Saturday, May 12, 2012

Adventures in Other Yoga, Electrolyte Imbalances, Exciting/Sad News

Hello my friends!  I've been getting a lot of questions about electrolyte replacements so I wanted to write a quick post on that, share a new obsession, and also some sad/exciting news (that most of you probably know already)...

So Bikram Yoga Vancouver has a wonderful blog that is worth following, full of posture discussions, student profiles, and recipes.  I'm often referring back to their post on electrolyte sources and imbalances. Click that link to read a little background on the what and the why...and read on for the how (in roughly descending order of importance) on replenishing electrolytes:

1. Drink water - and plenty of it! SmartWater, Kangen Water, plain ol' filtered water, water from the tap - drink water!

2. Drink Coconut water - we sell Zico in the Cleveland studio (which, after drinking about 80 of them in two days at Nationals, I may never drink again) and Nirvana (my personal favorite) in Pittsburgh.  It's a good natural source of potassium and some magnesium and sodium. 

3. Mix up a batch of Rajashree's rehydration drink:  water, ice, juice of a fresh lemon, a pinch or two of a good high quality sea salt, maybe a spoonful of honey or maple syrup.

4.  Juice!  A good green juice does wonders post-Bikram.  Try green apple, celery, kale, and ginger all juiced together.

5. Eat more fruits and vegetables to increase potassium levels: lemons and other citrus fruits, bananas, cantaloupe, grapes, apricots and berries. Magnesium can be found in foods like spinach, potatoes, black eyed peas, black beans, rice and avocado. For sodium try bell peppers, celery, leaf lettuce, radishes, sweet potatoes, cantaloupe, honeydew and pineapple.

That movie had its moments!

6.  There are some commercial electrolyte-replacement products you can try in a pinch, although most contain a little too much sugar to be drinking regularly (still better than Gatorade!):  Emergen-C, Nuun, or the new electrolyte replenishment supplement created by the Bikram team.

If anyone has their own hydration tales, feel free to chime in the comments!

This past month was also spent giving a few other yogas a try. I went to The Studio Cleveland for Yin Yoga, all excited for some post-Bikram deep forward folds and so forth, but ended up in a regular Vinyasa flow.  The teacher was very sweet and chatty, but what I really took away from this particular studio was a sudden, overwhelming need to try climbing up the aerial silks scarves hanging from a high ceiling in a corner of the yoga room.  Who DOESN'T want to do this kind of thing?

So about a week later I gave the next best thing a shot, Anti Gravity Yoga over in Berea, OH.

In Anti Gravity Yoga you use an enormous red hammock, dangling from an ominously creaky rigging, to hang upside down or rock back and forth.  While some of the inversions felt nice, it was hard to enjoy them because the fabric cuts into your back or hips (I'm sure with time it would get more comfortable).  The "yoga" part of it just seemed a little silly - adding a few poses and giving them new names in order to capitalize on the yoga craze.  The silliest part of all was the teachers' insistence on pronouncing the word hammock "hah-MOCK."  Over and over again.

Or actually, maybe the silliest part of the class was when we were in a plank pose, with our hands on the floor and our feet held up by the hammock, and I must have been too far forward...because my legs swung forward, my arms collapsed under me, my belly dipped onto the floor, and I basically flopped around like a dead fish trying to figure out how to stop the momentum of my feet swinging back and forth while the class - AND the teacher - laughed.  

So...Anti Gravity Yoga is not for me.  But I've found a few Aerial Dance options in Pittsburgh, so I might be able to realize that particular dream...and hopefully, eventually, look less like this and more like this.  

Speaking of Pittsburgh, thats my sad/exciting news...I'm moving to Pittsburgh in June.  I'm as surprised as you are!  This time last year, as I was going through teacher training, I expected that June 2012 would find me living in Australia or a little island in Thailand, sunning on a beach and teaching tourists and vacationers.  Instead, I ended up in Cleveland, found my mentor in Pittsburgh, and along the way, fell back in love with my hometown.

Pittsburgh is, as it turns out, a really lovely city, what with the bridges and the hills and the trees.  The people I've met are fabulous.  The food is delicious (Cleveland, you did your best, but even Tommy's was inconsistent).

The Bikram community, between Zeb in the Strip District studio (soon to be brand spankin' new Lawrenceville studio) and Rebecca in Squirrel Hill is surprisingly robust, and the students all dedicated & delightful people.  I'll be able to take advanced classes regularly again, train for competition, work with the best, hang out with family and friends in Pittsburgh, be closer to family and friends in Philadelphia...there's a lot of good stuff waiting for me there.

I used to be a little judgmental, I admit it, especially of people who trusted in "fate" or "what the universe tells me."  But sometimes I really do feel "the universe" is leading me to Pittsburgh.  Case in point: I started following the craigslist roommates wanted ads, just for fun, way too early, to see what was out there.  And the VERY first place I visited was everything I wanted, and that same evening I decided to sign into my email to tell them that - and they had just written a similar email inviting me to move in.

I can just imagine sharing a cup of tea with my lovely new roommates (one of whom's significant other is hooked on Bikram!), doing wallbends or reading books in my sunlit little room, riding my bicycle the mere mile distance between the new Lawrenceville studio and my sweet new pad in Bloomfield (don't talk about biking through snow, it disrupts the fantasy)...

But my enthusiasm for this upcoming move is tempered by how much I will miss the Cleveland studio.  Of course, they're not rid of me right away - I'll basically be doing the reverse of my current commute, spending five days in Pittsburgh, and two days (Sundays & Mondays) in Cleveland, teaching four classes/week for two or three months until we have more teachers who can take over full time.

I have been SO lucky and blessed to have the opportunity to help open this studio.  I will forever be grateful to Jeannine for trusting a relatively green teacher, sight unseen; for giving me the freedom to travel to Pittsburgh each week; for her generosity and leadership.  

It has been an incredible learning experience to work with so many beginners, and to see how their lives have changed in only eight months.   I would not be the teacher I am now without Jeannine, Erica, Sarah, and all the Cleveland students.  When I think of leaving Cleveland, it feels right, but when I think of leaving my Cleveland students, I admit it, I get a little choked up.

Well, that's all folks - look forward to further dispatches from my new home base!

Much Love,


  1. Sigh, although I am so happy for you and your new adventures, we are now that much farther apart on the map. I'm still a bit weary of this city you call Pittsburgh... looking forward to visiting soon once you get settled. (And yes, when I visit, I will be on the hunt to find myself a Penguin hockey player - you have been forewarned).

    It just seemed like yesterday, you were contemplated what to title this blog and now you have almost 50 blog posts to your name. SO PROUD OF YOU (not just for the blog, but for all the yoginess too!).

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