What’s your poison?

Let me start by stating the obvious: I’m a teacher on summer break. I have a lot of time on my hands… in theory. I want to explain there are natural constraints with doing a 30 day challenge when you have a little something called a life.

Bikram yoga is usually 90 minutes, however, my studio offers the 60 minutes. As much as I would like to exclusively take the 60 minutes, I somehow feel this pang of guilt, like I’m cheating the system. I know that seems masochistic, but it’s the (unofficial) way they roll. So let’s treat today like a math lesson- which will more than likely be a total failure because math was most definitely not my forte.

3 hours prior to class: have a meal. do not show up to class full- you will feel it. This doesn’t seem too hard, unless you are taking a morning class in which it’s very difficult. Also, I refuse to sacrifice coffee. Mama needs her coffee. I also find scheduling a meal challenging when I’m taking a night class. I need to plan the type of food I’m eating and how much I’m eating around yoga. Don’t have enough? Feel light headed. Have too much? Feel nauseous. I’m also chronically hungry, so there’s that.

15 minutes: The time I need to get ready. Do not wear makeup. Do not worry about your hair. Do not worry about your outfit (love this). Have you ever walked into the gym or a vinyasa yoga studio and it looks like a Lululemon advertisement? This is not the place. In fact, when I wear bright colors I feel out of place. It’s as though everyone is wearing the color of their emotion- grey. Who needs to look pretty when you are going to sweat it all off after the first breathing exercise? I give myself 15 minutes simply because I always forget everything and need the time to rush around grabbing each necessity I forgot.

Mistakes i’ve made by following my 15 minute rule? Rushing home to “power get ready” straight from the beach. Lesson learned? Hop in the shower and wash off that sunblock because it will make you slip (more) in yoga and it will get into your eyes.

15 minutes: The time I give myself to ride to class and get settled in. By settle in I mean pee for the millionth time- the amount of water you drink is unfathomable. You will pee like a pregnant woman if you are drinking the appropriate amount of water in a day… then again maybe I’m getting water poisoning. But really, who knows?!

90 minutes: Sweat, cry, plot your escape, think about death, see the light, accept you will survive, experience bliss at the feeling of air conditioning. Very tumultuous experience.

15 minutes: Ride home, meander around my living room or sit on my porch until I stop sweating as much. For your TMI pleasure, this is the kind of workout that makes you continue to sweat. You can shower, sure, but you will continue to sweat after that shower. You are better off giving it a few minutes to allow your body to decompress.

1-2 hours: snack, eat, a possible nap. When I first started Bikram yoga, I would come home and crash nap for about 2 hours after each class. Now I actually feel rejuvenated to a degree and experience more energy, but buffer for exhaustion as a newbie.

Every hour of every day: make sure you are drinking water. Do not forget to drink water. This is the real deal. Dehydration is no joke and I say that from experience. Though I haven’t experienced it during yoga, I have in life- it was accompanied with cold sweats, a fever, and hallucinations. Now imagine adding a 105 degree room to your day for 90 minutes without enough water? I’m good.

So there you have it, the math proves that Bikram yoga will encompass your life and eat up every hour of the day. Or, at least two hours between class and transportation.

And maybe Bikram isn’t the workout for your lifestyle because it does encompass a lot of time and is a huge commitment, but that doesn’t mean don’t give it a shot. And this is why, despite my friends saying “andddd why would you do this in the summer?!” I’m doing this in the summer. I don’t have the time I’m willing to sacrifice during the school year to do this every. single. day. But for now I’m excited to accept the challenge. Would I do it again next summer? Definitely. And this is why I got into running- after 30 minutes and 3 miles I could call it a day and be satisfied with what I’ve accomplished. Pick your poison, but pick one. Life is short, make it a good and healthy one.

Oh, and one more thing… save time for my personal arch nemesis: Laundry.

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Necessities 

 

  • Bike- this is just a Long Beach necessity. Why use a car when you can get some fresh air.
  • Basket to balance my yoga mat on.
  • Basket serves as holder for soaking wet yoga towel on the way home.
  • Backpack holds my water bottle… That’s it. I’m not sure why I keep bringing my backpack.

And yes…That seat is wet from sweat. 

The Turn Around

This time of the year is when many of us start to crash, myself included. The lack of sun, outdoors, and warmth create an atmosphere of misery in which going out for a casual dinner can even become more tedious than desired. So, I have to go outside…again… In the snow… Or rain… Or below 20 temperature? I’m actually watching Netflix tonight. And enjoying a cake by myself. This was even the subject of a recent conversation with friends: we need to force each other to get out or winter will be horrible. Even when you don’t want to, just go. And so, I have slowly, but surely, gotten myself into the winter blues. There seemed to be no remedy except the sun. And then it happened-

The news said it was going to be 50 and sunny, and if you know about us New Yorkers- that might as well be 80 and sunny around this time of year. New Yorkers love to emerge out of our state of hibernation at the first sight of sunshine- you may even think it’s bizarre that on a fifty degree day you will see girls in short shorts and people driving in their convertibles top down. And while this may seem like a harsh winter day to some, for those of us surviving a polar vortex, nearly fifty is heaven.

Despite not feeling my best, I’m on the brink of lupus related issues (fatigue, soreness), John and I decided to make the best out of the day and take our bikes out for the first time since the summer. We meandered around the streets, taking our known routes that have become so familiar to us. We then flocked to the boardwalk like many others that were looking for a chance to live in the presence of sunshine for a day.

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And when it’s sunny in New York, just like a hot summer day, you will naturally finish your day off with frozen yogurt.

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And though I would love for this weather to continue, and days that hit 50 are merely a tease, I’ll take it.

Happy Sunday! And day lights saving, which only means one thing, we are closer to summer!

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And today I’m going to skip the gym and bask in the sunlight before we get snow again this week! I’ll take what I can get.

The Best Part of the Day

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There is nothing more gratifying than getting home after a run and throwing your disgusting clothes into the hamper. It sort of makes me feel like Rocky Balboa climbing the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. I guess the word is accomplishment, even if it’s a small one it can feel enormous.

Tonight I incorporated my bike into my workout. I rode my bike to the end of the boardwalk, locked it up (*my last bike was stolen), ran 2.25 miles, and then biked home. By the time I got back, nearly 5 miles in total, I felt accomplished- I’m actually doing this. I honestly can’t believe that I want to be doing this. The me of 4 months ago would have laughed at the idea of this operation I have going on. I always believed never say never I guess it’s just nice to be living in it.

The switch

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Today I was en route to run at the gym after serious self convincing.  I just wanted to sit in my workout attire, color, write, and complain.
I got to the gym and a yoga class was about to begin. Sorry treadmill…

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I broke my date with the treadmill for a chance with vinyasa yoga.

Anything you guys want to focus on today?
Hamstrings and hips!

My lucky day- I’ve never been more excited to do pigeon. When it was all done I was glad I skipped the run.  I needed the break and a good stretch.

I finished the day with a 2 mile bike ride on the boardwalk feeling fresh, revitalized, and ready for tomorrow.