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Showing posts from July, 2011

Bikram Diaries, Part 2: Why are you here?

That's the question my Bikram teacher asked us to ponder today as we lay on our mats in savasana.  Class was only halfway over, and seemingly the hardest part was behind us.  (Today, that turned out not to be the case for me.  Man alive, did I get my behind kicked in that class)

The first thought that swam into my sweaty, woozy head was, "I had a coupon."  The rest of the thoughts that followed...they're not the reasons I have for going to a regular old Vinyasa yoga class.  My reasons for doing Bikram, aside from the coupon and the desire to really see for myself what the teachers and studios are like, are honestly pretty shallow and ego driven.  This is summer, after all - I'd say "bikini season," but I'm not sure being in a bikini a total of like 4 times in 3 months qualifies as a full fledged season.  But I, just like anyone else, would always like to see myself a little stronger, more toned...you get the idea.  Practicing yoga in a ridiculously …

Bikram Diaries, Part 1

There are all kinds of, forgive the pun, hot topics in yoga.  Skyrocketing prices to take class at a studio or to wear the most fashionable yoga clothes, debates about alignment in certain poses, teachers giving hands-on assists to students, spiritual differences and beliefs - there was even a huge debate on a yoga forum about whether you can be a true yogi and drink.  (My vote is a resounding Yes You Can).

One of the more contentious topics you can raise among a cross section of different yogis is Bikram Yoga.  This is a school of yoga in which the same 26 poses (including two pranayama or breathing techniques) are taught in each 90 minute class.  The practice room is heated to approximately 100 degrees, sometimes up to 110, which obviously causes the practitioners to sweat.  A lot.

Its devotees swear by it, some practically deifying the founder, Bikram Choudhury.  They believe the detoxification the heat provides is paramount to health and long life.  Some, however, are uncomfortabl…

What feeds your soul

I've been sitting here for a good twenty minutes trying to figure out how to start this blog, and what exactly to say beyond my bare-bones idea.  This is pretty unusual for me - even when I'm struggling with what exactly to say, my problem is usually an overabundance of lofty ideas and run-on sentences, not a lack.  What makes this more ironic is that today I want to write about sources if inspiration.  Or maybe more accurately - what feeds or replenishes your soul.

Everybody has at least one thing.  Something that can make you feel calm, steady, and grounded even in the most challenging points of your life.

For me, it's the beach.  Water and swimming in general, the beach in particular.  Cliche though it may be, it's a cliche for a darn good reason.  Standing at the shore, watching the waves rush onto shore, listening to the the sounds of the water, the birds...and if you're lucky, not much else.

Stephen King, by the way, is the number-two source of soul replenish…

Do your best - forget the rest

Happy July, blogverse!  This summer is absolutely flying by, and it's been really wonderful so far.  I completed the 30 Day Yoga Challenge at The Giving Tree, and one of the many things it taught me was that I need to build up more strength in certain areas of my body that are overly flexible.  Now that we're in a new month, my next self-imposed 30 (or 31) Day Challenge is to focus more on weight training and cardio...more traditional gym exercises than my yoga practice.

When I graduated from college, I joined Gold's Gym and started running.  I was working temp office jobs during the day, and every single day after work I'd run, take a yoga or pilates class, or take BodyPump, a weightlifting class I sorely miss (no pun intended).  It was the beginning of my deeper passion for yoga, of placing more importance on the food I was putting in my body, and of my basic physical fitness.

Since moving to New York, running has taken a definite backseat.  It's made me a littl…