While from the outside I may seem normal,
It’s the part that you can’t see,
The constant pain and struggles within,
Are ever so apparent to me.
Although I may wear a smile,
Often times it’s covering the tears,
Yet not tears because of sadness,
As it often may appear.
Love this, truly inspirational!
My New Year’s Resolutions for 2012
I felt the need to write it out this year. It makes it seem more real and do-able.
1. Learn HTML/CSS
This I know, will take some time to learn, but with some help from my computer savy friends I’ll definitely be able to accomplish this.
2. Blog more often and become involved in the world of Social Media. Writing truly makes me happy.
3. Stop Drinking Soda and start eating more healthy! Soda is a terrible addiction of mine that I absolutely need to quit.
4. Exercise 4-5 times a week
5. Keep a regular yoga Practice! This is incredibly important to me. It is truly something that has changed my life and has made me a happier person!
6. Travel and See the world!
7. Love More :)
Bikram Yoga at the Beach
On my weekend cottage Vacation I took some time to practice some of the poses I have the most difficulty with. It is needless to say that practicing on the sand is by far a challenge! Though I must admit I had a lot of fun with it and am ready to get back in the studio for some serious stretching!
Bikram Yoga: Returning From A Hiatus
It’s easy to make goals but to actually follow through and act on them is a whole different story. Keeping a regular Bikram practice is very important to me, during the winter months I made sure I was going at least 4-5 times a week; but unfortunately as life gets busy my regular practices have died down significantly. My practices were becoming so infrequent. I was only going once a week and I hate to admit this, but there were weeks where I went without practicing bikram. This past week I made sure to fit Bikram yoga back into my busy life, and may I say that returning from a hiatus was a different experience, to say the least.
My first day felt like it was my first time as a student practicing Bikram. I was completely exhausted, my legs were shaky and I was losing my balance and falling out of postures. By the time we hit the Triangle pose, (Trikonasana) which Bikram yogi’s call the “Peak of the Mountain,” I needed to take a knee. It was incredibly disappointing to sit out on a posture that I used to do so well. So now you ask what I learnt from this experience? Like learning to ride a new bike, you take each class one day at a time. As I lay on my mat, I got a chance to reflect on my practice. I thought of myself as a new student. In moments like this, listen to your body, take it slow and do each posture to the best of your ability. Don’t let your hiatus bring you down, and most importantly don’t give up. Know that you can always try again the next day. I now have some insightful expectations to follow when I go through these breaks and thought I’d share them.
- Focus on yourself - Let go of the stresses of your day, let go of your personal life and work life and use that 100% focus on your body
- Breathe - Sometimes we forget that Bikram requires you to use 80-20 breathing in certain postures. Remember to take a full breath and release 20 percent. Retain 80% of your breath to oxygenate your muscles.
- Listen to your body - Bikram yoga should never hurt. Make sure your only going as far as you can, don’t push yourself too hard and take it easy on yourself. Look at your reflection in the mirror and avoid the mistake of imitating the yogi next to you
- Rest if needed - Don’t let your ego get in the way of taking a knee or a “sit-out”. It’s very easy to feel overwhelmed and the heat does not make it easier. There is absolutely no shame.
I hope you found this post insightful. When you experience a hiatus remember to inhale, exhale and let go.
May the Spring and your practice of Bikram yoga continuously awaken within you the fresh energies of your source. via Bikram yoga KW
Bikram Challenge: 30 Days of Self Loving
It was over a month ago that I received a wonderful Valentine’s Day e-mail from my Bikram Studio. Instead of advertising relationships, chocolate, gifts and all that commercialized holiday gush, they were promoting self love and their famous 30 day challenge. I had already been keeping a regular bikram yoga practice by going 3-4 times a week so I thought, “Why not really challenge myself?” In case you are wondering what a 30 day bikram challenge is; it is practicing yoga every day for 30 days straight in a 110 degree room. Sounds crazy right!? Yes, I did complete this and it is possible!
The first full 7 days of my challenge went great! I was getting through each class without taking breaks. It was only until the second week that I really started to see drastic changes in my practice and my body. I began perfecting my form, by making sure I had the proper hip placement and making sure my knees and elbows were locked. One of the reasons why I love this type of yoga is that your body is doing resistance training against itself. How amazing is that? I made sure to give each class 110%. Though each class was becoming more difficult than the previous I was starting to see so much more depth and flexibility in my postures. I couldn’t believe the depth in my back bends! It was unreal!
My Personal Advice
What I learned from this experience is that bikram yoga is a constant struggle of MIND OVER MATTER. One thing I advise is that you go in to it with positive thinking with thoughts like “Yes I can” and avoiding thoughts like “I can’t do this” or “I’m not flexible enough!” Negative thoughts will only hold you back from reaching your full potential!
They don’t call it a challenge for no reason. Yes, it is completely exhausting! Be prepared to sweat and experience all kinds of emotions. Make sure you are hydrated for each class.
If there was ever a day that I felt stressed out from the office or my personal life, I felt that bikram provided me with a 90 minute relief and utter mental clarity. When you’re in the hot room keep the stresses of your everyday life out. Remember, your practicing self-love! Focus on you for the entire 90 minutes.
I am completely proud of myself that I completed such a challenge unlike no other. I feel so much more in tune with my body and am focused in almost all aspects of my life. I am ready for the next step, which is a personal challenge of 60 days. I leave you with a wonderful quote that inspired me to practice 30 days of self loving.
“May your life be bathed in Love, Inside and out, bones to skin, finger tips to toes.”
26 Postures to Complete Yoga Bliss
Somewhere in between the beginning of September and the end of October, I started to lose some motivation. Work started becoming repetitive and my regular workouts at the gym started becoming a chore. I wasn’t sure weather it was the change of season or the lack of sunlight that was lost within the long hours at the Office; I just knew I needed something to fill this void. After a short vacation, I had scheduled a regular coffee date with a good friend. This was where we got the chance to catch up on each others lives, laugh and remenise and sometimes *ahem* gossip! This particular coffee date we spent most of our time talking about a Bikram Hot Yoga studio that had opened up in Waterloo. She couldn’t stop raving about it. I couldn’t fathom the idea of spending 90 minutes in a 110 degree room, not to mention I had always been skeptical about Bikram Yoga. It never seemed appealing or challenging enough for me. I decided to attend the next class with her, though I was still not convinced and was very apprehensive about the whole thing. Wasn’t it just stretching in a sauna type room? I had never been more wrong!
I can describe my Bikram class in two words, challenging and invigorating. Bikram Yoga consists of 26 postures and 2 breathing exercises all performed in 90 minutes. The goal for “first-timers” is to stay in the room for the whole 90 minutes. It is important to pace yourself and relax. The first posture of the Bikram series is called the Standing Deep Breathing pose also known as the “pranayama.” This posture is suppose to increase circulation to the whole body while preparing the muscles and warming up the joints for the next set of bikram postures. Each posture is different from the next and requires concentration and balance while combining strength training. My biggest difficulty with some of the postures were centered around my balance which I am still currently working on. Bikram Yoga allows you to push yourself past your boundaries and increases flexibility. By the end of the second week I noticed that I was able to do some of the postures that I couldn’t do in the first few days. By the end of each class every muscle in my body was stretched to the fullest. I felt completely refreshed and energized. It was a feeling I never had even after a difficult work out at the gym.
I have completely fallen, “head-over-heels” in love with Bikram Yoga! It is a fascinating exercise which allowed me to de-stress and gave me some form of clarity after a hectic day at the office. It is something I will continue to practice for years to come!
My First 5k: The Annual Oktoberfest Run
Before I tell you a bit about my run, let me briefly describe the city I am from. Kitchener, Ontario hold’s the second largest Bavarian Festival besides Munich, Germany in the World, known as Oktoberfest. This is a seven day festival, which starts on the Thanks Giving weekend. Throughout this festival, beer-based celebrations are taken place and German culture is shared.
This year I made a decision to finally participate in some Oktoberfest activities that were not centralized around the consumption of beer. I decided to register for the 2010 5km & 10km Oktoberfest run. I used this not only as a fitness goal, but also as a way to contribute back to my community. Every year over 3,000 people from the Kitchener-Waterloo area participate in this run! Amazing! As a beginner runner I chose to do the 5km race. I felt that it was realistic and something I could achieve. Those who are runners know that long distance running takes a lot of endurance. It is difficult and just like any other sport, it takes practice, until you get it just right. It’s about setting a pace and keeping that pace for a lengthened period of time.
My sister and I Reaching the 4km mark
The morning of my run was one of the most nerve racking moments I have experienced in my life. I was overwhelmed with the amount of people that were standing behind the starting line, stretching and warming up. After all my practicing and endless hours at the gym I started to doubt my ability to actually finish the race. I was lucky enough to have my sister, who was running the 10km route, run part of her race with me. Her encouragement kept me on my feet. Throughout my run, my thoughts were focused on getting to the finish line. I was happy to see my family and friends cheering me on from the side lines. It was a great to see them supporting me, especially on something that was incredibly challenging. I felt that their encouragement helped me get to the end. I finished the 5km route in 27mins & 58s. Though my finishing time was the least of my concerns! I was overjoyed when I crossed the finish line, it was amazing to have achieved my goal that I had worked so hard to accomplish.
This run has sparked some new interest and has made me so much more confident in other aspects of my life. It is an experience I will never forget and something that I will keep up for years to come. As long as you have the motivation, I believe anyone can do it. All you need is practice, confidence and support from the people you love.
My Cheering Squad