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Entries in water bottle (2)


Don't you have Yoga to do?

That is a question that my wife and kids ask me these days, especially when my responses to their questions are 

- questions 

- have nothing to do with the question

- general answers in a raised voice that don't add any value

I do occasionally answer their questions when there is a lot on my mind, but most of the time my mind is simply not tuned to what is being asked.

This year has been particularly off to a bad start with us getting hit with unplanned spends almost every week.. a broken washer to start off on New Years eve, a rat/squirrel deciding to nest inside the Prius hood, India trips, locked up knees and jaw which came out of nowhere, water main leak bills that hit us months later, a change in deduction rules from IRS which makes us cut checks to them.. the list keeps going.. 

This year has also been tough on the mind with my father taking a fall and the constant worry that he might fall again and the impact this has on my mom, Jr. having to go to college shortly and me being at odds with the wife and kids on the value of a college education vs. real skill development.. 

Let's just say that I am at war with the world.. 

So it is no wonder that my wife and kids would rather see me pack off and go do Yoga, because at least for a few hours I am calm and not belligerent after coming back. The yoga literally knocks the wind out of me and in trying to get my bearings back, I tend to look forward instead of in the rear view mirror. I am able to do that at work but not at home. At work, can always tell myself and folks "let's focus on what has to be done next". There comes a point in your life where your willingness to solve some issues is simply not there because you don't see the value in solving those issues. I maybe at that point now!

This year I signed up for a 60 day challenge with the goal of getting some sanity. It was the one word I put in as the reason for signing up. Having signed up 8 times before and finishing 7/8 times, was not really going for the physical benefit this time. Just wanted to lower my rage. 

There was going to be travel during the challenge and that meant doing some doubles, but that was a known thing and by now it is nothing new for me or the family. However, I stopped drinking water during class last March 21st. Wanted to make that the new normal. So that made some of the doubles incredibly hard, but I did it. Drank a packet of vitamins 15 minutes after class and walked right back into the hot room and did everything.. gave it my 100%. Most of the times, I went on will power alone. Literally willed my body to stand up and do the asanas. 

The main goal of not drinking water was to be able to fidget less in class, what with having less distraction from the water bottle and also to be able to suck my tummy in during forward compressions.  The no water practice definitely helped with the tummy "tuckability" in a significant way.  However, in the 222 classes since no water, the number of times I have NOT fidgeted or tried to unintentionally wipe sweat off my forehead or nose, try to unwrinkle my towel, etc. is ZERO!  Have managed to stay absolutely still for the standing series most of the times but that is only two thirds of the class.

It becomes especially hard when we are lying down on the floor trying to relax. It is one thing to let the body relax.. it is another thing to let the mind wander while the body is trying to relax.. that is when you fidget and by the time you realize it, it is too late.. fidgeting already done.. mission failure! 

At first it used to depress me that I had no control over my own body parts. How could my hand go to my forehead the second I take my mind off of the "no fidget no fidget" mantra? We call it "sub-conscious" for a reason! The trick is to be conscious of every thing for 90 minutes. It is NOT easy. In that challenge I failed miserably.  

One has to take the positives when you get them. From that perspective, I did manage to do Yoga 60 times in 60 days, thanks to all the encouragement from family, friends and most importantly my teachers. That is the big positive. For all the seething internal negativity and rage, there are people out there who care about me, realize that most of my screw ups are well intentioned and calm me down. We have a healthy support group and a great community at BYSJ. We don't talk about our individual problems, work etc.. we do talk about attitudes, approach to things.. be it in the hot room or how to translate that to the outside world and that helps. We talk to each other and get inspired. 

Folks with fused spines, amputees, folks who see their patients die on a regular basis, folks who have to inject themselves every day to just be able to function, folks with PTSD... a long list of people who come and do the yoga to keep them moving and functioning..

Compared to them, my flying across the pacific every three weeks and going over jetlag or fighting joint locking up issues seems lame. 

The usual graphs and charts that I post to remind myself that every year is different but I can still go after finishing 10 challenges..

My average weight has gone from 149 to 152 this year.. but it ahs been going up from 139 steadily over last 6 years at 2 lbs/ year. Guess that is on the trend line. This is the weight graph ever since I started tracking it.  


Made new friends this year. Most of the times I went for the last class of the day. We managed to encourage and push each other to finish!

The best part was the party where we got to share our stories and have family and friends present to get our T-shirts. It is a shirt that I wear with pride everywhere, not just because of the soft fabric, but because it was earned with a lot of hard work!

There is a warmth in that hot room (no pun intended) that makes me feel like I am inside my mothers womb (guess at least that is what it would feel like). It is a place of safety where I am at peace. The teachers voices are always a calming influence, even when they are imploring us to push ourselves in their loudest voices! My mind reacts "that is so soothing",  kind of like how after almost 20 years my wife looks cute even when she is yelling at me. Thank you BYSJ for keeping me healthy inspite of my repeated attempts to screw up my body and more importantly for keeping me sane!

The challenge is done but San and the kids keep encouraging me to do Yoga. All credit for anything I do, goes to them... but the T-shirt goes to me! 


Water bottles....

I spent 30 mintues yesterday trying to find my first Yoga waterbottle. It was a "get well soon" gift from Camino Medical group after my surgery. When I started doing yoga and was searching for a water bottle, it was the only bottle I had. That bottle was kept as a memorabilia of sorts and survived many spring clean up efforts from wife and the kids. Alas, it was not to be found yesterday. Not sure if it was thrown out when I was not looking.. Once I left it at BYSJ and got it back in lost and found. That actually made my day!

Initially, I would sip. Then my MIL started putting ice in her bottle and inspired by her, I started using ice cubes. Soon it was mostly ice cubes with a little water. We eagerly looked forward to Eagle pose and the end of it so we could rush to ice water. Water never tasted that good! Those were early days.. first few classes.

Then went from sipping to guzzling. Yes, I was a guzzler once! I was the Hummer among Yogis! The little bendy straw on that bottle was not enough. Started removing the cap and drinking from the bottle. Soon, one bottle wasn't enough the way things were going. At the end of a year of yoga, the pores had opened up nicely, sweat was flowing freely, I had moved to be a front row student and would start sweating even before class began because of the heat in that part of the room. So one bottle became a bottle and a Cup (which Jr. won in a raffle at BYSJ! ) 

The bottle was for water

the cup was for ice

by the time we hit the floor

it was a sight for sore eyes.. 

I am getting carried away here. Then another year goes by and the cup is replaced with a full size bottle. We are now at 2 Liters of water during a class. The rate at which water consumption was increasing, would have had to join or start Waterholics Anonymous. Then came the fancy hydroflasks. These thinks kept the water cold even in a hot room, even if you were a little careless in closing the bottle. So the plastic ones were ditched and replaced with one flask. Had colors to chose from! 

Then I met Mary Jarvis... It has been two months to the day I gave up drinking water during class. For the record, I still drink water till about 30 minutes before class. Go to class without any water bottle. After class I wait for almost 10-15 minutes till I am at the first Stop sign or light and then take a sip. The bottle is there in the car. Now I place water bottles everywhere.. at work, in my bedroom table, in the living room.. kind of reminds me of that Signs movie where Mel Gibson's kid leaves water everywhere. 

For me to pull off a yoga class without water, I have to constantly hydrate out of class. Now there are four bottles being used regularly instead of one! Not over compensating or anything. Still drink the same amount of water, but make it a point to remember to drink an hour before class. 

Now that it has been two months without water in class, I can stop counting and go do this going forwards. Kid crawls.. then kid takes first steps, then walks.. you take a picture or a video of the first steps but after that the kids walking is taken for granted. Every year or two when there is a chance, one goes back to look at those photos and videos of the baby's first steps.. this post is going to be like that for me. Look back fondly and reminisce about guzzling days..

Never thought that I could do this first.

Then thought I could not do this for more than a week.

Now got used to it.

If only locking that knee consistantly could be pulled off with the same enthusiasm!!!!! That would make my day, or week or months!