It’s not about the heat

I’ve had a few students comment on the heat in the past few days, actually move than a few. I’ve had one that point blank threw a temper tantrum (at least that’s what i call it ) because the heat wasn’t on prior to the class (there was a slight hiccup with a heating program). I was teaching on Friday AM and another student asked how hot the room was – I simply replied that it was 42 ‘ C (For all my American friends that’s 107 F plus the humidity was 40%), she wasn’t impressed with my response. “Oh really? It didn’t feel that hot”. Interesting.

That brings me back to title of this post – it’s not about the heat. The heat is an element and yes, it is something that separates Bikram from other practices of yoga but it isn’t the entire point of the yoga. The heat is an element that allows your body to go further but it isn’t the most important part of the class. I feel that students get so caught up on the heat and if the class is hot enough or not that they can’t focus on what they should be focusing on which is them!

As a student, I’ve never come out of a class thinking it was really cool in there. Usually, I just felt rocked but a really good rocked. Coming out of the hot room is one of the best feelings – it’s a feeling of joy, accomplishment, knwoing that I’ve worked every bone in my body over the past 90 minutes. I’m so elated that thinking about the heat isn’t even on my mind. I’ve just spent the past 90 minutes focusing on myself in the room and I’m not going to ruin it by being worried about the heat. The heat is something that I as a student can’t control. What I can control is my focus and my breathing.

I just wonder if a student is spending so much time on focusing on the heat how can they be focusing on themselves in class? How can the student be present in a 90 minute class when all you’re concerned about is the heat? You’ve got only 90 minutes to strictly focus on yourself for the first time in your day and you want to spend it on worrying about the heat. I can find something better for each of my students to focus on in classΒ  – themselves.

Beacuse it isn’t about the heat. It’s about you.

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Liebster Award Nomination:

Yoga and Donuts, was kind enough to nominate me for a Liebster Award! Thank you so much for the love Yoga and Donuts πŸ™‚

This award is given by bloggers to other bloggers, recognizing bloggers and encouraging new bloggers and readers. I am definitely encouraged to continue writingΒ  about my experience being Nappy, Sweaty, and Broke and sharing some of my favorite blogs! As part of the nomination I need to do the following:

Acknowledge who nominated me (thank you Yoga and Donuts)
Answer the eleven questions they’ve listed (below!)
Share eleven random facts about myself – this should be very interesting!
Nominate 11 bloggers with less than 200 followers and give them 11 questions to answer

My 11 Questions
1. What made you want to start blogging? This is my second time blogging and I wanted to start NSB because I’ve recently started a new adventure and thought it would be great to properly document everything that I’ll be doing while teaching yoga, living in Australia and traveling the world.
2. If you could go anywhere on vacation, where would you go? If I could go anywhere on vacation I would go to Portland, Maine. There is nothing better than Maine in the fall (well maybe Maine in the summer!).I started visiting Maine while I was living in New York City. I am a massive lover of seafood and lobster in particular and where else to get fresh lobster than Maine? I got the idea to road trip to Maine in the fall of 2009 and took off with two friends for a great weekend in Maine (New Hampshire). Maine (and Portland) in particular have a very special place in my heart – I decided to attend teacher training while I was in Maine on June 7th, 2014.
3. What is your favorite thing about yourself? My Smile.
4. Who is your favorite band? Of all time? Hands down TLC. I loved listening to them as a little girl – Left Eye was my favorite. Right now, I would have to say that Galatic is my favorite band.
5. What is the last book you read? The last book I read was A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald – I love reading about the writers of the Lost Generation from their wives perspectives. F. Scott Fitzgerald is one of my favorite authors and it was interesting to read about him from his wife’s perspective.
6. What is your biggest, most irrational, pet peeve? Sniffling – if you’re sniffling please blow your nose. It’s easy – pick up a tissue and blow your nose. Thank you! Also, leaving hair in the shower drain; it’s just gross.
7. What is your favorite food? Lobster. In any form – lazy lobster, boiled, fried, sauteed, etc.
8. If you could do anything (occupation) what would you do? I would be a novelist.
9. What was your most proud moment? Leaving NYC
10. What did you learn from your biggest regret? Not applying to Howard University.
11. What is your favorite post that you have written to date and why? My favorite post is a post I’ve recently written – Don’t Close Your Eyes. I love this post because it goes deeper than just the yoga. It’s a post about loving yourself and always being open to seeing yourself.

Eleven Random Facts About Me:

1. I was born at 9:18 on Sunday January 13th, 1985
2. Both my mom and I are capicorns
3. I hardly ever wear matching socks – weirdly enough as I’m writing this my socks match but that’s the exception not the rule
4. At the age of 16 I had a 1990 gold sedan cavalier that I called the gold mine
5. After that I had a purple cavalier that I named the purple
6. I’ve always wanted to be a cheerleader
7. My first job was a busboy (busgirl!) at Bob Evans
8. I worked at Bob Evans for four years (16 – 20)
9. My nickname is Btown that I got from summer camp – I was a camp counselor
10. I also wanted to go to summer camp but my mom wouldn’t send me so I went as camp counselor and had the best summer
11. I love Jiffy mix blueberry muffins – my grandmother would make them for me growing up.

My Nominee – I don’t follow a lot of blogs but I would like to nominate the following blog:

1. https://naturallyrissuh.wordpress.com/

Questions:

1. Who is the biggest influence in your life?
2. What is the book that you can read over and over?
3. What is your favorite movie?
4. Why did you start writing your blog?
5. What’s your favorite quote?
6. Who is your favorite author?
7. What do you do on a lazy Sunday? 8. If you could travel anywhere where would you go?
9. What’s your favorite room in your house?
10. What is your favorite food?
11. What is the one meal that you cook for yourself all the time?

Let’s talk hair.

Since finishing training and landing in Australia I’ve had the time to finally start playing in hair again and I am loving it! One of the biggest reason I chopped off my hair was because I knew that during training I wouldn’t have the time to focus on it. Training is so busy already that I wouldn’t be able to spare the time to properly detangle, twist, and style it properly (plus how would I make my own hair gel in my hotel room) so I chopped it all off. A decision I don’t regret at all. My hair has never grown this fast even the first time I big chopped – it could be because this time I know what I’m doing with my hair (thank you naptural85 for all your tips and haircare regimens). My hair feels healthier and thicker than ever. I’m able to twist it up and rock a little TWA (teeny weeny afro). Here are some photos from my first twist out:

First Twist Out:

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The Twist – This was on NYE

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Day Two Twist Out

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Day One Twist Out – I used a bit of gel to get a hold. I can’t find flaxseeds so I haven’t been able to make my own hair gel as of yet.

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It’s hard to find certain conditioners and shampoos (I’m a big fan of Kinky Curly Products) but it is so expensive to get them down in Australia. I checked a website and the price for the shampoo/conditioner set was $61 AUD which is about $55 USD. Normally, I can get my shampoo and conditioner for about $22 at Target or Duane Reade – so since, I’m not made of money I’ve decided to start making my own shampoo and conditioner. I ran out of conditioner a few weeks ago and I’ve just been conditioning with EVOO (yes you read that correctly) but now that I finally have sheabutter and coconut oil – I’m going to make my own conditioner (I’ve still got a bit of shampoo left!).

I’ll post more photos of my conditioner expert once I’ve made it this week.

Don’t close your eyes.

A regular thing that I say throughout my class is “eyes open. breathing normal.” This is probably the most important thing in class – eyes open.

When you walk into a Bikram class there is a mirror where you will face yourself, good, bad and ugly for 90 minutes. I haven’t taken a lot of other yoga classes but when i have I don’t recall having a mirror to focus on myself so I’ going to say this is unique to Bikram. It’s an important part of the practice because how often do you get to look and focus on yourself for a full 90 minutes – just you, your issues, your insecurities, your flaws, your strengths, your beauty, you for 90 minutes.

It’s hard to really look at ourselves and be accepting of what we see and who we are or who we’ve become. It’s easy to just close our eyes and not be present in our lives but you’ve got to keep your eyes open and really focus on yourself (also because when you close your eyes I think you’re going to pass out and that’s no good!).

Not only does keeping your eyes open allow you to be fully present in class you’re also able to see your posture from start to finish and you can make adjustments as needed – is my hip aligned, are my elbows locked, is my chin up? When you close your eyes you can see yourself and make adjustments as needed. And this isn’t just for when practicing yoga – this can be in your life outside of the hot room too. Are you complacent in your love life, work life, etc? Do you need to make changes in your relationship (romantic or otherwise) but you’re afraid to make them so you just close your eyes and pretend things are fine….or in your career.

If you can’t keep your eyes open in the hot room for 90 minutes…what do you do outside of the hot room? Eyes open please.