Tuesday, June 18, 2013

At the end of every practice is a rainbow....

...or maybe there should be!   Last night there was :)

After several years of practicing Bikram it still amazes me how different each practice is. I guess it's not that much different than running.  Which is probably why I adore both.

I can go out and have a strong, amazing run. The kind of run where you get to the end and say "I still have more in me! So you tack another mile or 2 on at the end. Couple runs later?  You go out and your legs feel like cement blocks and for some reason the run never "clicks".  Yep.  I'm sure we have all had those ones.

Same with Bikram.  This past Saturday and Sunday the classes just seemed to breeze by. Felt strong. Giving 100% effort in every posture. Like I was just dancing through class. At the end I could have gotten up and gone for a run (well...if this heel would heal already!) Dare I say it? Class was easy? Could this practice just not be enough of a challenge for me anymore???

HA! Silly girl.  Fast forward to Monday evening. The 5:45. It's humid out. Really humid.  The sky is getting darker you can see rain's on the way. Right as I walk in the studio I can feel it.  Even the locker room was hot!  I'm happy to see some of the people I have been practicing with for years there. We catch up on the benches pre-class.  Class was pretty full which added to the heavy conditions in the hot room. By the end of the breathing exercise it's clear to me...umm...this might be one of "those" classes.

I kept searching for the extra energy I felt in classes over the weekend. But I was tired. My mind was all over the place. Looking around the room. Fidgety. Is it raining out yet? Think my contacts are dry. That person has a really loud water bottle. How is she wearing pants? Is that his normal mat?  looks different.  Seriously folks..my mind was everywhere!

And then the thunder storm started and let out the loudest roar of thunder during one of the Savasana's. I think I even let out a little gasp (did this not startle anyone else??)

It wasn't a bad class...just a low energy one.  a bit unfocused if you will.The kind of class where you're lying in Savasana thinking...Oh god...I have to sit up in 20 seconds! Flex your toes..arms over head...ok..ok! I'm up already.  We get to Camel and I thought about just staying on my knees.  But I muster the energy to do both sets.  Happy I did, of course.

I think that's what I love about both running and Bikram.  That every time we tie our running shoes and hit the road or roll out our mat in the Hot Room it's different.  That there will most likely be some sort of challenge to push through. Maybe it was a long day at work, maybe you have a lot on your mind, maybe you just spent the last hour in traffic rushing to make it to the 5:45 class and there's an accident tying things up (a daily occurrence for me!) or maybe your just feeling great!
You really never know how it will go.  The key is of course to always stay present.  Calm that wandering mind.  Focus and just enjoy the ride. I always say...I never regret a run and I never regret a practice.  Even if they aren't perfect, they are always good and I'm happy I did it.

I walk outside after class.  It's raining. It feels good. I look up to the sky and let the rain fall on my face for a minute before I head to my car. Simple pleasures, right?

Quick drive home and as I'm getting settled and things ready for the next day I pause and look out my back slider and see this...


This was the perfect ending to the day and made me smile and appreciate my yoga practice.

Namaste and happy running!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

So here's the thing...I've gone back into the hot room. After nearly 1.5 years away from Bikram, 3 weeks ago I stepped back in.  Am I happy to be back?  I'll let you know in a bit...

How did I get back here? Well...truth be told I was forced!  Ok, not so much forced. But a running injury and air cast landed me back here.

My running is for sure a love of mine. I love absolutely everything about it.  I crave it. And when I can't do it, I miss it. A lot.  I miss that challenge that every run brings.  That feeling during the run when everything clicks and you are just enjoying the ride. That feeling after. After about 20 years doing it, it is of course a very big part of my life.  I run 6-7 days a week and 30-50 miles a week (depending on what's going on that week!).

As athletes we all have little nagging injuries from time to time, right?  Some we know we can work through...others we know we can't. You know what I mean?  There is just this difference in pains that are just not good.  I'm out on a 10 miler 3 Saturdays ago and towards the end my foot hurt. Bad.  I knew what was coming next.  This was not like a hip flexor that you run through.  Long story short here I am in this air cast. No running! Looking back there were of course signs of the injury I ignored thinking "it'll get better". I always tell people..listen to your body!  I need to do a better job at it myself :)

At first I was of course devastated. What will I do??? I NEED to run!  Then I remembered something...

Bikram! It's like that old friend you can call after not seeing a year and just pick back up where you left off.  So I packed my yoga clothes, towels and mat and headed to the studio. Soon as I walked (or limped!) up the stairs and through the studio door I felt like I had never left.  I took my air cast off and limped into the hot room. And the practice came right back to me. Like almost no time had passed. I had forgotten how much I loved that feeling of heat and sweat and being still... It was a wonderful first class back and all the negative feelings I had around my injury seemed to lift.  Yes, I have an injury. No I can't run (for now).  But it's temporary.

Healing is well under way.  I'm healing quickly and I swear the Bikram has a big part in that.

So while I'm not happy about my injured foot I will tell you I'm thrilled to be back in the hot room. Practicing with some amazing people who challenge themselves every time they step into the room. Coming back has made me realize how much I love it. How much it's important to create balance And so when my foot is healed and I'm tying my running shoes and hitting the roads I will always still make Bikram a part of my week.  Good for the body mind and spirt as they say!
Can't wait 'til I'm suited up in running gear again!