Monday, November 30, 2009

Almost Done...

Really? Is it Monday already? It was so nice to have a 4 day weekend but it went by so fast and now it’s back to reality! But what a great weekend wasn’t it? The weather has been really warm here (well, for Boston in November anyway). And the week looks like 40’s and 50’s all week! No complaints from me! Well, 20’s at night but that doesn’t bother me so much. Getting cozy under blankets with a fire burning is great.

This morning I walked into my office at 7:30am to be greeted by a fully decorated lobby. The Facilities team was busy over the weekend. Lots and lots of beautiful shimmering lights and cheer. So pretty to look at and get us in the spirit. As an annual tradition here at work, we also put up 10 Holiday trees around the building to benefit families of a local shelter. Our employees decorate the trees, place presents underneath for the families and then we cut a check for each family. We deliver the trees, presents and check to each family named by the shelter a week before Christmas. It’s our way of giving back to those less fortunate. These are tough times for many in the community and if we can help put a smile on their faces, well that makes me happy! Charity work is important to us, to me, here at Granite. I Co-Chair the Granite Day Committee and love seeing how good people feel when they get involved.

Ok so what about the yoga huh? Here’s a recap of Saturday and Sunday (Days 28 & 29):

Saturday: Day 28, 4:30pm with Hannane. Went to the spa and got my hair done earlier in the day so I was totally relaxed and ready for my yoga! Stopped by the Good Health store right before heading to the studio. I could spend an hour here. Always find some new product to try! Class was a good size but not too crowded. I set my mat up in the hot corner of the room and when we start it’s nice and hot. Loving it! Then we hit the floor and the fans come on and the heaters shut off. I hate going from full out sweating to fans blowing on me drying me off. Just really chills me and makes me uncomfortable. So I rub my arms and Hannane says...You cold? I tell her well I wasn’t until the fans came on. Ok Traci, she says, I’ll take care of that! You know I like it HOT! She really does like it hot. She’s known for that. Rest of the class is good. Honestly, nothing really stands out. Hannane can be tough, but truly always has really good corrections. I always take something away from her class. Thanks Hannane.

Sunday: Day 29, 10am with Sarah. Woke up to a picture perfect late fall morning. The sky is so blue and the sun is shining bright. It’s a bit windy so the water looks a bit rough but lovely. Great way to start the day! On my way to the studio I remember the Annual Quincy Christmas Parade is today. The studio is directly on the parade route which means no parking. So I park in the lot a short walk away and make my way up the hill and down the street. I arrive and see Janet coming out of the 8am class. We catch up about our holidays then she tells me it was just luke warm in the room. Oh no, I think. Anyway, set up in the front right corner again. It was warm and the fans never came on, which was good. Had trouble with standing bow. Could not seem to kick up right. Just felt out of alignment and pretty tight. I made the mistake of not eating anything before class so I was a bit tired. I need fuel before class or I just feel weak towards the end. Overall a pretty good couple of classes.

Class ends and I take my time changing before heading out. I peak out the window and see Hancock Street is already lined with Parade goers anxiously awaiting the Parade to begin. As I exit the studio I hear a guy say “Oh it’s the yoga people!” Holding my yoga mat I smile and say you should have joined us for class!

Guys, this parade has been an annual event in Quincy for 57 years! I have such great memories of it from when I was little. The Parade always happens the Sunday after Thanksgiving. I remember my parents bundling up me and my three sisters, loading us into the car and heading to the parade (we lived a couple of towns over). We’d always get there early to secure a good spot. I remember the day was always freezing and some years, it was even snowy! We’d pull out our beloved “Horsey Blankets” and set up on the curb. Erin, Kellie and Robin...Remember the Horsey Blankets?! I know nobody else will get it but Oh My God! I wish we still had them today. These blankets went everywhere with us. Parades, our annual 2 week drive to Florida and so on. Just thinking about them brings back such warm memories and puts a smile on my face. Kind of like 2 big security blankets for 4 girls! After the parade it was always time to head back to the house for football and Turkey soup prepared by Dad. This happened every single year. It was always a great way to kick of the holidays. Of course it’s been many years since we’ve done this but I can still remember it like it was yesterday. I can see us sitting there on the curb sipping hot cocoa and waiting for the big finale, SANTA! Aren’t memories great? And that’s the thing, we all have memories. They are ours forever. Part of who we are. Sometimes we need a spark to remind us, but they’re always there. Enjoy your memories!

Most importantly today is Day 30 of the 30 Day Challenge. That seemed really quick! 6:30pm with Mimi. I’ll be back tomorrow to recap the 30 Days and what I think a got out of it. I know many of you do way more than 30 days in a row, but to me this feels like a great personal accomplishment. I think anytime we set a goal and reach it is a wonderful thing. Alright guys hope you all have a great start to the week. See you back here tomorrow.

Final thought: I read this in Health magazine and love it: Embrace right now. Enjoying the moment rather than dwelling on future worries is a lasting mood-booster. If you start to drift, say to yourself, “Focus on the present.” That will snap you back to the good stuff in front of you.

Cheers! Traci

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Recruiting the Family

Hi Guys! Everyone have a great Thanksgiving? What a great day it was here. Everyone tends to be so busy these days so it’s only a few times a year when my whole family has a chance to get together. But when we do picture laughing from beginning to end. Pure silliness. My 3 sisters, parents, 7 nieces and nephews, brothers-in-law, my sister’s in-laws. Think we were about 21 or so for dinner. Picture 4 silly girls (as my dad still calls us) just having fun. Even at this age we still find complete pleasure in teasing each other. So much fun. Wine, laughing, candle light dinner, dessert….Day went by so fast.

As you know my sister Robin and I both practice Bikram. And we found ourselves talking about it A LOT on Thanksgiving to our family. I was trying hard to recruit (pretty natural given my profession right?) them into this thing we do that we love so much. I was talking to my sis Kellie about some postures and showing her Tree pose and she cracked me up. I get my leg into position and put my hands together in namaskar. And she says…Oh look her foot even stays right there! Just struck me funny. My niece Emily (12 years) is a competitive gymnast so she was loving the postures. Then I get to my mom. Mom’s a runner and nursing a stress fractured foot. Been trying hard to get her to come to Bikram once she’s healed. She use to think what we do is crazy, but she’s coming around.Was teaching her some postures and planting the seed. Mom, if your reading this…WHEN are you coming for your first class? Don’t you guys find yourselves talking about Bikram wherever you go? It’s like we have this great secret we just need to share with the world!

Ok. Yesterday was Day 27 of my Challenge. Went to the 4:30 with Sarah. I thought about going to the 9:30am but honestly I just wanted a lazy morning and relaxed afternoon. And that’s just what I had. The class on Thanksgiving morning we were packed in like sardines, last night there was maybe 20 people in class. Lots of room to spread out and a nice pace. As always Sarah had a nice, easy way about her. Standing series was great, pretty hot but not boiling. But as soon as we hit the floor I felt like the air condition was on. Not a good feeling to go from sweating to chilled. I honestly thought about going to grab my shirt from my bag. I decided to just work the postures harder. Talked to Sarah after class and she said she thought I was standing in front of the spot where there’s a draft. OH! Won’t stand there again. Class was good though. A nice and relaxed class. Talking to some others after class again about how doing the Challenge really isn’t hard. Your body gets use to it and actually craves the Bikram everyday. I recommend anyone who practices to try a Challenge. It will change your practice for sure in a very positive way.

This afternoon is Day 28 at 4:30pm with Hannane. Looking forward to a tough class. Before that I’m off to the spa to get my hair done. Spa and Bikram? What could be better I ask you? Then it's off to see a friends band later (if I can keep my eyes open long enough!)

To leave you with, Found in Yoga Journal: Don’t Worry do Yoga: During uncertain times, yoga provides welcome stress relief. The tension taming postures will help you find inner calm and looses anxieties grip on your mind and body….Yep! Sounds good to me!

Hope you all enjoy the rest of the long weekend!


Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving everybody! I know we all have so much to be thankful for today. I’m thankful for my amazing, supportive family and friends (love you guys), my health, for a job that I love going to every day, for being able to practice Bikram Yoga every day, for this blog where I can get my thoughts out…and on and on. There are so many things to be thankful for! What about you guys, what are you thankful for?

I’m also thankful we had an 8am class this morning! Traci? Thankful for an 8am you say? Ok, you guys know how much I love morning classes (did you catch the sarcasm there?). But this was the only class today and this is Day 26 of my Challenge. Have to go. No choice. I make sure to arrive at the studio nice and early because I just new it was going to be absolutely packed. I get there around 7:20 and already people are setting up. Oh yeah, going to be a full house for sure! My sister and I have very different schedules so we never get to practice together. Imagine my sheer delight when I see her walk up the stairs mat in hand ready to go. I jumped up off the bench and squealed and gave her a big hug! Yay! This made my morning. Robins practice is very strong and determined. Love practicing with her. Class was indeed mobbed. Over 50 people mat-to-mat, toe-to-toe. Tons of good energy. I felt so strong and happy to be in the room this morning. The fact that it was 8am never even was an issue today. Wow. I just had one of those practices that leave you tingling. No words to describe. Just pure happiness.

Class ends. My sis and I sat for a while in the lobby chatting about the rest of our day to be spent with the family in Duxbury. As we were chatting a few people broke in to tell me I gave them the extra energy they needed to keep going. That my practice is beautiful. Huh? Me? I had no idea. I loved it though. See we really are all there for each other in that room. Urging one another on. Silently many times. Sometimes alls it takes is a slight smile as if to say you got this…go for it!

And get this. One guy commented on my…ahem…Standing Head to Knee! What? Who I am I? He said it’s amazing how I kick out so solid! Realllly? This is the posture that has been my nemesis lately. Needless to say I left the studio on cloud 9.  On the way out me and my sis could not stop talking about how much love our Bikram. How everyone should experience this feeling.

Ready to go shower now and then off to enjoy celebrating Thanksgiving with the family I love so much. I truly wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving. Hugs and hugs and hugs to you!


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Good to laugh at yourself

Good morning all! Day before Thanksgiving and everyone here at the office is in great spirits. Holidays just seem to have a way of doing that huh? Definitely a good vibe here, dreary rain outside and all.

Let’s get right to the yoga shall we? Day 24 last night with Maria. I think Maria might be my favorite teacher . Just truly awesome. Though come to think about that, I probably say that about every teacher!

I’m driving across town after work to the studio doing a mental checklist in my head to make sure I brought everything I need for class. Towels: Check; Mat: Check; Water: Check; Outfit: Check; Contacts: OH NO! Oh great! I left work with my glasses on and just realized I left my contact lens case on my desk. Not good. I’ve never practiced in glasses. Always wear my contacts. Some of the postures are pretty impossible to do in glasses. Going without is not an option. It’s just not. I really can’t see a thing without them. I even sleep with my glasses in bed with me (I’ve only rolled over once and broke a pair). Oh well, just have to deal with it. I’m in a really good mood and so ready for class. I set up nice and close to the mirror because I know at some point the glasses will need to come off. Sweating and glasses, not good.

So it’s always good to laugh at yourself right? I realize I left my water in the car and need to run out. Without thinking about it I run down the stairs and out onto the sidewalk. Keep in mind folks I have already changed into my yoga outfit. Yeah, you can start laughing now. So there I am standing out on a busy city sidewalk in flip flops, tiny little Lululemon Hot Set Shorts and a little top. And it’s about 40 degrees and drizzling. Nice, huh? Well, I think, I’m not running back up to throw pants on now! Suck it up Traci. So I head to the car down  the street. I notice people giving me very strange looks. It’s all I can do to stop from bursting into a full out laugh. One guy literally stops and says a bit cold for that outfit huh? I just smile and say “Sorry...Yoga clothes.” He smiles back and says...No need to be sorry! I laugh and run...QUICKLY...back into the studio. Note to self: Remember to bring in all your stuff in with you Traci! Maria laughed and said we’re so use to walking around the studio like that we forget! So funny. That’s one thing about me; I can always have a good laugh at myself. A quote I once read says something like You grow up the day you have your first real laugh at yourself. I don’t embarrass easily.

Except for the fact that I had to keep taking off and putting on my glasses class was great. Oh, my postures weren’t the best, but I just felt so alive and happy. So pleased and lucky to be at my studio practicing with all these great people. Have I mentioned lately how much I love my studio? Just truly awesome people. I must have fallen out of standing bow like a million times. But I kept jumping right back in. My Cobra was a bit weak. And sad to say I still dread standing head to knee. Just can’t seem to make friends with it. I’ll get there though. There’s always time, yoga will always be there. Class flew by and before I know it we just have spine twisting and breathing left! Crazy how fast 90 minutes goes by in that room. Class left me feeling amazing. Isn’t that the best? You’re driving home and you realize you are smiling for no reason at all. So good.

Ok, 6 more days left of my Challenge....then what? I was thinking about this last night. What happens after I finish this “challenge”? How do I go back to a normal schedule. I was talking to my little sister Erin (she’s 13 months younger and kind of like my twin) yesterday and telling her that it’s weird. I know I’m at the studio every single day, but for some reason it doesn’t feel like I am. Oh sure the classes challenge the hell out of me at times, but being there just seems so normal. It’s just part of my daily routine, a very good part of my routine. My colleague Rachel asked what happens after the challenge ends? I say, I get a day off! She replies...yeah I doubt it! You’ll be there the very next day. Hmmm maybe she’s right? And so I guess I'll just see how I feel on December 1st . I suppose if I want to I’ll just keep going until my body says, Traci, please take a night off. Sound like a good plan to you guys? Day at a time, always take it a day at a time.

Tonight is Day 25 with Jackie. Should be a demanding class so better get myself psyched up! Then tomorrow Day 26, Thanksgiving morning at 8AM...Oh that’s early for my body to be in the Hot Room! Should be interesting for sure.

That’s a wrap. If any of you are traveling today or tomorrow for Thanksgiving please have a safe journey. Enjoy your time with family and friends. Hoping you all share tons of laughs with your loved ones and create wonderful memories!

Thanks for reading my blog and thanks to all who comment. Comments are great, even if you don't agree with what I say, it's all good. You guys are the best!


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Is Whining Allowed in Yoga?

That's my quick snack 5 minutes before I headed into the studio last night.

Hi everyone! Hope you're having a great start to your Tuesday. Pretty dreary today here in Boston. Drizzling, cold and raw. I think that might be a Northeast word to describe the weather. Raw. Sums it up though. The kind of cold, damp weather that gets into your bones. Know what a great fix for it is? HA! The hot room of course. Cures it every single time. Well, that and a glass of wine by a fire burning in the fireplace too of course ;) And thank god for scarves. I seem to always have one wrapped around my neck from now until April! Cozy.

Now for a Day 23 recap. 6:30pm with Mimi. There’s a difference between hot and REALLY FREAKN HOT. Last night it was the latter. I knew it was going to be like that. For some reason Monday nights have been insanely busy at the studio. Busiest night for sure. All these people trying to sweat out the weekend toxins perhaps? First things first though because this made me so happy. I walk up the stairs and am greeted by 2 smiling faces: Mimi (teacher) and Chris (owner). I sign in and Chris is all smiles and says look at that Traci. It’s the December schedule and guess what? It works for me! Set my mind at ease and put me in great spirits. Thanks Chris! Talked to a ton of people before class. Everyone was in such a good mood creating some very positive energy. Set up in the front, far right corner with Janet. This just happens to be the hottest spot in the room. Oh boy. People keep filing in, setting up and quickly there’s like 60 of us packed in. Well, probably less but that’s what it seemed like. And it’s hot right out of the gate. I had a pretty strong standing series, although I was still so happy to get to Tree/Toe Stand. Even with a class this size I was surprised to see there was just a handful of us doing Toe Stand. Give it a shot folks, you might be surprised. The feeling of being down in toe stand, slowly bringing my hands together in prayer and bringing my eyes back to gaze in the mirror. Such a feeling of control and peace. And if you fall out? No problem. It's just yoga.

Floor series was tough. By this point the room was not just HOT but steamy. My towel was hot to lie on. I just kept thinking of my breathing to keep me going. We get to camel and I think I can’t. I just can’t. My body is fried. But my Bull Dog Determination kicks in and says Oh Come On! Are you kidding me! It’s like 30 seconds, do the posture already! So I did. Probably wasn’t my best Camel, but I did it.

With two postures left I pull my now sweat drenched pink headband from my head and for some reason decide to wring it out over my towel. Janet catches me doing it and cracks up. Now here’s the 2 of us, tired, so hot our skin is on fire, red faced and laughing. And I can’t stop. I feel like I just released and kept giggling, trying to hold in my laugh. Then Janet says...Can’t breathe...Need air. Open the door! Class ends, short Savasana before I head for the door. Still lots of bodies to step over. Tiptoeing around them in the darkened room it felt like forever before I reached the door. I swing it open and suck the coolness into my lungs. And just like that the fact that the class was so hard starts to fade. It’s amazing how quickly our bodies recover. I quickly change, check off my name on the board and I’m off. I’m parked pretty far up the street and it’s raining. I looked up at the rain falling from the sky and smiled. It was like I was in a big shower. Felt good until I realized I just went from being extremely hot to now chilled to the bone. Ok, Traci speed it up. Get to the car and get home. I’m telling ya, my shower and warm house never felt so good folks. So good. This is hard work we do, it really is.

I was talking to my mom on the phone this morning (we have a standing call every morning around 7:30am to catch up). I was telling her I was tired and could use a day off from yoga. That last night was really hard. Most of the time she’ll indulge me and say, listen to your body and do what it needs, or that guy wasn’t good enough for you anyway :).  Well, this morning I was looking for a little mom sympathy and you know what I got instead? Tough love! That’s right kids. I start whining (yes, even at this age we can still whine to our moms). She waits for me to finish and says...Traci, think back to gymnastics when you would spend 3-5 hours a day in the gym. Did you always like it? No. Were you so tired at times you could even lift your arms? YES! Remember the tears on your palms from the bars and how you still had to jump up and do your bar routine? You knew what your goal was and THAT’S why you kept going. Same with this yoga challenge. You have a goal; you will reach it and feel great. This is for you, nobody else. Then she talked about my dad who has run 20 plus marathons and how his training and dedication is similar to mine. She continued on saying how my sister Erin (who was a REALLY good gymnast, much better than me) was also saying this challenge will be a great accomplishment when completed. That I should be proud. Thanks E! And ah yes, mom, thanks for setting me straight this morning and giving me some much needed energy to recharge. How in the world do you always know exactly what to say to me? Thanks for you’re never ending support and motivation on so many levels. Love ya so much!

Guess that’s a wrap for now guys. Day 24 tonight with Maria. Should be great as usual. Hope you all have great practices if your heading to the studio. See ya back here tomorrow for more talk about the Hot Room!

Oh and below is the Cranberry Bliss Bar from Starbucks I just might have snacked on last night ;).Only had a piece of it but needed a little something sweet after dinner. These are so good!

Something to think about today: Every moment of suffering brings an opportunity to build relience. Indeed!


Monday, November 23, 2009

Monday Already?

Good morning blog friends! Hope everyone had a great weekend and did tons of great things. The weekend of course went by way too fast.I was walking into Starbucks on Saturday and among all the now dead trees this little bush of berries appeared. It was so vibrant and pretty! So alive. Isn't she pretty?

How oh how is it Monday already? But guys, it’s a holiday week which of course means a short work week! Can’t wait to see the family in a few days. It seems like we’re all so busy lately and never have the time to connect. 7 nieces and nephews always make the holiday’s fun for sure. No travel for me which makes me happy. We go to my sister’s house which is just about 40 minutes from me. Any one out here doing the holiday travel thing?
Ok now it’s time for a yoga weekend recap. I’ll try not to be too long winded!

Day 21: Saturday 4:30 with Hannane. Got there early so had plenty of time to stop into Good Health and pick up some things. This store is locally owned and run and they have tons of local products. Love that. It’s been there since I was a kid and has expanded nicely over the years. They really cater to their customers. It’s kind of like a mini, mini Whole Foods (of course love WF too!) with better prices. Awesome selection and having it a block up from the studio is perfect. Grab a few things along with a snack and Zico to have before class. Good crowd for a Saturday afternoon. People must have slept in and missed the morning classes! As mentioned before Hannane always has been known for being fierce; Keeping the room extra HOT and holding postures for an extended time. Lately, as she moves along in her pregnancy, she’s been easing up in class. Last week she was tough again so I didn’t know what we were in for today.
Class starts and it’s, well, it’s warm. I keep doing the old looking up at the ceiling trick as if to send the message to the teacher “turn up heat, turn up heat, turn heat”. So funny how many people I see doing the same thing. My sister was doing it the other day and the teacher actually said “Robin, is something falling from the ceiling?” People looked kind of aggravated and finally the girl beside me says OUT LOUD...It’s too cool. Yikes. Hannane says, too cool huh? Anyone else think it’s too cool? The whole class together...YES. Some people even raised their hands. Never seen anything like it before. With that she says then you’re not working hard enough and bumps up the heat. Saw that one coming. Not sure what the temp was but Oh My God. I think the water in my water bottle was boiling. The kind of hot class that when you get home your sweat soaked towel is still steamy hot. Very challenging class. Always up for a challenge though. I was fading fast at the end, I felt like a balloon loosing its air, and she says Stay Strong Traci! Just the boost I needed. Let’s finish this thing up! I know some people think her classes are too hot but this is Bikram. The room is suppose to be hot, not luke warm. I will say I was really hoping for the door to pop open for a breath of fresh, crisp air. Never happened. I was tired after class and looked forward to grabbing a shower, some dinner and relaxing. Ahhh.

Day 22: Sunday morning class. 10am with Sarah. By now some of you know I am not a big fan of morning classes. Not at all. Last week was ok though. So going into this one I was not dreading it as much. Got up, dressed, had some toast with peanut butter and a Zico and I’m on my way. Decide I’m a little tired for the front row this morning so grab a nice spot in the second row. I had that tired face, no hiding it when your eyes look like little slits! For some reason no one set up in front of me so I still had a nice clear shot of myself in the mirror. I use to have a problem looking at myself practice but now it’s like I need the mirror to see where I’m at. There were two people behind me who were new and I could see them following along with me. Better step it up and show them the right way. No slacking this morning Traci!
I thought the room was a nice temp. Not too hot that it kills you (good for a morning class!) and not too cool. Of course if it was a night class I would have for certain said way too cool. Major breakthrough on Standing Bow! I see Sarah looking at me during the posture and smiling. We come out of the posture she says “WOW Traci” that’s come along way, looked amazing. She said it again after class and said how rewarding it is as a teacher to see something like that. Sure felt great too!

Class left me feeling energized and happy. Definitely had that yoga glow! Stop for a latte (obliviously) on my way home and enjoy it with a late breakfast. Shower, change, Whole Foods trip, out with friends to watch some of the Patriots game. Not a bad Sunday at all! The whole day I could not get the running bug out of my head. I just really need to rock out a run. So at 7pm last night guess what I did. It's cold and dark but I didn't care. I pulled on my warm Under Armour hat with that great pony tail opening in the back, my running gloves, pants, shirts, jacket, put my reflective strips around my arms (I’m a safety girl), grab the Ipod and I’m off. From the very second my feet hit the street I am pumped. Oh it felt so good to get out there in the fresh air, using my legs to push forward off the ground below. My lungs felt great, I felt so strong. And happy. I probably could have run forever but I kept it a short and sweet. I ran just a mere 3.5 miles but it was good just to be out there. I didn’t want to push it. Saving my nice long runs for after the Challenge. Can't. Wait. Bikram and Running are my equal loves but I get very different feelings from them. Both so, so good. Balance. All about the balance folks. It’s a very good word.

So as we talked about its Monday. Sipping on some amazing peppermint tea now thinking I have lots to do here at work before the holiday but...then it’s a 4 day weekend! Isn’t Thanksgiving great? It’s truly just about spending time with our friends and our families. No stress of getting that “perfect” present. Just a time to enjoy traditions, to laugh with my silly (that's an understatement) family, to eat (although since I haven’t eaten meat in 20 plus years its not my favorite meal) to enjoy a glass of wine or two etc. Can’t wait. Oh and listen to this I have to go to an 8am Thanksgiving morning class. UGH! That’s going to hurt.

Tonight is 6:30 with Mimi. Always an awesome class. Going to be sure to get there right at 6pm as this class has been so packed lately. Need to secure a spot in the front; otherwise I tend to feel like a sardine. Have a great Monday everyone! See ya’ll tomorrow for more yoga fun.


Saturday, November 21, 2009

Where's My Lens?

First things first today. Yesterday my nephew Luke turned 10. The pic on the left is Luke with his two brothers. Luke’s in the middle. That’s his big brother Benjamin and the little guy is baby brother Noah. The pic is 2 years ago but I still love it. Nephews are so much fun! Happy Birthday Luke! Double digits kiddo! Hope you had a great day…. and I AM your favorite Auntie right??? And congrats to Ben for coming in 1st in your road race today. 6 something minute mile? Strong work Ben!

Saturdays. Such a great day. My body was requesting I sleep in a little bit this morning so I listened to it. I don’t set the alarm on Saturdays (no work and no morning class!) but my internal alarm clock usually gets me up early anyway. Not today. I hate sleeping too late, seems like the day is just wasting away. But hanging in bed until 8 or 9 feels great! Isn’t Saturday great for waking up, having a nice relaxed breakfast, enjoying a latte (my definite choice of caffeine) and just recharging? Oh sure there’s still lots of errands etc to do but I love that it’s not scheduled down to the second like the work week, ya know?

Ok, yoga talk: Day 20 last night. Loosing track of the days. Need to keep glancing at the calendar to see what day I’m on! I was expecting Maria to teach and was looking forward to her class, but was just as pleased to see Chris (studio owner) was subbing. Since I took a ½ day at work I was nice and relaxed when I arrived. Time to change into the yoga gear. My contact lens was bothering me so I needed to take it out and clean it. Out it comes. Rub, rub, rub. Oh oh! Uh…Where’s my lens??? Insert sheer panic here. Anyone who wears contacts can relate. Not a good feeling. At all. Without my contacts or glasses I can’t see a thing. Really. I even sleep with my glasses in bed with me. Yeah, it’s that bad. The contact in one eye thing doesn’t work for me. Makes me dizzy and feel, well, as if I had been drinking! Not a good way to practice Bikram. So picture this in our tiny studio locker room…No less than 10 women all searching for a tiny blue contact lens. I had given up but these girls, my lovely yoga friends would not give up! One girl from the back spots it! Do not ask me how the heck she saw it. It had landed in a bag and was hanging out on a shirt! Shrieks of delight and screams and laughs. You would have thought we just uncovered a hidden treasure. So funny. Love these girls. Thanks guys!

Class was good. Nothing exactly really stands out though. Pretty full, but not crowded. Just one challenger, Janet, with me. My head was a little out of the room the first half. Before class Chris told me he did in fact decide to change the schedule come December. Schedule won’t work for me. It just won’t. So now I just need to figure out what to do. I related my disappointment to him. We’ll see how it plays out in the next couple of weeks. I put aside my negative feelings and felt great 2nd half of class. Felt very controlled in postures. Chris even said “Nice control Traci.”

Heading to the 4:30 this afternoon with Hannane. She was back to being fierce last week so I’m not sure what we are in for today!

Thought to ponder today that I really like: Write it down. Make it happen. Live your dream.

Hope everyone has fantastic plans today. Enjoy your Saturday and take time to relax and recharge. See ya back here tomorrow!

Friday, November 20, 2009

It's about finding the balance

Happy, Happy Friday! I love Fridays. It was nice and warm on my way into the office this morning. Left my house at 7am and it was like 60 degrees. Not bad! Black clouds started rolling in as I approached the office. I look at the umbrella in my car but decide to think positive and leave it there. Yeah, bad idea guys. It’s raining so hard right now and it’s so dark it looks like night time. BUT it’s Friday, it’s Jeans Day, I’m rocking my favorite boots, I’m close to hiring another targeted candidate, AND I’m taking another ½ day. All good. Just a few more hours and I can start my weekend. Love ½ Days on Fridays!

Day 19 last night with Sarah. Found a prime parking spot right in front of the studio. Love when that happens. Studio was pretty quiet last night. Not the normal buzz. That’s ok though, I was actually looking forward to a nice calm class. Take my time changing in the locker room talking to some of the girls. Catching up with our yoga friends before classes is so great isn’t it?

Set my mat up in front with Jackie and Janet. It was one of the quietest classes I have seen there in awhile. I think maybe 15 people total in class? Lots of nice wide open space to spread out. The room looked pretty funny though. Basically you had our front row set up, one or two people in the middle and the back row was packed. Just looked funny. Some people just love the security of the back row I guess. As I knew it would be, the room was hot but not really hot when we started. Balancing series I felt shaky. I must have fallen out of Bow like 5 times. Nothing to do but laugh and jump right back in. So that’s what I did. Toward the end of standing series I heard the heaters shut off and it actually got pretty cool. Couldn’t see the temp at this point but I’m guessing it might have fallen below 100. I think Sarah is still trying to navigate the new heating system. There’s like 5 different controls over there. She played around with them and it ended back up at 105. It’s a nice temp if you’re having a tired day. A temp that’ll still make you sweat, but it won’t make you exhausted. I never really got that “Whew! This is tough” feeling last night. That’s ok though. I think it’s good to have these types of classes now and then. Definitely felt peaceful.

So overall it was a “nice” class last night. A fun one. Out in the lobby one of the guys was saying how it got so cool at one point. Another guy cracked me up. He shot him a look and said...Well if you thought it was so cool why the hell were you sitting out postures?? The guy just grinned and said...good point and sucked on an orange.

As you might know in addition to Bikram I’m also a runner. It’s one of my passions. At the start of my Challenge I tried to keep up both. My body got tired and the last thing I want to do is loose weight (I don’t really have much room to play with there). I sometimes have a problem keeping weight on. Been like that my whole life. Pretty frustrating sometimes. So when that happened I decided to pull back on the running until the Challenge is over. I love my Bikram practice, God I love it. But I miss my running so much too. I’ll be driving in my car and a good tune will come on or I’ll see runner cruising the streets and alls I can think about is running. Running fast, running slow, doing my long run, doing my shorter run. Just running. Running with my headphones on and getting lost in my thoughts. Clearly I love doing both. It’s funny how you don’t realize how much you’ll truly miss something until it’s gone. How much you really truly adore it. How sometimes we take things for granted. That’s goes for running and of course so, so many other things in life. It’s all about finding the right balance. Can't wait to lace up the running shoes!

Well guys as I come to the end of my post I’m glancing out the window and guess what? It’s significantly brighter, the rain has nearly stopped and it looks as though the storm is passing. Just in time for my afternoon off! Oh yes, life is good.

I’m targeting the 4:30 this afternoon with Maria. Yay! After that it’s time for girl’s night with some good Mexican food and I just might be seeing a Margarita in my future. Salted rim of course ;)

Hope everyone has a perfect Friday and start to the weekend.
Final thought today...“Don’t let fear of the unknown hold you back from making a change” Body & Soul

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Too Many First Timers?

Happy Thursday everyone. That’s the bag I pack for yoga every day. Love this bag so much! It has served me well.

Thanksgiving is just one week from today! What? Where did the year go? Not that I have to stress out about cooking for the big day. No, I pretty much just show up at my sisters in Duxbury every year. What I AM really very good at is bringing incredible bottles of wine and awesome desserts. My Thanksgiving contributions if you will. I generally do the table design as well. I love a beautiful, simple table with lots of candles and sparkle.

Day 18 last night with Jackie. I was so looking forward to this class. I had so much energy as I bounded up Hancock Street all suited up with mat & bag in hand, I swing open the studio door, charge up the stairs and once again...a packed house. Very, very busy. Usually makes for a great class in my opinion. Both Stacey and Janet (also challengers) were there. Janet and I set up in the front right; Stacey’s tired and hangs out in the back by the door. People just kept coming in. The door to the room kept opening and closing to reveal yet another yogi with a mat and towel. Looking for a spot to squeeze in. Tons of unfamiliar faces. Looked like there were about 12 new people? Uh Oh. Turns out one of the girls in class made this a “staff outing” tonight. Now, you know I usually love new people in class. I love them giving our beloved Bikram a shot. And I hate to be negative, but on this night, I am afraid to say, it was not good.

Jackie starts class and right away I get a weird vibe. To me, classes should start on time. This one started about 10 minutes late. Not setting up for a good one. We’re mat to mat again, it’s hotter than hot and I’m sweating during first breathing. All good so far. Then things started to change. I began to feel like we were in a private class for all the first timers from that company. The pace of class was way too slow, the teacher was taking too long setting postures up, describing them etc. I started to get aggravated. This went on the entire standing series. To make matters worse all those company people kept talking and laughing. Jackie did tell them they need to respect the silence of the room and save the discussion for outside. But every few minutes they would start up again. Finally we hit the floor for Savasana. Janet looks at me and mouths “this is terrible!” People were still talking and giggling and the guy beside me finally sits up and loudly says to them “SHHHHH!” Thanks, I say. Jackie did move class along better during the floor series, but unfortunately by this time, my head was just out of the room. I just wanted class to end. Now. Just a bad feeling class for a lot of us.

Class ends and many of us jump up and leave quickly. In the lobby Janet tells me that was the worst experience she has ever had. I tell her it was definitely more because of the people than the teacher. I think maybe the group should have scheduled a private lesson. That might have benefited all of us more. They would have had a better experience and we would have too.
On the ride home I kept telling myself to let it go. It’s just one class and it’s over now. Move on. Don’t carry this home with you. Don’t let these negative feelings take away the good of 90 minutes of hard work.

Starving when I get home. This is my dilemma every night. I get home between 8:15 and 8:30pm and don’t really want to eat anything too heavy, but I’m hungry. I opted for a Veggie Burger (Garden Burger Veggie Medley) with lettuce, tomato and cheese and Amy’s Organic Vegetable soup. Quick and easy. For those of you who go to late classes, do you eat dinner late too? Do you eat a bigger lunch and lighter dinner? When I go for a run I’m always done by 7 so eating at a bit better time. I just feel like I’m eating dinner so late these days! Oh and the best part...After dinner I had an awesome piece of Dark Ginger Bread from Dancing Deer Baking . Ridiculously good. Treats are good, right?

5:30 tonight with the wonderful Sarah. Sarah’s the type of teacher who totally puts you at peace. It might not always be as hot in the room for her classes, but I always leave her class feeling so calm. Always has a smile on her face.

Please forgive the negative ranting about my bad class experience last night, but it sure felt good to get it off my chest. Thanks!

Hoping everyone has an awesome Thursday! “Make this the day you stop dreaming and start doing!”


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Triangle I Love You!

While sitting in my car last night before going into the studio I snapped this pic from across the street. Yup, that’s the studio door I walk into every single night mat and bag in hand. Ready to sweat! I can be having the most lackluster, low energy day. But as soon as I open that door...boom! I’m ready to go! Time to move this body and do some Yoga!

It’s feeling very November like here this morning. Right now it’s about 35 deg. Brrrr. Hot room would feel great right about now as my office is freezing too! Currently sitting with my coat over my legs. Mental note...After I post this I need to call facilities about the heat! This morning before I left for work I actually had to scrape ice from my windows. Ah yes, reality. Hoping it gets into the 50’s today though. How many more weeks until spring? Just kidding...well, kind of ;)

Day 17. Done. Made it to the 5:30 with Maria. Gosh, for such a new teacher she is awesome. I swear it seems like she’s been teaching for years. She keeps the room nice and hot. Puts the fans on for a few minutes, but doesn’t leave them on the whole class, has an awesome strong voice, great stories, good corrections and gets people to really work to their edge. Really liking her classes a lot.
Janet and I set up our mats beside each other. Janet’s a fellow challenger. Before class we talked about a million different subjects. Random topics: Thanksgiving, Christmas, Shopping (for ourselves!), husband (in her case) boyfriends/dates (in my case) and of course our Challenge! I can’t believe how much we managed to talk about in like 20 minutes. So funny.

Last night I decided I am absolutely in with love Triangle right now. Oh of course I think my favorite posture will always be Tree Pose/Toe Stand. Just because of the calmness it brings and the focus it takes to do it. But Triangle! I.Love.You! Getting down deep, stretching my arms, touching between my toes, twisting back, getting my profile visible. Oh it just feels so good when it’s done right. I think about how my Triangle looked in those beginning classes and the progress I have made with it. Good stuff. I even got a shout out from Miss Maria “Beautiful Traci!”

Class went well. But during spine strengthening series I got so hungry! I mean really hungry. All I could think about was eating. Cobra, Locust, Bow...I could almost hear my stomach asking for dinner. Then my mind started wandering...what am I going to make for dinner? Hmm...Ice cream would be great right about now. That ever happen to you guys during class? As soon as we pushed our bodies up for Fixed Firm (another favorite) I seemed to forget about the hunger and finished class strong. Class ended late so I was up and out of the room pretty quick. Quick change of clothes and I’m off. Oops, had to turn around and go back up the stairs...Forgot to put my red check mark on the board! I know it sounds silly but putting that check mark up after class feels great. I don’t know why.

Jackie’s class is tonight! Great way to spend Day 18. I’m pumped. Loved her class last week so kind of class for sure. The day after her class last week one of the newer girls was telling me she was a bit scared of Jackie. What?! Why? She said she likes nice teachers and felt scared to even wipe her face. Oh! I told her that’s just part of Bikram. I told her to work to her edge, but also listen to her body. Told her to test herself to see where she can go, she might be surprised. Stacey just laughed and said to the girl “Yeah, Traci’s crazy!” I laughed and took it as a compliment.

Off topic but amusing...My boss likes me to help with presents for his wife (Men!). The boss and I are good friends, so it’s not weird when he asks me to help with things like this. He’s truly one of the best guys I have ever worked for. Awesome. So he brings in the Tiffany (oooh) catalog this morning. It’s 7:45 am and I’m looking at Tiffany’s. I can’t help but smile. I told him I’d help only if I got to pick something out for myself too! Yeah, got a big no on that one folks. I actually ended up picking out some of the things he had in mind too. She’s a lucky,lucky girl. Love Tiffany’s so much. What girl doesn’t like the little blue box, right? Oh how I would love a little blue box this Christmas...

All right guys. That’s all for now. Wish me luck on Day 18 tonight. Have a feeling it’s going to be a challenging class, in a good way of course. Oh and by the way, I did end up having that ice cream I was craving last night. Hingham Harbor Sludge from Nona's Homemade. Delish!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Tired Turns into Energized!

On my wall at work to hold me accountable!
G'Morning! I think I have turned into that crazy germ phobic lady here at the office. There are about 700 people at my company and I swear half of them are sick. All I hear all day is cough,sniffle sneeze. When people come into my little office coughing I actually take out my trusty can of Lysol and spray, spray, spray. Our Corporate Counsel Neil says I’m nuts. NO! I just really don’t want to get sick. Have my bottle of Purell at my desk too. Wow...I kind of do sound a bit crazy huh? I just don’t have time to get sick. Making it one of my goals to escape getting sick this winter. All right, enough of my ranting.
But seriously, I think practicing Bikram helps us fight the cold and flu. There's a lot of people in and out of the studio and really I can’t think of many of them that have been sick yet. Sweat it out right? Doesn’t make us immune, but I have to think it helps? That and a positive attitude :)

Day 16...It’s late in the day yesterday afternoon here at the office & I am just plain tired. It’s Monday, it's dark and I really just wanted to go home. The thought of changing into my yoga clothes and sweating it out for 90 minutes from 6:30p-8p did not sound appealing to me at all. I even said to one of the girls I work with that I didn’t want to go. Her response “You HAVE to! You’re Challenge!” Yeah, yeah...I know. Of course I’m going...just felt like saying I wasn’t going.
Hanging on my wall at work to hold me accountable!

I changed here at the office and took my time. I felt so much better and more energized once I was all suited up and my hair was up in a ponytail, or as my boss says, my Yoga hair.
Not much traffic crossing town, found a parking spot no problem. Decide to maximize the extra time and catch up on some calls. I find with the Challenge it’s really important to maximize any down time you can find. Amazing what you can actually get done in 20 minutes! I Head into the studio at 6p and am greeted by yet another packed Monday house. Monday’s have turned into one of the busiest days at the studio. I go in, lay out my mat and WHEW...It’s going to be a steamy one tonight. I was talking to Stacey before class and she is just not feeling it. She says the Challenge is not fun and she doesn’t want to finish. OH! I tell her, you have to. It’s not that many more days...You can’t quit now! Plus, your name is right up there on the huge board to hold you accountable. :-)
Jen was subbing for Mimi tonight. I love taking Jen’s class. The very first Bikram class I took Jen taught, it always brings my mind back to those first few days. She definitely keeps the class flowing and likes it HOT too. All good.

Lot’s of great people practicing around me tonight. Stacey set up behind me and I think we gave each other the energy we needed that night. The room was packed but I was totally in a zone. I felt like it was me and the mirror. Really focused.
Class was great. I think my Full Locust is getting stronger. Feels good. The pose I least look forward to now...Standing Head to Knee. I don’t know why. I just dread it every single night. Have to figure out how to make it my friend again!

Class ends and I take a couple of minutes in Savasana before heading out. I have come to enjoy these minutes in peace. I use to just jump up right away. But now I love how I can feel my body just relaxing after a solid 90 minutes of work. So good.
The locker room is packed and just finding a tiny spot to maneuver and change was a challenge. I manage though and my dry clothes feel so good. Throw my stuff together, quick goodbye, smile to all and I’m off. Beautiful night out and my feet were not even cold in my flip flops walking back to the car! Another great Monday night indeed.

One thing I've found that makes my mornings so much easier is to pack my yoga bag right when I get home. So before I do anything else the first thing I do is prep for the next day. Everythings ready to go and by the door, that way I don’t forget anything. Works for me.

Day 17 tonight with Maria. I sense this will be a “nice” class.

Have a happy day everyone...And of course have a great practice!


Monday, November 16, 2009

Mats as Passengers

Just went out for lunch (yes, it's a beautiful day!) and it struck me funny that my black and red mats seem to always be my passengers these days! Maybe I should start seatbelting them in! :)

Halfway There

Good morning! What a beautiful morning it is here in Boston today. Lots of thin wispy clouds in the sky but very sunny and warm for November. We’re looking at a high of around 60 degrees. The only down side is its Monday and we’re back at work! Lots of gazing out my window today. Nearly bare trees but the grass is still green. And it’s supposed to be really mild and sunny all week. Love it!

Ok guys now for some yoga talk. I had a great couple of days of classes this weekend.

Saturday, Day 14: Went to the 4:30 with Hannane. If you read my last post you might remember me saying she’s 22 weeks pregnant and she might have softened as a teacher from the hard core, fierce one she once was. Yeah, please forget everything I said. Hannane was back in full fierce form. The room was really hot and humid. I think I was sweating before class even started. Many times during class I was the target of Hannane’s corrections (think she read my post?). I think teachers pick on us when they know we can get deeper into a posture and see us slacking off a bit. In camel I found the heat getting to me. I had to keep telling myself to just breathe. I don’t think I hydrated enough during the day either, so of course that didn’t help! Like another blogger, Greg, weekends in the studio are sometimes off for me. I’m running around all day, doing errands and then off to class. Sometimes I’m too busy running around I neglect to hydrate enough. I think that happened on Saturday. I always bring a 20oz water in but generally only drink a sip or two. I drank every single last drop of those 20 ounces on Saturday. People overall were looking pretty worked, so at least I was in good company! Good, challenging class. It was one of those classes that leaves your face as red as a tomato. The kind of class that wakes you up and makes you realize, no...This is not easy!

Sunday, Day 15...Halfway there! Went to the 10am with Sarah. You all know by know I am not a fan of morning classes. In the days leading up to this class I was dreading it. I even toyed with the idea of going to the 4:30 instead. But I really like my Sunday afternoons to hang with friends and watch the football games. To me that’s what Sundays have always been, even growing up. So morning class it was. After that tough class on Saturday I made sure to re-hydrate myself Saturday night. Drank tons of water. Watermelon always seems to help after a class like that too. I woke up ready to go. Drank probably 20 ounces H2O while getting ready to go. Off I went. In the car ride over to the studio I had coconut water and a PowerBar. I drink coconut water all the time before and after my run but for some reason I never drink it before class. At any rate...I think it did the trick. Had a great class. It was a touch cooler in the room, but not too cool. I still sweated like crazy.

Ok, so I love seeing newer people keep coming back for classes. I do. But I have a small pet peeve. Keep in mind, I know my practice is far from perfect, but I listen to the dialogue and follow along with the teachers instructions,don’t go ahead into postures etc. When you’re up front the people in the back are watching you. You need to set a good example.
So the woman who put her mat beside me in the front row, I just knew she wasn’t going to fair well. Right after half-moon she was struggling and had to sit right after awkward. She was not looking good at all. Her legs and body were all off her mat and edging mine. It was tough for me to navigate around her to get into postures. I had to actually say “excuse me” a couple of times. She spent the majority of the class sitting down or lying on her side. During the savasana after floor bow she was flailing around trying to grab her toes, legs...ugh! Just lie still please! Again, I love that she’s there and trying, I do, but for now perhaps a spot in the back row might be more appropriate. I bet she would feel better about the class too. Just a suggestion. Do you guys feel the same way?

My yoga friend and fellow Challenger Stacey said her body is achy and tired. She’s ready for the challenge to be over. Hang in the Stacey! After class we gave each other a high five in the studio lobby for making it to the halfway point. I placed the red check marks next to our names on the big board. Always feels good to put the check mark up after class. Oh yes, it’s the little things. Sarah told me about a posture clinic with Diane Ducharme at the West Roxbury, MA studio. Thinking about going. I’ve never done a posture clinic and I think it could be great!

All right guys! That’s all for now. Hope you enjoy your Monday. Tonight it's the 6:30 with Mimi for Day 16. Always a great class. Full house with great energy.

See ya later,

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Rain, Rain Go Away!

Hi there! So dreary out there today. Tons of rain (Greg you would love it!). One of those mornings great for sleeping in. I really never sleep in but when I woke up at 7am I just said “nope” and rolled over and went back to sleep. Never got up until 9am! Felt great.

Class last night was with Maria. Maria’s a newer teacher and getting stronger with every class. I talked to her before class about the fans and how they tend to cool us too much. She agreed and said she’d leave them off. Much better without them!

My yoga friend brought her husband with her for his first class. She set him up in the very back corner then joined me up front. His spot was the exact same spot I was set up in for my first class! He did great! I asked how he felt after and he was doing ok. I think he’s coming with her again to the 4:30 this afternoon. Love seeing husband and wife take class together. Such a great thing to share.

My class was good. Room was slightly less hot than I like it. I think it was more that the humidity was low. The temp was 106 but really felt a little cool (ok, that just sounds crazy right?). During triangle Maria was staring right at me and said, very loudly, TRACI Get those fingers between the toes, go for it. I know I can do it right; I was honestly just being lazy. So I listened, smiled and did it. During Tree Pose/Toe Stand I am always so surprised at how few people attempt to do Toe Stand. I love this posture so much but it’s usually me and just a handful of the room doing it. The others are just hanging out it Tree Pose. I love when I see people going for it and seeing “Oh! I can do this!”

I lied in final Savasana for a couple of minutes longer than I usually do. I just felt my body needed it. I could really feel my body melting into the ground. It had been a long week and my body was enjoying its rest. When I finally made my way out of the room I was talking to Maria about how I enjoyed her class and her little stories. You can tell she really prepares and rehearses her stories. She said she loves when she gets a laugh out of people in the class. Even if the story isn’t funny I tend to respond, I think it gives the teachers a boost and confidence, especially newer ones. So I tell her class was fun and with that one of the guys chimes in and says Oh yeah! Real fun. I’m being honest when I say that though. As Michelle said on her blog Yoga is Fun! She’s so right.

Day 14 this afternoon. I think it’s with Hannane. She the teacher who’s about 22 weeks pregnant. Hannane use to be a very fierce, tough teacher. But I think she has softened a bit with the pregnancy. ;)

The weather is making me a little tired today so I think a nice pumpkin spice latte is in my very near future to perk me up! Sometimes you just need that caffeine kick, ya know?

Hope everyone has a great Saturday. And if your not here in the Boston area hope your weather is lots better than ours today! Oh and shopping was fun yesterday afternoon (umm, when is hopping not fun?). Got some new cute yoga clothes J.

Bye for now…Traci

Friday, November 13, 2009

Happy Friday!

Hi all. And a very Happy Friday to you! That's a pic of the flag outside my office window. It tends to catch my eye alot during the day. Very windy and gray here in Boston this morning. Driving to work the waves were coming up over the sea wall and landing on my car! Guess we have the storm moving up the coast just in time for the weekend.

Day 12 last night was a strange class for me. I kind of felt like I was just going through the motions. Moving in and out of positions like I was on auto pilot. At one point it felt like the teacher’s voice was far off in the distance, even though she was standing about 3 feet from me. Odd. Didn’t really feel like my head was in the room. Like I needed to keep reminding myself to breathe. I think part of it was because I found out before class there’s going to be some schedule changes in December at the studio. So my mind was busy processing how I would manage to fit classes in with the new times. The schedule right now works well for me. The new one, well it won’t work as well. But that’s weeks away and I shouldn’t be worrying about that now right? I’ve always had that problem. Yup I’m a self confessed worrier. Have been since I as a kid. Oh I control it better now than I did years ago, but it still creeps up every now and then.

It was a mad dash across the city but I made it to the 5:30 last night with Sarah. It was just a weird feeling in the studio right from when I walked in. Overall it felt very low energy. There didn’t seem to be the usual buzz. Not sure why. Maybe nearing the end of the week and everyone was tired? Not certain.

I was talking to a girl before class and we were agreeing about how much we LOVED Jackie’s class Wednesday night. With that the girl said she likes Sarah, but she doesn’t find her class motivating and that Sarah doesn’t keep the room hot enough. I told her in classes when she feels like that it’s important to motivate herself. She agreed to give it a shot. I always try to stop myself when I say a teacher doesn’t motivate me. Wait, shouldn’t I be motivating myself? Yeah, I should be, but sometimes I really need that fierce teacher up there on the verge of barking at me to suck my stomach in, ya know? Fierce is good!

So class starts and my body felt a little tight during breathing. Felt good to get it moving and loosen up. Class moves along, didn’t break a sweat until I think Triangle. And then the teacher turns on the fans. Oh no! We really don’t need the fans, it’s not even hot it here. I see the girl I was talking to earlier looking annoyed. So when Sarah got back to her spot in the front of the class I just kind of glanced up at the fans a couple of times. I’m not sure if she picked up on it but she went back and shut the fans down. Thankfully. While we were in Savasana she told us how some of us like it hot and some don’t. That we shouldn’t worry if it’s not hot because it’s still our yoga. I like Sarah a lot but this is where I don’t agree. A big part of this yoga we choose to practice is the heat. To me if it’s 100 or below with low humidity my body feels the difference and my postures don’t open up as much. Am I wrong to harp on the heat so much?

One good thing last night...Full locust felt awesome. I think I got my legs up higher than I ever have before. Going to try to build on that tonight. Don’t you guys love those moments when your body just goes where your mind is telling it to go? So rewarding.

Good problem to have but I have so much vacation time to take before the end of the year! I have no clue how the year has gone by so fast. Scary. Thanksgiving is in less than 2 weeks! So since I had such a productive morning at work (I hired a candidate for a very specific role I have been trying to fill for a while. Yeah!) I am going to treat myself to a half day (exciting huh?). I see a little shopping in my future this afternoon before it’s off to the 4:30 class with I think Chris. Day 13. Then it’s time to enjoy Friday night! Some wine, friends, good food. Happiness.

Hope everyone has a happy Friday and that you all have great things planned for the weekend!


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Welcome to Quincy Jackie!

Hi Guys! Happy Thursday. Thought I would share a pic of the seal that was sunning himself in my backyard the other day! This is not a common sight around these parts at all so it was amazing to see (I live on the water). I think the poor little guy was lost! Hope he made it back to his friends ok. Now onto the Yoga.

Day 11 last night last night. 6:30p class and I was expecting Chris to teach class as usual. But as I made my way up the stairs to the studio (sometimes I think walking up that long, echoed staircase is the hardest part of class. All you hear is the labored click, click click of your feet)and approached the sign in desk I saw an unfamiliar face sitting beside him at the desk. After a minute it registered...hmmm a new teacher perhaps? I introduced myself and asked if she was teaching tonight. Yes indeed! Jackie Ryan from the Boston studio. I could just tell she was going to bring awesome energy to the class. While getting my things out of my bag she was in out of the studio and buzzing around. Like her energy already. Went in and set up my mat up, front row off to the left a bit and chilled out talking with some others. Just before class starts Chris sets up beside me. I push over to make room. Now I see myself dead front and center. Directly in front of Jackie. No chance of slacking off tonight! Better fire it up! As I’ve mentioned just having someone who practices as great as Chris does next to me drives me to do better. I find I’m more conscious not to fidget in between postures and have better control going into and coming out of postures. It's a good thing.

Class begins. Good size class (maybe 30?). I can tell right away Jackie is going to be tough (in a very good way). Her voice is controlled and demanding. Better be setting my postures up right! It’s hot. I can tell some people are struggling pretty early into the class. The fans were on, but on the lowest speed. You know, so low I think they’re just on so people think in there heads “oh good at least the fans are on, that will help!" ;)

Jackie kept the dialogue flowing while also interjecting lots of corrections. Little corrections that can make a world of difference. Couple more new people again! I wonder how many of the new comers actually continue on after the 10 day intro. You can almost tell just by looking at their faces a couple of days in if they are hooked or not. One girl last week actually said “Not for me” after class. That’s the thing, Bikram is not for everyone. But for those of us who love it and get it...I think we’re a pretty lucky bunch!

As people started heading for the door she instructed them to just try to stay in the room. They just kept on walking to the door and came back in a couple of minutes later. Finally she says “Guys, I’m not being a Bikram drill sergeant here, it’s just really better for your body. Not good to go in and out from the hot to the cold. Not good for your body to be so heated and then be shocked with the cold.”
To me it’s very distracting when people are walking in and out. Many times they walk out right after a posture ends and come back in while we're in the middle of another posture, get back to their mat, have some more water, fix the towel. Drives me crazy. So last night when the door opens for someone to come back in Jackie says. Stay right there please until we finish the posture. It's distracting. Perfect, Jackie!

I enjoyed Jackie’s class last night. It was challenging but in a very good way. She’s the teacher who can push you to your edge and then push you a little beyond it. She’s an awesome addition to our studio. She’s taking over Chris’ classes on Wednesday evenings and Saturday mornings. Well...ya all probably know how I feel about morning classes! So looks like I’ll just be taking Jackie’s class on Wednesday’s.
After class I exit the hot room and look around...people are actually lying on the ground. The overall look was just plain tired. Sweaty and tired and done. I had to step over bodies to get to the cubby where my bag was. I felt energized! I thought class was perfect. Was my practice perfect...God no! Standing head to knee has been my nemesis this week. Just not liking it, especially kicking out the left leg. Not sure why. On a positive not standing bow is feeling stronger :).

As I’ve mentioned before all teachers are excellent in their own ways. I have a different experience in class with each.
I love knowing that in Sarah’s class I’m going to laugh and enjoy listening to her motivating stories. I know in Mimi’s class she going to work us at a quick pace, Chris is going to work us hard and make sure our form is 100% correct, that we are not moving around between sets...etc.
Do you guys have similar experiences? Do you feel the dynamic of each class is changed by the teacher? I love that about class.

Sarah’s class tonight for Day 12. Sarah's such a happy go lucky person. Always smiling. Cracks me up when someone’s complaining she just smiles and says Yeah, that’s yoga, it’s all good...I mean what do you say to that? Great.

Hope everyone has an awesome Thursday. Looking forward to the weekend already!


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

It Was...Nice

Made it to the 5:30 with Maria. Maria’s great about keeping everyone’s mind present in the room. I’ve only taken her class twice now and liked the way she kept the class flowing this time. Chris (owner) took the class too. Love when he takes class. His postures are amazing and he’s so focused. I guess he would have to be since he’s the NE Champion, right?

Last night was, well, a nice class for Day 10. You know, one of those classes that just kind of roll along, you feel worked but not too tired. When the 90 minutes flies by so fast you feel like you skipped a bunch of postures. That’s the type of class it was last night. Honestly, I couldn’t believe it when we only had head-to-knee, spine twisting and breathing left. I think because Monday night was so challenging (in a good way) due to the amount of people in the room and the heat/humidity, last night felt, well, somewhat less demanding. Not easy by any means. Never easy. The room was hot but not overly hot. Standing series was hot, but if the fans are on (and they were) when we hit the floor sometimes it gets too cooling on the body (I know that sounds crazy to people who don’t do Bikram!). Maria did shut the fans off when we got to back strengthening series. Which made me happy!

Got to talking to some others before class about Monday night. Once one person started talking about it about 6 others joined in. It was like everyone was relieved to know we all felt challenged! Everyone agreed it just might have been one of the most difficult classes they have ever taken. But I also think everyone felt awesome they got through it and still managed to come back the next day for more.

Bikram’s like that huh? You can have such a tough class one night where its hotter than hell, humid as can be, you feel like there’s no air left in the room, like you can’t wait to be rolling up your mat and heading out the door...and yet by the time we get home, shower, grab something to eat, totally relax...we forget about it. We forget about how uncomfortable we were for those 90 minutes. Forget about how we might have struggled to keep going. We just show up the next day refreshed and ready for another class. Is it because the good feelings we get when we’re done are so strong that the little bit of discomfort we sometimes feel is negated? I think maybe so.

Off topic but my Jeep has been in the shop since Saturday and I finally get it back today! Yeah! So excited. Miss it so much and driving a small Toyota is just not for me. Funny how attached we become to our cars (I do anyway). Oh, and I left my favorite yoga mat in there so I’ve been without that too!
Which brings up a question to you guys: Do you practice with more than one mat? I have three that I rotate: A Wai Lana black one (my favorite), a red Gaiam one with a cool koi fish design and a blue one. I think most people use the same mat each night but I really love changing it up. Kind of like shoes! ;)

Looking forward to a challenging Day 11 tonight with Chris at 6:30. His classes never fail to challenge me.
Hope your day is filled with happiness!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

It’s Orange!

Hi All!

Our studio was painted yesterday morning. I saw the test paint the other day and was skeptical. Orange? Really? They were taking away the pale yellow walls and changing to orange. Turns out, it actually looks great! And honestly, once class starts, it’s the last thing I’m looking at anyway. Next up...New carpet!

Not enough words to express how good class felt last night. The awesome Miss Mimi taught the 6:30, it's one of the classes I look forward to all week. Perfect way to end a busy Monday.

The room’s getting more and more crowded each week. Cooler dark weather is driving them inside. Last night we had to be at near capacity which is I think around 62. That’s a lot of bodies in a hot humid studio! I know I have said mat to mat before, but really guys, last night mats and towels were touching. People were walking in with their mats at 6:20 and just kind of had that dear caught in the headlights look. People were pretty good about shifting around to squeeze everyone in. The whole back row was lined with new comers with nervous looks on their faces. Good to see them but sitting on my mat up front I’m thinking “Uh oh this is going to be a really tough first class for them!” Might even scare them away.

We were sweating right after breathing. Oh yeah, it’s going to be that kind of class. Due to the massive amount of bodies in the room hot is kind of an understatement. Fine with me though. The heat just makes me more determined and focused. When it’s too cool I my mind wanders and starts saying “it needs to be hotter.”

Mimi comments a lot during class. All good stuff. One thing stuck in my head last night. Lots of people were huffing and puffing and drinking tons of water and overall looking pretty worn. Lots of people sitting out postures during standing or giving up mid posture. As we lied in Savasana she walked around the room, weaving in and out between all the “dead body” poses, she spoke and said something like: Guys, this heated room tonight is about 105-110 degrees and really humid. But think about it. What you are going through in here now is setting you up to handle the real stresses of life outside of here. It’s setting you up to be able to breathe and take on what happens at work, at home etc. She’s right, of course. The practice helps us to roll with things. To not panic. To just breathe. To better manage stressful situations.

Ok, so I never really like when the teacher opens the door during class, but on this night when Mimi popped the door open for a few seconds it was like I got a huge breath of air that re-energized me. Felt so good. And just like that the door was closed. Moving on.

Class ends. I have never seen so many people jump up at the same time to get out of the room. And the lights were off by then so I think some people even got stepped on. Ouch! Some didn’t even wait for Mimi to exit first. Out in the lobby people just look spent, drained and tired. Most were sucking on oranges (our studio supplies oranges, apples and bananas after every class. Love that.) I mention to one guy that class was great and alls he could say was a strained “huh?” I left him alone, remembering how I felt after class on Sunday!

When I talk to other Bikram folks about the types of things that go on in the hot room we get it, but when I talk to other people about what goes on they always seem to display this face that is all scrunched up and eyes are squinty. And you just know what’s going to come out of there mouth next. If they’re nice, they’ll say “well, sounds challenging. Good for you”. If they’re honest, they just say “that’s insane!”

This morning one of my coworkers came into my office and we were talking about Bikram. He’s almost ready to try a class with me and keeps asking me for more info. He’s in good shape and works out probably 5 days a week. He looked at the postures on my wall and said. “Oh those are easy. No problem!” Really? So I had him try a few: Balancing Stick, Standing Bow and Eagle. Too funny. I let him try them on his own first before I started making all the corrections to his arms, head, hands, feet etc. Then I said...and keep in mind the class is 90 min in a humid room at least 105 degrees. He acquiesced. No Bikram is NOT easy. It’s not suppose to be easy. That’s what keeps us coming back day after day. We like the challenge of the practice. It’s still wild to me how different every day in the hot room is. Crazy. Day at a time. Bikram takes time. And we have a lifetime to keep trying to get it right. We just need to show up and practice.

Day 10 tonight! Yeah! So happy to hit the double digits. I feel stronger today 10 days in than I did during the first few days of the challenge. It’s just part of my daily routine now. Let’s see how I feel at day 20. Hoping to get to the 5:30 tonight if traffic cooperates. Have a happy day!


Sunday, November 8, 2009

2:22 AM!

HI! Hope everyone had a great weekend. Boston weather today was amazing. Sunny, warm (for here anyway) and just picture perfect. My sis Robin actually got sunburn on her run today. Wish we could bottle this day and keep it like this for the whole upcoming winter. Walked around in flip-flops today and wasn’t even cold! So good.

Day 8 today with Sarah. I’ll just say Sunday morning classes and me: Not a good combo. My body is just looser and I have more energy in my night classes. I’ve always been like that. At the gym, on a run, whatever, I 100% prefer nighttime workouts. Mimi says I look like I’m ready to dance after my night classes. I guess today’s class was extra hard because of the time I finally got to bed last night. I crawled into bed, looked at the time on my cell phone: 2:22 AM. Yikes. That’s going to make for an interesting Sunday morning class for sure. Needless to say when the alarm rang I was not all too happy to head to the studio. But I did. Funny how your attitude immediately changes when you see the teachers and students smiling happy faces.

Talked to one of my fellow Challengers. She’s tired and she’s achy. Told her to hang in there. Nice size class. Not mat to mat. Definitely enough room for everyone to spread out a bit. Sarah was her usual happy self with great comments. I actually started laughing at something she said during the floor series and couldn’t stop. That ever happen to you? Something funny gets in your head and 20 minutes or 2 hours later your still thinking and laughing about it. Happens to me all the time.

Moved my spot to the other side of the room today. Moving around the room is good. Kind of feels like a different experience. So it’s no secret that I like it HOT in the studio, and today…well it was extra HOT. So I’m tired, the room is extra hot, no fans. Whew. It was a struggle but I have never sat out a posture and I was not about to start today! Like Chris says use your Bulldog determination and Bengal Tiger strength. Just kept hearing that in me head. Plus there were a few new people in class and I could see them watching me so I knew I had to set a good example. That’s what’s good about the front row. It motivates you to give 100%. To, as Winston Churchill said, “never, never, never give up.” I generally only go through about ¼-1/2 of my H20 bottle. Today I nearly finished the whole thing. Yup, it was that kind of day. So happy when we got to Tree Pose/Toe Stand. Love these postures so much. I just feel a sense of calm. And usually down in Toe Stand I can only balance with one hand up. Got both hands up today and felt awesome. Ahhh.

Class ends. Not a bad practice just tired. Chatted with the others after class then headed home and enjoyed a much needed shower. I might have even stopped for a pumpkin spice latte on my way home. Oh how would I function without my beloved Starbucks? The Barista calls me the Bikram Hot chick. Cracks me up every single time.

All right guys, that’s all for me. Busy day at work tomorrow then 6:30 class with Mimi. But for now, looking forward to relaxing this evening with a friend and a glass of wine.


Strengthen that back!

Saturday class was fantastic. Great. Felt great both mentally and physically. Talked to Hannane before class and she’s starting to feel more tired. It’ll be interesting to see how long she teaches into the pregnancy. During class she gave little corrections that made a huge difference in balancing stick. It was one of those “Aha!” moments.

Class was pretty busy for a Saturday, about 25 people. I think the cold, dark weather is pulling everyone inside more. Oh and by the way, the near 70-degree day they forecasted for today? Right! Think it only reached about 50. Sun was shinning bright as can be so it really was apretty fall day. Just was really looking forward to the warmth! Word is the next few days are going to be mid 60’s. Crossing my fingers.

A few new people in the class today. One girl cracked me up. Signing in she mentioned that she doesn’t sweat and she’ll probably not sweat in this class either. I just smiled and said, I’d like to place a bet on that! When we hit the floor series I glanced back and saw her chugging water and yes, she was indeed sweating. I don’t think I have ever seen anyone come out of class dry. Ever. That’s part of Bikram folks.

So a few years ago I was in a 5 car accident. Stitches, 6 months of Chiropractic and I was left with a pretty messed up back. Fun! Nothing really helped so I just tried to put it out of my mind. I would run through it (about 25-35 miles a week). But really it was not until I found Bikram that my back somehow started feeling better. And not a little better, significantly better! I use to roll out of bed in the morning. Not anymore. Bikram has really changed my life. When you have a chronic pain its always with you. Even when you try to work through it, it’s there. When you sleep, when you work at your desk, when you shop, when you run. Whatever, its there.

Oh and I have a new love! No not that kind…A posture series love. So check it out, the other day in class during backward bend I heard a “pop” in my back and felt a pain. Pain like I use to feel. My immediate reaction was “Oh no! Not again!” I stood still for a minute then continued and finished class. Put heat on my back that night and when I woke up there was just a very tiny bit of pain. When I went to class it didn’t affect my practice at all! Here’s the point of my little condensed story: This Bikram stuff we all love so much…Yeah, it WORKS! I’m guessing my back is just so much stronger now that and it’s supporting the injury. Spine strengthening series you have done your job. Now I want to work harder to strengthen it even more! Thank you Bikram Yoga for giving me my healthy strong back!

7 days are done. Feel great and ready for Day 8! Hope your Saturday was happy. J


Saturday, November 7, 2009

First time for everthing...

Happy Saturday!

Never taken a Friday class. Really, this is the very first Friday i have ever taken a class. So I was unsure how my body was going to feel on this Day 6 of the Challenge. Surprisingly, I had tons of energy!

I didn’t know if many people would be there for the 4:30 on a Friday so I was pleased to see the room full! I like a full class. I just tend to feel more motivated. One of my friends from the studio was there. Our schedules are different so she always takes the class one before me. It was great to practice with her tonight! I set my mat up in my front row spot and turned to see her in the back row. I pointed to the front next to me. She said…I’m thinking about it. I said “Oh just come on!” And she did. It was the first time she had ever practiced in the front row and she did great! It’s funny how the front row is such a big step to some people. I just really like it because I feel like there are less people around me. Easier to focus.

Before the Chris came in my friend and I were talking about little things that bother us. One thing discussed was how we hate when people come into class late and set up right beside you (like mat to mat close!). We laughed and with that Chris started class.

Second set of breathing, the studio door opens and a woman walks in. She immediately walks to the front….yeah, you guessed it, she stops right beside me. She proceeded to loudly set up her mat, towel, drink some water then join us. She totally threw me off. So distracting. I could see my friend fighting back her smile. She knew how aggravated I was. Here’s the thing…Don’t come to class late. Sometimes it might just happen but if you do, please, please, please just jump into the breathing and set up your mat between postures. Less distracting for people.

Rest of the class was good. Chris threw in some funny comments along the way. Always cracks me up. This woman though…yikes. She was all over the place. During the floor series instead of staying on her mat to switch to Savasana she would pop off her mat and touch mine! Unfortunately I let her bother me much too much. Should have just let it go.

Lesson learned from this class: Don’t let others steal your energy. Honestly, I ‘m mad at myself for letting this lady ruin the first part of class for me. Need to learn to let little things like that go. That goes for both yoga and life outside the studio. I think we all have that person or two that gets under our skin. Just need to learn to let it go...When all else fails smile!

Off to the 4:30 this afternoon with Hannane. She’s 21 weeks pregnant! Still taking class and practicing. Got to give her credit. Have a great Saturday.


Friday, November 6, 2009

What a difference a day makes!

Well...That was better! Last nights class was just so much better than Wednesday. So much better.

First a bit about my Thursday. To set myself up for a good practice, yesterday I was determined to have a good day at work. I was not going to let anyone take away my smile and good energy. I woke up and looked at the Mantra in my medicine cabinet “Happiness is a Decision”. Yup. Ok, day, let’s get it started! And over all it just was a better feeling day. I think so many people get dragged down by a bad day and let one roll into the next. Yes, we all have stressful, bad days at work. But the key is to stop it there. Don’t pull it with you into the next day. From Dale Carnegie: Live in day- tight compartments. When I took the Carnegie course I think this is what stayed in my mind the most. Meaning, deal with the issues of the day today and move on. Try not to carry worry and stress from day to day. That will eat you up my friends. Easier said than done? Of course! But definitely worth trying.

I’m happy to say I was again able to make the 5:30pm class with Sarah! I just love getting out of class at 7pm. Leaves me with some time to get things done! No problem getting a prime parking spot out front of the studio, which always makes me happy! Made it to the studio just after 5:00, changed and chatted with another 30 Dayer. She thought we were on day 4 and when I told her Day 5 girl, she smiled big! Setting my mat up I was a little nervous about the temp of the room. Not too hot yet! I guess when they got to the studio it was only 69 deg in there so it was just taking a bit of time to warm up. No worries though, it was hot hot hot by the time we got started.

Sarah and I were talking before class and I was telling her how I carried my bad day into the hot room the night before, and how it threw my practice off. She just said, yeah, happens to us all. Then she started talking about how interesting it is that our yoga practice crosses many parts of our lives. And she’s right it does.
We begin just after 5:30. Packed class again. It’s funny to me that before class starts I hate having the mats so close to me. I like my space. But once class gets going I don’t even realize that everyone is so close to me. Weird. Good to see a couple of the new people who keep coming back. It’s great when you see them click with the practice. Chris (studio owner/teacher) set up his mat behind me so being the competive Type A I am I knew I had to step it up from last night. Everything felt better. I knew right from Pranayama I was going to have a better night.

Sarah had good energy last night too. Her voice was strong and her dialogue was quick. I like a teacher that puts a little sense of urgency in the dialogue. My standing bow was a little shakey, fell out a couple of times. I just laughed it off. I find when I smile if I fall out, it’s better than getting mad at myself. Come on ...It’s just yoga right? At the end of bow Sarah says in the middle of her dialogue, “Traci! I know you can kick, kick up higher!” So I did and I think I was near split. Felt awesome! I smiled. She smiled too. I love when teachers call me out on something they know I can do. When they push me to my edge. Sometimes we all need a little push, right?

Many times (ok, almost always!) between postures I tend to fidget. Tonight I had a talk with myself and said “Just stay still bewteen postures.” Whew, that’s tough for me! But I did better. Not perfect, but better. When a posture would end I would just stand still with my arms at my sides waiting for the next set up. Yet another thing to work on!

Sarah, as usual, had really good things to say in Savasana. I think she was relating to my experience the day before. She said when you’re having a bad day and really don’t think you can do class, just come. Just show up. Come do your Yoga. It’s all good. Always makes me smile while laying on that floor. She also commented on the 30 Dayers and how we should be proud of our commitment. Thanks Sarah!
It was a good class last night. Felt much more like myself. Driving home I was energized and happy. Love my yoga and the people I practice with. Such a great community.

So as you might guess I am big into quotes and I love, love, love this one (another thing hanging on my wall at work!) “A postive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy anough people to make it worth the effort.” Herm albright (1876-1944). Isn’t it funny how if someone is coming at you with negativity and you push back with postiveness, it almost always seems to disarm them? I love it. So much fun.

Well, Day 6 up tonight. Taking off a couple hours early from work, so I’m going to head to the 4:30 with Maria. I actually have never, ever done a Friday class! Hoping for good energy.

Enjoy your Friday! Looks like we are going to be pusing 70 degrees here in Boston this weekend! Crazy high temps for November around here. So happy. Can’t wait.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Tomorrow is Another Day...

Good Morning!
First to my nephew Ben...Hope your 12th Birthday was Happy yesterday!
Ever have a bad day you just can’t shake and leave behind? Well, I had one of those days yesterday. I usually love Wednesday night’s class. I really do. Last night however I didn’t have the best class. It had nothing to do with the teacher, or the room, or the temperature, or the mats being so close. Nope. This one was all me. I’m usually very good about leaving negativity outside to studio. But not tonight.

I had a bad day at work yesterday. Without getting into the details, I’ll just tell you I had a tough time leaving all these negative feelings outside the hot room. I knew it was going to be like that while I was still sitting at my desk. On the ride to the studio I was not in a good mood. I was letting every little thing bother me. Traffic, a red light, the person crossing the street. Just couldn’t let things go. Kept saying “just breathe Traci.” I’m typically happy to go to my yoga class. Tonight I just didn’t want to. I wanted to go home. And if it were not for this Challenge I probably would have just gone home. But I didn’t. I’m glad I didn’t. After circling Hancock Street like 10 times finally get a spot on a side street, eat my snack, chug some H2O, grab my mat and bag, and head to the studio for my 6:30 with Chris.

Once there I just felt off. Didn’t want to socialize before class like I usually do. Just wanted to sit and be quiet. And that’s what I did. I set my mat up in my usual spot up front. I toyed with the idea of setting up in the back so I could take it easy, but decided to stick with the front to challenge myself. I sat on the benches outside the hot room and my stomach was not feeling good. The stress of the day had put my stomach in knots. I actually considered leaving but one look at the Challenge board and I knew I had to stay. I reentered the hot room at 6:25 and lied down on my mat. Still trying to let the day go. When it was 6:35 and class still had not started I was getting more irritated. Finally class begins. It just didn’t feel good. I felt like Pranayama Breathing lasted for and hour! Oh no...this is going to be a long class! My classes usually flow so nicely. Not tonight. I just wanted to keep going just to get through it. So when the teacher would stop class to do a demo, I could feel my self getting agitated. The only time I felt at peace during standing series was in Tree Pose/Toe Stand. Always love it. And really it took until floor Bow before I could feel my body calming down. I have never been so happy to be lying in final Savasana. I think I only stayed for a few seconds and was the first one out of the room after class.

I told Chris that I let my bad day follow me into the room. He smiled and said that’s ok sometimes it's ok to keep it with you. At this point it’s after 8pm and I’m tired and hungry. I say, well tomorrow is another day. He says...Yes, and 9pm is another hour. That stopped me and I smiled. On my way out of the studio he smiles and says “see you tomorrow Traci!”. Ah yes, I think. Tomorrow.

So good news...I was able to hold positions and worked on my form. Listened to the dialogue etc. Held bow probably longer than I ever have. But class, well it just felt off. And yes, once again my mind kept wandering. Listening to the sirens, car alarms, the person blowing their nose. I kept thinking, “where’s that tissue going and I don’t want to get sick!” On the ride home when I called my mom (thanks for listening to me vent yesterday Mom!) I told her that even though the class was mentally tough on me, I feel better for having done it. I really did feel a sense of calmness in my body that was not there all day long.

That’s one of the many things Bikram does for us. It releases bad energy and replaces it with new, good energy. Driving home I remembered the Mantra on my wall at work “I can choose to be happy”. Yes, it’s true.

Ok! Enough negativity already! Tonight I will be more at peace and enjoy my practice. I love this yoga. Sometimes we just have off days. It’s ok. The Yoga is always there for us. Every day, every practice is different. No such thing as a bad class, just different. Every time we show up at the studio we are making the decision to do something good for our bodies, our minds, our lives. Day 5 here I come!