Week 1- Bikram’s Yoga and Barefoot Running

The Goal-  to run again pain free (or at least semi-pain free).

The Perscription- Bikram “hot” yoga 5 days per week, barefoot Chi style running 3 days per week, pool running 3 days per week.

I think it’s working!  Yoga is quite possibly the hardest thing I’ve ever done, although the 90 minutes goes by relatively quickly and I do feel better when it’s over.  It hurts sooo much during the class.  On Thursday I almost gave up.  I was close to tears, particularly in all of the kneeling postures.  Some people complain about the heat, and that is the one thing I like.  It feels good to be warm and to sweat, and I certainly don’t find it TOO hot.  After Thursday’s torture treatment, however,  I might not have gone back but Nicole and I had already made plans to go together, and Friday was to be her first day.  It did seem a LITTLE easier, quite possibly because Thursday I went in the evening and Friday in the morning.

I start off great, with “Standing Deep Breathing” where you have to suck your stomach in and try to see your rib cage in the mirror.  I can count my ribs, and another woman said to me  in the changing room after class, “You do so good… when the teacher says suck your stomach in, yours goes in and mine falls out!”  That gave me a good laugh and I realized that “o.k., yes, there’s ONE thing I do well in Bikram Yoga”.  I’m also pretty good at Savasana or “Dead Body Pose”, where you lie perfectly still for 2 minutes.  Bikram says that being still for 2 minutes is the hardest posture of all, but I am so exhausted and relieved to get to that point of the class that it is not hard at all to remain motionless for my precious 2 minutes.  The poses I really hate, are Utkatasana, “Awkward Pose” where you squat down while balancing on your toes… OUCH, and all of the kneeling exercises Supta Vajrasana “Fixed Firm Pose” being the absolute worst.  If I ever get so that I can sit between my knees, it will be a miracle.  The instructors all assure me that it will happen, so we shall see!

As for running in my fancy Vibram 5 toes– I took Sunday off, but Monday I ran 20 min on the turf at school.  Ken came with me and ran in his scuba booties.  Being a mutant with webbed toes, he has not been able to try the 5 toe shoes, but wanted to experience “almost” barefoot running.  On Tuesday, we ran on the rail trail- 31 minutes.  It was dark, and honestly, not much fun.  On the turf, I’ve been able to really get the sense that I am floating along and letting my core lead as my legs follow.  In the dark, I struggled to get my mind relaxed and to just let the running happen.  Wednesday I ran in the pool and swam.  Thursday, I ran in the pool for 45 min with my team, then jumped out, got dressed and ran outside for 35 minutes.  I did the first 20 minutes on the road and knew that I was pounding a bit too much (should’ve kept it to 10 minutes) but once on the turf and grass, I felt o.k.  Friday, my calves hurt a bit but weren’t terrible so I had hopes of sticking to my alternate day schedule and running again on Saturday. I was able to run in the pool with the sprinters, and then go to yoga with Nicole.  Today is Saturday, and I’m not running!  Definitely overdid the calves so I’ll take an extra day, try riding my bike and hope I can run tomorrow.  I’m thinking that a golf course might be a great place to expand my grass running options, and it’s getting too cold to golf anyway.

I’m also taking the weekend off from Yoga Class, although only because I don’t want to spend an hour in the car getting there.  I may try to heat up the bathroom and “practice” on my own.  If I do, I’ll have Ken take some “before” pictures and hope they improve!



  1. Dani said

    I actually have fallen asleep in the dead pose. I think at our age after being pretzels for that long (or attempting to be) we are glad for the repose!

    I also think it would have to be over 120 degrees before I might start complaining! I’m looking forward to hot flashes, but so far no go!

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