Posted by: kerryalina | 1 October 2012

Burning Man

I’ve been back in Melbourne for a fortnight, but it’s hard to put this experience into words.  People keep asking me what the coolest thing I saw was and I just stare at them blankly, silently grasping at explanations.  Trying to tell them it was never about seeing things; never about watching from afar.  It was about moments and experiences and sharing them with other people.

I’ve had dust-covered strangers hug me and welcome me home to a place I’ve never been. I’ve wandered the desert in dust storms so dense I couldn’t see my hand in front of my face… and ten seconds later looked out over a vista that was clear, still and without boundary. I got engaged to a man I’d met 5 minutes earlier, then left him at the altar when the priest wandered off; distracted by stripper poles.  I’ve had a moment of utter clarity, prompted by the perfect comment by the perfect person at the perfect time.

I’ve seen (and touched, and climbed) twenty million artworks without understanding any of them, and I fell in love with each and every one.  I’ve met the purest souls and the most beautiful people I’ve ever encountered, and had the chance to connect with my dad in a way that I didn’t know was missing from my life. I’ve been with 50,000 people as we danced and screamed and howled at the moon when the fireworks flew and the Man burned… and sat with the same crowd the following night, holding each other and weeping as the Temple burned in silence.  I’ve challenged every preconception I had of who I am and what I can do, and I damn well broke most of them.

For that one week, I was home… and I can’t wait to go back.

Climbing Artwork on the Playa

Advertisements
Posted by: kerryalina | 31 May 2012

Birthday! Yoga! Terrifying Life Decisions!

Life has been all kinds of crazy lately.  It’s gotten to the stage where I have SO MUCH to write about that I didn’t even know where to start.  The net result was that I haven’t written at all.  Which makes me sad.  And I don’t like to be sad!  So, without further ado, here’s what I’ve been up to:

Birthday

I celebrated my 28th in style… with great friends, $200 worth of fancypants cheese and antipasto, and ROLLER DERBY.  Nothing says “Happy Birthday” like watching super-awesome (super-hot) chicks go fast and beat each other up, amirite?

Yoga

I’ve been averaging two classes a week.  Okay… maybe it’s closer to one class a week.  You guys, it’s just so hard to fit classes in around my busy schedule of sitting on the couch!  I did go to Lynn Whitlow’s seminar all day last Saturday, which was flat out amazeballs.  I honestly do not have enough good things to say about this woman.  If you have the chance to go to ANY of her master classes/workshops/seminars/retreats, I highly highly highly recommend it.

Also… just for fun, yesterday I tried a class at Barre Body as one of Lululemon’s freebie community offerings.  It was part yoga, part ballet poses and part Jane Fonda-esque aerobics and it would have been a great workout if I could have just stopped giggling.  Sadly, while I was fine during the class… today my shoulders/arms and abs are once again ON FIRE.  Bloody planks.

Work

Um, okay.  This is where most of the craziness has been coming from.  I enjoy the work I do and I love working with the vast majority of my colleagues.  Unfortunately, there are a few people in the office who make it… interesting.  As in, sexually harassed/bullied/I’m-going-to-hide-in-the-toilets-and-cry-for-an-hour interesting.  I was constantly taking sick days because I was so distraught about going to work that I’d make myself physically ill.  That mind/body overlap is an interesting thing.

I’d tried applying for other jobs with little success.  I was so desperately stressed and unhappy that I’d go into interviews anxious and tense; my interactions just so unbelievably stilted and awkward.  Unsurprisingly, I never got so much as a callback.  Which resulted in even more more stress and unhappiness, combined with self-doubt and despair.  It was a truly horrible cycle and one I had no idea how to break.

Although that’s not quite true.  Because I had at least one idea.  But it was scary and illogical and to me, with my ubiquitous checklists and budgets and timelines, the safe but miserable will always win over the scary and unknown.

Except, apparently, for last week, when I woke up shivering and feverish and – yet again – called in sick.  When I felt the relief wash over me, knowing that I wouldn’t be forced to go to work that day… all too quickly followed by a wave of dread when I realised that I’d be back at my desk tomorrow.  When I realised that it was my birthday and I was spending it curled up under the blankets, blinking back tears and trying desperately to avoid thinking about the following day.

“Fuck it,” I thought.  “I’ll quit.”

And I did.

  • Time elapsed unsuccessfully applying for jobs (all jobs, any jobs!) whilst miserably employed:
    Eight months
  • Time elapsed between giving notice and being offered the perfect job:
    Four days

Whaddaya know.  Sometimes those insane, illogical, TERRIFYING choices?  They work out just fine.

Posted by: kerryalina | 14 May 2012

Cheating on Bikram

I’m sure you’ll be shocked and appalled to discover that I haven’t been to Bikram in over a week.  And why haven’t I been to Bikram in over a week?  (I know you’re all on the edge of your seats!)  It’s because I decided to fulfil a promise I made to myself at the start of my challenge and try a different style of yoga.  One that does Downward Dogs.

Here’s my verdict: all of you who do “normal” yoga?  The ones with Downward Dogs and Sun Salutations and all that jazz?  You’re INSANE.  I couldn’t lift my arms above shoulder height for three days afterwards.

The class itself actually felt almost laughably easy at the time.  It was billed as Dynamic Yoga; the website described it as “a moving meditation” and said the class had “a focus on energy, alignment and breath.”  It was… Sun Salutations.  Lots and lots and lots of Sun Salutations.  A full hour of Sun Salutations, in fact (both A & B, they informed me afterwards.  Presumably that means something to other people.  People who aren’t me.  Or people who could be bothered to google it).

I was excited at first, but then became more nervous about it, mainly because of the eyeroll I got from the teacher when I said I’d only ever done Bikram.  I felt like my one great love’s reputation was at stake and I’d be damned if I was going to let the home team down!  So as scary as it was to lie on my mat waiting for class to start, feeling my muscles contract in the slightly chilly air and watching the fans lazily rotate overhead, I swallowed my trepidation and threw myself into it.

Just a little too energetically, as it turns out.  What I forgot was that Bikram doesn’t have a whole lot of arm work and I’ve never done a pushup (let alone a Chaturanga) in my life… so although I do have shiny new bicep muscles, I don’t actually know how to use them properly!  Everything felt easy at the time… but I woke up the next morning feeling like I’d been dragged by wild horses.  I felt approximately 90 million years old.  My shoulders still haven’t forgiven me.

Ignoring for a moment the agony the next day (and the day after that… and the day after that…), it was actually a really interesting experience.  Our mats lined the long sides of a narrow studio and we faced the centre of the room for most of the class – meaning the two rows of students were face-to-face with each other.  It took a surprising amount of concentration to avoid being distracted or unnerved by meeting the eyes of someone else!  The teacher was at one end of the room, both verbally instructing and physically demonstrating the poses… so I was constantly craning my head 90 degrees to figure out the next step.  There were no mirrors, so I have absolutely no idea how good my alignment was, or how deep I managed to get into each pose.  I have a few habits from Bikram that seemed to be antithetical to her teaching – she patiently coaxed my chin away from my shoulder in Triangle, and dropping my head all the way back in Cobra was frowned upon.  Surprisingly, I found it much more difficult to do slight variations on poses that I already knew, than to learn completely new poses from scratch.  There were so many similarities, both during the poses and within the elements of the class itself… but just enough differences to take completely out of my comfort zone.

But that’s always the way, isn’t it?  For most things we do in our lives, we have habits and routines.  We do the same things, day after day… either because we think that’s the best way to do it, or because that’s just the way it’s always been done.  Either way, our actions become second nature over time and we stop considering the myriad of steps involved in each action – be it a yoga pose, or how we brush our teeth in the morning.  It only takes a few very small changes to realise just how much we do on autopilot… and it can be an amazing experience to take a step back and consider each individual act that makes up the whole.  From that point of view, I’m really glad that I went to this class.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to get another heatpack for my shoulder.

Posted by: kerryalina | 8 May 2012

Zoom Zoom

I sat my licence test today.  No, I’m not 18; I’ve just been putting it off for years (and years. and years).  Because I had no time, no money.  Because I moved out of home when I was 17 and all my various family members promptly moved interstate and overseas so they couldn’t teach me.  Because I live in within walking distance of a city which also has amazing public transport and who needs a car anyway, right?

Um, no.  Not quite.  It’s all true, of course… but like I said yesterday: I’ve always been quite good at finding reasons to avoid things I don’t want to do.

And here’s why I didn’t want to get my licence: I’m not good at driving.

I’m very good at most everything that I do.  That’s not because I’m incredibly gifted at every single thing that I try.  It’s because if I’m not good at something, I avoid it like the plague.  I was a child prodigy (only a slight exaggeration, I swear) on the piano, so I kept playing and aced my final level exams.  I always found maths straightforward, so I graduated top of my class.  But I would kick a soccer ball twice and then fake an injury to get off the field.  I failed history every year of high school because I just wasn’t good at it… so, of course, there was no point studying.

If I thought I wouldn’t be able to do something, I’d immediately walk away.  I mean, either way I wouldn’t do it… but at least if I quit before the end, I could avoid the unpleasantness of actually failing.

However, my hand was forced in this case – I realised a few months ago that (unpleasant as it would be), I should probably attempt to get my licence before the roadtrip to Burning Man.  You know, just in case my friend broke her leg in the desert or something.  And by the time I’d learnt that she’d pulled out, it was too late – the lessons were paid for, the test was booked.  I figured I might as well go through with it.

******************************

So.  My driving test was today.  Now, I’m not the world’s best driver – I’m a little too slow and a little too scared of other cars.  But if I’m overly cautious then at least I’m safe.  And if I’m nervous around cars then at least I’m paying attention to other drivers.  So I was cautiously optimistic going into the test.

Until, that is, I tried to parallel park.  It was awful.  I reversed in too fast.  I panicked.  I didn’t turn the wheel enough.  The unthinkable happened: I hit the kerb.  I tried, desperately, to salvage the situation and then I sat there, struggling to hold back tears, knowing that I must have failed.

All I wanted to do was go back to the drive test centre.  I was praying that would be the next instruction out of his mouth.  Instead, he sat there for five minutes, making notes and tallying marks.

“Drive on,” he said eventually.

I drove on.  I was fuming.  I’d already failed, damn it – surely he wasn’t going to humiliate me by making me complete the rest of the test?  My confidence was shot: I botched my headchecks, I nearly stalled countless times, I misheard an instruction to take the next right and had to slam on the brakes and do a hash job of a U-turn to get back on track.  With every mistake, I sank deeper and deeper into anger and frustration.  All I wanted to do was concede defeat before I made even more of a fool of myself.  I was on edge, waiting (hoping) for the instruction to head  back to the test centre, the acknowledgement that I’d failed.  I was already planning how I would tell my friends and family that I hadn’t passed and wouldn’t be re-sitting the test.

And then, right when my fury was at its highest pitch, just as I was pleading with the universe to please make this stop and railing against the licence tester’s sadistic efforts to prolong my humiliation… I was suddenly, weirdly, calm.  And then phrases I’d heard many, many times filled my mind.

“Stay in the room and finish the class.  Don’t compare yourself to others, don’t compare today to yesterday, just do the best that you can do in this moment.  It doesn’t matter how much you can do, as long as you try the right way.  Don’t hold on to mistakes; acknowledge them and move on.  Focus.  Breathe.”

So I did.

AND OMG I PASSED.  Just by the teeny tiniest of margins (and the fact that I actually managed to get a licence with my execrable driving today has kind of destroyed my faith in the system), but I PASSED!!!  And if I’d continued on my downward spiral into negativity; if I’d given up… then it never would have happened.

Bikram has taught me many, many things.  But one of the most important things I’ve learnt is how to really, really suck at something… and do it anyway.  Sometimes it turns out so much better than you might think :)

*******************************

(Just in case any non-Aussies are wondering about the title… may I present what is possibly the catchiest car ad in the world.  It came out over ten years ago and I still get this song stuck in my head whenever I drive.  Fellow Aussies: tell me I’m not the only one???)

Posted by: kerryalina | 8 May 2012

Balance

No, for once I’m not talking about balance (or lack thereof!) in Standing Bow pose.

How sad does that poor little “1/30” look in my last post title!  The poor dear has been waiting for a friend/follow-up post for a whole week.  Unfortunately… it’s just not gonna happen ;)

I’m happy to report that I didn’t quit my shiny new challenge after one day… I quit after three!  And I’m totally okay with this decision.  I’m actually kind of… proud?  Yup, seriously!  I’m proud of myself for not going through with a challenge.

Here’s the way my thought process would have gone pre-challenge:

I want to quit this challenge
–> But OH GOD I just started
–> If I quit now, that first challenge post will haunt me FOREVER and everyone will know I’m a failure
–> Why the hell can’t I finish the bloody thing?  It’s only 30 days.  I can’t even do 30 days?  I’m SO PATHETIC
–> OH MY GOD I am A MISERABLE LAZY PATHETIC FAILURE OF A PERSON. 

Result 1: I quit and beat myself up for months about what a miserable lazy pathetic failure of a person I am.
Result 2: I complete the challenge because I’m too ashamed to quit and too stressed about not being a miserable lazy pathetic failure of a person.
Neither of those sound particularly… yogic, amirite?

Here’s what happened this time:

I think I should quit the challenge
–> I mean, I was excited about it… but I don’t think it’s the right thing for me to be doing right now.  

–> I signed up because my friend wanted a challenge buddy and finishing on 30th May had some cool connotations.  But now my friend’s pulled out because of injury and I don’t think the finishing date is enough of an incentive.  I’m just not that emotionally invested in it.
–> Actually, there are a bunch of reasons this isn’t a good time to be doing a challenge.  My body hasn’t quite recovered from the 60DC, I don’t want to wreck myself in a new challenge and then be exhausted for Lynn Whitlow’s Master Class/Seminar later in the month, I have to work late a LOT lately and I want to be able to enjoy my birthday party in a few weeks without worrying about hungover classes and make-up doubles.
–> Plus I really want to focus on finding some balance in my life right now, which is actually harder for me than doing a challenge.  I’ve always been very all-or-nothing, and I think the reason I was so quick to commit myself to a new challenge was because I was scared of “just” doing three or four classes a week – trying to arrange life around Bikram (and vice-versa) rather than IGNORING life in favour of Bikram.  That’s something I’d really like to work on at the moment.

You know how I know I’ve made the right decision – that I’ve actually weighed the pros and cons and haven’t just given myself excuses to quit?  There’s no guilt.  Whenever I come up with an excuse for not doing something (“Oh, I can’t go to class today, I’m so stiff.” / “I can’t do the dishes before bed, I’m way too tired.”), I always know it’s an excuse.  On the surface it makes perfect sense… but in the back of my mind I’m fully aware that all I’ve done is created a logical explanation for why I’m avoiding something I just don’t want to do.  And as a result, there’s a tiny niggling itch of guilt whenever I think about that decision.

I don’t have that this time.  In fact, I’m really excited/nervous about trying to find balance in my life; it’s something that I’ve never been very good at (mainly because I’ve never really tried).  And I’m not at all ashamed of the poor lone “1/30” post… although I do wish I’d gotten around to writing up some friends for it.  Sometimes I think daily blogging is a bigger (and more time-consuming!) challenge than daily yoga :)

Posted by: kerryalina | 2 May 2012

1/30: My Subconscious is a Jerk

My challenge starts today!

Oh man, I don’t wanna.

Wait, what?  Why???  I thought you loved Bikram!

Yeah… I guess.  But I haven’t been in over a week.  And I’m sleepy.  And I’ll have to go to the late class and I didn’t get my ritual “I’m going to a late class” afternoon tea cupcake because the cupcake shop was out of gluten-free cupcakes.  So it’ll SUCK.

Dude, you just did a challenge.  You’re used to sucky classes by now.  Deal with it.

You’re right.  I just did a challenge.  And now it’s OVER.  Why am I going back to start another one?

Um.  I don’t really know.  But you said you would!  And it’ll be fun.  You know you’ll love it once you’re there.

No I won’t.  I haven’t practiced for eight days.  EIGHT DAYS.  I’ll have lost all my stamina and acclimatisation to the heat.  I’ll crash and burn.

You do know you have to go back eventually, right?  I mean, it’s not like you finish a challenge and get some sort of Bikram Medal that means you never have to do yoga again.  And the longer you wait, the suckier it’ll be to go back.

Yeah.  But I’m pretty sure tonight will be EXTRA sucky.  I’m just not in the mood.

Tough.  We’re going.

…fine.  

*******************************

…hey, look at all this work on your desk.

Yeah, I know.  It sucks.

You’ll have to stay back late to finish it.

Oh man, I didn’t think about that.  I guess you’re right though.  *sigh*

*******************************

Argh, I didn’t realise it was so late!  I’m the only one left in the office.  But it’s okay – we can still make the 7:45 class if we head home now.

But there’s just a couple of things left to do.  Wouldn’t it be nice to come in to an empty desk tomorrow?

Yeah… yeah, that would be good.  But I have class.

Oh, come on.  Missing one class won’t kill you.  And you’ll have finished all the work that’s due this week, which will feel JUST as good as yoga.

Yeah, mayb… WAIT A MINUTE.  I see what you’re doing here.

I’m… I’m not doing anything.  I’m just committed to my work.

Dude, you HATE your work.  We’re getting on the train THIS SECOND.

…dammit.

*******************************

Okay, we’re home.  Just enough time to get changed and run out the door.

I’m hungry.

Tough.  If you eat now you’ll feel sick in class.

But I’m really, really hungry.  I didn’t have my cupcake, remember?  I don’t want to faint in the studio because I’m starving to death.

Well, there’s nothing I can do.  You’ll just have to deal wi… is that NUTELLA in your mouth?

………no.

It IS nutella, isn’t it?  You just ate a spoonful of nutella straight from the jar.

…maybe.  I’m just so HUNGRY.

AND ANOTHER ONE!  What is WRONG with you???  We’re about to leave for class!

Yeah… about that. I don’t feel so good.  I just ate two spoons of nutella, you know.  That’s at LEAST five kilos of sugar.  My heart’s about to beat out of my chest.  And I already have a history of palpitations in class. Maybe we should just stay home.

You’re going to Bikram THIS SECOND.  And you’re going to LIKE IT.

I hate you so much. You’re RUINING my LIFE.

*******************************

Wow, that was actually pretty awesome.  I’m glad I talked you into it.

Are you KIDDING me with this?  Seriously, the next time the teacher tells me to “kill myself for 90 minutes,” I’m going to visualise STRANGLING YOU.

Posted by: kerryalina | 30 April 2012

Fructose Malabsorption, Redux

(Today’s super-exciting story is not at all related to Bikram.  For your daily yoga fix, you should totally check out one of my all-time favourite posts at Yoga Badassery and marvel at the world’s best Bikram illustrations).

The upcoming 30 day challenge isn’t just about Bikram… it’s also about completely overhauling the way I eat.  (Don’t worry, I swear this isn’t about to become a diet or weightloss blog!)

Readers who haven’t managed to repress the memory will unfortunately remember that at the start of my 60 day challenge I was having some super-crazy stomach pains.  (Sorry for subjecting you all to that story).  Others may remember that a few weeks later, I got my test results back and was slightly… distraught… to discover the pains were due to my inability to digest fructose.  Which, as I quickly discovered, is in pretty much everything even remotely healthy.  Nutella’s just fine… but apples are out the window.  It’s like all my childhood dreams come true!  Unfortunately, it’s proving slightly less fun in reality.

Following an appointment with a dietitian last week, I now know what foods I should definitely steer clear of (everything) and which are safe to eat (…small pebbles?).  I bought some recipe books that she recommended and have been cooking and freezing big batches of… gloopy stuff… for work lunches.  Btw, “gloopy stuff” is being generous – there is a reason most dietitians are not world-renowned chefs.   I’ve already forgotten my lunch more than once, though… probably due to my taste-buds taking control of my actions in self-defence… and as a result, I tend to spend my lunch hour wandering around the city in tears, trying desperately to find something to eat that’s on my “safe” list.  (Hint: nothing).  I still don’t have any idea what to do when I eat out and as a major foodie, this has always been a huge part of my life.  But I guess I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it?  Maybe?

At least now I know what the rules are and in that respect I’m glad I met with the dietitian… kind of.  It was great to meet with someone who was friendly, reassuring and qualified – especially as she’s super-involved in fructose research and very up-to-date with recent findings.  On the other hand… for a $140 consultation, I would have expected more than a Powerpoint display of how fructose is digested (or not, as the case may be) and a black-and-white booklet listing the foods to avoid.  How do I stay healthy while avoiding fruit?  How do I balance my diet when I can eat chocolate but not my favourite vegetables?  How do I recognise and dodge problem foods on restaurant menus?  I don’t have a bloody clue.  In terms of giving me the tools to actually live with this diet, the consultation was a bit of a flop.

So just in case there’s anyone else out there with possible fructose malabsorption (or IBS, which has the same treatment/diet) who’s unable or unwilling to invest the money in breath tests and dietitian appointments (and honestly, my advice would be that they’re just not worth the money)… here’s my super handy fructose-friendly FODMAP eating guide.  It’s a summary of everything from my dietitian’s handout and the resources she recommended I buy, so unlike most information available online, it’s guaranteed current and accurate.  Hopefully there’ll be someone out there who’ll find it useful… or use it to offer me appropriate and non-gloop recipes ;)

kerryalina's Super-Fun FODMAP Guide - Grains & Vegetables

kerryalina's Super-Fun FODMAP Guide - Grains & Vegetables

kerryalina's Super-Fun FODMAP Guide - Fruit & Other Stuff

kerryalina's Super-Fun FODMAP Guide - Fruit & Other Stuff

Posted by: kerryalina | 29 April 2012

Insanity

You know how to tell that you’re a) a Bikram addict and b) COMPLETELY insane?  You sign up for a 60 day challenge.  You finish a 60 day challenge.  You stick an extra week and a half on the end to turn it into a ten week challenge and finish THAT.  You take a week off from the studio to “recover” (AKA sit on the couch and eat chocolate)… and then a friend posts on your Facebook wall.

Hey, wanna do something crazy?
Wanna do a 30 day challenge with me starting 1 May??????????

What I should have said was: “Well, you know, I’ve only just finished a huge-ass challenge that nearly killed me both emotionally and physically and I think it might be time to recover and also find some balance in my life.  Or rather, you know, actually have a life.”

BUT DO YOU THINK I SAID THAT?  No.  And you know why not?  Because that would have made TOO MUCH SENSE.

So.  I’m totally doing a 30 day challenge starting on 1st May.  Which means I’ll have 100 days of challenge under my belt with a break of just over a week in the middle… making it a grand total of 108 DAYS.  AND (drumroll please) the whole shebang will end on May 30th… otherwise known as my yogaversary.  That’s right – this whole insane challenge marathon will finish on the day that marks the end of my first year of practice.

Obviously it’s meant to be.

Plus, in case you missed it, I’m INSANE.

Posted by: kerryalina | 25 April 2012

The Morning After

Wow, that title looks so strange and incomplete with “Challenge Class X” at the start!

I walked out of my final Challenge Class feeling beat up.  Absolutely amazing and ready to take on the world… but beat up.  My hip was twinging, my calves ached and, oh man, I was tired.  I was so, so glad that I had continued past 60 days and honoured my initial commitment to complete the full ten weeks… but in the end I was thinking it might not have been the best decision.  Those last few days felt like they pushed me past my limit – my practice deteriorated, my beauty sleep dwindled and even my poor little blog suffered.  Posts got shorter and more superficial, comments went unanswered (I promise I still love you all though!) and proof-reading was non-existent.  I was worried that I’d sacrificed my body on the altar of Ego – that I’d pushed through, just for the sake of being able to say that I’d finished my challenge, when I should have listened to my body and stopped.

Hahahaha, no.  This is so, so, so not the case.  For the last two days I’ve felt like I was walking on clouds.  I’m pretty sure I’ve actually floated a couple of times.  My body hasn’t felt this good in… well… ever.  I’ve always had issues with my hips and as I’ve mentioned before, living in high heels doesn’t exactly make for happy hamstrings. However, it seems that in those last few days of the challenge, I really started to get into those problem areas and worked muscles I’d never even come close to touching before.  I think I was just too tired to fight it!  Of course, the result was that things hurt during this process, but never in a “I’ve damaged something” way; it was more like “Ooooh, I didn’t know that muscle existed… or that I could work it so hard!”  The problem was that I was too caught up in the madness of balancing work, yoga, food and sleep to be able to tell the difference.  When you combine all that with the hardcore yoga brain you get after nine and a half weeks of Bikram, you have a perfect recipe for self-doubt!

So to lay all doubts to rest… my final verdict, now that I’ve (hopefully) ditched the yoga brain and (maybe) donned my rose-tinted glasses: the challenge freaking ROCKED.  Something that was proved this morning when I went back through my archives – by far the most-used tags were “Awesome class!” (something I didn’t dare to hope for when I started) and “Full series!” for when I didn’t sit out any poses (something I never could have imagined two months ago).

And now, the world’s biggest thank you.  Because I couldn’t have done it without you guys.  I wouldn’t have done it without you guys.  I started this blog to keep track of my random Bikram thoughts and to provide some sort of accountability and structure to my challenge.  When I started writing, it was mainly in the hopes that having an incomplete challenge blog would be enough to prompt me to head to class.  Let’s face it, that never would have worked – it’s way too easy to delete these things.  Luckily for me (and my challenge!), in an unimaginably short period of time it became so much more about connecting with all of you.  I never expected to have found such a community – people who would offer congratulations and commiserations, while sharing their own hardships and victories.  I’m so glad I did.  And I’m so glad you found me!

So from the bottom of my heart, thank you xx

Posted by: kerryalina | 22 April 2012

Challenge Class 60: COMPLETE!

Sutra 1.14: Sa tu dirghakalanairantaryasatkaradarasevito drdhabhumih.

“It is only when the correct practice is followed for a long time, without interruptions and with a quality of positive attitude and eagerness, that it can succeed.”

Six classes a week for ten weeks.  60 classes in 70 days.  I don’t know if that’s enough to qualify as “a long time.”  I don’t know how to judge if I’ve “succeeded” in my practice.  But I know that I’ve learnt more through daily practice over the last two and a half months than I did practicing three times a week in the year beforehand.  And I know that I’ve succeeded with at least one thing: my commitment to the yoga and to myself.

When I considered signing up for this challenge, I was so focussed on whether I could physically complete that many consecutive days of yoga and whether I could logistically put aside the time for class.  I thought that my stumbling blocks would be injuries and illnesses; social engagements and working late.  I never even considered the immense emotional impact it would have.  I couldn’t have imagined that the hardest part would be coming face to face with my Self in the hot room, or heading to the studio when all I wanted to do was sit at home and cry.  I also wouldn’t have guessed how effortless it would be to maintain that quality of “positive attitude and eagerness” – just how much I’d look forward to class (nearly) every day.

If I’d known at the start just how difficult the challenge would be, I don’t think I ever would have begun.  I am so, so thankful that I didn’t know – this has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.  If anyone out there is even vaguely contemplating doing one, my advice is to start today.  Don’t wait for the perfect time.  The perfect time is always now.

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »

Categories