And the winner is…

After being out on the road for the majority of the week, I am ready to come back and give you some updates!

If you haven’t noticed, I deleted my cry-fest video from last week.  If you missed it, email me and I’ll send you the link.  I decided to remove it from my blog for a couple of reasons:

  1. I decided that this blog is not about the bad things.  Sure, I’ve talked about my struggles, but I know that video was pretty emotional and I got some very strong reactions from some people.  I was overwhelmed by the amount of support I got and texts from folks after they watched it.  Thanks, peeps.  Having said that though, it just felt like bad energy on the blog and I didn’t want that living here.  What’s done is done.
  2. I work with the offender mentioned in this post.  This is a public blog.  It didn’t need to come back and bite me later.

Having said that, let’s move onto the yoga studio decision.  Last week, my monthly pass to Bikram expired and I had three punches left on my card for my old hot yoga studio.  I was ready to make some serious comparisons ($80 a month is no joke for a membership to a studio, and this is pretty standard).  I’ve already cancelled my membership to the ODU rec center since I NEVER PLAN TO GO BACK AGAIN FOR PT.  That was $15 a month.  I also decided over the weekend to cancel my membership to One Life Fitness.  I have only been going a couple of days a week because of my yoga activities since January.  I went there while I was in PT with Cori during the summer and then on my own in the fall after I graduated from PT.  I realized that I have made more progress at Bikram in the past 60 days than I had going to the gym several days a week.  My neuromuscular connections are improving (I can tighten my left quad at will now!) and I’m improving my balance by leaps and bounds.  I had to make a difficult decision:  Keep the gym membership or try to do things exclusively on my own at home for weights and cardio?  I spend about $30 a month at the gym.  By cancelling both the ODU rec center and One Life, I have released $45 a month in cash that could go towards a yoga membership.

The decision was easy.  Quit both gyms, go with my gut, and do the yoga.

Let me be clear though.  I only made this decision AFTER I went to the old yoga studio.  Here’s how it went down.

The first day I went back, I went to a hot vinyasa class.  I love vinyasa.  It’s nice to flow through positions and it’s really relaxing.  I got to the studio early and set up on my mat.  It was a packed room and I was ready to work.  And then it hit me.  The flow was hurting my wrists like crazy. I  had totally forgotten about how much my wrists hurt in vinyasa.  Then, I realized that I was hurting my hips during class because I didn’t have enough time to hold a position accurately.  I was miserable.  The next day, I went to see my beloved Sandra and take another regular hot class.  I set up, ready for some granola crunchy hippy time, and waited for class to start.  I have a pretty good gauge of time passing in class now because of the 45 minute segments in Bikram.  I estimated we spent 15 minutes in the beginning prepping with relaxation exercises.  It wasn’t relaxing. I wanted to get to work.  What was once peaceful to me felt like it was dragging along.  I adore Sandra, but I wasn’t enjoying class at all.  And, the music was making me CRAZY.  Bikram classes don’t have music.  Again, what was once relaxing was very distracting to me.  People around me were verbally emoting during class, which was again, distracting.  This happened in all three classes I went to, including the class the next day.  I never really realized how the vocalizing during class by students was apparent until now, mostly because it just doesn’t happen in Bikram classes.  I was frustrated with myself because I felt like I was being judgy with the old studio.  The two are like comparing apples to oranges.

I had to think it out over the weekend.  I had a free pass to the Bikram studio from points I earned for attending during the month, so I decided to make an experiment out of it and see how I felt about the Bikram studio after going to the old studio for the past three days.  I was ready to feel overwhelmed again by Bikram yoga, stressed out by the bright room, and maybe bored by the standard positions.  Instead, what I got was instant “active” meditation.  It was calming to know what to expect in the next posture, to have the comfort of knowing I wasn’t hurting myself by moving into/out of postures too quickly in a flow yoga style, and I actually felt like I WORKED in the class.  Don’t get me wrong, the old studio was relaxing in a way (maybe because the room is dark), but I didn’t feel RELAXED when I left.

When I leave Bikram, I feel like I’ve worked my ass off, but I am so peaceful at the same time.  I understood the idea of active meditation, but I don’t know if I really realized that is what was happening to me in the room.  I don’t think I really bought into the idea that was even possible in a bright room with it being so hot.  But now I think it’s almost like what runners must experience.  It’s not like the runner’s high, at least from my lack of running, but it seems like it’s being “in the zone”.  I’m so in the zone at Bikram.  It’s physically and mentally stressful, but it captures all of my attention.  The music, the dark room, the other groaning and sighing with exasperation students at the other studio all are distractions to me.

These revelations were shocking but clearly obvious to me after I left the Bikram studio on Saturday morning.

I have two more free passes that I will use this weekend for Bikram and then I will go ahead and make the monthly auto-debit commitment.

In other news, my sewing lady emailed me back after being MIA for several weeks and apologized profusely for ignoring me while she and her husband moved out of their home and into another.  The shorts are still a go!

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