Monday, January 30, 2012

Those *bad* classes.

All of us Bikram yogis seem to have them once in a while: class is hotter than noon in the desert, the drama among the fellow yogis (people talking, groaning, smelling, walking around during balancing postures), the body does not want to cooperate, the mind cannot rise above... and it all adds up to the worst class you've had in a while :(

This was pretty much my class last Thursday. I tried and tried to not let the disturbances phase me during class, but wasn't very successful. I felt like the class smacked me in the face. (Now this sounds overly dramatic to me, but it is how I felt.) I can actually physically explain what led to this crappy class, but I won't bore you with the details. Anyway, I've had some awesome classes in 2012 so far, so it was kind of a surprise.

My advice for other in this situation is usually: "Go right back the next day. Usually the next class after a *disastrous* one is a great one!" --- but I don't think I've ever taken my own advice (unless it was during a challenge).

No, I didn't go back on Friday. Or Saturday. Or Sunday. I just didn't feel ready, so healed while snuggled up on the couch, had some quality time with my boyfriend & his family, and did some packing for my upcoming trip. I will go back to the hot room today. I know I will desperately miss it during the three weeks in Germany, so I will take advantage of my last week here. Bikram's CD (on my iPhone) will be coming with me on my trip and I see some hotel room yoga in my near future :)


Monday, January 23, 2012

What I miss: Currywurst Pommes Mayo

Hands down, my favorite German fast food item is Currywurst, a sliced up bratwurst (sometimes they use a different sausage) slathered in curried ketchup... LOVE! A side of french fries (Pommes), of course with lots of mayo... oh man... it's been tough to make do without this in the past year.

Currywurst with Pommes Mayo, also lovingly called Mantaplatte
(picture somewhere on flickr, couldn't find exact source)

BUT!!! Not for much longer will I have to long for it desperately. My flight to Germany is booked, and in less than two weeks I expect to indulge in this delicacy again :)

I will be in Germany for three weeks, two of which will be work-related travel and one will be vacation! I can't wait to see my family and friends! It also feels really funny that I will be away from home for three weeks... or will I? Where is home, anyway?

I'm just happy and excited and anxious and everything at once! Yay!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Regional Yoga Asana Championship

On Sunday I got to watch the Regional Yoga Asana Championship. The winners get to compete in the National Yoga Asana Championships in March. It was amazing to see a variety of yogis and yoginis perform their routine on stage. Young, old, big, small, long-time and short-time practitioners, they were all inspiring and amazing and left the audience feeling positive. We couldn't help but smile and root for all of them while they demonstrated their strength, concentration, hard work and determination.

Participants get judged by experienced teachers on physical strength, stamina, balance, flexibility, breath, concentration, and grace. You see, it is not about being able to perform picture-perfect postures, but about diligently working with your body and mind. The focus for the participants is not to compete against each other, but rather to show what they can achieve with yoga. It was very apparent that the participants and the audience were rooting for everybody to show off their personal best!

BTW, these events are organized by USA Yoga (a non-profit organization) and are meant to raise awareness about Yoga Asanas (the physical part of yoga: practicing postures). USA Yoga is working to get Yoga Asanas qualified as an Olympic sport! Now THAT would be the greatest way to increase awareness throughout the world! *crossing fingers*

Congratulations to all participants and 
Thank You for sharing your practice with the world!
Winners, good luck in the Nationals!

Now let's get to the eye-candy... check out the winners, male and female :)

 Allan Santos
Jennifer Cohen (?)


PS: This is the 2011 International Yoga Asana Champion, Joseph Encinia. Watch til the end... it's worth it!

For more information about the championship, check out USA Yoga.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

(The Magic of) Practicing on Consecutive Days

In the first half year of my Bikram Yoga practice, I tried to keep an "every-other-day" schedule, for example taking a class on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday. I figured, since I cannot come every day, this would be the next best thing.

Along came my first 30 Day Challenge, and after that a few months during which I struggled to keep a regular schedule. Somewhere during those months, I came to a conclusion: practicing every other day is not a great plan and certainly not "the next best thing" to practicing every day.

For some reason (or probably multiple reasons), practicing on consecutive days is so much more worthwhile. The classes seem easier (by no means easy though), the postures get prettier, and most importantly, the health benefits are greater.

-- Awesome! Now how do I do it? Ideally, I want to take class three days in a row, then take a 1-2 day break. Yeah, that is still a huge time commitment, but as everything in life, fitting class into my schedule has gotten easier with practice. It's still never easy (just like class), and so December & January so far have not looked too good.

I love looking at November for inspiration though (in my favorite App "Calendar Tracker Lite"):

Awww, I want to practice like this every month ♥

Here's to hoping I'll have a few months like this in 2012!

Thursday, January 12, 2012


When everybody around me seemed to be talking about New Year's Resolutions, I've started thinking back and I can honestly say that I've never made any before. When I though about it some more, I've come to realize that I probably never will make any, either. Not because I'm so perfect already (ha!), but because I'm a very self-reflective person. I think about and re-think my life/relationships/goals/yoga/nutrition/everything all. the. time. If a change is needed, it is implemented as soon as possible. I don't see a reason to wait for a new month/moon/year.

Recent plans/changes/resolutions or whatever-you-wanna-call-its:

  • Green smoothies: drink as often as possible, at least one per day. (The challenge: having fresh ingredients at home, preparation time.)
  • "3 days on, 1 day off" Bikram yoga schedule (The challenge: lack of time/funky work schedule, balancing quality time with myself and/or my partner.)
  • read more (The challenge: same as with Bikram class.)
  • cook more (The challenge: same as with green smoothies.)

Sooo, the common challenge seems to be time-related. All of these things are quite time consuming (what isn't, right?) and I have recently added 1.5 hrs driving time to my work days, sooo... Yes, I often have to prioritize and no, I have not been able to achieve all of those goals satisfactorily in the same week. But that's life or at least: that's my life. I'm not going to beat myself up about it, because ultimately, all those goals are supposed to make my life better and not more stressful than it already tends to be.

Maybe I should have added another major goal: balance.

Namaste :)

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Happy New Year!

I hope you had a wonderful and positive start into the new year! (Better late than never, right? :) )

My break was much needed and very much enjoyed. Having the puppies around was a great experience and brought us much joy and snuggle time. (It was also much more work and worry than I had anticipated, since they are still very young. We will not be getting our own puppies anytime soon! At least not in this top floor apartment without a fenced in yard.)

The cutie pies :)

Snuggle time :)