **note to self:  When a doc says don't run yet...don't run!  Even if it "feels" better!**

Last night included lots of ice.   We'll see how it feels this afternoon.  I'll make the call later about whether or not I have a Bikram class in me tonight! Would love love love to go sweat tonight but have to be smart about the foot at the same time right? Or this thing will never heal!

My thought for today...Well my mind is constantly working so I have many thoughts flying around in there at the moment...but here's one:

I wonder if friendships with the opposite sex change into something else at a point in the relationship. I don't know.
I have this friend...we'll call him Mike.  We've been friends for over 10 years. Probably talked liked once a month. But over the past couple of years we started talking more and more. We use to share dating stories (people live for my dating stories!  I've had some interesting ones!!! I could write a book..just saying.  You would laugh for certain. Trust me!) but don't anymore. And all of the sudden here we are now and talk every single day, multiple times a day. I can't remember the last day that we didn't text. I pretty much tell him everything. Complain about injuries, good stuff that happened during the day, my running, what I'm wearing...anything that's going on. He asks for my advice about career, talks about his little brother, talks about his running, selling his house etc...really anything that's going on.  He's always telling me I'm adorable, sexy, cute, girly, sweet (there's more..but I'll leave it there)...Asks to buy me dinner. I was shopping and he gave me his credit card number to buy something!  No..I did not use it!

So now I feel confused.  I can't tell if this is just our friendship getting deeper or something more. He's a truly very nice person and very thoughtful, so is he just being his nice self?  He's my friend no doubt. I love our friendship.  But is there more?  I have no clue.  But what I do know is I don't think I would ever want to try to find out if there was something else.  I wouldn't ever want to chance loosing his friendship.

Anyway...just thought I share one of the things running around in my little mind today!  You know what would help make things clear?  Of course you do silly!  Bikram.  When things are foggy in our heads being in the hot room for 90 minutes seems to clear things up a bit.  Might not find the answer but I bet you come close.  Sometimes in Savasana I have the best ideas!

Enjoy your Wednesday and always smile!

Namaste,
Traci

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

38 Minutes to Bikram!

Happy Tuesday!  Tuesday is a weird day, isn't?  Nothing special about it. Just kinda there. 

So my commute yesterday afternoon?  38 minutes and I was exiting the highway! Yippee! Trust me, it can take 1.5 plus hours on a bad day, so 38 minutes and I wanted to dance! I pulled into Quincy with time to spare before Bikram started. Quick stop by Good Health Natural Foods http://www.goodhealthnaturalfood.com/index.html (needed tomato's for a veggie burger after class).  It's right up the street from the Bikram studio and I adore it. Love the products and the team that works there is just amazing.  Been going there for probably 20 years!

Quick snack of strawberries, blackberries and Balance Bar ( I have to eat a small snack RIGHT before class or I will conk out. So I always eat just before I go into the studio)  I leave my car up by the store and walk down to the studio.  Walking along, black bag draped across my body, green yoga mat in hand, I suddenly realize the temp has dropped like 20 degrees!  It's...chilly!? Then an SUV almost takes me down as I'm in the cross walk with the walk signal. Ugh.

I arrive at the studio, pull open the door, hear the familiar "click" and make my way up the stairs (those damn stairs kill me for some reason!), sign in, head into the Hot Room to place my mat down. Hot. Very hot (smile).  As expected. It's good.

Back in the locker room I notice a girl that I hadn't seen in a few years.  It was her first class back in a while.  I love that.  I love how we can take a break from our practice and come back and pick right back up where we left off.  How everyone just welcomes you back and is genuinely happy to see you!  I forget her name but she is just lovely and has a beautiful practice. 

I start chatting with an unfamiliar face. A first timer no doubt. She's nervous.  I tell her she'll be fine. Then I ask "what else do you do? Run? Bike?" She says "umm...I don't do anything." I want to exercise more and figured I'd start with this."  In my head I'm thinking "oh boy...possibly not a good idea."  But I smile and say "just listen to your body and have a good class!  Just breathe and let your body get use to and absorb the heat. Every one of us has had a first class." She then nervously follows me into the room. 

Class starts. Good size. Maybe 25 people? And hot.  Not sure on the temp but it was steamy!  Love it. Just a couple postures in I turned to check on First Timer.  She didn't look good.  She was already sitting on her mat with a very unhappy look on her face.  But I'm proud that she stayed in the room the entire class! She never left once. I hope she comes back and tries again (I told her she did great at the end of class :)

I felt very strong and determined the entire class until Rabbit.  It felt like there was literally NO air left in the room at that point. It was that kind of hot class where you're lying there and can feel the heat coming through your towel. Hot. Where you lie in Savasana and it feels like you are lying in the blazing sun (I actually thought that last night!) Hot. But this is what we like! This it what we come to crave. It's part of our experience.
Lucas opened the windows for final breathing and it was like a blast of air condition! Seriously. I actually shivered! ha! I lied in final Savasana thinking "that was amazing. what an awesome way to end the day."

After quickly changing clothes I sat on the benches in my white running skirt and red and white checkered button down shirt and talked with Lucas for a few minutes before making the short trek back to my car.  Out the door, cross the street... I have to walk by a bar that always has smokers (ick) out front. Tonight was no different.  2 guys who clearly had been drinking a while start taunting me. Slurring "a yoga girl!" loudly. getting really close to me saying "how's the yoga?" and laughing.  I stop and say "amazing" More laughing.  I smile and say nicely "you're an idiot. Go have another cigarette." and continue my walk.  Laughing stopped. HA!  I think it shocked them.  Yes, I'm like 5ft3 and 102 pounds.  No, I'm not afraid to speak up.

Hoping for another easy commute this afternoon so I can make the 5:45 class. Wish me luck! I come in early and leave by 4pm.  Even then though traffic can be a beast! One little fender bender can jam the roads. Next time you are on the highway see how many people are texting and driving. It's insane.

Oh...this guy?  Who the heck is that, you ask?  Well...that, of course, is my Pink Panther Yogi!  A friend actually got him for me when I did a 30 Day Challenge back in 2009 and he stuck by side since.  I've been with 2 companies since then and he has made the journey with me.  He sits on the wall in my office...reminding me of my Bikram practice! I know...I'm quirky :)

Have a happy afternoon.
Namaste,
Traci