Monday, October 20, 2008

My Bikram Yoga Practice

I rarely if ever write about any details of my Bikram yoga practice, that's going to change! I've been practicing Bikram yoga for almost 3 years now, I started in Nov., of 2005. I wanted to add another type of training to balance out my KB's and walking, the choices for me were Tae Kwon Do, or yoga.

I had practiced Tae Kwon Do for 2 years in my early 30's ( I weghed 160-140lbs during that time), and loved it. I was able to achieve my brown belt and knew I wanted to train for black belt, like everything I do, I was training 6 days a week and volunteering to help assist the kids classes on the weekends, but somehow I lost motivation, started gaining weight, and never went back. (1995-'97). I loved practicing forms, but the thought of sparring at my age was not attractive, lol!

So, almost 10 years later, when I had lost most of my weight and realized that my fitness was at a level, (and my body was at a size) to try a new physical challenge I remembered hearing somewhere about this "hot yoga". Hmmnn....I love the heat, and I love to sweat, if I was going to do yoga, I was going to do hot yoga! So that's how it started.

I went to my first class in long pants and t-shirt, stood in the back of class and just went for it! I had to put all care about what anyone might think of me aside, afterall I was just coming off of a 100lb weight loss, standing in a room with all of these skinny yoga chicks in their spandex and little bra tops...yikes!

One of the good things about being married to an expert trainer, and owning a gym for 8 years is I knew enough about exercise and the body to not let anyone or anything intimidate me. I know that everyone has to start somewhere, and everyone is a beginner at one time, so if you make a mistake, (it's expected), just pay attention, keep trying until you get it right. How can you expect to get good at anything unless you do it! All you have to do is to keep showing up, you will get better.....you get what you give. I have the most respect for all of the beginners I see in class, because afterall, they're there, doing it, that's what counts.

Bikram Yoga, San Jose, had a beginning program that let you pay $10, for 10 consecutive days (it's changed slighty since then), so I went on a Thursday for my first class, and not wanting to "kill myself", or potentially overdo and screw up my KB training, I went everyother day for my first 10 days. I was hooked. I knew after my first class I wanted to, and could, get really good at this new practice, so I bought a monthly unlimited membership for 1 year.

In following month I practiced at least 3-4 days a week, even on Xmas day, (when we owned World Gym, Campbell, if Marks training day fell on Xmas, we were open, and it always fell on Xmas!). Then in January the studio promoted a 60 day challenge, 60 yoga classes in 60 days! No problem! I love a challenge and I was highly motivated to improve my practice ASAP. I completed the challenge somtimes taking back to back classes to make up for a day I couldn't get to the studio, making sure I got my 60 classes in the 60 day period.

Over the first year I probably averaged 4 classes a week, before switching studios (I wrote about the decision to switch on my blog), but the new studio just didn't have near the number of classes available, or the same class times and my practice fell to, sometimes, only 2 days a week. I came to my senses, put my personal feelings aside and returned to my original studio after I got the OK from my doctor after my surgery. After the required 6 week recovery, my KB training came back quickly, but my yoga practice was much harder to restart.

Once again, I'm hitting it hard, now trying to get to a class everyday and practicing with Mark Tuesdays, Thursdays and doing a "double" together on Sundays! My practice is reaching a new level after realizing I had been "cruising" through for months. I have new focus, new energy and my classes are crazy good! Much more to come.......

Pictures above are "standing bow pulling pose". Top picture was taken last week, and I can see that my right hip still need to come down, my right toe is not pointing straight up toward the ceilng, instead pointing left....I've already sarted to correct that, and that will bring my right hip down. Bottom piture was taken Nov. 06, same pose.

7 comments:

Diana said...

I tried some yoga for a few weeks months ago and since have let it just drop off. Your right about getting out of it what you put into it(if that doesn't sound like life in general hey?!). My hips are soooo tight, I just can't deal with yoga which IS probably why I SHOULD be doing it! With all my focus on my triathlon, I had no time to learn something else! Maybe I should rethink that now! Nice post

Tracy Reifkind said...

Diana,

Try Bikram yoga. It's not for everyone, you have to like the heat, but it's different than other styles...you'll see.

At the very least you'll sweat off a couple of pounds...hey, that's worth it, right?

fawn said...

Your postures look great Tracy!

Regina said...

You look really strong in both but the more recent, I think you look stronger. But I don't know anything about Yoga! or the postures. I may give it a try, You both inspire me to give things a shot I might not otherwise consider

1. anchovies and swing workouts...wee..... :) and that I don't need the stinking heavy kbs to get a workout to give me results. I still want to lift heavy but I get it! Finally..LOL :)
and now Yoga. when I return I signed up to give Bikraim yoga a try, I'll gladly go with my sweats and tshirts and will stand in the back. Thanks Tracy for the inspiration. as always you are the luckiest bitch on the planet! Regina

Tracy Reifkind said...

Fawn,

I'm not "bendy" like you, but I'm working on it, lol

Tracy Reifkind said...

Regina,

Let's talk when you get back....

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