Not Over…Through

So I carefully stepped over the bodies in the 105 degree heat, choking down a full blown panic attack, arms tingling, tunnel vision until I reached the door. The yoga instructor was standing at the door. She commented that I should not leave without letting her know before class starts.

“I didn’t know, I’m freaking the fuck out and need to go,” I blurted passing through her, “This is my first time, I didn’t know.”

I was annoyed. She asked at the start of class who was new and I raised my hand pretty high. She didn’t even take the time to look around before starting the class. Now that I’ve taken a few classed, I’m even more annoyed! All the other instructors make a point of really knowing who is in the room and if there is any injuries or anything they should know about. Benefit of the doubt…it was 9AM on a Saturday. Maybe the teacher was a bit tired. Whatever the reason…after I told her I was new she said that I didn’t raise my hand.

“Yes, I did,” that was it. Final. Nobody is going to tell me what I did or didn’t do. It’s funny, had it been a few years ago, I’d not have said anything and would just never go back.

She then looked a bit sympathetic and encouraged me by saying, “You were doing so well, I thought you’ve done this before. You’re a natural.”

She didn’t argue with me or continue to chastise me. She encouraged me to rest and then come back in to complete the class. Continue reading “Not Over…Through”

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Monday Night Yoga-ish Things

Monday night at 5:30PM is usually my therapy session with Dr. H but not this week or the next 3. I’ve signed up for a month of Bikram and plan to attend at least 5 days a week. After the Saturday class, I had a better understanding of what it means to be in a hot room doing yoga poses for 90 minutes…well…I made it to 67 minutes before fleeing the first class.

My goal was to make it through the whole class without leaving/freaking out/finding myself back in the desert sick with a fever. It’s crazy how the experience from last class actually put me back in the moment from so many years ago. I could smell the desert, the ceiling of the overhang, my dirty wool blanket and Dan O checking on me before running in to get help. I was delirious with fever, sweat running down my face with no escape.

Laying there in the first class really FELT as if I were back in the desert, delirious with fever with no escape.  Continue reading “Monday Night Yoga-ish Things”

Don’t Step on the Bodies…

You may be wondering why I’m making such a big deal about taking a HOT yoga class. Lots of people take it and this isn’t such a big deal….it wouldn’t be….if my parents hadn’t hired people to kidnap me to the Southern Utah desert for a Wilderness Boot Camp program that almost killed me and did end up killing another girl. It’s a whole nother story you can read on my super serious subject matter blog right here.

My therapist…the one who went on vacation….for a MONTH…whom I met when participating in the study at Columbia…the one I’m totally in love with…yeah..him.

Anyhow…back to the 105 degree yoga studio….

The standing poses went pretty quickly and my attention was focused on my body contorting correctly rather than the weight of the heat.

Standing head to knee pose was amazing! My body did it without hesitation and my footing was solid. Amazing.

This is when my “monkey mind” interrupted.

What if I pushed too hard and hurt myself and don’t realize it?

Am I doing this wrong?

What if the heat overwhelms me and I faint?

What if I can’t catch my breath?

What if I pull a muscle in my back and can’t walk?

People have had strokes while doing yoga, am I about to have a stroke?

Lay down….shavasa…whatever….

Breathe….

Cool down…

Breathe…

Okay…

Breathe…

I’m breathing…

Breathe…

It’s okay….

I can’t breathe…

Fuck….it’s hot…my face is hot…I can’t breathe… Continue reading “Don’t Step on the Bodies…”

First EVER Bikram Yoga Class –

 

Saturday, July 16

I was up early at 6AM for breakfast and excited to take the class at 9AM. The class is in Mahnattan and I live in Brooklyn so…I headed out at 7:30am to make sure I’d arrive by 8:30am to meet my friend Mj, who inspired me to sign up for the month. We wanted plenty of time to get signed in and settled. The MTA, however, had other plans for me! Usually I’m punctual. Painfully so! It really bothers me to be late or pressed for time as rushing makes me itchy.

The class is up at 83rd and 3rd and my apartment is in Crown Heights – so 50 minutes on a good day. Saturday was not a good day for the MTA which lead me to be stuck on the 6 train at 33rd at 8:20am. There was no way the local train would make it in time, and it was being held in the station so, fortunately the train was waiting in the station and not between stations. I jumped out and grabbed a cab.

The taxi driver was very nice but stopped at every yellow light! Dammit. I was going to be late for my first class! Mj texted she was already at the studio waiting on me. I may not make it in time…wondering if it may be worthwhile to contact a lawyer to get a class action lawsuit going against the MTA, maybe? So many people pay $116 for their service and as one of these people have found myself spending extra money on cabs or extra time walking rather than being late to work/dinners/yoga/dates or anywhere else I’ve paid the MTA to take me. I put the cab window down to get some air. It’s over 80 degrees and humid already and not even midday. It’s supposed to go up to well over 90.

Mj texted me that we could move to the later class – not to rush.

I was relieved but now really wanted to get there in time. I’d just spent over $10 on a cab to get me there on time!

The cab pulled up at 8:45AM. I jumped out and ran upstairs.

Mj had already signed us in and we were able to make the 9am class! Shoes off…left in the cubby. I shoved my things in the itty-bitty locker in the tiny-weenie locker room packed full of women, making sure not to forget my bottles of water. MUST have water. The room is hot. 104/105 degrees.

I’ve never done yoga really…I mean I’ve done yoga ala Tony from P90X but never a real yoga class (well aside from the one Yin Yoga class my friend Hillary brought me to while visiting her in Cincinnati, OH, and that class was super relaxing with easy poses and not heated). Oh, and I also took one class while a member of Equinox and really didn’t appreciate the yoga class there…in my mind at the time…kettlebells, speedball, body conditioning was where my interests led me…aggressive and fast paced.

Sadly I left Equinox when I moved to Brooklyn back in 2012, and in Bed Stuy there was no Equinox, plus the boyfriend I moved in with was frugal and this rubbed off on me. This is when P90X came into my life…however reluctant I was to Tony’s “As Seen on TV” approach…this was my first experience actually doing yoga poses consistently…and Tony is to thank for it. I grew to like Tony.

So back to Bikram! I rushed to get there and then we entered the suffocatingly hot studio…that smelled like socks…bleh…feet….gah…and the purple rug was a bit loud.

My friend asked me where we should set up, I figured by the window was the best option, the window signified escape and you could see the street and only somewhat realized the situation I’d just put myself into.

“It’s hot like the desert in here. I hope I don’t freak out,” I mentioned with sweaty concern running down my face.

“Oh, are you going to be alright?” she said, clearly understanding my situation. I’d told her all about the desert. I’ve told everyone. It’s not a big deal to talk about…it’s when I find myself smelling something or doing something that pulls my head back into being there…then it’s a problem. I was once in a super packed and unconditioned Potbelly’s in Chicago’s summer heat and freaked out. Fled without saying a word to my boyfriend who was in line with me. Freaked the fuck out.

How had I not realized this HOT yoga class would test not only my physical condition but also my mental state. My therapist left the country Thursday for his first long vacation and my way of dealing with his absence is to sign up for a month of Bikram yoga? I fully intend to go five days a week.
“Are you just stupid or insane?” I wondered to myself, sipping gingerly from my water bottle, knowing once class starts, there is no leaving and my water needs to last.

My Therapist Went on Vacation

My therapist left Thursday for a month long vacation. Most therapists flee NYC in August but mine scheduled his mid-month from July 15-Aug 15. I’ve been seeing him for well over a year, still not really getting to the heart of the issue. He is awesome….did I mention that I love my therapist yet? Well, I love my therapist. This is a good thing considering I’ve had a few terrible experiences with therapy in the past. 

So, I’d signed up for bikram yoga with my friend from work to keep myself busy while he is away AND to get my butt back in shape after exiting a relationship where I found more comfort in food than my significant other.

Luckily I’d been doing a little bit of exercise by doing P90X3 at home. Tony has a 30 minute yoga video…almost too embarrassed to say Tony had been the bulk of my yoga experience.

Leading up to the class I didn’t think much about it and before I knew it…it was Friday and the class was the next day. I have a yoga mat (a gift from my ex – who gave it to me to use for p90x, not yoga, but whatever).

I gathered my gym clothing, water bottles, mat and bag the night before so in the morning I could just head straight there. You aren’t supposed to eat a few hours before class so I got up extra early for breakfast. I set my alarm for 6AM – the class starts at 9AM. Perfect.

 

 

 

Who, What and Why?

*Feature image is the hallway in Columbia leading from the P.T.S.D. study at Columbia

the Who?

I’m 42, creative person…dare I say artist…living in Brooklyn (yes, I know) who tried but just didn’t fit the NYC art world…at all…had to find other creative outlets…blogging maybe?

I was a rambunctious kid with a messed up family (like so many others). My parents were a bit dramatic (understatement) and made more than a few parenting mistakes with one specific decision that almost got me killed (literally – not being dramatic). When I was 15 my parents found my journal that their shrink told me to keep – just for myself – for private thoughts. Well, my father read it to everyone, beat the shit out of me while threatening to kill my boyfriend….so I ran away. Continue reading “Who, What and Why?”