Me and Bikram

Bikram Yoga is one of the most intense, punishing physical workouts you will ever experience. Each class is 90 minutes long in which 26 postures are performed in humid 105+ degree heat. The format of every Bikram class is the same no matter where in the world you go.

I joined a Bikram Yoga studio in January 2014 and have quickly progressed from knowing little about Bikram Yoga to being a dedicated six-day-a-week practitioner and completing my teacher training certification in April 2015. If you're ready for a mind-body fitness regimen like no other and are willing to give Bikram Yoga a try, please stop by Bridge Hot Yoga and check out one of my classes. Namaste!

My yoga journey:
Opinions expressed are solely my own. Please consult your physician for medical advice before starting a yoga program.

November 4, 2016, 6:00am - class 501 with Suzanne Musetto - This intermediate Ghosh class was taught in a style that was interpreted and passed on by Ida Ripley. We did one set of Pranayama, two sets of sun salutations that included Warrior, Standing Separate Head to Knee with a bent knee and then a backbend, Kneeling Separate Head to Knee with a backbend, and Standing Backbend and then Forward Fold Hands to Feet, and one set of Triangle, Tree, Toe, Guillotine, Crow, Crane, Full Balancing Stick, Standing Leg Splits, Swan and Sleeping Swan, Pigeon, Frog, and more. We ended our practice with one long set of Kapalbhati.

November 10, 2016, 6:00pm, 8:00pm - Classes were light in attendance this week, probably due to the elections. I'm officially registered for Tony Sanchez' training in March. Sixteen days of very intense training. Hopefully, I can get back into the best shape of my life to prepare for it.

November 17, 2016, 6:00pm, 8:00pm - My Bikram Beats class was pretty successful for a first class. The four ladies in my class looked like they all had fun bending to my deep house selections.

It looks like I may have damaged my body more than I had thought with all of the hard falls in my Aikido classes. I can't do Eagle pose with the same depth that I normally can do. Maybe yoga will help realign my body over time. I hope to be able to show Tony Sanchez a new pose I created: Phoenix Pose. I scanned the Internet and it looks like someone may have copied, or independently created, my Phoenix Pose. Phoenix Pose starts off in the same way as Eagle, twisting the arms and legs, but at the peak of your full expression, you untwist your arms, raise and extend them to the sky, making yourself look like a Y, and lifting your chest up and bringing your arms back with your heart to the sky. I noticed that Yin Yoga founder Paulie Zink also has a Phoenix Pose, but it's different from mine.

November 19, 2016, 6:00am - class 502 with Suzanne Musetto - This was the Master's Core class as taught by Tony Sanchez. It is a 40-posture class , one set each, with a number of breathing exercises before and after the postures. We did two sets of breathing, two Salutes, a series of exercises that comprised the Half Moon Series, Cobra Series, Fixed Firm Series, Stretching Series, Double Sided Series, and three breathing exercises to finish. I was terrible at Crow, Crane, and Finger Stand, all new poses to me, but I could manage a decent Archer's Pose (Akarnadhuanurasana). Happy Cow Face was easy on one side, but not the other.

December 1, 2016, 6:00pm, 8:00pm - Awesome first class. At the beginning of class, I taught everyone Tony's perspective on the planes of the body. One of the ladies stayed for my Bikram Beats class.

December 4, 2016, 9:00am - class 503 with Sandy Robin - Sandy was very happy to see me. It's good to see her back teaching. Alas, my practice wasn't very good today. The heat got to me and made me feel dizzy. I felt like I couldn't breathe. I think I had an anxiety attack. I ended up not being able to do several poses and was exhausted at the end. Perhaps my medical procedure tomorrow contributed to my anxieties.

December 8, 2016, 6:00pm, 8:00pm - Both classes were well attended and the ladies were all outstanding. Best Camels I've seen in a long time. My medical test results came back negative, which was great news!

December 15, 2016, 6:00pm, 8:00pm - The cold weather affected attendance this week, but the students who were present liked my classes. One student left my class early because she didn't expect it to include music. It did say "Bikram Beats" on the schedule!

December 22, 2016, 6:00pm, 8:00pm - My regulars attended class today. One student, Sarah, loves my classes and always says how wonderful they are.

December 26, 2016, 9:00am - class 504 with Chris Fluck - I stood in the back row today. In case I'd get dizzy again, I didn't want to lie down and have everyone notice me. What races through a teacher's mind when she practices among peers? Well, as a teacher, people's expectations of you are much higher than most students. Even if the new students don't know you yet, they will soon and if all they remember is you "taking a knee" and resting in Savasana during a pose, that doesn't bode well for your reputation, especially when you had great teachers forge you into a solid piece of iron. I know it's not a competition and that we're all human, but I also have to monitor my progress or regress and gauge how well I'll be ready for my upcoming training with Tony Sanchez. In my most recent Bikram classes, I'd usually take Savasana during Standing Separate Head to Knee, but today I managed to do the posture and then took Savasana during Tree Stand, which is ironically the easiest of the postures. I was able to twist my legs and do the left side of Eagle, something I had trouble with for the past couple of months due to my Aikido injuries. I was able to go all the way in Standing Head to Knee, but fell out of it in the end. Chris said that "falling out is how you learn" and that sometimes he can go all the way in a pose while other days in that same week he can't.

December 27, 2016, 9:00am - class 505 with Malea Diehl - I stood in the back row again and once again I couldn't gather up enough strength to stand up and do Tree. I didn't take Savasana, though. I sat up nice and tall, got my legs in Lotus, placed my hands on the mat, and stretched my arms forward. I figured if I was going to be confined to the ground, I may as well do another posture that was also designed to open up the hips. It was nice to see some familiar faces in class.

December 28, 2016, 6:00am - class 506 with Adam Keilbaugh - Another day in the back row as I continue to build myself up. No dizziness or fainting spells. I was able to go all the way in Standing Head to Knee, but fell out of it in the end. I was able to do Tree and Toe with no problems. The rest of the class was good, too. Adam's continuous dialog kept me focused during the entire class.

December 29, 2016, 6:00am - class 507 with Brittni Devereaux - I completed the entire class today with no dizziness or fainting spells. I feel quite confident I could stand in the front row again, but I might give it another day.

December 29, 2016, 6:00pm, 8:00pm - All new students in the first class. Three regulars in the second class. Everyone enjoyed the new music format in the Bikram Beats class.

December 30, 2016, 6:00am - class 508 with Justin Riley - Even after hundreds of classes, there are still things to correct. Justin corrected my alignment on my left side of Half Moon. Breathing through my towel really helps me stay focused and recover my energy during floor Savsanas. I was able to go all the way in Standing Head to Knee, but fell out of it in the end.

January 1, 2017, 9:00am - class 509 with Sandy Robin - The best thing I can say about my practice today is I survived without getting dizzy and taking Savasana during a pose. Today I started the first day of my 30-Day Challenge.

January 2, 2017, 9:00am - class 510 with Chris Fluck - I reclaimed my spot in the front row. I was able to work through my entire practice without experiencing dizziness.

January 3, 2017, 6:00am - class 511 with Colleen Hoplamazian - Class was fast paced and fun. It felt like an Allie Nicholas class.

January 4, 2017, 6:00am - class 512 with Adam Keilbaugh

January 5, 2017, 6:00am - class 513 with Brittni Devereaux - Eagle arms open up to Phoenix Pose. Nobody knows what the hell I'm trying to do, but that's okay.

January 5, 2017, 6:00pm, 8:00pm - Nice first class with three new students. One of my regulars returned for my Beats class.

January 6, 2017, 6:00am - class 514 with Justin Riley

January 9, 2017, 6:00am - class 515 with Justin Riley - I hurt my neck over the weekend and can't turn my head to the right easily.

January 10, 2017, 6:00am - class 516 with Cate Reese - Without going all the way in Standing Head to Knee - I curled in, stopped, and stared at my knee - I was able to reverse out strongly and come back out without wobbling or falling out.

January 11, 2017, 6:00am - class 517 with Adam Keilbaugh - Same today with Standing Head to Knee - I curled in, stopped, and stared at my knee - I was able to reverse out strongly and come back out without wobbling or falling out.

January 12, 2017, 6:00am - class 518 with Brittni Devereaux - My motivator was in class today standing behind me as she did in the past. It's good to have someone that inspires you to be the best that you can be.

January 12, 2017, 6:00pm, 8:00pm - Lots of new students in both classes. Three students asked me for advice on helping them work through injuries.

January 13, 2017, 6:00am - class 519 with Justin Riley - Opening my arms while my legs are still twisted in Eagle... pretty cool! My motivator was in class again in a similar spot. 32 days ago I weighed 145. Today I weigh 135. Bikram Yoga works. Trust the process!

January 15, 2017, 9:00am - class 520 with Sandy Robin - Sandy complimented my Triangle and helped me in Standing Bow and Half-Tortoise.

January 16, 2017, 6:00am - class 521 with Justin Riley - The color of your toes, balls of the feet, or heels tells a lot about where you are shifting your body weight.

January 17, 2017, 6:00am - class 522 with Cate Reese - My neck is almost 100%. I think Rabbit might be helping me here.

January 18, 2017, 6:00am - class 523 with Adam Keilbaugh - I had a couple of drinks with a friend and didn't get home until late last night. A little birdie told me to stay home this morning, but my dedication to myself convinced me that I made a commitment to myself and the 30-Day Challenge.

January 19, 2017, 6:00am - class 524 with Brittni Devereaux

January 19, 2017, 6:00pm, 8:00pm - The new students from last week returned this week. Two new students in my Beats class said it was great.

January 20, 2017, 6:00am - class 525 with Justin Riley - "Shift your bodyweight to your left heel. Too much right heel," commented Justin on my left side Half Moon. My left side is my bad side, it seems.

January 22, 2017, 11:00am - I subbed for Suzanne today. A beautiful turnout with fourteen students, including a handful of newbies.

January 23, 2017, 6:00am - class 526 with Justin Riley - I think I ate a little too much bad stuff (barbecue meat) last night because I didn't have enough energy to plow through my postures as usual. Ironically, Justin mentioned that if something is ailing you, then change the way you do things. The good news is I decreased my water consumption in class to one sip.

January 24, 2017, 6:00am - class 527 with Cate Reese - One sip of water in class again. Hopefully soon, no water needed. Water affects my belly during postures.

January 25, 2017, 6:00am - class 528 with Adam Keilbaugh - No water needed! Sadly, I couldn't park in my usual spot and had to park two blocks away. I got a parking ticket... damn.

January 26, 2017, 6:00am - class 529 with Brittni Devereaux - Today I forgot my water bottle, but I didn't need it. I relied on a damp towel to wipe my face after Eagle, never touching it again until class was over. "Nice job, Clare!" Brittni said after class. I believe this was for all the times Brittni saw me actively engaging in each posture from start to finish.

January 26, 2017, 6:00pm, 8:00pm - "That was a great class! I feel so good!" one of my new students exclaimed. "You have such a calm, soothing voice," another said. Hopefully, I will see many of them again.

January 27, 2017, 6:00am - class 530 with Justin Riley - No water needed, however, I felt a little lethargic doing my sit-ups.

January 29, 2017, 9:00am - class 531 with Sandy Robin - I tried the no water, only damp towel thing again, but this time the heat got to me and I bowed out of Tree Pose. Sandy corrected a number of my poses, including Eagle which she felt I was collapsing on my right foot. The same held true for the second side of Half Moon. Awkward was a good one today and Standing Separate Leg Head to Knee was one that Sandy encouraged me to push my bent knee straight.

January 30, 2017, 6:00am - class 532 with Justin Riley - The left side of my Half Moon still sucks, but I could really go deep on my right side. My throat felt a little dry this morning, so I made sure I had an extra sip of water before class. No water needed throughout the class.

January 30, 2017, 4:00pm - class 533 with Suzanne Musetto - The Intemediate C40 - Although not a Bikram class by name, it has all of the postures of the entire Bikram class and then some. Ida Ripley, the class' designer, patterned it pretty much like a Bikram class. We did one set of Pranayama, two sets of sun salutations that included Warrior, Standing Separate Head to Knee with a bent knee and then a backbend, Kneeling Separate Head to Knee with a backbend, and Standing Backbend and then Forward Fold Hands to Feet, and one set of Triangle, Standing Separate Leg Head to Knee, Tree, Toe, Half and Full Guillotine, Crow, Full Balancing Stick, Standing Leg Splits, Swan and Sleeping Swan, Pigeon, Frog, Bridge, Wheel, and Spinal Twist. Since this was my second class of the day and an afternoon class, I could get really deep in my Half Moons. I couldn't do Wheel properly because I hurt my wrist recently. We ended our practice with one long set of Kapalbhati.

January 31, 2017, 6:00am - class 534 with Cate Reese - What really impresses me about Cate's classes is they alway end at 85 to 87 minutes giving us time for a two minute Savasana. She doesn't hold the postures as long as others and her instructions don't include the Bikramism fluff. Today I weigh 134. It's been a tough battle going up and down in weight. Gain a few pounds, lose a few pounds. My weight loss, as measured as an absolute index, is making slow progress at one pound in two weeks.

February 1, 2017, 6:00am - class 535 with Adam Keilbaugh

February 2, 2017, 6:00am - class 536 with Brittni Devereaux - It was a big class today with 21 students, so there was a lot of body heat in the room. Classes like that always feel a bit muggy. Nevertheless, I continue to make it through class without sipping any water. The reason why I'm doing this is because I'm trying to make myself less dependent on what I believe is a creature comfort rather than a necessity. Yes, water is a necessity when you're first starting out in Bikram yoga and you're not used to the heat or the postures, but as you develop yourself into a stronger yogini, the water is just another distraction from your goal of quieting the chatter in your mind.

February 2, 2017, 6:00pm, 8:00pm - It felt good to hear my students tell me I taught a great class. "You're a wonderful teacher," one student said, smiling. "You make the postures look effortless," she also said. Tonight was a great night for both of my classes. Prior to each class, I closed my eyes, smiled, and thanked the heavens for helping me reach this happy moment.

February 3, 2017, 6:00am - class 537 with Justin Riley

February 6, 2017, 6:00am - class 538 with Justin Riley - I completed my 30-Day Challenge and my classmates congratulated me. I left class happy, but also knowing that today felt like just another day. From start to finish, I decreased my weight from 141 to 135, my bodyfat percentage from 14.7% to 11%, and my BMI from 21.9 to 20.9.

February 7, 2017, 6:00am - class 539 with Cate Reese - Today I started another 30-Day Challenge. One of my mentors called it my "second set."

February 8, 2017, 6:00am - class 540 with Adam Keilbaugh - Today in class I noticed someone wearing an old pair of yoga pants I had left behind in the studio about a year ago. If they were mine, I'm glad to see she is putting them to good use.

February 9, 2017, 6:00am - class 541 with Cate Reese - I left the yoga studio yesterday feeling exhausted and accidentally left my water bottle behind. Thankfully, someone found it and left it at the front desk. One of the wonderful things about yoga is neither rain, sleet, nor snow will stop many yoga studios from opening and having their classes. I didn't fall out of Standing Bow today. The class was smaller so there weren't as many distractions as usual. Distractions can come in the form of people standing next to or behind you falling out. I said to myself, "How badly do you want this? What drives you?" and I was able to hold my postures from beginning to end.

February 9, 2017, 6:00pm, 8:00pm - There were more students in my classes today than last week and today was a storm day! Feeling blessed.

February 10, 2017, 6:00am - class 542 with Justin Riley - I woke up this morning feeling nauseous and couldn't keep my food or water down. Through tremendous will-power, I still completed my class and went to work. I felt dizzy and sick and had to go to the restroom several times to vomit. My heart raced sporadically and I felt like I was about to faint at several points during the day. It turned out my problem was a severe case of acid reflux. I have never felt so horrible before.

February 13, 2017, 6:00am - class 543 with Justin Riley - I could see the edges of my mat in Camel! Maybe I just never noticed it before, but today I did.

February 14, 2017, 6:00am - class 544 with Cate Reese - In my pre-stretch routine, I did a Shoulderstand with Lotus. It wasn't perfect, since it was my first attempt, but it gave me confidence in my ability to do more. In class, I held all four Standing Bow poses for their entire duration. I also saw the edges of my mat again in Camel.

February 15, 2017, 6:00am - class 545 with Adam Keilbaugh

February 16, 2017, 6:00am - class 546 with Brittni Devereaux - More ups and downs in weight, but I'm finally back to 134 again. Whenever I reach a new low in weight, I reward myself with a little too much food. That's why I gain the weight I lost back again. I saw more of my mat in Camel.

February 16, 2017, 6:00pm, 8:00pm - You have such a calming demeanor, one of my students said. At the end of the second class, everyone applauded, which reminded me of my experiences teaching at Bikram Yoga Philadelphia.

February 17, 2017, 6:00am - class 547 with Justin Riley - I'm down to 133 today. I still have a little belly on me, but it's much smaller than when I started practicing regularly again.

February 20, 2017, 6:00am - class 548 with Justin Riley - Half Moon left side still is a little wonky for me. I feel a cold coming on. I hope my time in the hot room will help me get rid of it. I didn't extend my legs in both sets of Standing Head to Knee.

February 21, 2017, 6:00am - class 549 with Cate Reese - The DayQuil I took last night made me drowsy upon waking up. My right shoulder is sore; I have limited mobility in my right arm. I was going to take it easy today, but decided it was best to just forge onward. My Dhanurasana lacked pep.

February 23, 2017, 6:00am - class 550 with Brittni Devereaux

February 23, 2017, 6:00pm, 8:00pm - My students commented that I taught another great class. My Beats class has such nice people. If I were to teach this same class for the rest of my life with these same students, I'd be very happy.

February 24, 2017, 6:00am - class 551 with Justin Riley - Justin looked upset with me today because I excused myself in the middle of class after Standing Separate Leg Stretching to tend to a belly ache. I returned to do Toe Stand and then proceeded to do the postures I missed during Savasana, but he stopped me right after Triangle. "You can't be doing that during Savasana; it's a distraction," he said. He was right. Today was just one of those days where I was in a time crunch and had to make a morning meeting, but I wanted to get my full practice in... then my belly thing happens. The good news is I made it to my meeting on time and weighed 132 today.

February 27, 2017, 6:00am - class 551 with Justin Riley - Justin liked that I was putting in a good effort in Standing Separate Leg Stretching.

February 28, 2017, 6:00am - class 552 with Cate Reese

Recently, I've been coming out of Eagle pose with my arms unwinding before I untwist my legs. I end Eagle with a transition to Phoenix pose. Just like Half Moon and Standing Head to Knee, I don't go deep into my pose in the first set. The first set is all about alignment and building strength. The second set is all about depth.

March 2, 2017, 6:00am - class 553 with Brittni Devereaux - I missed class yesterday because I had an emergency dental visit. I lost a little energy after Standing Separate Leg Head to Knee, but managed to push my way through the rest of the postures.

March 2, 2017, 6:00pm, 8:00pm - Classes are getting larger. Lots of smiles and my students thanked me for a great class. A number of newbies, too. Hopefully, they'll be back.

March 3, 2017, 6:00am - class 554 with Justin Riley - Justin liked my effort in Standing Bow. I didn't have much depth, but I fixed my alignment. I needed lots of supplemental breathing in between postures today. I felt a little dizzy and faint at times. I'm down to 131 today, a new low. Perhaps that's why.

March 6, 2017, 6:00am - class 555 with Justin Riley - Justin noted that my alignment is still a little off in Half Moon. Half Moon is basically the bane of my existence in the 26+2. He also noted that my weight distribution was off in Eagle. "More weight in the heel," he said.

March 7, 2017, 6:00am - class 556 with Cate Reese

March 8, 2017, 6:00am - class 557 with Adam Keilbaugh - Somehow I bruised my left knee, so today I couldn't sit on my knees to do forward bends, such as Half-Tortoise and Rabbit. I hope this will be healed before my teacher training that starts next week. For the past two weeks, I've been experimenting with just balancing on one leg with minimal tension in the first set of Standing Bow and then driving it to my limit in the second set, much like what I do in Standing Head to Knee.

March 9, 2017, 6:00am - class 558 with Brittni Devereaux - I still felt sharp pains in my left knee when sitting. I can still walk and run with no problems, but I have this little bump on my knee at the top of my femur. I hope it's not a bone chip. It feels more like an inflammation. I had to sit out of Half-Tortoise and Rabbit again. I knew I still had the knee issue at the start of Supta Vajrasana.

March 9, 2017, 6:00pm, 8:00pm - Blessed by the wonderful warm weather, lots of students came out to practice resulting in nice class sizes. My students tell me they enjoy my classes. I will miss them over the next three weeks.

March 10, 2017, 6:00am - class 559 with Justin Riley - Continued pains in my left knee. The swelling has gone down a little. I still can't do Half-Tortoise and Rabbit.

March 13, 2017, 6:00am - class 560 with Justin Riley - Ditto again. I hope everything heals before my teacher training. It sucks not being able to do two of my favorite postures. I completed 53 days of my 60-Day Challenge at Hot Yoga Philadelphia. The remaining seven classes will be at Tony Sanchez's teacher training in Malaga, Spain.

March 18, 2017 to April 1, 2017 - Tony Sanchez teacher training - Click here to read about my journey!

April 5, 2017, 6:00am - class 588 with Adam Keilbaugh - This was the first time in over three weeks that I got to see myself practicing yoga in front of a mirror. Holy crap! My traps look huge in Eagle! For some odd reason, I felt incomplete not practicing all the postures from Core 40. Birabhadrasana, a posture I totally hated when I first started Core 40 training, felt oddly missing. I did Split Arms Balancing Stick for my second set of Balancing Stick. After class, I worked on Side Crane and One-Legged Peacock.

April 6, 2017, 6:00pm, 8:00pm - It feels good to be back. My students tell me they miss me. I found myself walking around and helping students more in my classes today than before. One student was especially grateful for my assistance and said he'll be back next week. My Bikram Beats class will be repackaged as Bishnu Beats with the Ghosh Flow sequence rather than the Bikram 26+2. I will also teach a new Sunday morning Core 40 class. Yay!!!

April 9, 2017, 9:00am - class 589 Core 40 - I practiced my version of the Core 40 (Master's Core) sequence with Suzanne. "That was a great class. I feel energized, but not tired," she commented. Suzanne and I talked about the new changes in Tony's evolution of his sequence, including new footwork, hand grips, and postures. I included my Aikido wrist exercises in the class as a warm-up to Crow and Crane, which Suzanne thought was a great idea.

April 10, 2017, 6:00am - class 590 with Justin Riley - My knee feels a little better today. I can twist my legs on both sides in Eagle. I was afraid to sit on my knees in Half-Tortoise and Rabbit without knee support, but I was fine. I believe what really helped was my new Manduka mat, a PROlite. I've been using a PRO mat for a while. It's thick, solid, and built like a tank and weighs as much as an infant, but carrying it is not fun. However, my PROlite mat also felt good, much better than my Aurora and Jade mats. My Aurora mats always feel good the first few months and then feel really spongy afterwards. My Jade mats feel too rigid. These are subjective feelings, so your mileage may vary. I started a new 30-Day Challenge.

April 11, 2017, 6:00am - class 591 with Cate Reese - There's a new lady I met at the studio yesterday. She sits quietly in the back corner of the room, the hottest spot in class. She doesn't do most of the postures and is usually sitting and watching people as they do theirs. As she sits and watches everyone serenely and peacefully, I can't help but think that she is absorbing the postures in her own way, carefully feeling each one as the rest of us feel ours. For her, a Bikram class might not be the grueling 90-minute sweatfest that many make it out to be, but rather a mindful meditation. I've been practicing Side Crane regularly. Sometimes I can hold it for just a few seconds. Othertimes I can hold it for much longer.

April 12, 2017, 6:00am - class 592 with Adam Keilbaugh - One of my classmates accidentally took my spot this morning and asked me if I wanted it back. She said she usually stands to the right of me, so she found it a little odd to be situated to my left. I nodded and said, "It's okay, but I do feel better in my usual spot. If I don't stand there, the energy feels different." "I totally understand," she said, switching the mats. The morning felt good again. "Bikram is my drug. I feel so energized," a classmate remarked after class. "Not me, I'm always exhausted," I admitted. You don't need to do yoga in the heat. Tony Sanchez proved that. I was able to do four hours of yoga every day with Tony and reap more benefits in less time.

April 13, 2017, 6:00am - class 593 with Brittni Devereaux - My knee is feeling a bit better today. Eagle is feeling a bit better. Standing Head to Knee is feeling a bit more solid. I didn't wobble in the rest of the standing postures like in the past couple of weeks.

April 13, 2017, 6:00pm, 8:00pm - I started adding Tony's versions of the postures to both classes. I think my Beats class was more surprised by the changes than my Core 26 class. The speaker system played lots of static during my Core 26 class, so I took off my headset and taught without a mic. I went back to using the headset at my Beats class. The static problem went away, probably because an audio source - my iPhone - was plugged into the audio system.

April 14, 2017, 6:00am - class 594 with Justin Riley - "Nice, Clare!" Justin remarked of my Triangle. The real master of the Triangle posture was standing two mats to the left of me... Chris Fluck. My Triangle is based on his. Justin had an interesting tiger to posture analogy. "Everyone starts off with a baby tiger when they first set foot in a Bikram class and that tiger grows and grows over time," he said. There was more to the analogy and it was good stuff.

April 16, 2017, 11:00am - class 595 Core 26 - This was the first Easter Sunday that the studio was open and we got a decent turnout. I gave some helpful tips to a teacher who wanted to learn more about how Core 26 is taught. I also gave some helpful advice to another student who was dealing with back pain issues. I encouraged a couple of regulars to try my Core 40 class on Sundays. Little by little, my Core 26 class will slowly change to the way my Core 40 is taught.

April 17, 2017, 6:00am - class 596 with Justin Riley - Justin said that the three fundamental points of yoga are breathing, alignment, and depth. Gabrielle Raiz, author of Hot Yoga MasterClass, also advises to start with the breath, then think about your alignment as the teacher gives cues, and then go for the depth of the pose.

April 18, 2017, 6:00am - class 597 with Cate Reese - I felt like I was coming down with a cold last night, but today's hot class seemed to make it all better. While hot yoga may not be the cure for cancer like Bikram brags, it is certainly good for opening up and clearing your lungs.

April 19, 2017, 6:00am - class 598 with Adam Keilbaugh - I felt a little wobbly today in Awkward 2. I also fell out of the first set of Standing Bow, the first time in a while. The strong scent of men's aftershave permeated the room. It was a bit nauseating.

April 20, 2017, 6:00am - class 599 with Brittni Devereaux - Before class, I practiced Side Crane and One-Legged Peacock for the first time without wrist protection. I couldn't hold the posture for more than a few seconds, but I felt triumphant. I backed off of my depth in favor of alignment in many of my poses in class. I fell out of the first set of Standing Head to Knee, the first time in a while. No excuses today.

April 20, 2017, 6:00pm, 8:00pm - The nice weather may have affected the turnout for the 6pm class, but the 8pm class was well-attended. My students didn't seem to mind the changes in the dialog. A new student wanted to bring her daughter to class next time.

April 21, 2017, 6:00am - class 600 with Justin Riley - After 600 classes, my poses look different now than when I first started yoga. I've learned to back off a lot on my poses. My first set of Standing Head to Knee and Standing Bow are more about staying focused, balanced, and building up the muscles of my standing leg rather than going to maximum expression. Sometimes I lose steam just after Triangle, but a couple of quick Tony Sanchez anatomical breaths can fix that. I alternate between one long set or two sets of Fixed Firm depending on what I want to develop: strength or flexibility. My Spinal Twist sometimes looks awesome, so much so that Tony wanted me to try the advanced version during teacher training. It's a bit disheartening to discover that this 26+2 series that we've all put our hearts into - myself included - is totally flawed as an all-in-one workout regimen. Thankfully, we have Core 40.

My yoga journey:
Opinions expressed are solely my own. Please consult your physician for medical advice before starting a yoga program.

All images and work herein © 2007-2022 Clare Din. No reproduction without permission. All rights reserved.