Revisiting the Rabbit (previously known as Daringly Doing the Rabbit)

In honor of Easter, I’m revisiting my post on the Rabbit pose from a couple of weeks ago!  I’m also working on migrating to a new blog: http://confessionsofayogaprincess.wordpress.com

I’ll be posting in both blogs for the next couple of months. By the end of the summer I’ll be posting only in the Yoga Princess blog!

“Argue for your limitations and they’re yours.” ~Richard Bach

I’ve had a habit, over the past eleven months of my Bikram practice, of saying variations of the following: “I can’t do that pose.” “That pose isn’t for me.” “My body is too big to do THAT.” I’ve made these declarations to myself, to others, to my instructor………But, you wanna know a secret? Those limitations exist only in my mind. I create them. When I declare I can’t do a pose, I make that my truth.

Earlier in the week I made some statement about not liking rabbit pose. I don’t remember the exact wording, but I’m sure it had something to do with not being able to do the pose. Well, there’s some truth to that. In this present moment I can’t do the idealized version of the pose, but I can benefit from doing the pose to the best of my ability.

The question to then ask myself: how does the body benefit from rabbit? and how can I work the pose to achieve that benefit. Bikram describes Rabbit Pose as “the most radical forward-bending and spinal compression” posture in his sequence. How then do I adjust the pose to achieve that effect? I concentrate on rounding my back and on not putting too much pressure on my neck. When I started doing rabbit I’d put way too much pressure on my neck—not a good thing.

I’ve learned over time then to work at, really work at rounding my back. Each time I go into the pose I try a new little adjustment, knowing my body will tell me when it’s ready to go further. Sometimes that means I push where I’m not sure I’ll go. That allows me to discover new space. Most often I discover I can go further than I imagined. I’m learning to love and revel in the new spaces.

I’m also learning to listen to myself more and more. If I listened to everybody who ever told me someone of my size couldn’t do yoga, couldn’t do this, couldn’t do that—well then, I’d probably be dead from inactivity. Anyone of any size, any ability, any anything can do yoga. If you can breathe you can yoga.

Argue for your limitations and they’re yours. Accept your limitlessness and an unknown infinite world of possibilities awaits!!!! Which will you choose?

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http://youtu.be/LDxJKJ0gvWg

Facing Fears in Fixed Firm

It’s time to make a change. It’s time to become more of who I am. In the next couple of months I’ll be migrating over to http://confessionsofayogaprincess.wordpress.com/. By the end of the summer I’ll have completed the move. Until then all my musings will be posted here and on the other blog. In this way, I’ll have time to make sure everyone who looks for me here will be able to find my new location! In the meantime, here’s a blog on my Bikram Yoga Practice!

Some of the poses in Bikram Yoga I have trouble with because of my current body shape; with others it’s my mind; and, with all poses difficulties arise from a combination of body and mind.

Fixed Firm has always stood out for me as a pose I aspire to achieve. Yet, paradoxically, I’ve also always felt I never would be able to achieve it, at least not until I had a skinnier body. But I’ve been around long enough to know that EACH AND EVERY TIME I utter the words “I’m not skinny enough to do that” or “I’m too fat to do that” it’s my brain working diligently at limiting me.

You see, my mind, left to its own devices would have me devouring sugary fatty foods to the point of emotional oblivion. My sneaky devious mind would have me believe there are so so so many things I can’t do, when the truth is just the opposite—I can do anything! I might have to work for it, but, if I put my mind to work, the possibilities are limitless.

Fixed Firm brings a whole new dimension to the mental, emotional and physical healing aspects of yoga. In addition to the struggles my body might have in fulfilling the ideal logistics of the posture, Fixed Firm drudges up the fears of the past, fears I can’t quite explain without telling you a story, a simple story.

I think I might have been 8 or 9 or some age therein. I happened to be at a gathering in Big Bear, in someone’s house. I found myself rocking back and forth in a recliner when suddenly it tipped all the way back, scaring me.  I cried out to the adults around me for help getting up, but they just laughed and told me I got into this myself, so I could figure out how to get out of it myself.

Somehow I did manage to get back up, but ever since that time I have had a fear of falling backward. I can be in the chair getting my hair done, and if the chair moves back too quickly I find myself feeling startled, and, normally, I’ll jump. I’ve been working on conquering this fear I have of falling backward, and I’ve gotten much better, but…….

When I’m in fixed firm, when I find my way to the fullest expression possible at this moment I have to fight the fear, the fear of not being able to get up, the fear of being stuck somewhere without help……it’s just fear.

Paradoxically, when my body finds its way into the pose, I also feel elation! Sheer JOY! My heart sings for my body is finding and exploring new places, and every time my body finds a new place my soul soars.

In that very real sense, fixed firm, my yoga, heals me in ways nothing else can for each time I enter the fear and fight through it to experience the joy I inch closer to my goal of self-realized love anchored on the inside.

I am pasting four pictures: the first pic is a then and now, showing 2014 and 2013; the last pic shows me doing Fixed Firm in the summer of 2013. The other two pictures, with me in the pink outfit, were taken on April 11, 2014 by Leila Brewster of Leila Brewster Photography: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Leila-Brewster-Photography/117192441646596. My yoga instructor, Loren Jay Cherrstrom assisted with the poses. You can find him on Twitter @sweatwithloren.

To read more about Fixed Firm, please click on the following link:

http://www.bikramyogales.com/bikram-yoga/bikram-26-postures/20-fixed-firm-pose/

Follow me on Facebook:

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Fixed Firm April 2014 and July 2013

Fixed Firm April 2014 and July 2013

Fixed Firm

Me in Fixed Firm April 11th, 2014

Fixed Firm 2

Loren Helping with Adjustments–Curve the Back Higher and Then Go Back Down!

Fixed Firm July 20th, 2013

Fixed Firm July 20th, 2013

 

Squats Done Right!

Video

Not that long ago in the land of OZ, I posted a squat challenge on facebook and then posted a squat video: https://confessionsofahawaiianprincess.wordpress.com/2014/03/15/squats-away/

My squats in that video, for lack of a better look, reflected how tired my body felt after doing 40 squats. Actually, I wanted to say lazy but realized that’s not a very yogi-like attitude.

At any rate, not too long after my first squat video, my friends at Bikram Yoga Glasgow reposted my squat challenge and nine of them clicked like, so I thought this would be a fun opportunity to work at doing the squats to the best of my current ability.

After I did the first video, some people asked me questions about the curtsy/booty busting squats, so I tried to demonstrate them a little more clearly. At one point in the video I show myself doing the squats from the rear. Ideally the back leg will, at some point, rest horizontally on the ground. I’m not there yet, but will be someday.

In another couple of months I’ll do another squat video and show the two videos side by side, to show the progression of my squat practice. I’m a fan of showing progress in ways that have nothing to do with a number on a scale and different videos are a great way to show how much stronger my body is becoming. I encourage you to find ways to record your strengthening body. Embrace your body in the now, and celebrate as it becomes more of what you’re working for it to become!

Daringly Doing the Rabbit!

Video

“Argue for your limitations and they’re yours.” ~Richard Bach

I’ve had a habit, over the past eleven months of my Bikram practice, of saying variations of the following: “I can’t do that pose.” “That pose isn’t for me.” “My body is too big to do THAT.” I’ve made these declarations to myself, to others, to my instructor………But, you wanna know a secret? Those limitations exist only in my mind. I create them. When I declare I can’t do a pose, I make that my truth.

Earlier in the week I made some statement about not liking rabbit pose. I don’t remember the exact wording, but I’m sure it had something to do with not being able to do the pose. Well, there’s some truth to that. In this present moment I can’t do the idealized version of the pose, but I can benefit from doing the pose to the best of my ability.

The question to then ask myself: how does the body benefit from rabbit? and how can I work the pose to achieve that benefit. Bikram describes Rabbit Pose as “the most radical forward-bending and spinal compression” posture in his sequence. How then do I adjust the pose to achieve that effect? I concentrate on rounding my back and on not putting too much pressure on my neck. When I started doing rabbit I’d put way too much pressure on my neck—not a good thing.

I’ve learned over time then to work at, really work at rounding my back. Each time I go into the pose I try a new little adjustment, knowing my body will tell me when it’s ready to go further. Sometimes that means I push where I’m not sure I’ll go. That allows me to discover new space. Most often I discover I can go further than I imagined. I’m learning to love and revel in the new spaces.

I’m also learning to listen to myself more and more. If I listened to everybody who ever told me someone of my size couldn’t do yoga, couldn’t do this, couldn’t do that—well then, I’d probably be dead from inactivity. Anyone of any size, any ability, any anything can do yoga. If you can breathe you can yoga.

Argue for your limitations and they’re yours. Accept your limitlessness and an unknown infinite world of possibilities awaits!!!! Which will you choose?

Follow me on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/ConfessionsofaYogaPrincess

Breathing: the One Bikram Asana I DISLIKE(D)

Video

Breathing: the One Bikram Yoga Pose I DISLIKE

I know. I know. Breath gives life. Breath gives existence. Yet, I resist it. From the beginning I’ve resisted it. I didn’t want to engage my core in the opening sequence, nor in the ending sequence. Too difficult, too hard—those serve as excuses, don’t they? The greater truth lies in the power of breath, the power it has to manifest untold soul realizations.

Last Friday, I casually mentioned that I hated the breathing sequence. Didn’t really see its purpose. Of course, I knew better. Breath gives more than oxygen to the lungs; breath gives oxygen to all the muscles, all the cells in the body. The better I breathe in the first breathing sequence, the better my body will do in the remaining poses, and the better my mind and spirit will do during the rest of the day. My mind knows this truth, but my body and spirit resist it. That is to say they resisted it until this past Friday.

After my very casual comment, my instructor told me that breathing happened to be the most important asanas of the class—I kinda knew that but had been resisting it. Then he dared me to do the breathing at the beginning and end of the class and do no other poses in between. Just spend 75-80 minutes observing my breath. I suspect he may not have thought I’d take him up on it, but I did!

As I normally do two classes back-to-back I decided that I would put my all into my poses so I could really have a deep meditative breath experience during the second class. I didn’t tell my instructor I’d be taking him on the dare, but I’m me, and I’ve got a lot of mental sh*t to let go of, so I’m sure it didn’t come as a surprise!

As the second class began I immediately made a decision to fully place myself within my breath, allowing oxygen to fully embrace my being. I kept my core activated during the entire opening breathing sequence. As soon as the the class started the half-moon sequence I stilled my body. For a few moments I just stood there breathing.

Then I laid down in savasana and tuned out all the happenings around me: the instructor’s voice, the movements and breath of others. The difficult part, of course, involved calming my own mind. So many thoughts raced through for about 15 minutes. I watched a mental thought movie of my life: I saw so many negative messages pass through. Messages people told me through the years: “I’m too needy, too emotional. It takes too much effort to be my friend.” I can’t really remember all the messages now, but they came flying at a startling rate. I didn’t become involved with them though; I waited for them to pass.

The insecurities, the negativity, every crazy thought filtered through my mind. I found myself wishing that I could express my self more in the moment. I saw every wrong “thing” go through my head. I struggled to stay still but I knew if I just waited the thoughts would stop. Finally, they did. The voices shut up.

As my mind stilled, my body became heavy, so heavy that I no longer felt a part of it. A deep peace flowed through my body. My conscious relaxation became an unconscious relaxation. I had no awareness of my surroundings, of my thoughts, of any external or internal force. For about 40 minutes (a rough estimate) I experienced a deeper peace than I’d felt in any other meditation (I do meditate regularly).

My physical body apparently decided it needed to move at some point and the numbness of my ar*e melded my mind, body and soul out of its deep peace, not entirely though, but enough to start a slow awakening.

When it came time for the final breathing I didn’t want to move, to leave the calm peace I’d experienced, for I knew I wanted to avoid a rough reality.

Sure enough, as the day progressed, the blissful emptiness I’d experienced filled with so many of the negative thoughts I’d seen filter through my mind at the beginning of my meditation during class. I so want this to be a journey of complete mental, emotional and physical healing. I’m such an emotional eater that I know I have to be willing to see deep inside my self.

I have a hard time expressing my self in the moment. My emotions become so clouded by my past that I struggle with the simplest of expressions. I struggle with telling people how I feel. It takes a literal miracle for me to express my self if my feelings have been affected because I know my past experiences cloud my present emotions. Sometimes I feel like I don’t have the right to have my feelings because they’ve been forced down for so long—a survival mechanism for sure.

My struggle, my greatest battle is this: SEPARATING THE PAST FROM THE PRESENT TO MOLD A BETTER FUTURE.

After my yogic meditative experience I went on one of my favorite hikes. I knew I needed to give my self space to process all the sh*t that deep meditations can bring up. I wanted to give myself the space to feel, to experience, to wade through it all, so I could find my way out.

As I sat on a bench atop a hill I asked the universe for a sign, a very clear sign that would help me find clarity and beauty in the moment, and the universe delivered. I got my message in the most unexpected of ways, from the most unexpected of persons. The message didn’t solve my issues, but it made me smile and it told me very clearly that I had chosen the right path. That I would work my way through the muck to see the beauty.

Yoga really does heal. It doesn’t mean it’s always easy. But, in this moment, I know I’ll make it. I am determined to make it. Determined to let go of the past, to separate it from the present so I can create a better future.

Indeed that’s exactly what I’m doing: creating a better future.

I embrace the realizations that deep meditation brought forth. I embrace the work that lies ahead. I embrace the idea of spending a whole class lying in savasana again. Breath brings life. Breath brings hope. And now I have a whole new respect and perspective on breath.

Oh, and the next time you see someone spending the whole class in savasana know that they just might be having the most amazing transcendental transformational experience of their lives. Consider trying it some time! It’ll be the most amazing roller coaster ride of your life.

Follow more of my journey on Facebook:

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Hot Tips for a Happy Hot/Bikram Yoga Class

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I’ve absolutely positively fallen in love with Bikram Yoga and the many blessings it has brought to my life in the 11 months I’ve been practicing. I thought it might be fun to share some of my thoughts about how to have a happy and successful Bikram experience. These are my thoughts only. I’m sure I’ve left something out, so please feel free to add in the comment section and please feel free to share with others if you feel my thoughts might be of help.

BEFORE CLASS:

1)      TIMELINESS: Show up early. Actually, show up at least fifteen minutes before the start of class. This will give sufficient time to place your belongings away, situate your mat, and use the lavatory. Showing up late (and someone almost always does) disrupts the class.

2)      CLOTHING (for the girls): What to wear: less is more. An acceptable amount of less, that is. About five months into my Bikram Yoga practice, I lost my inhibitions and started practicing in my bike shorts and sports bra, making my practice so much more enjoyable and the heat more bearable. I also wear cotton as it allows my skin to breathe more freely.

CLOTHING (for the guys): For the guys: less is more too! Speedo type yoga outfits give you much more coverage than regular shorts. They hold more in when you’re doing poses like standing bow, locust, etc.

3)      SCENTS: Avoid wearing perfume and/or lotion. Wearing perfume will make it difficult for others to breathe. If you wear lotion, it’ll be so much more difficult to hold your leg during standing bow or your feet during floor bow.  Think of how little grip anyone would have with sweaty, greasy skin!

4)      CELL PHONES: Leave them outside the door.  They’re distracting to you and to your fellow practitioners. Besides, do you really want stinky smelly sweat flung on your adored electronic device?

5)      WATCH WHERE YOU WALK: When walking into the yoga room, do your best not to step on others’ yoga mats. It’s polite AND sanitary!

6)      MENTAL ATTITUDE: Leave ALL your “stuff” outside the door. If you’re not in the moment, the moment won’t be in you!

7)      HAIR: If you have long hair, you’ll want to put it up. If you forget hair ties/scrunchies, the studio usually has some. I prefer colorful scrunchies, but have discovered they start to stink after a while, so if you’re a fan of scrunchies, then you’ll want to make sure you can wash them! If you choose to leave your long hair down, you run the risk of flinging more sweat than you already do and of having sweat drenched hair fall in places that cause distraction and/or discomfort.

8)      HYDRATION: Hydration does not happen during class!  Hydrate the day before and the day of! Hydrate with water, with fruit, and with veggies!  Always hydrate!  Hydrate after class, too!  During class, water breaks wet your whistle; they don’t function as your hydration source. A well-hydrated body has more energy in the hot room!

DURING CLASS:

9)      HYDRATION PART TWO: Bring water to class. BUT, don’t drink until the instructor calls for the first water break, after eagle!  Following eagle, some instructors set water breaks; others allow you to drink as needed.  In the latter instance, wait until the class is between poses to dip for that water bottle. Drinking during a pose disrupts the flow of others’ poses.

10)   WIPING THAT SWEAT: Don’t wipe. Yes, the room feels hot—it’s 105 degrees!  But the very second you wipe, even if it’s just to temporarily keep a drip of sweat off your face, you’ll just end up making yourself hotter. Think of it as the evaporative cooling effect. It might feel better for a second, but you WILL feel hotter. Also, unnecessary wiping of sweat disrupts the meditative stillness of the room.

11)   MORE ON SWEAT: You’ll sweat; others will sweat; if you’re a sweat fountain, bring an extra towel and wipe up your sweat between poses and after class.

12)   EVEN MORE ON SWEAT: If sweat bothers you in general. If you find yourself obsessing over where the sweat of your fellow practitioners’ falls, you’ll get over it once your practice becomes more regular. In the hot room you just can’t escape sweat.

13)   WHERE TO PRACTICE: Practice in the front of the room just once. You never know what you might see! The front row is usually reserved for seasoned practitioners, so make sure you’re having an “on” day when you try this!

14)   WHERE TO PRACTICE, PART TWO: Looking to place your mat in a cool spot in the room? Place it near a door or a window with a draft, but, generally, the room’s hot. You can’t escape that.  Being near the door might give you teasing, momentary relief.

15)   WHERE TO PRACTICE IN THE ROOM, PART THREE: Wherever you put your mat down, someone will put theirs near you, unless it’s a small class. All you need is the space on your mat. Trust me on this one. If you really want to go to a small class, pay for a private or try a middle of the day class in the middle of the week.

16)   APPEARANCE IN THE ROOM: Don’t worry about how you look doing poses. If anyone is watching you, they’re not in their moment, in their practice. Be in your practice.  That’s all that matters, anyway. I have felt so much happier and peaceful since the day I stopped worrying so much about the way my body looked in the hot room.

17)   BATHROOM/KLEENEX BREAKS: Not happening (unless you’re pregnant). Sure, nobody is going to lock the door, but seasoned practitioners know what “bathroom/kleenex breaks” are really about—they’re about getting yourself a few minutes relief from the heat. Fight through the urge to escape.  Your body will thank you and so will your fellow practitioners. Besides, the heat allows your body to go more deeply into poses, and leaving the room for cold air counteracts that benefit. Oh, and if you need a Kleenex, there’s usually some in the room or bring a few if you’re prone to sneezing fits.

18)   LISTEN TO YOUR BODY: If a pose hurts a portion of your body, before you decide to sit it out see if you can find a way to modify the pose do it doesn’t hurt. If you have a pre-existing injury, tell your instructor before class so s/he can offer suggestion. If a pose bothers/hurts you during class ask the instructor after class to see if they can offer an adjustment that will help.

19)   FEELING LIGHTHEADED AND/DIZZY: if you feel light-headed and/or dizzy and need to stop, just stand and breathe (or stay on the floor and breathe if you’re doing the floor series). If, while breathing, you start to reach for water or a towel, take that energy and put it into your pose. If you have the energy to reach for that water/towel, you have the energy to do your yoga. Your breath gives you all you need.

AFTER CLASS:

20)   LOCKER ROOM ETIQUETTE, PART ONE : Lose your inhibitions in the dressing room. You’ll be happier just throwing off your sweaty clothes after class and not worrying about what others may think of your body. All of us have the same body parts—they just don’t look the same! I learned fairly quickly that my body felt better the sooner I removed the sweat-drenched clothes from my skin. Most studios have too many students to have individual dressing rooms. Some people, I’ve noticed, like to use the bathrooms as changing rooms, but this results in unnecessary and sometimes painful delays for those who really need a lavatory!

21)   LOCKER ROOM ETIQUETTE, PART TWO: Take short showers, three minutes or less. This isn’t your home. Don’t shave your legs, your pits; don’t exfoliate your entire body; don’t give yourself that homemade facial that takes fifteen minutes! Get in the shower; wash the sweat off; give your hair a quick wash and get out! People are waiting!!!! FYI: not all studios have showers, so call ahead to make sure if you’re a person who needs a shower.

22)   BLOW DRYERS: If you really need to dry your hair, bring your own or call ahead, but, generally, a yoga studio changing room doesn’t have tons of space for primping (some do though!).

GENERAL TIPS:

23)   HEAT: The room will be hot. You will survive. Just remember to breathe and do your best to stay in the room. Just staying in the room the first couple of times will give you a yoga high unlike anything you’ve ever experienced.

24)   MAT: If you like hot/Bikram Yoga, really like it, invest in a good mat, or, at the very least, a good yoga mat towel, such as Yogitoes or eQua.  A solid mat/towel will provide you with so much more stability and will be more effective at soaking up sweat. A few weeks ago, after practicing 6-7 times a week for ten months, I decided to invest in a Manduka Pro-lite.  Not cheap by any means ($78), but worth the money. I feel more stability in my poses, and it doesn’t absorb odor.  Prior to the Manduka, I’d been using regular mats, which felt squishy, and they would retain the odor, requiring frequent washings.

25)   MORE ON MATS: If you use an inexpensive mat, buy a new one every year.  No amount of washing will completely remove the stench of a year’s worth of sweat.

26)   MAT TOWELS: See above. Buy new ones after a year.  Your nose and everyone else’s will thank you.

27)   GYM/YOGA BAG: Buy one that breathes and/or clean out the one you have with vinegar or some other cleaning solution.  Otherwise your car and your house will find themselves housing sweaty odors, and you’ll notice people not wanting to hang around you in your environment.

28)   WATER BOTTLE: Invest in a good water bottle.  It will pay for itself in time. I have a water bottle that keeps water cool, with the extra added benefit of unleashing a cool back draft onto my face after I take a sip. http://www.hydroflask.com/

29)   EATING: Consume lighter foods. Heavier foods make it more difficult to practice effectively, bogging down your body, mind, and spirit. Also, if you’ve ever found yourself having a difficult time in class, ask yourself what foods/drinks you ate the day before or the day of. Heavier foods/processed foods/sugary foods can be the cause of nausea and/or dizziness during class. Try not to eat two hours before class. You and your stomach will be happier. But show up no matter what!!  That counts more than anything!

30)   DRINKING (as in alcohol): alcohol dehydrates, so if you drink booze, don’t be a bozo, drink more water before and after class!

31)   GET OUT OF YOUR OWN WAY: When Bikram says “kill yourself” he means diminish all the little and not so little doubts that tell you can’t do a pose, you can’t be all you want, you can’t, you can’t, you can’t, you can’t……….YOU CAN!!!!  Just show up and do IT!

32)   SMILE: Smiling makes every moment easier, happier, lighter, etc. Besides, have you noticed how unhappy people look when they don’t smile? I’m not advocating hiding pain, but smiling through pain can make it more bearable!

33)   LAUNDRY: You’ll be doing a lot of laundry. When you see your favorite detergent on sale, buy it in bulk. If you waited too long to wash your sweat-drenched clothes, add a drop of vinegar to your washing machine—it’ll take care of the added bacteria and odor. If you really wait too long you’ll want to buy new clothes.

34) WAXING: For the ladies and gents who wax. Don’t Don’t Don’t wax before you got to a Bikram class unless you are a glutton for punishment. I had my eyebrows waxed once before I went to a class and the pain felt excruciating, and that’s putting it mildly.

35)   SHARE GRATITUDE: Marcel Proust once said, “Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.”  When you leave the studio, smile and say thank you to your instructor.  If they said something particularly helpful during class, tell them. If they adjusted you during class, thank them. Being a Bikram instructor takes a great deal of time and effort, more than you will ever see in the class. It’s a true labor of love that consumes more of their lives than the 90 minutes they just spent making you sweat more than you ever thought you would. Fill your karma bank account and theirs by showing them your appreciation and love.

 

FINAL THOUGHTS: A regular Bikram yoga practice will change your life from the inside out. Much has been said about the sweating away of toxins. In the short time (11 months) that I’ve practiced, I can attest that I’m happier than I’ve ever been. I may not know exactly where I’m going, but I’m so much stronger for the time I spend in the hot room. It’s become my safe place, a place that allows me to dig deep within and pull from the reservoir of strength hiding within my soul. If you haven’t tried Bikram Yoga, give it a shot. You never know what you’ll find. And what you find might just be your Self. Namaste.

Follow more of my journey on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/ConfessionsofaYogaPrincess

Tricks Triangle Teaches Me

Video

I have fallen madly deeply utterly and completely in love with Triangle Pose in yoga, a pose most people don’t care for. Not me! I adore it! Why?

Every time I perform triangle I learn something new about my body. This past Wednesday the sky shifted completely for me during triangle. Why?

Alignment! Alignment!! Alignment!!! I work diligently at keeping my body properly aligned. As larger person I feel hyper-conscious about how I move because I know that I waddled more than moved before yoga became a regular part of my life. Now, you see why alignment and triangle and I have a deep passion for each other.

One of my struggles with triangle involves keeping my torso in life with my leg and hip. As the bulk of my body weight rests in my abdomen I have a tendency to lean forward in triangle—it’s a rough battle to not rest the side of my torso on my bent leg!

This past Wednesday, during triangle, I looked in the mirror and noticed my torso leaning forward. I already felt too hot, too tired, but this voice in my head screamed “just lift up your torso, so it’s in line with your leg and hip.” Somehow I found the energy to comply with that little voice of mine, and, in that moment, I really understood, I had yet another “aha” yoga moment!

The very second I lifted my torso into the proper alignment, the thigh of my bent leg came alive, so alive I could feel the heat in the room intensify, and in that moment every muscle and nerve ending in the thigh of my bent leg woke up in ways they hadn’t in a very very long time! I experienced how triangle helps build thigh strength!

I feel so grateful every time I have an aha moment in yoga, ever time I have a body revelation in the hot room, for each time I have one of these experience experiences, I receive a gift, one that confirms my acceptance of my physical body. The more I accept my body in its current form, the more it tells me how I can work to improve it. And where the body improves so does the mind and spirit.

(a note on the video: the first part shows me performing triangle with my torso out of alignment and the second part shows me with my torso in alignment to the best of my ability. As I watched the completed video I found myself not entirely pleased with it, and I almost redid, but decided I would keep it as is and use it as a foundation upon which to keep improving my practice. I also did triangle from a side view to demonstrate another angle of alignment.)

For a more comprehensive discussion of triangle, please click on the following link: http://www.bikramyogales.com/bikram-yoga/bikram-26-postures/9-triangle-pose/

Follow more of my journey on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/ConfessionsofaYogaPrincess