First Advanced Bikram Yoga Class

Sometimes all it takes is someone to believe in you to get you motivated to do something you never thought you could do.  I have had the pleasure of practicing under a great instructor, Nicole, at my Scottsdale, AZ Bikram studio who encouraged me to go to Advanced class. I read that Advanced class is for teachers and competitors, and I’m neither, so I didn’t think I’d ever be able to go. Deep down, I really wanted to because I love yoga so much and I want to do it all. I mean, I’ve been practicing for almost three and a half years. It’s hard to say you are “good” at yoga because it’s all about the process. Someone who takes class for the first time in their life and isn’t flexible can be considered good because it’s all about how focused you are, how you breathe, and that you try.

At my Los Angeles studio, all you had to do was be invited by a teacher to attend advanced class, so because I was invited by a teacher, I thought why not. Last night after I practiced, another teacher asked me when I was going to try advanced class and I thought, okay, I’m going to do this.

So today I did. I went in with a clear mind. I didn’t know what to expect and it was great because it’s nice to be a newbie again. Advanced Bikram is a whole new world. It requires a different kind of strength and is way more physical because many of the poses require upper body strength. The beginner Bikram series is more focused on back and leg strength and flexibility, not so much arm strength. I’m hooked and pumped because I’m sore in different parts of my body. I feel strong, like I’ve opened a new door in my life and in my practice. I feel blessed that my studio offers Advanced classes at all. I’m here for a reason. I was ready for this. Now, I just have to keep going so I can get stronger in my upper body and do some headstands or at least half a headstand against a wall.

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The Lemonade Cleanse Day 6

Last entry was a bit dark, eh? Hey, I’m just sharing what I think and feel because that’s what this testimony/documentary is all about, no censoring. So today is Day 6 and I always feel best in the morning, despite the saltwater flush. This time around, the saltwater flush doesn’t bother me as much now that I imagine I’ve swallowed a bunch of saltwater while swimming in the California ocean whenever I do the flush. I never seem to mind swallowing saltwater when swimming and surfing in the ocean.
It’s key to look at things differently, rather than just be like, ughh this is terrible, how can I go on?

NO. That’s not the way. Being in the moment can be challenging. I find myself getting through each day by staying busy physically, exercising, cleaning the house, running errands. I’m like water in my yoga classes lately. It’s awesome because I’m able to suck my stomach in really hard and for a long time since there’s basically nothing in there. Sucking the stomach is key in yoga so I feel pretty good about my practice lately, thanks to the cleanse.

Another thing I’ve been trying to do is focus on things I’ve wanted to do and make plans for that–like my making my own Kombucha. It was sad to say I had to abort the one I was trying to grow because it didn’t grow after over two weeks. I ordered one online and it should be coming around the time the cleanse is over next week. So that’s the next project. I can’t wait to cook again as well. I’ve gathered recipes I plan on creating once this is over, so that’s another thing I’ve been doing to keep going.
Only four more days to go.

Put Yourself Through The Fire

There’s an amazing quote that I’ve heard Bikram Yoga instructors say often in class which is “put yourself through the fire and no one can touch you.” Today I apply that to my current condition which has totally humanized me: a nice little cold.

I am human but unlike many humans who take medicine to heal the common cold, I put myself through the fire in order to heal my sickness. I’m not fond of aspirins and over the counter drugs. To me, they only prolong the healing process. Instead of drowning my sorrows in Nyquil, Tylenol, or Ibuprofen, I made my body go through the fire of a Bikram yoga class whereby I experienced intense chills, nausea, and dizziness as my body detoxified all of the fear out of my mind. Oh, it was hard but worth it.
What I also love doing when I feel sick is making vegetable soup.
The process of cutting vegetables, especially onions and garlic, feels cleansing and detoxifying. There’s something about onion induced watery eyes that just feels like you are getting better and eating hot soup really makes you sweat and is comforting.

After the yoga and soup, I began to think about why I might have gotten sick in the first place and then it came to me. Sunday I had a heated conversation with my boyfriend via telephone and I immediately got a headache after. We were talking about the future and I was the one thinking negatively, not behaving very Louise Hay-like. I was letting fear take over and I can’t help but think that is what made me sick.

Today was all about making choices and deciding on what it is I want rather than what I don’t want because indecision clouds signals to the universe and indecision is really just fear at work that makes me get sick. I want to feel good. I want to feel peace in my present moment. The future isn’t here. The past isn’t here.
I let fear control my mind and I got sick.

I had to be aware of that. I had to put myself through the fire by just being in my present moment, getting in touch with my center. Once I became aware, I started to feel better.

Anyway, this experience of being sick reminded me that fear and negativity are what make people sick mostly and once we clear up our minds, the body heals. The way I work is that once I eat right and exercise, I get meditative and get in touch with my root, my center. Everything makes sense after that. This is what I experienced today.

Being sick couldn’t come at a better time since it solidified my decision to start my Lemonade cleanse (Master Cleanse) documentary come this Sunday. Ten days of documentary blogging will be coming as I cleanse all the caca out of my stomach that has built up since I last did the cleanse in February.

Day 9 of 21

I did kinda cheat yesterday, as embarrassing as that is to admit.  I sat down after I got home from work and decided to have some some pita chips. They didn’t taste as good as I had fantasized they would and my body rejected them while I was in my Bikram Yoga class, not in the entertaining way of vomit but just by getting nauseous.

When you do Bikram yoga, your body has a way of letting you know that it does not like what you are eating, and you will feel sick in class.  Bikram Yoga pushes your buttons. If you had carbs or meat or a combination of both when you are not used to having those foods, you’re going to have a crappy class and you will get sick.  So I’m grateful for the yoga because it made me sick after I ate carbs and then I was reminded of how clean I feel when I eat raw shakes, soups, and salads.

But yea, today has been good. We got one more day of liquids and then we get to have salads tomorrow.

I feel a little distracted today, maybe that’s because I ate carbs when I wasn’t supposed to. Your mind definitely feels more clear when you eat raw. Not only do you detoxify your body but you also detoxify your mind and you become aware of all the things that bother you, your triggers that make you want to do bad things, eat the wrong things, and hang with the wrong people.

Change is hard in the beginning. When does it get easier? I suppose when our holes and voids close up, we don’t feel like we need anything to make us feel better because we already do feel better. One day that will happen soon. This is the journey to freedom.