Thursday, March 4, 2010

Day 3/30: A Goldilocks kind of day

On March 1, I couldn't stop biting my nails, but did some pretty good yoga. On the 2nd, I didn't bite my nails at all, but I didn't practice, either. Yesterday, whatever I did was just right.

I walked around for an hour yesterday during my lunch, and found a few new (to me) yoga studios near work, including an actual affiliated Bikram studio. Yay! I hope to make one of the 5:30 or 6 p.m. classes there soon. Maybe the week after next, once I a) get paid again and b) know something about the house closing date.

The regular train home waited just for me (woohoo!) and the BF headed to the pool to swim. Even the dog's low-for-him energy level conspired to help me have a good practice last night. Yay!

I felt pretty good, energy- and pain-level wise, so I started out doing the whole (both sets) standing series. When I got to Triangle, I felt wasted and thought about switching to the single-set iTunes playlist, but decided to plug on through at least Triangle. It would have been lame to switch only during one of my most challenging postures. But it went fine.

Re: Triangle - I have definitely lost a ton of flexibility since moving to NY (and quitting a near-daily practice), but I have come so far with my strength. For the longest time I was skeptical that I actually had hamstrings to use in this pose, but over the past few months they have helped keep me upright in Triangle, instead of sliding out into the splits.

So I switched to the single set before the spine-strengthening series. I didn't want to overdo everything last night and then be completely drained today. As always, it felt so good to move through the series. This yoga is amazing, folks, although if you're reading this you probably already know that.

Not to whine, but it can be hard to practice at home — I miss studios' heat, the feedback, the excitement of others, the heat, mirrors, "talking shop," and oh, did I mention the heat? But I have noticed that I have more energy and excitement to practice lately! I can only chalk it up to becoming part of this blogging community we've got goin' on here.

It could be that something like this is happening:
The best class I took after my 10-day Bikram intro in August ’04 was in May of 2006 (I loved it, and went a couple times, but couldn't afford it and was working and caregiving, both full-time). It was Memorial Day weekend, and my hot-water heater had blown up on Friday night. By Monday I desperately needed a shower. The only place I could think of that I could take one? Bingo! Bikram Yoga Sandy, just down the road from where I lived.

I checked their schedule and they only had one class on the holiday!!! Needless to say, it was packed, maybe 50 people? A lot, anyway, for that little studio. I was kind of tripped out and bugged that I wouldn't be able to see myself in the mirror. Much to my surprise, everyone in the room became super cheerleaders for everyone else. The energy level was amazing! No one left, and I don't think very many people sat out postures, either. We all lifted one another up (literally, of course, in Full Locust).

So even though I've been practicing all by my lonesome, for the most part, I have all the other blog writers and readers to help lift me up and share energy. The compassion that has flowed through comment sections across Blogger and WordPress astounds me. I can't thank this nebulous you enough for this, for helping me return to something I need so intensely for my mental and physical health.

* * * * *

A word (or many, it turns out) on fibromyalgia:
This came up in yesterday's post/comments about my experience of a pain/fatigue complex. This was at The New York Times' website today, and I think it's commendable that they're showing some of the many faces this syndrome can take. But reading the comments broke my heart. It shouldn't matter what causes someone's pain; I would hope that compassion could be shown toward people who are in any kind of pain, regardless of its genesis.

I consider myself lucky to have discovered ways that work for me in calming my nervous system (someone else's story here). One commenter (No. 126) at the Times story said a few things that resonated. Among them: "[T]he more you don’t move, the more your muscles get locked in, the more pain you’re in, the harder it is to get going. It’s a vicious cycle. But start slowly." Although I sometimes feel like I'm cheating, or being lazy, when I only do a single set of the Bikram series, this affirms a little bit that I can only do what I can, when I can. Sometimes I have good "classes," like last night, when I started out with both sets of everything. And whenever I have the opportunity to be in a studio, I bust my ass to try to do everything! With a memorable exception, it usually goes well. :)

xoxo to all!


  1. I like your courage and determination. I am very glad that you have found something that really works for you. This is my "solution" too!! Like they say, Bikram cures it all!!

  2. Aw, what a sweet post. I'm so glad you find strength and inspiration from blogging. I do, too, and I need it even if I do attend classes. Before blogging, my head was just so constipated with yoga stuff! No one in my life practices yoga regularly, and here I was getting all addicted to Bikram. I had to get it out ;-)

    I'm glad there are yoga options for you! I commend you for working through the pain.

  3. Catherine---we are here. Virtually, yes. Remotely, yes. Off in the far reaches of the world, yes. But, we're here.

    I have wrestled with and written about the odd duplexity of yoga---how solitary and how unifying it is. We practice alone, but together. And I mean that literally and figuratively. I practice here in Boston, and you there in New York, and so on---separate, of course, but still experiencing the yoga with one another.

    You're never alone along the journey. Even if you're practicing "all by your lonesome."

    Namaste. And hugs. :)

  4. Oh my goodness! Ladies, I appreciate your kind words ("courage and determination," being commended), but I honestly don't think my situation merits them! It's not like I'm on pain medication or not working or any of those things. Everyone's got challenges... Yoga just helps us deal with them.

    It's nice to not be alone. :)