Bikram Yoga

ignore my poor bow form :)

ignore my poor bow form 🙂

My 10 classes for $10 special ran out this week and so I took the leap of faith and switched to the yoga studio 7 minutes from my house. Initially I had been skeptical about hot yoga and bikram yoga (mostly because people who do it seem to be in a sort of cult…much like my crossfitting friends 🙂 ). But I loved hot yoga, and really had to convince myself that the switch would be worth it…closer studio…same price…longer workouts that would actually work with my schedule, hope for having a community, etc.

But making the switch was nerve wracking. Because…if it didn’t work out, it didn’t leave me many other options (unless I was willing to drive, which is good in theory but bad in actual practice). So this week I took my first class and….whoa…I can see why people feel cultish about it!

I had loved the other studio until I joined this closer one. Whereas I had gotten used to giant space heaters hanging down from the ceiling making me feel like I was standing in front of a hair dryer, this studio has the heaters all recessed into the ceiling, so the room just feels warm. I’m not a huge fan of the flourescent lighting, but quickly got over that because of the COMMUNITY feel of the class. Holy moley. The instructor chatted me up before class, introduced me to the class as we started, gave verbal instructions to everyone BY NAME and was super encouraging. Wow. I walked away feeling validated, positive about my own practice, and like I had been noticed and welcomed. Something that didn’t happen at the other studio, it always felt like it was just about getting me to sign up and be a regular paying customer.

The workout was somewhat strange at first, starting with their pranayama breathing, but fortunately the Hot Yoga class I had been going to followed a loose version of Bikram’s 26 postures. While I’m still not sure how I feel about Bikram, the man behind the series, much preferring the ideology of Ashtanga or Anusara yoga, I am really digging the workout and the community vibe that I’m getting over here…and looking forward to my next class! I am hoping to make this a part of my regular weekly schedule!

Have you ever been anxious about a particular type of workout and then tried it and loved it? Anybody else experience hot yoga or bikram yoga? Thoughts?

How are YOU a badass?

I was reading this article The Day Female Longboarders Taught me how to be a Badass on Huffington Post, and it hit me in the gut. You see, I have badass women friends that I admire and frankly…am pretty effing jealous of. Melissa Sher starts out saying:

I’ve wanted to be a badass for as long as I can remember. But the closest I ever came was in college, when I got my belly button pierced. Sadly, I had to remove the belly ring after only one day because it got infected. Three pregnancies later, my scar has stretched so that it now looks like a small, upside-down question mark, as if asking me, “What were you thinking?”

I giggled at this, thinking about my impulsive moments in college where I got my tongue AND nose pierced on the same day, and how utterly “cool” I felt with that. I mean, it’s not anyone who would just finish a rafting trip with some new friends, strike up a conversation about tongue rings and realize that you BOTH had wanted a tongue piercing, and then hop in the car and head down to the local tattoo shop to get it done…especially not after I had been there that morning getting my sparkly nose-stud.

This idea of being a badass woman is one that I’ve thought about for awhile. I have goals people…GOALS, though most of the time that goal is to get up off the couch (stop blogging Monk-Monk, get out, enjoy life!) and do something really badass, like changing a poopy diaper. These friends that I’m jealous of include:
1) my bestie from college who married a rock-climber and they’ve adopted 2 australian shepards that they’ve found out on the trails (on 2 separate occasions). They travel around on weekends (and he, for work) bouldering and hiking and camping in the back of their truck. She is a badass. She can climb rocks upside down and the muscles on her arms are toned to a ridiculous point. Best part is, in pictures she looks so incredibly happy.
2) my current bestie who recently double-dutched on her wedding day IN HER WEDDING DRESS, because she loves being a part of her jump-rope group so much. She does Hood-to-Coast and her honeymoon wasn’t to the typical tropical, they road-tripped through Banff, Canada.

3) my good friend from school is a Crossfit maniac, when parachuting last summer and is training to be in a Tough Mudder competition (think 12 miles run full of full-blown team obstacle course!). She’s currently on her way to Croatia with her husband to vacation around, which just seems so badas.. not Paris or London, but Croatia (I mean, who has even HEARD of Croatia 😉 ).

A few examples of women in my life that I admire. Like the women in the article, I long to do thrilling adrenaline rushing things. I sometimes feel like I chose such a safe life…marriage to a man, home-owner, middleish class, one dog, one kid, etc. Sometimes I wish I were brave enough to get on a long-board and go 40 mph down a long winding hill.

Then there’s part of me who laughs at my comparisons to my friends. That part of me that remembers moving to India solo and escaping kidnapping by my taxi driver in the middle of the night, the part of me that remembers being Avatar in the Solstice Parade naked bike-ride, or the part of me that remembers calling up a stranger saying, “I was adopted in 1982 and I have reason to believe that you are my father.”

All of those things make me badass.

Changing poopy diapers makes me badass, too…but in a totally different way…right?

Though this drive to be physically badass…through long-boarding or yoga or running in obstacle courses, keeps calling to me…and yet…I still am not quite to getting my goals into practice.

Tell me…in what ways are YOU badass? And how did you get to where you are?