Tuesday, January 26, 2010

"Speedy Gonzalez, ahh?"

I was a gross combination of sweaty and rain-misted after walking two miles home from the train station last night. Perfect for yoga, right??

B worked late, so I wanted the apartment to be mellow when he and the pup got back. That gave me about an hour for yoga. Soooo... Rather than firing up one of the hourlong YogaToday classes, I quickly compiled a new iTunes playlist with just one set (the first/longer set, of course!!) of each of the Bikram postures. I'm sure it's sacrilege, but I wanted to do the series last night, in a more doable time frame.

When I finished, I felt good, tired, relaxed, like I'd worked every bone, joint, muscle, organ in my body. But maybe even possibly in a time frame that I could do in the morning before catching the train??? Wow. That'd be so amazing.

Notes on my home practice:
• Instead of focusing on one point in the mirror (btw, I'm from California and I say it the normal way. Meer-ur.), I focus on that one little twinkly light among the dozens that border the living room window. After five (on and off) years of practice, I think that's where my eyes are. I think.

• Maybe I am a meer-ur hog when I go to studios because I don't have one at home? I was reading old posts on other Bikram geek blogs and came across someone's thoughts on not being able to see oneself in a mirror, the challenges it presents to proprioception and having to feel the posture from the inside out. The sense that the feedback has to come from the skeletal system itself, and not from any kind of visual feedback. This was so interesting to me! I feel like I am finally getting my hips square (Is that a dancer-specific term? I have no idea, but it just occurred to me that other people might not know what that means in the immediate way that I know what it means... Hmm.) in Balancing Stick, especially on the left/second side. And I've only felt that in the two most recent classes... at home, sans mirror.

• It's not hot enough. Enough said. (Well, actually, not enough said. I guess I could practice in my bathroom, all steamed up and with the home heat and a space heater on. But I really cannot foot a higher bill for oil or electricity. And I'm terrified of having to pay my own water bill in the house-to-be. So a good warmup, a space heater and warm clothes will suffice for now.)

• I hate that when I look up in Pranayama and Half-Moon, the overhead light burns out my retinas. Got to remember to do something about that.

• Being alone (most of the time) in a not-hot-enough living room makes me crave a studio!!! So while my goal is to do three home practices a week, maybe I could shoot for a weekend class in a studio, or one weekday night at a studio in the city. But whyyyyyy do classes have to be so expensive?? Gahhh. I miss work-study so much.

• Bikram says the funniest things on the CD dialogue. If a post's title is in quotes, it's probably from the CD. This one seemed appropriate for today.

Namaste! Hope you're having a beautiful day! :)


  1. Oh, you were a dancer too! Yeah, we don't say "hips square" in Bikram because most people don't know what it means and it makes them do weird things, but I know what you mean!

    Do you have the original Bikram yoga book? The blue one? I remember that in the back of the book, there are suggestions for what postures to do if you only have time for a "half class." One set of each is WAY better than no sets of any!! Bikram also suggests - are you ready for this?? - which postures you can LEAVE OUT if you're super pressed for time. So it's not actually sacrilege. ;-)

  2. Hi, J! Yeah, I danced with a company in SD in high school, then decided in my second year as a college ballet major that it had run its course, and I wasn't gaining any enjoyment of ballet by working toward a degree in it. How/where/what/when did you dance?

    Nope, I don't have the OG blue book. It shouldn't be too hard to find around here, though! I can't believe there are postures to be left out! That feels so... so.. wrong!!! :)

  3. Oh girl, you've GOT to get the OG book, especially since you are doing a lot of home practice. It's cheap on Amazon. I'm reading it now and I slightly misspoke. Biks says there are two things you can do. One is the half class, which is exactly what you're doing, for "maintenance." There's also the "pick-me-up set" which you're supposed to do in ADDITION to your regular practice (whatever that means). "Pick me up" is pranayama, half moon, a forward bend, a back bend, triangle, another forward bend, another back bend, and spine twist. Never have tried this, but could be fun. :)

    I danced with a high school company in Northampton, and then took classes at Jose Mateo Ballet Theatre in Cambridge while I was in college and actually apprenticed with that company for a couple years... until I figured out that ballet was Not My Thing. Then I switched to BIKRAM!!

  4. I am totally impatient and don't wanna order it from Amazon... because it's available at the bookstore I walk past daily in Grand Central! So on Friday (payday), I'll pick it up. :)

    "Pick-me-up" seems to be similar to what I've been doing - except for triangle. It has been my nemesis, at least in sweaty studio settings where my legs almost-invariably slide out into splits. Do you find that some postures are harder because of the ballet background?

    I can't believe you found (made) time to apprentice while you were in school!! I can't imagine dancing in addition to a full school load.

    You're such an all-around rock star.

  5. Awww, thanks. :-)

    Triangle is deceptively tricky for ballerinas. That's because we have the flexibility to get our hips right down, but none of the strength to hold it there! My hips flexor hurt like a bitch every time for the first few months of practice. Then it got better. You might want to step a little bit shorter distance and use your inner thighs more! (If you push the opposite hip forward to the mirror, you will still be able to get your bent leg parallel to the floor.)