Damn You, Athleta!

Well today was my last day of $10 for 10 days at Zuda, and here I am.  Not at Zuda.  I am not angry, because $10 for even one class is awesome, but I really wanted to make it to one last class before the 10 day deal was up.  Instead I spent countless hours last night staring at my tablet screen, trying to figure out how to best use my Athleta gift card, since the initial purchase I made I decided isn’t the best.

The past two days I have slept an inordinately long amount of time.  Which, has been fantastic.  I haven’t gotten this good of a rest/sleep in quite a while.  I know it is because of the weather.  Right now, it is rainy season out here in NorCal.  My bedroom is on the second floor, and it faces the street.  Which, in hindsight, sucks.  I hear every car door slam shut, every kid that is yelling at their friends on the way to the park, every conversation people may decide to have right in front of my house.  Except when it rains.  No one is out, it is quiet, it is gloomy and overcast so no piercing sunlight to stab at my eyelids, the temps are cooler so I can snuggle down into my covers, and the rain is a natural white noise/ sound muffler, so it is wonderful.  So, so wonderful.

I bet I would love to live in Seattle.  I would be the most well rested person there.

Zuda Yoga was pretty nice.  Very clean, with wood floors, high ceilings, and lots of natural sunlight fills the practice room.  Zuda Yoga is mainly a power vinyasa studio, which is what I need and like.  Well, sorta like lol.  They offer only two yin classes right now, but I do hope they offer some more mellow classes, because I would love to hit up a mellow class once a week there.   What I like is that offer a good number of classes throughout the day, so I can pretty much make one everyday if I wanted to, since they are all vinyasa and I wouldn’t miss out on my work outs.  The people that work there are super nice and were already making me feel very welcome and part of the group, which I thought was very nice.  Defintiely the friendliest yoga studio I have been to yet!

But now my trial session is over.  As much as I enjoyed it, it is time to try out a new studio.  I am going to try to squeeze in two yoga studios in before December 31st.  The reason why, is that in case I were to decide on Zuda, they are offering a $79 a month special for unlimited yoga which ends on that day.  However, that special is only good for 6 months, and then they go back to their usual price of $119.  Phew that is high!  I am going to be trying Veera Yoga and East Wind Yoga next.  If I were to choose Veera’s unlimited one, it would be $99.  If I were to choose East Wind’s unlimited one, it would $75 and that wouldn’t go up after 6 months.  We will see… I am not going to sign up for either one until after Thanksgiving, but I am going to put aside some money and start with Veera first, and then when I get paid again, in two weeks, I will start up with East Wind.

Tomorrow I am going to take the time to work on this resume of mine… There is a job opening that I am going to try for, a counsleing position… Tomorrow I will have lots of time to work on it and then hopefully send it out… I need to get going and improve my job position.  I have bene looking, and for once here is a job that I might actualy be able to get!  Wish me luck.

 

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Changes.

Today I received the very sad news that my favorite yoga studio, Shrikula Yoga, has closed.  Minus.  Big, big, minus.

I did receive the good news that the former owner of Shrikula will be teaching at the Bikram yoga place in my town.  So, right off the bat, I will have some of my familiar classes starting on the 17th with familiar faces.  Plus.

The one class that I did a few weeks ago was very challenging.  In my personal opinion, I will need to be VERY prepared.  If I am not, I feel like I would die in the Bikram class.  Minus.

What I liked about Shrikula is that it felt like what I assume a yoga studio should feel like.  I felt like I could hang out there even I wasn’t hitting up a yoga class.  I might be able to do that at this Bikram.  We will see.  Even though Shrikula was physically grueling, I felt that it had a strong spiritual vibe. I didn’t feel that at the Bikram class I went to.  Minus.

It will be alot closer.  Like, I could bike or walk to it. Though, with how grueling the Bikram classes are, I have a feeling that I will be driving to those.  Plus.

I will still be paying my awesome rate of $50 a month for at least 4 more months or so.  That will give me time to decide if I want to pay the $79 a month rate.  If they keep a mix of Bikram and non Bikram, then yes.  If not, then I am going to give Veera Yoga in Roseville a try.

Yoga In The Park

The new titanium collar has its pros and cons.  The cons are that it is slightly thicker (the thicker diameter makes it harder to wear other necklaces with it, which sorta sucks… makes me wonder how long I will wear this one if I can’t wear anything else) and heavier.  The pros are that it gives me alot more breathing room, it is still lighter than steel ( my boyfriend commented on how heavy it was… I need to check the weight again with Eternity Collars), it is less bright then my aluminum one, and Eternity Collars have finally improved their collar finishing skills. 

I did a free Yoga In The Park with a friend yesterday.  It was different; believe it or not, this was my first yoga class outside.  It was a vinyasa flow class, so it was quite a good workout and we really enjoyed ourselves.  I would catch a whiff from the huge rose bed that we were practicing in front of, and that made it pretty interesting.  I would definitely do it again, but it is held in a park in Sacramento, which is 30 minutes or so away from my house, and it is 9am, soooo if I am in the area, then sure. 

I have been thinking about the Bikram class that I took a couple of weeks ago.   I think that if I make the effort to save, I can go once in awhile.  I am not sure though.  It is a very strenuous class, and it would totally depend on how well rested I was.  They offer a $5 class every Friday at 4:30, so if I can ever make that one, then maybe.  For example, I work until 4:30 this Friday, and if there was the small chance that I got off by 4, I could make it, but I wonder if I could do a Bikram class after working my butt off at Starbucks all day.  Would I want to push it?  I guess I could try.  I still like my hot yoga better.  But, I have trouble making the 9am class.  Either I am tired, and need to sleep, or I am working.  Annoying.  For example, I am off tomorrow, but we have a dog eye injury issue, so we need to call the animal eye center at 9am when it opens to see if they can manage to get us in tomorrow.  Important as that is, once again I miss another hot yoga class.  See what I mean?

 

 

My First Bikram Yoga Class Experience

Last week I went to my local Bikram yoga studio to try Bikram for the first time.  For those of you that may not know what Bikram is, it is a particular teaching of yoga that was created by Mr. Bikram himself and it is definitely different from any other yoga I have ever done.

I chose a 9am class, because quite frankly that is the earliest that I can do and I needed time in the morn to prepare for this class.  To be honest, I was actually quite nervous.  I was concerned about the  high heat/high humidity combo and if it would be too hard on me and whether or not I could make it through a 90 minute class.  I wore my lightest weight yoga top and my lightest weight crops.  I drank a full glass of water right when I woke up, and had something small to eat.   I tied my hair up, grabbed my stuff, and headed out.

I really love the location of this place.  It is SO close to my house.  I drive to the next town over to my yoga studio, and though I love my current studio, if it was closer I would love it more.  I walk in, and the instructor for this particular class is there, and she sets me up.  We take a tour of the place, and it is very nice.  They have showers, and also a large changing room.  There is only one room for the yoga, and that is off to the left.  After I get the tour, I head towards the room and open the door.

I feel like someone walloped me right in the face.  The heat and the humidity was high.  I had asked previously what they kept the room at, and they informed me that it was kept at 105 degrees with 40% humidity.  I believe it, but I still wasn’t prepared for it.  I can only thank myself that I had already been practicing hot yoga (there is a difference between hot yoga and Bikram, by the way, which I didn’t really know either, but I will explain the differences as I go) and if it wasn’t for that, I am sure I would have not made it through the class.  So right off the bat, the differences I first notice is yes, the heat (my studio doesn’t go higher than 100 degress), and the set up of the room.  They have carpet on the floor.  All Bikram approved studios have to have this carpet.  I have no idea why, it seems strange to have carpet in a room that makes people sweat buckets, but it is a peculiar carpet that I have never felt before, so maybe it is a sweat-resistant carpet *shrugs*.  My yoga studio has hardwood/laminate floors.  Hm.  They use flourescent lights, which makes the studio BRIGHT.  No idea why, but all Bikram approved studios have to have flourescent lights.  We have purty wall sconces that are usually dimmed.  They have ceiling to floor mirrors.  All Bikram approved studios have to have mirrors.  I am not against mirrors, I just don’t have any mirrors at my studio.  Also, the room was painted in a crazy orange color.  All in all, a high stimulus room as opposed to my chill studio.

All Bikram approved studios have do the same exact 26 poses, twice, in the same exact order.  It was tough.  I think it was tough because it was SO HOT.  I found a few of the poses challenging, but they were static poses, no vinyasa flow here.  Very interesting.  We did a certain number of poses standing, and then we did floor poses, and what was interesting about the floor poses was that we would rest in corpse pose inbetween each one.  Hm.  The instructor does not leave the podium that they are standing on for the duration of the class.  They also use a small microphone and there are big speakers in the class which I thought was pretty strange, since the room was not large, but I understand that this is also part of the Bikram standard.  I sweated ALOT.  There were a couple of times where I took a brief break, but then I recovered quickly and was able to get back into a certain pose.  On the end of the second to last pose, the instructor made it a point to announce my name as a new attendee, and how great of a job I did making it through the entire class and that I earned my “I survived my first Bikram yoga class” button (which I proudly have clipped on my purse, thank you very much!) and everyone clapped, which was cool, I have to say.  At the end of the class, which I was so grateful for, we laid in corpse pose, and each of us was given a chilly lavender scented washcloth to put over our eyes or neck or wherever we wished.  That cloth was the BEST cool cloth I have ever had.

I took my time getting up and gathering my mat and other things.  I wanted to refill my water bottle when I came out of the room, but I couldn’t find a water fountain anywhere (!), though they had several different kinds of flavored and unflavored bottled waters available for sale.  I ended up filling my water bottle in the bathroom sink.  I hope that in my post class daze, that I had merely overlooked it; I would hate to think a place that keeps you that hot wouldn’t have free water available.

I liked the experience.  I definitely prefer my yoga studio over this… Though I do wish that my yoga studio provided more hot yoga classes, since there is usually only one every day at 9am, but I can’t always make that, so I end up doing the Yoga Soup which is good because it heated to 85 and it is at noon, but I know the heated room at 100 degrees increases the challenge for me, so I do prefer my hot yoga classes.

I will drop in here once a month if I can. I like the difference, though not enough to do it as my main yoga practice, and I love the convenient location… I just will hope that maybe a non Bikram yoga studio will open up in my town one day…

If you want to learn about Bikram yoga, here is the link: http://bikramyoga.com/

Bikram Yoga tomorrow.

I am going with a coworker to our local Bikram yoga studio tomorrow morning.  I have been doing yoga, mostly hot yoga, for a couple of months now, but for some reason I am really anxious about going to Bikram.  Apparently it is MUCH hotter, and I really hope that I don’t keel over in the middle of a pose.  I am not a fan of the heat.  However, I have been doing hot yoga sufficiently now that I think I might be ok. 

Phew.

Quite nervous actually.

I will post my experience once I have recovered after my practice tomorrow.

Wish me luck.

 

Yoga Update

I finally finished my last yoga Groupon class this past Monday.  After taking classes at my yoga studio for the past three months, I have decided to stick to it and sign up for the $50 a month unlimited special.  I told someone about that and they remarked how expensive $50 a month is.  I don’t think so.  For me, it is 100% worth it.  It is the only exercise that I have been able to keep up with and actually see results from.  When you break it down, it costs me $12.50 a week to go.  I can afford that, and I really don’t think that is expensive at all.

The only downside is maybe the Wall Yoga class.  I am not entirely sure, but that was the only thing I did differently last week, and then a day or so later, I woke up to my old friend, BackPain.  Today is the first day in nearly 8 days that I think i  am finally over it.  Well, 95% over it.  There is still a slight twinge.  It put me out of yoga comission for 5 days.  So, I am thinking… maybe Wall Yoga isn’t right for me.

I am pretty happy with the clothes I bought for my yoga.  I wish that they looked a little less YOGA and more something I could wear in or out of class, but they do the job and I am cool with that.

I am happy with having two yoga mats.  One is thin and less bulky, and one is thicker and more cushy.  Depending on where I go, I can bring the right mat with me.  I also finally got the best mat bag for me, and there is also a super cool yoga/everyday bag waiting for me in NJ as a present from my mum, which was super generous of her.

I think I look different.  Two cworkers at different days of the week remarked on how i looked thinner.  I took a look in the mirror, I suppose I do?  I weigh the same though; 160 freaking pounds.  I am barely 5’5″!  Too heavy.  😦

 

Bunch of various reviews on various Yoga stuffs

I have been trying my best to attend as many yoga classes as I can with my Groupon.  There are a few different types of yoga that they do at the studio that I go to ( http://www.shrikulayoga.com/index.html ) and so far the hot power yoga is the hardest, and the yoga soup is also hard, but at least it isn’t in a heated room, thank goodness.  I like this studio; granted, it is the first actual yoga-only studio I have ever practiced at, but I really do like it.  The vibe is really good, I am very comfortable here.  Once my Groupon runs out I am going to do the whole nine yards and get the one year of unlimited yoga.  I get it for a special price of 50% off… I just can’t beat that.

I am almost complete with my clothes for my practice.  I just need one top from one more place and then I will have a top and pants from my three favorite clothing shops that sell this sort of stuff.

Lucy is located the closest to me.  I have a pair of their power core knee pant, and they are awesome.  There is no shine when they stretch, they compress me and smooth me out without making me look like something I am not… and NO muffin top!  Yay!  They are already starting to pill a bit where my inner thighs touch, but hey, I got big thighs, what can I do?  They rub together.  Due to the fact that they ae so compressive, they are my heaviest pants… But it doesn’t seem to be an issue when I do hot yoga.

Lululemon has a showroom in Sacramento, which is like a “test” shop to see if it is worth their time and effort to set up shop.  I went into that showroom and loved it.  The only carried a limited amount of clothes, but there was enough there for me to know what my sizing is (an 8! yes!) and to determine if their pants would give me muffin top or not.  I ended up buying my top and crops from The Dailey Method in Roseville because they had a Lulu sale and I HATE paying full price unless I have to.  I went to a full fledged Lulu shop in San Francisco this past Saturday, and it was pretty awesome.  I saw so many things I wanted… I still want the Bliss yoga bag, even though I am using the Lulu bag my sis sent me.  I am just a bag whore.  🙂  I ended up buying the Un Mat.  It is a super thin, no cushion yoga mat but I discovered, surprisingly, that I like the super thin mats (plus they are more compact and light for me to carry).  Lulu doesn’t take back opened mats (which is lame Lululemon! Lame!), but luckily they had a demo Un Mat for me to try a few poses in.  I was sold.  For a company that makes running and yoga clothes, they also know how to make a pretty damn good yoga mat.  They popped my mat into a reusable tote that was black with the word POSER on it, which I got a kick out of.

Then I went to Athleta, which is a store that is even more limited in terms of where there are actual shops… the closest shop is in San Francisco.  I had ordered a pair of pants and a top from them online, and the top didn’t fit, so I planned on exchanging it at the actual brick and mortar.  This was also a very cool shop.  They offered me and Frank these fun flavored icy cold waters and they had a huge bowl of Luna bars free for the taking.  Even though they weren’t supposed to exchange my top (i discovered that they can’t exchange/return sale items if they don’t have it in store), they totally honored it for me no problem once they realized that I had misunderstood the policy I read online.  I tried on like a million clothes here.   What I noticed is that depending on the garment, the size that was right for me changed.  That concerned me.  For example, the top that I had gotten online was a M and was too big.  A S was perfect.  But in another top I tried, a S was too small, and the M was perfect.  Hm.  Customer serice was great here, and they also put their clothes in a cute reusable purple and silver tote with their logo on it.

I have also discovered that with these three clothing companies, my purple/violet/lavender/fuschia obsession may get out of hand.

Just got my dvds and yoga props from Gaoiam in the mail today.  Once I have checked these dvds out I will provide some feedback on them.

 

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