Monday, December 10, 2012

Grad Party 101

The last month has been an absolute blur.  I am generally always busy, but this fall I experienced an entirely new level of frantically busy.  Here's a breakdown of what's been going on around here:

November 10: Margarita Ball
November 17: Friendsgiving (hosted)
November 22 - 25: Thanksgiving and family time (hosted)
December 1: Jason's sister's 30th birthday party (prepared all the food)
December 3-7: FINALS
December 8: Sister's Graduation (100% responsible for party)

Finals are always difficult, but this is the first semester that I really didn't know if I was going to make it.  I cannot remember being so tired.  How tired?  I dumped a cup of water into the ice maker and turned off the kitchen light while in the kitchen, tired.

So after an 8:30 Friday final (which should not be allowed), all I wanted to do was sleep for the entire weekend.  But, instead I drank the strongest glass of coffee available and ran a billion errands for my sister.

Because you see, she graduated from The University of Texas with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing on Saturday and I was responsible for throwing her graduation party.  I've been planning this party for months, and I'm happy to say it turned out exactly how I envisioned and hoped.  I'm so proud of her.  

And now a crash course in throwing a graduation party.

Sweets and Beverages Table
I ordered the cookies from Sugar Mama a baked goods business run by a high school friend's mom.  She made the adorable UT themed cookies for us.  If you're in need of baked goods in the Central Texas area, I cannot recommend her enough.

My sister made her own cake.  I made "Bevo Bellinis" which consisted of champage and a peach thyme puree.  The table was decorated with a picture of my sister, taper candles, and gerber daisies in khombucha bottles that I've been saving vases.

The appetizers consisted of caprese bites, cuccumber hummus bites, goat cheese stuffed bacon wrapped dates, and spicy sausage balls (thanks Kristen for the recipe!).  The meat appetizers were still in the oven so I didn't get a picture of them...and then they disappeared within minutes.
I served a full seated dinner, which meant I needed to rent plates and goblets.  I ended up purchasing silverware and champagne flutes from Ikea, because you'll never know when you'll need service for 20, and it was cheaper than renting them.

You can't read then menus, but dinner included rolls, Caesar salad, Chicken Marbella (recipe sounds super weird, but it was delicious) on fettucini, and roasted asparagus spears.

The tables were decorated with the same gerber daisies and taper candles.  Each place setting included a burnt orange napkin, menu, dinner and salad plates, and a water goblet.

I served water in prosecco bottles that I've been collecting for a while. #partyplanningturnsmeintoapackrat.  Each bottle was labeled with a longhorn tag.
Can you tell how exhausted I am in this picture?

And lastly, I hung a giant photo wall in the dining room.  I traced the Texas onto the paper using a projector and a transparency and then drew a large banner and some other UT appropriate decorations.

That's pretty much everything!

Congrats Hyacinth.  Love you.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Friendsgiving: Recipes, Crafts, and More

This past weekend Jason and I hosted "Friendsgiving" at our place.  We invited a bunch of friends over, asked everyone to bring a side, and Jason and I cooked the turkey.  We had such a blast.  I'm pretty sure friends, food, and {controlled} fire is pretty much the recipe for a great evening.

I picked up a smoked and glazed ham from Central Market, and roasted my very first turkey.  And not to brag, but that turkey was pretty delicious.  I spatchcocked the turkey using this tutorial from Serious Eats.  Spatchcocking {I won't judge you if that makes you giggle} basically boils down to removing the backbone from the turkey and cooking it flat.  The benefits?  The turkey cooks evenly so the dark meat comes to temp at the exact time as the breast meat.  You're almost guaranteed a perfectly moist turkey.  The turkey also cooks way faster.  My bird was finished in just around 70 minutes, as opposed to 4 hours. And in case you're wondering, I dry brined the turkey for a little less than 48 hours to help ensure some tasty, crispy skin.

I also made this stuffing, which may have been the most delicious stuffing ever.  I substituted the bread for cornbread, because I'm from Texas and we eat cornbread stuffing.

That's all the pictures I have of the food, because I was too busy stuffing my face to take pictures.

A because it's not a party without some decorations, here's are snippets of things I created for the party. I have all the pdfs of the downloadable type things, if anyone is interested, I'd be more than happy to send you the documents.  Honestly, I'd just post them, but I can't remember how to load pdfs and I don't really have the time to figure it out.

Demonstrating my new calligraphy skills.  I'm not a pro yet, but I do like it.  After penning the phrase, I scanned it into Photoshop, cleaned it up, and prepared it for printing.

I made the signs in Photoshop.  I printed them on burlap using the freezer paper transfer process.  Adorable and seriously were super easy.

For the table centerpieces I used my trustee mason jars that I filled with acorns and a pumpkin spice candle.  One word of advice about using acorns, they need to baked for around 2 hours at 175 to kill anything that may be living inside.  I wrapped the jars in burlap and tied a raffia bow around the center.

 I decorated the rest of the table using various foliage I found around my yard.  Other than the gourds and the candles, I didn't pay a single cent for any of the decorations.

I think I may have found a new tradition.  :)

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Weekday Meals: Fennel Fish Stew

Autumn weather has finally made an extended appearance in Texas.  The temperatures are out of the high 80's and into the mid 60's and the leaves are changing colors and beginning to fall.  Autumn really is one of my favorite seasons.  It's a season tailor made for cozy nights inside and food that warms both body and mind.    Cheesy yes, but oh so true.

I made this soup a couple nights ago and it's perfect for any chilly night.  This stew works because the fennel's slightly anise flavor is a perfect backdrop to both the tomatoes and the fish.  The lemon keeps everything bright and the red pepper flakes add just enough spice to round the dish out.

And like any good soup, you should serve with a crusty and warm piece of bread.  

Fennel Fish Stew


  • 2 cans 28 oz whole tomatoes, juices reserved, tomatoes crushed by hand
  • 1 fennel bulb, chopped.  Reserve some of the fronds for garnishing.
  • 1-2 shallots, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced 
  • 2 lbs of tilapia or other mild white fish cut into 1 inch chunks.
  • Sprinkle red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup parsley
  • 1-3 Tbs olive oil
  • Juice and zest of 1 lemon


  • Heat the olive oil in a large dutch over over medium heat.  Add the fennel, shallots, and garlic and sweat until they become soft and translucent.
  • Add the red pepper flakes and cook for 1 minute until fragrant.
  • Add the tomatoes and crush by hand (if you didn't do this before).
  • Add the lemon zest, juice, and parsley.
  • Add the tilapia and cover.  Bring to a medium simmer and cook for 5-10 minutes until the tilapia is cooked through and opaque.
  • Garnish with the reserved fronds and serve with the aforementioned bread.

And in other news, I'm hosting a "Friendsgiving" Potluck on Saturday, and I should have lots to share! Hope you're having a lovely week!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Cook Something: Kolaches

Seriously Tasty Kolaches

On Texas I-35 somewhere between Hillsboro and Waco (or Dallas and Austin for those unfamiliar with Texas geography) lies the seemingly nondescript town of West.  However, West, Texas is home to the famous Czech Stop Bakery and Gas Station, where you can stock up to your heart's content on all sorts of delicious delicious pastries.  Kolaches, in general, are very common to the Central Texas region, which is likely a result of the Czech and German immigrants who settled in the area long ago.  I grew up eating kolaches and they've always been one of my favorite breakfast foods.

Fast forward to now.  There are no. decent. kolaches. anywhere. in. Dallas.  I have searched and searched and searched and simply cannot find any.  And because necessity is the mother of invention, I decided to make a batch one Sunday.

Sausage Kolaches
Adapted from here and here.

For the Dough

  • 1 packet of yeast
  • 1 cup whole milk, warmed (110-115 degrees)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 8 tablespoons of unsalted butter, plus more for brushing on the pastries.
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp kosher salt

For the Filling

  • 1 package smoked sausage, cut in half lengthwise (I recommend Opa's Smoked Meats, if you can find it.  It's made in Fredricksburg, in Central Texas, so I'm not sure of its distribution area, but it's by far the most delicious sausage you can buy.  I always buy the Jalapeno and Cheese sausage.  It's so tasty.)
  • Grated cheese and/or jalapeno, optional


  • In a large bowl, combine the yeast, warm milk, sugar, and 1 cup of the flour.  Cover and let rise until doubled in size, which should take between 10-15 minutes.
  • Melt the butter.  Beat the butter with the eggs and salt.  Add the eggs to the flour/milk mixture and blend.  Slowly add the remaining 2 cups of flour.  The dough should be soft, moist, and somewhat sticky.  Roll the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for 10 minutes. At this point you may need to add extra flour if your dough is extremely sticky.  I probably added an extra 1/4 a cup of flour.  BUT be very judicious in how much flour you add, because the more flour, the more dense your pastries will be and the goal is soft and light pastries, not hard and dense ones.
  • Put the dough in a greased bowl and allow to rise until doubled in size, about an hour.
  • After the dough has risen, punch the dough down and allow to rise again in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours and up to 8.  If pressed for time you could skip this step, but I really recommend allowing the dough to do the second slow rise.  This rise will allow the dough to develop a more complex flavor and be tastier overall.  It's why those "no-knead" recipes work.
  • After the second rising divide your dough into 8-12 even pieces, depending on how big your sausage is.  Roll the pieces into ovals and then flatten.  Place these on a greased cooking sheet and allow to rise for another 30 minutes, until slightly puffed up.
  • Place the sausage (and/or additional toppings) on one side of the dough and roll the dough around the sausage.  Try to be gentle during the step, because you do not want to flatten the dough out too much.  If end up getting a little aggressive, you may want to allow the dough to rise for another 30 minutes before baking.
  • Bake at 375 degrees for 12-15 minutes until golden brown and delicious.  Brush with some melted butter as soon as they come out of the oven.  Serve warm.

Most of the time involved in this recipe is just waiting for the dough to rise.  I highly recommend starting the dough in the evening and just letting the second rise happen over night.  Then you'll be able to get those babies on the breakfast table in no time.

And although these are not bona fide Czech Stop kolaches, they'll at least keep the cravings at bay until I take another trip down I-35.  Enjoy!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Cook Something: Everything and the Kitchen Sink Chili


  • This chili is pretty involved; the active prep time took me right around an hour. But the results are 100% worth the effort.  I'd be surprised if you've had better chili with less work.
  • The ingredient list is bonkers, so much so that I refrained from telling Jason what all was in it until after he gave me the "this is the best chili you've ever made" seal of approval.  There are around 5 things that will make you say huh and about 3 that will make you say what the hell.  Trust me, you want the weird ingredients.  They'll provide a complexity and depth that you probably didn't think was possible in chili and you can have fun contests to see if anyone can pick out the ingredients.  My prediction? They won't.

So on to the chili.  Fall (or winter for us Texans) rolled in this weekend.  The high on Saturday and Sunday barely made it to the mid-50's, which is pretty cold for early October.  It was also drizzly and just overall kind of gross outside.  I'm an admitted seasonal eater so naturally the only thing I wanted to do was snuggle under the blankets and eat a giant bowl of chili.

Everything and the Kitchen Sink Chili
Adapted from here.  Note: I made very few changes to the original recipe.  And if your interested in why the weird ingredients are in there, check out the explanation here.


  • 2 cans red kidney beans, drained not rinsed.
  • Dried Chiles (look for them in the produce section) either
    • 3 whole Ancho/ Pasilla OR 2 New Mexico red, California, Costeno, or Choricero, seeded and torn into 1 inch pieces; and
    • 1 while Cascabel, Arbol, or Pequin chile, seeded and torn in half.
  • 5 lbs bone-in beef short ribs
  • 2 tbl vegetable oil
  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • 2 whole anchovy filets
  • 1 tsp Worchestersire sauce
  • 2 tbl soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 tbl whole cumin seeds, toasted, then ground
  • 1 1/2 tsp whole coriander seeds, toasted, then ground
  • 2 whole cloves, toasted, then ground
  • 1 star anise, toasted, then ground
  • 1 tbl extra fine ground coffee beans
  • 1 tbl unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 1 serano, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbl dried oregano
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 28 oz diced tomatoes, keep the juices
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 tbl buffalo style hot sauce (like Frank's)
  • 2 tbl dark brown sugar
  • Garnishes, some I recommend:
    • Cheese
    • Green Onions
    • Sour Cream
    • Corn Bread
  • Add dried chiles to a Dutch oven or large stock pot and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently until the chiles slightly darken.  Make sure they do not smoke/burn.  Remove and set aside.
  • Season short ribs generously with salt and pepper.  Add oil to the Dutch over and heat over high heat until smoking.  Seriously, you want it hotter than you think.  You want the meat to immediately sizzle when put into the pot.  Working in batches, brown all sides of the meat.  Do not overcrowd the pan!  It took me three batches.  Once browned, transfer to a baking sheet.  Pour the fat out of the Dutch oven and reserve.  Allow ribs to cool.
  • Turn the heat to medium-high and add 1 cup of chicken broth to deglaze the pan.  Use a wood spoon to scrape the brown bits of the bottom off the pan.  Bring the stock to a simmer and add the chiles.  Simmer the chiles until softened, around 5-8 minutes.  Add the chiles and stock to a blender.  Add the Worchestershire sauce, soy sauce, ground spices, coffee, and chocolate.  Blend on high until the mixture is pureed.  I just left it on high for a couple minutes and chopped the onion.  Set aside.
  • Heat 4 tbl of the rendered beef fat in the Dutch oven over medium heat (if you don't have enough, just use extra vegetable oil to make up the difference).  Add the onion and cook for several minutes until translucent and soft, but not browning, approximately 6-8 minutes.  Add the serrano, garlic, and oregano and cook for one minute, until fragrant.
  • Add the chili mixture to the Dutch oven and cook until mixture sticks to the bottom of the pan, approximately 2-4 minutes.  Add the chicken stock, beef bones, and bay leaves.  Bring to a simmer and scrape the bottom off the pan to loosen the browned bits.  Reduce heat to the lowest setting and cook, covered, with the lid slight ajar for 1 hour.
  • After the hour, add the cider vinegar, tomatoes and beans.  Cook with the lid slight ajar, until the meat has fallen off the bones, which should take between 2 to 3 1/2 hours.  Don't rush this part. You want the meat to cook low and slow so that it is tender.  Once tender, use tongs to remove the bay leaves the bones.  I also rough chopped any large pieces of meat.  Add the hot sauce and brown sugar and stir.  Season to taste with salt and pepper, although I didn't feel the need to add any.

Top with the garnishes and enjoy!  I know it's a long and complicated recipe, but I really suggest giving it a try.  You will not be disappointed!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Cook Something: 5 Minute Lunch

This is a perfect lunch for when you're rushed and hungry but do not want to eat something greasy/overly filling/time consuming.  This lunch literally took 5 minutes to get to my plate.  I cooked the egg on low over some olive oil and covered the pan with a lid.  This helps the top of the whites to cook through without overing cooking the yolk.  Simultaneously I chopped several thick slices of tomatoes and a couple slices of fresh mozzarella.  I layered this on top of a bed of arugula, added the egg and lunch was served!

One quick thing, I recommend liberally salting both your tomatoes and your finished egg.  Egg yolk is very rich and find that salt really helps to balance out the richness.  I also added some fresh pepper and a sprinkle of paprika for color and flavor.

The best thing about serving an egg on top of a salad is that it provides an instant dressing.  It may sound like an odd mixture but it truly is divine.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Make Something: Olive You Pillow

Very few of my crafting adventures turn out exactly like I planned/hoped/wished, and this is one of those few.  I made this pillow as a birthday gift for my (newly) 17 year old cousin.  I am seriously in love with this pillow and thrilled with how well it turned out.

For the pillow, I followed the same instructions as my other applique pillows, but this time I actually decided to stitch down the felt, instead of just relying on the fusible interfacing.  My Halloween pillows are starting to come undone just a little, and I didn't want SK's pillow to fall apart.  The pillow itself is a beautiful medium weight linen.  

Basically I just top stitched around the olive and the heart using a 1/2" and 1/4" stitch allowance, respectively.  The stitching on the heart is a little wonky, because my bobbin thread was catching really bad so I had to hand turn my machine.  I'm ok with it being wonky.  It adds character.

I traced the letters using the Bebas font.  I top stitched them down as well, but I just stitched down the middle of each letter.  You really can't even see the stitches.

The pillow took me around 2 hours from start to finish, because of the time/effort involved in changing out all of the bobbin thread and cutting and ironing all of the shapes.  Construction of the pillow itself took around 30 minutes.

Definitely worth the effort for such a darling pillow.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Martha Gyver

Jason took our can opener to work. (Don't ask).  I had to cut open 3 cans of tomatoes for some pasta sauce that need to simmer for 3 hours, which led to this...

One part Martha.  One part McGyver.

Somehow I managed to keep all of my fingers in tact.  Worth the effort for some delicious sauce.

Happy Monday!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Make Something: A Different House Warming Gift

Recently I  had another set of friends that moved into a new place, which meant another round of the housewarming party!  For this gift, I did some serious Pinterest stalking to find something that I thought my friends could use.  I came across a drink recipe and a large mason jar dispenser that she'd posted.  Perfect!  So I gathered up all of the ingredients, placed them into a jar, and wrapped it with a bow.

Sorry about how terrible these pictures are.  I didn't assemble everything until in the car, and it was raining so the lighting was terrible.

Because the gift was a little light on the DIY side (and I really prefer to give homemade gifts), I spent a decent amount of time on the card.  Originally I tried to sew the letters in  cursive, but when I turned my sewing the stitches looked a little wonky.  I'll probably use a straight stitch if when I ever try to sew something in cursive.  I'm really happy with how this card turned out.

And tomorrow I leave for San Francisco for a girls' trip!  So excited!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Easy Peasy Zippered Pillows

Need some new pillows in your life?  I did.  I also seem to.  I made these for my office last weekend, when I was supposed to be reading.  Have I mentioned how much I hate first day of class assignments?  It's summer vacation until I'm forced to step foot on campus; don't try to muck up my summer with school reading.

Speaking of school.  I started my last year of law school.  Ever.  Well...maybe.  I'm throwing this whole LLM idea thing around in my head right now.  #couldpossiblybemyworstideaever

I'm actually a little overwhelmed that it's my last year.  Does (did) anyone else feel like that?

Anyway, enough rambling.  Watch this awesome video if you need some awesome pillows.  They really are as easy as she makes them seem, and I didn't even use a zipper foot.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Lamb Burgers and Green Harissa

My favorite food time of the year is Central Market's Hatch Chile Festival.  For several weeks in mid-August, they bring in the famous Hatch chiles that grow only in New Mexico.  I don't exactly know what makes them taste so good, but they are delicious.  I pretty much go on a Hatch binge for 3 weeks. This meal was one of those binges.

I found this recipe in August's Food and Wine magazine.  It looked tasty delicious and I knew that I could swap out the originally called for chiles for some Hatch.

Lamb Burger and Green Harissa
modified from Food and Wine

Lamb Burgers
  • 1/2 lb. ground lamb and 1/2 lb. ground beef.
  • 1/2 cup cooked rice
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
Gently combine the ingredients and form into palm sized patties.

  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 hot green chilies (either jalapeƱos or serranos)
  • 2 Hatch chiles (alternatively you could use a more mild chile, like an Anaheim)
  • 2 scallions, coarsely chopped
  • 1 garlic glove, smashed
 Combine all ingredients in a  food processor until blended.

Serve the burgers on some warm naan and top with the Harissa, chopped tomatoes, and some feta cheese.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Olympic Dreams

I love the Olympics.  It's even better when you know someone who's competing.  And it is out of the world awesome when that person medals.

My childhood friend runs the mens 1500m, and last night he became the first American to win a medal in the 1500 for 44 years.  At the start of the last lap he looked to be out of medal contention, but he dug deep and crossed the finish line in second place!  Just thinking about it gives me the chills and I get all teary.

His come from behind victory sent my small town into a frenzy.  It's so amazing to see someone who's worked so hard for so many years succeed.

And here's the link to the replay of his race if you want to see it for yourself!

Congratulations Leo!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Bikram Yoga Tips, Pointers, and Confessions

When I wrote my earlier post on Bikram Yoga, I didn't think many people would be interested.  But, it's become one the most read posts on my blog, which leads me to think that there are a lot of people in the world with questions about Bikram Yoga.  My guess is you're either a potential new student, just completed your first class, or wondering what all the hype is about.  I remember before I went to my first class I tried to read everything I could find on the yoga, but I really couldn't find any decent information.  So this is my guide to surviving your first Bikram Yoga class and to starting a Bikram Yoga practice.

Note: I am not in any way affiliated with Bikram Yoga.  I do not teach, an not employed by, nor have any affiliations with Bikram Yoga other than a monthly unlimited membership.  These opinions are mine alone.


The only thing I could find on preparing for a Bikram class was "drink lots of water."  Ok...that's not very helpful.  When?  How much?  

Typically, I try to drink about 3/4 of my daily water consumption before class.  (Daily water amount = your weight / 2, in ounces.)  You'll want to finish drinking your water no later than 1 hour before class. If you're chugging water until the time class starts, you will inevitably need to go to the bathroom.  Cutting off water intake significantly before class will ensure that you're hydrated, but not distracted during class.

Practicing Bikram yoga on a full stomach is a bad idea.  Practicing Bikram yoga on an empty stomach is a bad idea.  I try not to eat at least 2 hours before class, but you must eat the day of class.  The only time I ever left class early and literally almost passed out was the day that I missed lunch before class.  You are burning significant number of calories (approximately 1,000) during class and your body must have some calories to burn.

The room will be hot.  You will be sweaty.  There is nothing you can do to prevent this, but you can try to dress as comfortably as possible.  Most people wear little clothing.  I practice in spandex shorts and a sports bra.  Whatever you wear is up to you, but try to avoid cotton and drapey clothes because they will weigh you down when they're covered in sweat.

Bring a large towel or yoga towel to place on top of your mat.  This will help keep you from sliding on a slippery mat and will soak up some of the sweat.  I also bring a hand towel to wipe my face during class.

During Class

Your first class will be the hardest.  Everyone in the room knows that, because everyone had a first class at one point.  Try your best, and don't get discouraged.  You likely will not be able to do all the poses and you may need to sit a couple out.  I sat out about a 1/4 of the poses my first class.  Your main goal is simply to stay in the room and breathe.  The first class can be a little overwhelming.  Just keep calm and focus on steadying your breath.

You will sweat...buckets.  Bring plenty of water for class.  It's better to have too much water than not enough.  Know that you're not supposed to drink any water until after eagle pose.  Your instructor will say something along the lines of "party time" when you're allowed to drink.  They limit your water intake until this point to enable your body to become fully warmed up.

Bikram yoga teachers do not demonstrate the poses.  They stand on a platform and offer posture advice to the class.  Watch other students to figure out how to do the postures, but listen to the instructors because they will tell you specific instructions for things like hand grips.

Crutches and Distractions

Bikram yoga is both a physical and a mental practice.  You will develop immense mental determination by doing this yoga.  And part of that is simply by convincing yourself to try the postures and stay in the room.  From time to time, you'll hear a nagging voice in your head.
     It's too hot.  I need some fresh air.
     I really have to go to the bathroom.
     I can't do this.
Ignore it.  Sometimes the one thing to defeat us is our own minds.  It's amazing how much better or worse your own thoughts can make you feel.  Try to concentrate on the benefits of yoga instead of on how hard it is.

The sweat.  When I first started Bikram, the sweat drove me crazy.  I couldn't stand the way if felt on my arms, legs, face, stomach.  I was constantly wiping it off.  Unfortunately wiping off sweat makes you hotter and you're wasting energy with extra movements, which will make you more tired.  It's been a year and a half since I've started and I don't really notice the sweat on my body anymore.  So even if it annoys you, try to ignore it.

I can't do that.  Often people have ideas about their own limitations and we allow these ideas to actually cause limitations.  I can't do that because I had knee surgery.  I can't do that because I'm just not that flexible.  I can't do that because I hate that posture...yada yada yada.  And while any of those things may be true, the only thing truly stopping you from trying is you.  So even if you think there is no way you can do a particular posture, try.  Try every time and little by little, your body will start to change.

Recovery and Returning

You may never want to come back after your first class.  Do.  Regardless of how hard or difficult your class was, you did it.  You made it through an entire 90 minute yoga class in a 105 degree room.  And the next one will be easier.  Much easier.  Bikram yoga will never be easy, even the people with perfect postures still struggle.  But it will become manageable.  You will acclimate to the postures and the room, but only after practice.  So go back the next day.  I promise you'll be glad you did.

Chances are you will be very very sore the day after your first class.  I hurt in places I didn't even know existed.  The best way to relieve those sore muscles?  More a hot room.  I can't tell you how many times I've walked into the yoga room with achy sore muscles and left with them completely stretched out and relaxed.

You will need to rehydrate after class, but water alone will not be enough.  You need an electrolyte of some kind to replenish all of the trace minerals you'll have sweat out.  I'm currently using Nuun Hydration Tablet.  They're very portable and do not have any sugar.

Well that's everything I can think of you help get you to and through your first class.  Best of luck and congratulations for starting the journey.  I'm hooked on Bikram yoga and I hope you will be too!  Please let me know if you have any questions!

*Please check out my other posts on Bikram Yoga*

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