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Simon Says "Touch Your Toes"

weather: mostly sunny
outside: 11.9°C
mood: content
This week, for the first time in over two decades, I touched my toes without bending my knees. I haven't been able to do this since I was very young. I'm very thankful that I started Bikram Yoga.


I was in the room before class just relaxing and calming down in preparation for the class. On a whim, I tried to touch my toes. I expected to just get to my ankles again, but I pushed a bit and barely took a swipe at my toes. By the time we got to the Paschimottanasana near the end, I was grabbing my two big toes and I could just lock out my knees. It was a struggle, but my knees did lock out. =D

It took 18 classes to get to this point. And I only go twice a week, so that makes it 2½ months.

They actually recommend that for the first month, you do at least one class every day and then at least 3 times a week thereafter for maintenance. But I could only do 3 times a week, max... Tuesdays, Thursdays, then either Saturday or Sunday, depending on what my weekend looks like.

One of the things that I love about Bikram Yoga is that you hear so many amazing stories of fellow practitioners in the classes. People who were told by their doctors that they'd never walk quite right again, never be able to do this or can't do that because of some physical ailment... have either gotten their bodies back into some semblance of shape or are seeing amazing improvement.

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Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
chenpion
Sep. 29th, 2006 03:15 pm (UTC)
Huh. So, would you recommend it for guys?
A few years ago, I went to yoga class a few times (mostly at the urging of a female classmate), but it was too boring for me. I'm a guy that goes to extremes, so I really push myself, but that's painful in yoga... and if I can't do the exercise, I get frustrated.

Besides, after a while, I felt like a weasel. Most of the guys going were either fairly effeminate ones... or guys who were busy ogling their classmates. I didn't (feel like I) fell in either category, so I stopped.

Recently, I've thought about picking up meditation and yoga, on top of my usual gym routine at lunchtime, but some of the same concerns arise. Not so much the 'boring' or 'pushing myself' part, but the other stuff. Have any suggestions/advice? Thanks!
bride
Sep. 29th, 2006 04:06 pm (UTC)
Re: Huh. So, would you recommend it for guys?
As Kurt Vonnegut didn't say: the race is long and, in the end, it's only with yourself.

Comparing yourself to others is not what Yoga is about. Yoga is about finding the edge of your own flexibility, strength, balance, etc. Yoga is about focussing on your own progress.

Pushing yourself to the point of pain is a good thing. You have to know the difference between stretching pain and injury pain - ie. "good" pain versus "bad" pain. You learn where the pain is coming from and in understanding what each posture is trying to accomplish, you make small adjustments to your positioning during the posture so that you're maximizing the benefits of the posture.

In Bikram Yoga, you do the same 26 postures every time. But each of them have a foundation, an intermediate and an advanced stage. Most of the time, you'll wind up only being able to get to somewhere in the intermediate stage. In some of them, you'll only be able to do the foundation. Maybe in some, you'll be all the way in the advanced stage of the posture. It's different for everyone.

And when you're in the class, there is no one else except you and the voice of your instructor. You need to visually and audially block out everyone else. This isn't easy. If someone is wobbling in a balance pose, it can make you fall over as well. And there have been days that I've been tempted to tell people to shut up. But that's all a part of practicing focus which is a large part of Yoga as well.

Read some Yoga articles online for beginners. I highly recommend Yoga Journal for Yoga practice in general. They have a New to Yoga section that's a great place to start. They had some really great insight that's really helped me get the most out of each session.

Bikram Yoga is the specific type that I do. This is the "Hot Yoga".
juky
Sep. 29th, 2006 04:00 pm (UTC)
Maybe it can help your husband's ankles so he can play ball again! Oh wait.. his ankles are bad cuz he's phat...

lololol! (best part of making fun of him here is that he doesn't use his lj account so he can't defend himself. harhar)
bride
Sep. 29th, 2006 08:39 pm (UTC)
He says you're a bum. =)
pixie_bebe
Sep. 30th, 2006 02:34 am (UTC)
wow. i'm inspired to look into it now!
bride
Sep. 30th, 2006 06:07 am (UTC)
It took 18 classes to get to this point =) And I only go twice a week, so that makes it 2½ months.

They actually recommend that for the first month, you do at least one class every day and then at least 3 times a week thereafter for maintenance. I can only probably do 3 times a week max... Tuesdays, Thursdays, then either Saturday or Sunday, depending on what my weekend is look like.

There's one lady there who had the studio record of 453 classes in 365 days. Another guy had a record of four classes a day. Now THAT is seriously hard core. =O
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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