Sunday, 23 September 2012

My Everything hurts - First Bikram class after a long break

My everything hurts - that is how I felt day after my first Bikram Yoga class!

I have been doing Bikram Yoga since September 2009. That is 3 years! And in 2010 I did a 100 day challenge, where I took a class every day, for 100 days in a row. That totally changed my life! But why did I take a long break recently? Because I got pregnant last November. I was going to do the pregnancy series, but I was working a lot (4 different jobs) that after a work day I just wanted to go to bed (being pregnant makes you extra tired. Now I have a 2 month year old beautiful daughter and my 10 month break from the HOT room is over!!!!

How was my class? It was pretty hard. Heat wasn't bothering me. I was still friends with humidity. I remembered all the poses. BUT. I was super stiff!

1) Trying to lock the knee almost felt impossible again. My muscle was wobbling ...almost vibrating, when I desperately tried to lock the knee.

2) I used to be so good at Half Moon´s last part - but not this time. My hamstrings were very tight!

3) Awkward pose was the only one I didn't listen to the dialogue and did the second part first. lol. Oh and my ankles made such load cracking noise that i bet every yogi heard it!. (It startles my little one too at home..when I am trying to quietly leave the room when she is sleeping)

4)Standing head to knee used to be my favorite. Well.... with jelly instead of muscles.. it was impossible to keep the knee locked. AND I got a little cramp in the legs too.

5) Triangle was very hard to do. AGAIN - out of shape me, got a cramp!

6) Locust pose. The one teacher always say to new people " your arms will hurt like hell". And every time I used to think "no it doesn' t". Well now I know that hurting feeling. Now I know how new people feel. (and my hubby who comes once in 3 months. hehe). And this pose was little hurtful because of the pressure on my chest (breastfeeding!).

All the rest of the poses went great!! I felt amazing after class. Plus it was the first time I was away from my daughter for 2 hours (She does sleep too, but this time she was up and being babysat by daddy).

And now the the "how I feel 1 day later". Every muscle in my body hurts. I missed it. I love all the muscle pain, except one part of it. My NECK! I think Bikram Yoga is the only exercise where you get a short-lasting neck muscle pain. It comes from the first Breathing exercise. But it will go away soon.

I am so happy to be back in the hot room. After the class I felt I could fly. I was energized and super happy for the rest of the night. And now I can´t wait to be back. To all of you who have taken long breaks and hesitate to go back - DO IT! You will thank yourself for going.

Here is my little gem. And the photo at top is taken while I was on my 100 day challenge. The last photo is from when I was pregnant and we had a little photo shoot in the studio.

Even though I didn't do any yoga throughout my pregnancy - my baby delivery was amazingly quick.  Hour and 40 minutes of painful contractions and 20 minutes of pushing. I would do it again in a heart beat!

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Dandayamana-Bibhaktapada-Janushirasana – Standing Separate Leg Head to Knee Pose – For Beginners

Don’t worry too much about your arms that look like a steeple in this pose. The steps that follow will keep your arms straight.

The wider the stance, the easier this pose will be, just as in the Standing Separate Leg Stretching.  Also note the difference between this pose and the Triangle. Instead of keeping your hips and torso facing directly forward you face directly to the side.

You’re having trouble?  As a beginner, you are allowed to bend the right knee as much as necessary to touch your forehead to it. If, even bending the knee, you still cannot touch your forehead to it, you either suffer from a cast-iron spine or you are trying to touch your nose or chin or chest to your knee instead of your forehead.

This is a forehead-to-knee pose, and to get forehead to the knee you must tuck the chin in and keep tucking it in while you curl toward the knee with the forehead, using everything you’ve got.
I don’t know why, but no matter how many times I (Bikram) say the word forehead, my students continue to concentrate on stretching their backs, reaching for their feet, getting their chests close the their legs – everything but what I tell them. 

When finally you succeed in getting your forehead to your knee and your hands down to your feet (which can take a day of weeks), begin then to use the forehead to actually push on the knee and straighten the leg back to the locked position. As you do this, you’ll feel the stretch in the back of your knee. This is good. Push more. Breathing will be a large help here. Big exhalations!  And with each exhalation you will sink deeper into the pose.

Once you are all comfortable, forehead touching, both knees straight, work on twisting your hips even more to the right. Your goal is to face squarely to the right.

This pose gives many of the same slimming and tightening benefits as the Hands to Feet Pose and the Triangle, so give it your best effort!!


The benefits of this pose are the same as Hands to Feet Pose. It also slims abdomen, waistline, hips, buttocks, and upper thighs.
Read more about this poses benefits, pictures, video and tips from here!
Drawings and info from "Bikram´s Beginning Yoga Class " Book, 1978.