Archive for the 'Yoga' Category

Bikram Yoga Challenge


December 19th, 2010

yoga sign
As you might have guessed from my LAST POST, this is the time of year when Minnesotans switch up their exercise routines. I have been finding myself rather addicted to BIKRAM YOGA lately.

walker
If you have been following my blog for a while, you might have heard about some of the health lessons I’ve been working through lately. Last summer, I was in an ACCIDENT. I sustained a number of injuries in the crash including three pelvic fractures and some broken ribs.

hospital
Prior to that, I had worked through a number of complications related to a toxic exposure. It’s kind of a LONG STORY. But essentially, I had a severe exposure which unfolded into a colorfully epic saga involving seemingly every organ system in my body. The lastest drama is that I’ve now tested positive for rheumatoid factor twice (the antibody seen in patients with rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease). Now before you get too worried, I actually had a SIMILAR DRAMA to this last year when I tested positive for ANA twice (an antibody seen in patients with lupus, another form of autoimmune disease). We’re still figuring out what this means. The exposure that happened to me is actually pretty unusual. So, it’s difficult to predict how things will evolve. I’ve personally gotten kind of detached from the outcome at this point (this has been going on for four and a half years – YAWN. I’m over it). Whatever it is, it’s just a name. In a lot of ways, I think the mystery is kind of a blessing. As long as the future is unknown, the possibilities for healing are limitless. But what I can say for sure is that I have issues. Liver issues. And autoimmune issues.

studio
This is perhaps why I find bikram yoga so compelling. Bikram yoga class consists of a series of twenty six postures and two breathing exercises which are practiced in a room heated to 105 DEGREES! Isn’t that an interesting coincidence? (The same temperature that my CULINARY ACADEMY was named after). The heat does AMAZING things for my muscles. I have had a lot of muscle pain since the accident. I distinctly remember the moment of impact. It was like this incredible amount of energy was transferred to my body in an instant. I remember feeling like every cell in my body was spinning in overdrive. For months after the crash, I couldn’t really feel anything. I was in the ‘beyond pain’ state where the muscles just clamp down. The process of restoring them to a normal state of tension requires you to work through the pain little by little. I can say that without a doubt, this form of yoga is having a huge impact on this issue! I can’t get enough. I go to class and find relief for a few hours. Then, I wake up the next day and need another fix. It’s a good kind of addiction.

awkward pose
I’ve noticed a lot of changes with this pose this week too. This is awkward pose. You sit down in an imaginary chair and try to lean back as far as you can. This pose uses a lot of muscles which got really weak during my sedentary phase of healing. Back muscles and hip muscles. Triangle pose is another one that uses those muscles a lot. I’ve made a lot of progress on these two already.

window sill
I feel like this yoga is having a big impact on the autoimmune issues as well (a revelation that perhaps deserves it’s own post). I have decided this winter to dedicate myself to the next phase of my healing, and my instinct is that this is it!

studio lobby
Luckily for me, Minneapolis is home to a really wonderful BIKRAM YOGA STUDIO owned by Martha and Eric Williams. I just purchased an unlimited pass there. Many Bikram studios offer these ’30/60/100 Day Challenges’ as a motivator for students. Right now, I’m feeling very motivated to practice yoga as it is acting as a pain reliever for me. I’m not sure if my own challenge will conform to the 30/60/100 day model. But, I am starting a challenge of my own. Since I have a number of medical issues, I am hesitant to commit myself to one of these numbers as I don’t want the number to take precedence over my focus on healing. But, I am committed to seeing how the yoga can impact my health issues. And I appreciate and respect the discipline that goes along with the challenges. I just want to be gentle with myself. Today was my seventh day in a row. I am noticing lots of positive changes already. I will keep you posted on my progress…

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Getting My Garden Fix


July 2nd, 2009

garden
Since I’m away from my own GARDEN now, I’m having to get my garden fix elsewhere. But as luck would have it my friend, Heidi, is happy to oblige.

heidi
She made an APPEARANCE on my blog at this time last year too. We signed up for BIKRAM YOGA this week. There was an intro deal at a STUDIO here – unlimited classes for one week for $20). Here she is doing a spontaneous yoga pose on a cement divider.

toilet planterI love how they used their old toilet as a planter. I suppose it’s not technically a planter. I think she originally planted something else in it, but now it is FULL of super nutritious chickweed. We put some in our smoothie this morning. We’ve also harvested some radishes, baby beets, and raspberries. Her garden is SO HUGE. I need a garden this huge (especially if we are going to start a catering empire with locally grown produce from our own gardens – our not so secret dream).
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spider
This is the cute little spider that made a home for itself between her tomato plants.

nn
MMM…SMOOTHIE. It’s starting to turn into a tradition as I always seem to show up when her raspberries are in season.

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Monqueca


March 25th, 2009

monqueca
This is another recipe I got from ENTERTAINING IN THE RAW. It’s apparently an adaptation of a classic Brazilian recipe. My boyfriend is allergic to mushrooms (AND out of town). So, I went a little gangbusters on the shitake mushrooms this week.

shitake
The monqueca had some marinated shitake mushrooms…

tomatoes
…and cherry tomatoes. To be honest, I enjoyed the leftovers a little better. Although I liked the taste of the dehydrated variety, the dish seemed a little disjointed to me when the mushrooms and tomatoes were warm. I couldn’t put my finger on it exactly, but when I had the cold leftovers it seemed better somehow.

shitake soup
I used my leftover shitakes to reincarnate a mod of this SHITAKE MISO SOUP from way back when. I think I like it better without the ginger.

In other news, I think I had a Yoga breakthrough this week. I finally managed to do the camel pose, my NEMESIS. I did it last week once, but only for a second. I heard something pop then. So I was busting through something. Then, yesterday I did it for 20 seconds. WHOA. I had an intense reaction. I’m not sure if I was clearing gunk out of my airways, but I had a real hearty asthma attack this morning. And last night, I was crying like a baby for no reason (or at least no NEW reason). So maybe I’m making progress. I’ll keep you posted…

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Bikram Yoga


February 28th, 2009

bikram yoga
I tried something new this month. My journey to better health began after I started having lots of issues related to a toxic exposure. My doctor recommended making a point of sweating a little every day and eating well, of course. A friend recommended Bikram Yoga, and it sounded right up my alley.

I have to admit, it was INTENSE. The first class I went to was really hard. I really felt overwhelmed. I think I have a long way to go on the detox path.


The camel pose is my nemesis. Every time I even think about doing the camel pose, I feel like I’m going to hurl. I wonder why my body is so sensitive to the camel pose? I suspect the answers will come with time. Anyway, I’m going to take my time and take it easy. But I definitely feel like Bikram Yoga is going to play a role in my recovery somehow.

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