So I feel like so much happens each and every day and I have all these experiences and I kind of stow then away in my brain under the category of “would be good to blog about” but creating the time in my schedule, with mandatory overtime in full swing, and my new renewed commitment to myself to get the weight off (read doing all the work outs and then some), actually sitting down to write a post isn’t going to happen every day. I mean, it’s totally a labor of love, but as you know, I tend to write a lot. It takes a while. The time passes quickly but oftentimes after all the edits and such I look at my clock and two hours have passed, it way past my bedtime, and I have to be up in 5 hours for my lesson with Ivan.
This is all to say that I’m preparing you for a whirlwind post that will cover a bunch of different experiences over the past few days.
Let’s start with Yoga. Yep, I’ve been doing Yoga lately. Even two classes of Hot Yoga! So the deal is that on Christmas Eve day my friend who works out at this lush club said there was a free hot yoga class for the day and I should come with her. So I did. And it was awesome and hard and uncomfortable and I’m so glad I did it.
I’ve done yoga before but never hot yoga. I did it years ago during the summer when I was in college at my gym and I liked it. I like all the bendy stuff, though my upper body strength is pretty lacking so those sun salutations and asanas through plank and downward dog are pretty challenging. In any case, by the end of the summer I could still my mind during the last pose, corpse pose (or shavasana?? I have no idea how to spell it) and that made the entire experience worth it. After all the struggle and pain and difficulty of the class it felt completely restorative to lie in this pose and I found myself centered, stilled, and refreshed.
I’ve done classes here and there but it’s never been a regular practice. But I know the basic poses like triangle, downward dog, cobra, upward dog, warrior, child’s pose. And the instructors are usually really good about talking the class through how to get in to various positions. Anyways, I’ve picked up things here and there so I wasn’t completely lost during the hot yoga, which was nice. I also know that the most important thing is to stay with myself through the class no matter what. That if all I can do is breathe then that is okay. If I get angry or cry or whatever emotion comes up, that’s okay too. I just have to stay with myself, my body, the practice for the duration of the class. That is my deal with myself, and even more so when I walked into that hot studio. I told myself I’d just lay in Child’s pose or Corpse if I needed to, but I would not leave the room.
The heat is breathtaking in this hot yoga class – 106 degrees. I was slick with sweat and hot hot hot. I overheated a few times and had to sit out of poses. I even took of my overshirt and had on a workout top that shows my arms and I didn’t even care. I had a moment when I made peace with my body and told it “let’s work together through this on the same team instead of me being against you for not being able to do everything today” which is huge. And it’s so weird that I can be this compassionate toward myself in the context of yoga but not so much with Ballroom. It think it’s because ballroom means so much to me and yoga is just a pastime. Anyways, there was also a moment 10 minutes until the end of class when I got really angry thinking the teacher was delusional and why were we still going and when were we going to just get to lay there and rest and turn off the heat! It made me laugh at myself.
As you might be able to surmise since I’m writing this, I did, indeed survive. I also kept my word to myself and stayed in the room the entire time. It felt food. I got nauseated only once and tolerated the heat pretty well, I thought. So I told the instructor, “Thanks so much. That was my first hot yoga class,” and she was like “You’re kidding!” And I was like, “Nope. I’ve done some yoga, but never hot. Anyways, thanks for the great class. I’ll probably never see you again because I only came for the free class and I’m not a member here” And she was all, “You had such great energy. You know what, if you want to come back, you can, on me. Anytime.”
How freakin’ cool is that? The unfortunate part is that the only class that would even work in my schedule is on Saturdays at 3pm and right now I have that pesky overtime from 1 to 6pm until March. The fortunate part is that I went this Saturday and told her about it and she reiterated that I was welcome anytime. So I’m thinking about maybe doing one hot yoga class a week at this studio by my house until overtime season is completed. They have a special for unlimited classes for 2 weeks for $20 so I will probably do that to see if I like it there. That way maybe I can progress some and come back to this open invitation when my schedule permits.
Anyways, I did the class on Saturday and in some ways it was better and in others it was worse than the last time. I was having a bad self-esteem day, feeling completely fat and huge and that made it more difficult to stay with myself during the practice. Plus everyone else in the class just seemed to be so fit able to do everything and I just couldn’t which compounded matters in my mental milieu. By the end of the class I felt like I didn’t even deserve to claim that I’d done enough in the class to get to do the Corpse pose. It was really awful. But, hey, that’s part of the practice too. Not every time is happy.
And I’ll tell you what, there are other benefits….like regular yoga seems a lot easier after you’ve done some hot yoga! I was able to go back to the class I like at my gym with a teacher I really like and had a much better experience the next day. And I had a realization about engaging more muscles when I’m struggling to balance. It seems simple to say but I discovered that I was not using all my available resources to accomplish a particular pose. I engaged more muscles and suddenly I was able to do it.
Which brings me to ballet. I’m still going Monday nights and this week we had all the regulars in class which was really nice since attendance has been sparse over the holidays. I had a pleasant class and feel like each time it gets a little bit easier. I attribute this to my training in the gym, dropping a bit of weight, and going to class consistently, even if it is only once a week. I’m progressing. I’m always working in there to lift my legs higher in the air (I’d like to get back to 90 degrees or higher) and on balance and turns.
And one wonderful thing of note happened at ballet. Because some of the girls haven’t been to class in 2 or 3 weeks they haven’t seen me and one of them was like, “You are doing a disappearing act!” Actually after class a few of them were telling me that I was lovely and a born dancer and the best comment, which has really stuck with me, was that “You know what I love about you getting smaller, is that you are radiating! I love it!”
It stuck with me because I wasn’t feeling particularly beautiful or radiant, and I was still a little bit in a funk about my big body from the yoga class, but here was this person telling me that I was radiant anyways. And part of me thinks, you just wait! If you think I’m radiant now wait until I really love my body! I will light up the room! And part of me is like, wow, it’s becoming part of my “beingness” to radiate, because it’s happening automatically, I don’t even need to totally feel lovely and it’s still affecting people. Which is pretty cool.
And that brings me to tonight when I had the ballroom group class at Imperial. It was a nice class though not overly strenuous. It was taught by Oleski, and it’s the first time I’ve had him as a teacher. But two things happened of note: 1) my skirt keeps slipping downward. I’m going to have to pin it or get a new one soon and 2) after the class was done, I had an odd sensation – the sensation of feeling like I wanted more. I seriously considered going back to the gym to get in some more cardio. I think this is a minor miracle. But I figured I’d worked out with my trainer and done the elliptical this morning, so lucky you, I decided to write this marathon blog post instead. Plus I have my first lesson back with Ivan tomorrow morning since he’s back from the cruise….at 6:15 am in the morning. UGH!
But with the overtime situation I have to be home by 8am so if we finish by 7am I will probably have just enough time to get back across town to get my butt in my seat in time to start work. Who’s dedicated? Um yeah, me, the total non-morning person. Tomorrow could be rough.
I hope things go really well tomorrow. I’ve missed Ivan, of course, and I’ve missed partner dancing. Heck, I’ve missed ballroom in general! I went a week without it and I got a little depressed over it. Working out at the gym and even yoga, as great as it is, don’t fill the same space in my heart as ballroom. It has truly become a non-negotiable in my life.
So I believe that gets you all caught up, my friends. But yeah, after tomorrow I will probably have more to share! Until then, I’m signing off. Good night!
Wow! Hot yoga! I’m wayyyyy impressed because I’m scared of it. Feeling that you wanted additional exercise after a dance class is awesome, too. Means your body is registering how good exercise is for you and telling you it wants MORE! Sounds like it’s developing some positive cravings. A Jones for broccoli cannot be far behind!
Hot Yoga! I only heard about it 4 days before I read your entry! It sounds pretty awesome but the most important thing is to remember that your muscles aren’t warmed up yet, even though the room is very warm. So don’t overstretch! 🙂