Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Day 8 (Wow!) of 20 days of Bikram Yoga
This morning was good. Still pretty intense. It was only 13.5 hours since my last session and I spent 7 of those sleeping! My upper back and thighs were a bit stiff and sore when I got out of bed. Took some "mind over matter" to get things moving.
Susanne was the instructor this morning.
What I "got" today was the conscious choice to let go of what we had just finished, enjoy the moment of pause and then move on. In the past I would find myself caught up in the previous pose while starting the next one. Either thinking about how crappy my balance was or wondering if my posture was right, etc.
Today, when we were pausing, I was able to refocus my mind on the present. Literally by staring at one fiber of my towel. Susanne said, a few times, "Let go and be present". Good mind exercise as well as body.
I also "got" that one of the poses that I thought was about stretching my leg muscle is really about lengthening and stretching my spine. . . felt totally different to think of it that way. I also realized that I wasn't relaxing my spine during shavasana and was able to choose to relax more deeply.
So, for the last three sessions my focus has become more and more centered on my spine. Ever since I got that one good stretch. I don't think I've ever focused on my spine during exercise before. Like ever - my whole life. It is a pretty important part of the body. I'll continue to focus on it now.
I have spent years Not locking my knees. For all the sports I've played from baseball to volleyball, you bend your knees slightly. Aerobics? Bend your knees slightly. Weight lifting? Bend your knees slightly. Cycling? Make sure your seat is adjusted so your knees are always at least bent slightly. Even golf requires slightly bent knees!
I remember thinking, on the 2nd day of class, "She couldn't possibly really mean Lock Your Knees. You're not supposed to do that." I was going to ask after class and then I realized that she wouldn't be saying it if she didn't mean it! Duh! So I am know learning to lock my knees. It's not as easy as you might think. Especially locking your knee for a whole minute balancing on one leg. Not that I've ever spent a whole minute on one leg. . . I've spent parts of a whole minute. Possibly 30 or 40 seconds at one time. It makes my leg shake. I'm such a wimp! I thought my lower body was strong. Not so.
I'll be back in class tomorrow. If anything of note happens over the course of the rest of this day, I'll add it.
I am still consuming at least 64 ounces of water. I've had 32 ounces so far today and it's 1:00 p.m.
Time to refill my bottle!