Friday, May 22, 2015

Day 18: DONE!!!

I have completed my first ever yoga challenge (and athletic challenge for that matter). As I said, I will be writing a longer post next week but I just wanted to keep you up to date.
Brooks class was great! I was totally in the zone. My right arm was behaving so I was able to get it straight multiple times and I sat for 16 minutes!
I feel super proud of myself! It was fun but at times hard. I plan to keep going 2 times a week.

Anyway, Im done and feel awesome!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Day 17:Nearing the End and 15 Minutes!

It feels like it had been forever since I last went to Vals class. She definitely pushed me hard! During triangle pose, she walked over and asked me to stretch my arms in opposite directions. I did it!

One thing I noticed is that when I need to do forward bending, I can get my head past my knees. Before, on a good day, I could touch my forehead to the top of my knee cap. Now I can get my head between my kneecap and shin.

I sat for 15 minutes today! Val had to cut me off- I could have kept going! I also noticed that I can straighten my back and lift my chin up without losing my balance. This is HUGE because at first I had to stay very still to keep my balance.

I have one more class to go. Friday is a busy day so I plan to write a long reflection next week.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Day 16: Damn Foot Cramp!

Brooks class was going well until Triangle pose when my left foot started cramping. I tried to wait it out but when I got on the floor it was all I could think about! I kept rolling to my side when I should have been lying straight. That kinda ruined what was a good class. I did sit for 5 minutes and 30 seconds.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Day 15: 1 Week Left!

Today marked the end of the fifth week of my challenge and I only have one week left. Brook's class was awesome today and she really pushed me (which I like). I got my right arm straight in a few poses. I also (again) beat my record for sitting up by myself. I sat up for 11 minutes! Not bad!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Day 14: Pushing Myself

I like trying new teachers. Today I went to Mirandas class, which I have been to before but only once. I really like her. Her teaching style is relaxed and fun, but since she doesnt know me that well, I need to be my own motivator and not slack off. I did just that- I pushed myself to be the best I could today. I breathed all through class and my right arm was really behaving so I could straighten it more. I sat for 7:55, which is my third highest time!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Day 13: 10 minutes!

Today, (despite sleeping like shit) was my best class yet! I rocked all the postures, got my right arm straight two times and breathed all the way through class!

AND! I sat for 10:10!!!!Awesome!

Friday, May 8, 2015

Day 12: Right Arm- FTW!

Today in Brooks class, I was determined to get my right arm straight in as many positions as possible. During the second set of Awkward, I got my arm out all the way and held it there for pretty much the whole time. Its amazing when you think you cant do something and then you do it! Before yoga, I viewed my right arm as useless and it got in the way. It still gets in the way, but its cool to know that I can actively do something with it.

I sat for 4:22- not my best, but not my worst either. That was the overall vibe of my practice today.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Day 11: tiredness

I only got 7 hours of sleep last night so getting up for Val's class was not fun. However, because Val's an awesome teacher it was well worth it. I got my right arm out again in awkward pose - that was awesome!
I only sat for 3:10 though. Oh well, everybody has tired days and Val's hilarious stories made class easier.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Day 10: God Damn It, Megan!

Class was pretty good today! My body felt nice and relaxed so I could go deeper into the poses. I did take two deep breaths during the warm up breathing exercises, which was awesome!

However, when I was sitting on my own, I was in my zone concentrating and Megan leaned over to let me know I was almost going to beat my best time and that totally threw me off and I fell over. I started cracking up! Thankfully, my teacher Brook remarked that she enjoys my attitude during class, rather than admonishing me for breaking the silence with my laughter. Overall I was able to sit for 7:10!

A good class!

Friday, May 1, 2015

Day 9: Back in the Saddle

Today was WAY better than Wednesday. I went to Brookes class, one of my favorites and my body could preform normally. I got my right leg out in standing head to knee pose. I sat for 5 minutes and 40 seconds- not bad! And, I didnt roll once!

Also! Im officially half way through my challenge! My body feels more solid. I feel like I am using my core strength more. I used to rely heavily on my legs to stabilize my body but now I feel myself doing this less. Because I used to use my legs so much, they would often spasm causing pain. I am sleeping way better. I dont have that many "tired" days anymore. I feel more zen. I feel like my relationships with the people around me have improved because I am able to let stuff go.

Also, one unexpected benefit has been the community of my studio! Everyone there is super cool and most of them know me by first name and chat with me before and after class. They also have been super encouraging during my challenge.

Three more weeks!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Day 8: Karma

You know how yesterday I was boasting about class being awesome? Well today bit me in the ass. First I missed Vals 9am class but went to Miranda's 11am instead. I really liked her...which was the only thing I liked about class today. My body was so tight I couldnt push myself in any of the positions. I felt like a steel rod. I only managed to sit for 2 minutes but I didnt roll once! I know Friday will be better.

Onward and upward!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Day 7 - Tenacity

I had another scheduling conflict yesterday, so I couldn't go to Brooke's Monday class. So off to Byrons Tuesday class I went. I rolled into class with such determination to do well. And I did! I went deeper in every posture and made sure I was breathing. I also sat for 8:10 minutes!

Friday, April 24, 2015

Day 6: Finding My Groove

Im 1/3 of the way done with my challenge! Today for some reason, all the postures felt easier. It's like I finally figured out the rhythm of the class. I, yet again, got my right arm out during the second set of awkward pose. I think it stayed out for 30 seconds.

When I sat, I managed to stay up for 6 minutes. Next week Megan, my aide, is not going to count out-loud for me because when she does, I find myself just waiting to hit a certain mark and then when I do, I allow myself to collapse.

These two weeks have certainly been challenging but I feel awesome and Im super proud of the progress Ive made. Im super excited to see what I can do in the next 4 weeks!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Day 5: Two in a row

Today was the first time I ever did two classes in a row (1 each day, not back to back). I was definitely more tired today, but I did well. My right arm was not behaving so I had to work through that.

When I was practicing my sitting, I was about 3 minutes in and my teacher Val looked over at me and asked my aide how long I had been sitting. She said about three minutes and Val's eyes got super wide and she started cheering for me. Then the whole class started cheering. I was worried that I would lose my balance but I kept it and sat up for 5 minutes again today!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Day 4: 5 minutes!

So I couldnt go to Mondays class due to a scheduling conflict so I went to Byron's Tuesday class instead. I liked him and I felt great in class. I managed to straighten both of my arms in awkward pose for one minute but then my right arm went back to its favorite curled pose. But progress!!

The more exciting news is I already reached one of my goals: to sit unassisted for 5 minutes!!!! I felt awesome to reach a goal so soon! Tomorrow is Vals class and I cant wait to WOW her.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Day 3: Obstacles

I woke up and the muscle I had pulled a week ago was flaring up. It kept spasming causing me pain. But I knew yoga would help and I was right. I tried a new teacher today and did pretty well considering my leg. I sat unassisted for 3 minutes! I took it kinda easy with stretching my legs out but all in all a good class.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Day 2- Damn Leg!!!

I knew yoga was going to be harder today when I woke up at 6:30am with a leg cramp...and I was right! My movements were more jerky and I had to take it easy on some positions. However, when I sat on the floor, I managed to stay upright unassisted for 2:12!!! I am encouraged because in just one day I doubled my time. Also, when on the floor, my teacher Val walked over to me and asked me to straighten my leg out and I did. When I was in awkward pose I was able to stretch my arms out and not feel exhausted afterwards. When I started yoga,  my arms would shake from the effort. Heres a sweaty picture of me post-class (Im not mad, Im just looking into the sun!)

Monday, April 13, 2015

Day 1- Early Bird Does the Yoga

So as I was signing up for my classes this week, I realized that one of my teachers switched her usual 11am Monday class to 9am. I asked my aide if she could come in early so I could go to Brooks class at 9.
I did not want to wake up this morning but I was excited to start my challenge. Brooks class was especially hard today because I strained my right leg on Friday. However, I did straighten my right arm out a few times. That felt awesome! After class, Brook even complimented me on my arm straightening!
When I was on the floor, I sat unassisted for 1 minute and 11 seconds (roughly). This is a good start!
After class I was glad I went and my right leg felt better and I completed Day 1!!!!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Intro (Why I'm Torturing Myself)

Hey everyone,

Thanks for starting this journey with me. I'm Eva, I'm 32, and tomorrow, I begin my 6 week Bikram Yoga challenge! To those who don't know, Bikram yoga is done for 90 minutes and is 26 poses. The additional challenge is that the room is hot (like 104 degrees hot).

To be fair, I kinda cheated before deciding to do the yoga challenge. Normally, brand new people start out doing a challenge as they begin Bikram. But, I have been casually doing Bikram for 7 weeks. I have a good reason for testing it out before embarking on a challenge.

I have Cerebral Palsy which means for me, I use a power wheelchair to get around and spell out what I want to say on a letter board. This also means my muscles are always tight. I was not sure if I could even do Bikram or how my body would react. Finding a studio was an interesting experience. I called at least 8 studios and explained my situation. They were not exactly rude, but not exactly excited either.

Until I called Bikram Yoga Pasadena and spoke to Val, the owner. She was excited and encouraged me to come to her class and try. Because of my disability, I need to adapt some of the positions. For example, I do the standing series in my chair. My first class, I obviously had no clue what to do, but Val seamlessly adopted positions to fit.

For the 6 week challenge, my goals are to:

-Go to class 3 times a week
-Sit upright, on the mat, unassisted for 5 minutes 
-Get both my right arm and right leg straight out
-No rolling while on the floor (To lie straight on my back)
-To fully command breathing during all breathing exercises
-To straighten my leg in head to knee pose

These 6 weeks will be difficult, but I'm excited to see what I can do! I start tomorrow and I plan to blog after each class.