Tuesday, December 15, 2009


Over the past few days I have received several comments about my absence here in blogworld. On November 8th I completed my sixty-day challenge. I am feeling good. Since then I have been practicing a lot, but not every day. I am joining a 101-day challenge starting January 1, 2010. But I have let other demands in my life pull me away from writing here on this site. I did not think there were many people reading it.

A few days after I completed the sixty-day challenge, I went to Brooklyn, my hometown, and took a great class at the new Bay Ridge studio. I purposely choose the Bay Ridge studio so I could take class with my friend Caroline Yu.

Caroline's class was fabulous, perfect dialog, high energy and fun. It turns out Caroline has been talking about her friend from Massachusetts who was doing a sixty day challenge ending on his sixtieth birthday.

"And here he is now! Charlie is former FDNY! Doesn't he look great"!

Caroline could not have been more gracious. By the time we got to standing bow, I was on the floor. I was nauseous, dizzy, weak, feeling as creepy as one can feel. But damn, after that build up I had to keep going.

I took the advice we always give our students: "do the best you can, rest if you need to".

The best I could do was not very good. I felt like I was letting Caroline down. Here she has been talking about this accomplished student and teacher, a tough Brooklyn born fireman, and there I am having difficulty standing up. I did struggle to keep going and after Camel my hands started to cramp. I got what we call claw hand.

Claw hand is a result of dehydration. It was actually a relief in a way. At least I knew what was wrong. The same thing happened to me once before when I was practicing in Acapulco as a visiting teacher in Bikram's teacher training. Gatorade, while loaded with sugar and other weird stuff, is very effective for relieving dehydration. After class Caroling gave me a Zico coconut water which helped. She had to open it for me.

Earlier I drove three hours to Brooklyn and went to the dentist. I had some crown work done which was a little uncomfortable. Something about all of that caused me to have depleted electrolytes. I crashed and burned.

Humility is an acquired skill. Sometimes we get opportunities to practice it involuntarily.

Next comment recently came from Upside Down Linda. Linda was more succinct. She left a message on facebook. But I could still hear her Worcester accent: "Charlie (long A) you left us hanging there".

Linda and I were in teacher training together where we fondly nicknamed her Upside Down Linda. She is another very accomplished Bikram instructor traveling around Massachusetts and Connecticut guiding students.

On Sunday I went to Quincy to take a class at Quincy Bikram Yoga. I wanted to say hello and good luck to Chris the owner. Chris has been one of the top finishers in the New England championships for two years now.

And I wanted to take class with Sherie. Sherie has been teaching Bikram Yoga for a few years and is from the Boston area. While I had met her only once, briefly, at an advanced class in West Roxbury, I have come to know Sherie from on-line activity like facebook. She has been traveling all over the world teaching and practicing. And Sherie recently placed third in the Texas regional championships. Sherie complemented the information on this blog.

The last person to comment did not actually comment, Juliana. Juliana, or dancingJ, is a good friend. She has been kind and has not pointed out my blogging short comings. What dancingJ had done is continue to post on her blog quite regularly.

Besides her blog, Juliana has been completing her master's thesis in some brain busting, math intensive engineering discipline at UC Santa Barbara. And in so doing she has totally taken away any stories I could muster up about being too busy.


  1. Great to see you back with a post Charlie. Awesome to say "hi" to you in person in Quincy on Sunday too!

  2. Wow, I didn't even have to SAY anything and i STILL made my point! I am so pleased and surprised. And I love the comment about practicing humility involuntarily - THAT is the truth for sure. See you in a couple of days!!

  3. Charlie! A blog, who knew? Very nice to see you out here and I love the first two posts I've just read.

    xxoo Heather

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