My first acupuncture trip (and I do mean trip)!

My chronic lower back pain has been bothering me more than usual lately. My lack of yoga over the holidays combined with a few extra pounds are surely the culprits. I’m now back at my yoga full gung-ho but the back pain is putting a damper on my bikram practice.

Looking for alternative relief, I decided to give acupuncture a try for the very first time. I rang up a local studio and today was my first appointment.

I met with the acupuncturist briefly to give her a run down of what ails me and then it was needle time. Fortunately, the needles didn’t hurt as she placed them strategically around my body. I did feel one small prick on my foot but that was it. I relaxed on a recliner as she expertly placed needles in both my hands, both feet, the  inside of both knees and about six on the crown of my head. Once she was done she quietly whispered “have a good dream”.

I was positive I wouldn’t be able to nap with all of these needles sticking out of me. I glanced at my watch and noted it was exactly 5:30pm. The acupuncturist had advised me it was common to nap and relax for 45 minutes to an hour per visit but as it was my first time she suggested I try to hang out for at least 20 minutes.

So I dutifully closed my eyes and challenged myself to relax for 20 minutes. What occurred next was quite literally the trippiest thing that’s ever happened to me minus any  type of alcohol or other mood enhancer.

As I relaxed I began to feel as if I was floating above the recliner. I think I laughed at one point. Then I saw an amazing palette of the most vivid colors flashing behind my closed eyes. I’m sure at some point I was sleeping but it felt like I was in and out of this dream state. When I opened my eyes I looked at my watch and it was 6:10pm. It felt like 5 minutes.

As I left I was a little groggy but by the time I arrived home I was feeling quite refreshed. As I bent over to take off my shoes I was amazed to find no back pain whatsoever!

Needless to say, I’m going to stick with the acupuncture treatments.

Silent class, almost

Last night I experienced my first “silent” Bikram class. There were just a handful of students in class and as our teacher entered she told us that we were all experienced yogis and tonight we would mix things up and have a silent class. She rolled out her matt beside us and we began. We worked our way silently through all 26 postures, following her lead.

It was a cool experience, another thing to check off on my yoga bucket list. One funny little thing did happen. The guy next to me, as we lowered ourselves into triangle pose, let out a very noticble fart into the silent air. We had a little chuckle and continued on in silence. So much for wind removing pose!

Day 29, double down

Thursday

6am class

Back in the hot room after just 10 hours and I’m nervously staring down the barrel of my first double! First class goes by swimmingly. I’m feeling pretty loose after last night’s class and the short turn around. I don’t push myself extra hard as I know I’ll be back at 5pm for round two.

5pm class – breakthrough!

So here goes my first double! This is also my third class in less than 24 hours, pretty hard-core for me. I made sure to stay hydrated in between classes, I even drank some Gatorade on top of lots of water. I hope I don’t have to pee during class! I had a nice breakfast after morning class, made myself a 3 egg omelette and some refried beans. By lunch I was famished again and had a plate of left over pasta figuring I could use the extra carbs for energy. I also ate 3 pieces of turkey just to get some protein. I made sure to allow 4 hours to digest.

Class starts well. I feel pretty loose all over; don’t think I’ve had time to get stiff. The first half of class I feel good. The second half of class on the floor is where I experience a real breakthrough. Normally, the first half of class is usually my strongest while the second half always feels harder to me physically but not today; I have my best floor series ever! My body feels so loose that I experience new depths in every single floor posture. My body feels stronger and stronger as we progress through the postures. As the teacher announces that we only have two postures to go I actually think oh no, I don’t want this to end! This is a huge breakthrough in my floor series and it’s happening during a double. Uh oh, I really don’t want to get addicted to doing doubles, haha.

As I hit the shower I have a big old-fashioned yoga buzz on!! I feel amazing. I think I’m walking around grinning for no reason.

Afterwards, I go home and eat a light dinner and realize I am completely and utterly exhausted. Like I’m going to pass out if I don’t get in bed right now. My head hits the pillow and I am fast asleep, dead to the world. When the alarm goes off at 4:50am my body and mind still feel dead, I think I have a yoga hangover. 8 hours of sleep was just not enough after 3 classes in 24 hours but today is day 30 so I begrudgingly force my groggy self out of bed.

Day 27, Blizzard

Tuesday, Day 27

A little thing called the Blizzard of 2015 rolled into town and everything, including my yoga studio, is shut down under 2 feet of snow.  No yoga today means…..uh oh… I’m going to have to do a dreaded double; two classes in one day in order to make up for this. I’ve never done a double before so this will be interesting to say the least!

Snow fun!
Snow fun!

Eve

Day 26 the ride continues

Monday 6am class

As tough as yesterday was today was the  diametric opposite. The myriad aches and pains from yesterday were mysteriously subdued. I have no explanation other than the power of the yoga. Class was kind of a blur, it went by quickly and I kept waiting for my body to begin its protestations but was relieved when they never arose. 4 more days!

My 30 day challenge Meal Plan

Here is my exact diet I’ve followed during the Challenge. It’s actually not that different from how I normally eat, I’ve just cut out all junk food.

Breakfast

Egg burrito- 1 scrambled egg, refried beans, wrap

4oz of OJ

1 cup of coffee, w/sweetnlow, almond milk creamer

If I’m in a hurry I grab an egg white burrito out of the freezer, I buy Good Food Made Simple brand

On Sunday I make gluten free pancakes w/fresh blueberries

Mid morning snack

Raw veggies like celery and carrots or cucumbers

Lunch

Turkey sandwich with a sliced half avocado on it, no mayo. I buy the Applegate naturals, no nitrates, antibiotics, etc.

weekends I mix it up, usually with some type of light soup.

Afternoon snack

1 Apple, 1 or 2 Clementine’s, 1 rice cake (spread out)

1 cup of green tea

Dinner

Sensible dinner usually consisting of chicken, ground turkey or fish and a vegetable and rice or beans.

After dinner some type of fresh fruit to satisfy the sweet tooth.

If the munchie bug hits during the evening I’ll make some air popped popcorn with zero cal butter spray and some light salt

Lots and lots of water all day and night. The great thing about doing hot yoga everyday is that I’m always thirsty so drinking lots of water is not a problem.

Here’s a new favorite dinner of mine:

Ground turkey fried rice

Ingredients

3/4 cup long-grain white rice

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 pound ground turkey

1 tablespoon chopped garlic

1 tablespoon chopped ginger

4 scallions, sliced

1 cup frozen peas

1 cup snow peas, halved

4 carrots, sliced

2 tablespoons hoisin sauce

2 tablespoons rice vinegar

Directions

  1. Cook the rice according to the package directions.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the turkey, garlic, ginger, and half the scallions and cook, breaking up the meat with a spoon, until browned, 3 to 5 minutes.
  3. Add the rice, peas, snow peas, carrots, hoisin sauce, and vinegar to the turkey mixture and cook until heated through, 2 to 3 minutes. Top with the remaining scallions.
  4. Enjoy!