Posts Tagged ‘brain’

My first bikram yoga class

I went to bikram yoga for a little while last year. Hands up who’s been to bikram yoga? So you guys know exactly what I’m about to tell you. For those of you who don’t know what bikram yoga is, it’s like yoga on acid. The first few classes, it’s mental. It’s a yoga class in a heated room, something to do with relaxing the muscles so you can stretch further in the poses. I thought I’d share my first experience of bikram yoga to make you aware of exactly what is involved in this intriguing new exercise class.

All I knew on my first class was that it was yoga in a heated room. Sounds interesting, I thought. I’ll go along for a trial class. Little did I know.

I was in a t-shirt and leggings, suitable attire for a yoga lesson. I entered the room, found a space for my mat and sat down. I noticed everyone else was dressed in barely anything. All the men were just wearing swim shorts, no t-shirts. The women were wearing little crop tops and tiny shorts. It was like being at a swimwear photo shoot.

I was wearing more clothes than anyone else in the room and suddenly was like, ‘What is wrong with these people? This isn’t a fashion parade. Why are they showing off their bodies? Have these people got no discretion?!’

And then the class started. The teacher entered and turned up the heat and for the next hour and a half, I was a complete mess. If you’d have asked me my name, I wouldn’t have been able to tell you it. My thoughts during the class went something like this….

OMYGOODNESS I’M GOING TO PASS OUT! What is she asking me to do with my leg? I think I’ll fall into a heap and disintegrate if I attempt that. Just keep control of yourself, keep control. I might have to sit down. Water! Water! Ok, let’s get involved again, whoops, stood up too quickly! Head rush. Sit down again. TOO HOT! I wish I hadn’t worn so many clothes now. O no, I think that tickling on my elbow is a bead of sweat which has run all the way down there from my armpit. Ugh, there is a sweat patch on my mat where I’ve been sitting. Ok, get up. Doing some kind of twisting leg and arm thing. Try to concentrate on one spot and keep my balance, the teacher is saying. How can I concentrate?! How can I concentrate when I’m melting? I THINK I’M GOING TO DIE! Can you die of too much heat? If no-one has before, I’ll be the first. I feel like I’ve been in here forever. How long has it been? Omygoodness, only 15 minutes. 1 hour 15 minutes to go still. I can feel delirium setting in. I think my brain is actually sweating. I’m starting to fear FOR MY LIFE. I’m being asked to balance on one leg and hold my hands in prayer position. I can barely concentrate on standing up, balancing is asking a bit much, don’t you think? Maybe I’ll just stand here, not fainting, and that will be my main achievement for my first class. Nope, not standing, sitting. I’ve never been this warm in my entire life….

After the class, I left the room, went into the corridor and leant on a window sill, trying to remember who I was. When I eventually stumbled into the changing rooms, I got into the shower, ran it on the coldest setting and stood there with trembling legs, holding onto the wall, trying to regain my composure.

My next two or three classes were similar to this but a little less messy each time. I eventually got to a point where I could go to a class without having to stop and sit down at all and I could still remember my name when I left the room.

For those of you who are thinking of trying a bikram yoga class anytime soon, let this post serve as a warning to you. Be prepared…!

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The problem with swimming

I am on Day 2 of Being Active week and, since there’s an outdoor swimming pool near my house, I thought I’d try to swim every day this week. Yesterday went well. The pool opens at 6.30am so I woke up at 6am and was in the pool by 6.40am. I thought it’d be good because I might miss the rush. I’ve been a few different times in the morning and it’s always pretty full. I was trying to find a time when it was a bit emptier so I could swim without crashing into people.

Of course my plan did not work. It was still quite full ten minutes after opening. ‘O well,’ I thought. ‘I’ll just swim in that one empty lane over there that no-one else is in. I wonder why no-one else is in it.’

Off I go, to the empty lane. All to myself. Ahhh, loads of space. Very exciting. I get in and I think maybe I’ll be a bit adventurous today, I’ll do back stroke. Seeing as there’s no-one else in the lane, I can swim without worrying that I’ll hit anyone. So I do one length, it’s quite tiring for someone who’s into the whole gentle-stroll scene.

And that’s when I see it, the sign at the top of the lane, in massive letters. ‘FAST LANE. FRONT CRAWL ONLY.’

O no! I’d just committed a swimming faux-pas. I’d done back stroke in the front crawl lane! I suddenly felt very self-conscious and looked around for another space in one of the slower lanes but there weren’t any. Disaster! I checked the indoor pool but that was even busier. I looked at the lifeguard, ready to be told off, but she hadn’t noticed. There was nothing for it but to keep going. Worse still, I had decided to do back stroke on my way up and breast stroke on my way back. So there I was, plodding along like a grandma, doing breast stroke in the FAST FRONT CRAWL ONLY lane. Boy, was I nervous! I tried doing front crawl for a length but it wasn’t great. I know my limitations. At the moment, back stroke and breast stroke are my comfort zone.

Inevitably, someone wanting to use the FAST FRONT CRAWL ONLY lane to do front crawl came into the lane so I went into the one next to me as a space had freed up there and immediately I was exposed to all the minor annoyances of swimming around other people.

Why is that person swimming in a diagonal line? They’ve cut across my bit and now I’ve got to move to get around them. And now I’ve lost my space.

I’m swimming in this bit! Why are you getting in the pool and swimming in a straight line toward me? I guess I’ll move out of the way although I was here first. And again, lost my space.

If you’re going to swim in the lap lane, don’t be the slowest swimmer ever, please. People are behind you, trying to get some exercise.

If you’re going to come here and swim in public, make sure you can do it first. The big splashing nonsense that appears to be your version of ‘swimming’ is making me fear for my life. You also just kicked me on your way past.

So you see the problems of swimming in a public pool!? It’s not as straight forward as you would think. You spend a long time, carving out a little space for yourself and then people come and invade it. Or you accidentally ignore the swimming social etiquette by swimming in the wrong lane. Or you get stuck next to someone who’s all arms and legs and you have to flatten yourself against the side when they pass. There’s lots to think about. I bet you thought swimming was a fairly simple activity? Well, I must warn you, don’t bring your brain with you if you want a simple swimming session. There’s too much to think about.

Today, I’m working early so will swim after work. Fingers crossed I won’t talk myself out of it (I’m very good at talking myself out of things).

Things I believed as a child

A girl who lived on my road told me that sometimes flies can burrow through your scalp and get into your brain.

She also told me that if you swallow chewing gum it can go into your insides and wrap around your heart.

When a plane flies overhead, if you wave to it and it flashes its red light, it means the pilot has seen you and is letting you know.

 

Be careful!

If the wind blows while you’re doing a stupid face, it will stick that way.

My parents once convinced me that my birthday was on April 25th (it’s not). I remember being extremely doubtful at first then thinking it must be true because they were so convincing.

You never digest sweetcorn! It stays in your tummy FOREVER!

A teacher at school when I was about eight told us that there are lots of little men living inside your body, making sure it works properly and when you feel ill, the baddies were winning. If you take a little nap, it means the goodies can concentrate on fighting the baddies and making you feel well again. I think she meant it symbolically but I was fascinated for many years afterward about this whole little-men-living-inside-me thing.

This one is from infant school. A rumour flew around that when you moved up to junior school, if you wore glasses, the big kids would call you ‘four-eyes.’ We were quite intimidated by this rumour. I’ve no idea why it made such an impact on me as I’ve never worn glasses.

If you step on the lines while walking down the corridor at school, you fancy Marvin! (If you were a boy, I think you were told you fancied Hayley.)

When you’re a grown up, you wear make-up. That’s just what all grown-up women do. When the girl who lived on my road, and who told me about flies and chewing gum, said she wasn’t going to wear make up when she grew up, I was shocked.

My dad once told me that if you eat the instant custard powder straight from the jar, you have to be careful because it would get to your stomach and form a big lump of custard that would get stuck there.

If you sit too close to the TV, your eyes will go square. I was pretty terrified of this one because sometimes my dad would say, ‘O they’re already changing a little bit! Be careful! You’d better sit back!’

Cake talk

Today, I have a day off work, so my brain has gone into meltdown. I’m not very good with time off. So I make jobs for myself. I have made a cake this morning already. I have also done a bit of Land Law revision. It’s mortgages today. Not the most fascinating thing I can think of. With the brain in meltdown, I’m not very good at thinking what to blog about. So I’m just going to blog what’s on my mind.

The biggest thing is planning a wedding cake. Not for me, I might add! Someone else is getting married and I’m doing their cake. (Me? Getting married? What a hilarious thought!) I had trouble falling asleep last night because I was planning it in such detail. I love a foodie project. Yesterday I went into the cake supplies shop and was just out of control. It’s like someone had unleashed the mad woman that I usually keep under wraps and told her to get one of everything! It’s not like I went in with a plan in mind and got things which fitted with my plan. Instead I looked in great detail at absolutely everything in the shop and thought about how I could possibly use it, picked it up and kept moving. Occasionally I placed things back when I’d re-made the plan after looking at the next item but my arms were still pretty full by the time I got to the till (maybe an hour after entering the shop).

When I was falling asleep last night I was running through, over and over again what I was going to do, whether I should put this here or that there. What type of cake should I do for the cake bit? I also took the momentous step of finally purchasing a piping bag, which is a thing I’ve always felt like I should have but was quite intimidated by, like muslin cloth. I now have both. I think I should practise piping things first because I can just see a big disaster happening on the actual cake.

Now I don’t want to jinx things by talking about it too much and I hope Mr/Mrs Soon-To-Be-Married don’t stop by this blog before the big day but here’s the plan. Opinions please.

He owns a gallery and requested a cake in the shape of a picture frame. So I’m going to do a square/rectangle cake with gold frosting for the frame bit. Then inside the frame there’ll just be white frosting and I got two little silver letters for their names.

Oo! I’ve just thought! Gold framing and silver letters?! It’s not going to go together. Dammit. Should I go and get gold letters instead? Or will that be gold overload?

Anyway, two letters for names, whichever colour they end up being. Then I have edible red carnation petals that I thought I’d make a little flower out of for one corner and two small white icing hearts for the opposite corner. I’ve got two teeny tiny mini champagne flutes to put in the middle and thought I’d make some really small white chocolate truffles to either put on the board around the bottom of the cake or to put round the edge next to the flower, so it looks like part of the pattern on the frame.

It will probably change tomorrow, and the next day, so I’m going to start making little sketches or something so I remember each idea before I change it. Actually, here’s the one for what my current idea is… (Obviously my artistic skills are somewhat lacking and the proportions will no doubt end up completely different.Those little blobs in the two corners are the mini white chocolate truffles.)

Anyway, that’s the main thing on my mind this morning. Other thoughts are:

‘I’d better try and finish revising mortgages today as the exams are really close..’

….and ‘Omygoodness I ate a lot at the staff meal out last night, I should probably try to do a long walk or something to balance it out…’

…and ‘I want to make the truffles for the cake today.’