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Day 8 – In the event the rest of the world had no clue what was happening here in New Orleans this weekend, allow me to acquaint you with the goings on.  It all has to do with football, so you can skip this part if you really don’t give half a rat’s ass about it.  On Saturday, our beloved Saints played Detroit in our Superdome and were victorious.  Last night, the BCS championship game was also held here at the Superdome with LSU (from just down the road in Baton Rouge) receiving a severe beat-down by Alabama (LSU’s loss was embarrassing and difficult to watch).  All of this meant that we had an NFL playoff game and the BCS (kind of like the Super Bowl of college) within two days of each other in the same venue.  The energy around New Orleans was evident this weekend.  Our city turned into a tailgating town with RVs everywhere and people walking around decked out in purple and gold or red and black (or that horrible Bear Bryant plaid) with most of them holding an adult beverage.  An adult beverage during a workday!  I was jealous and wished I could’ve taken part in the festivities, but football games are not important enough to me (even LSU) to justify using vacation days I am saving for our summer Paris trip.  Now, if the Saints go to the Super Bowl again, I would definitely give up a day for that!

So on to the subject of this yoga challenge.  Graciously, our firm closed at 3:00 yesterday to allow us time to get the hell out of downtown or begin festivities with fellow fans.  I opted to get the hell out of downtown.  If not for the challenge and the requirement of a class a day, I would’ve been imbibing (moderately) some of the nectar and manna of tailgating — beer and jambalaya — along with everyone else.  But alas, I had my commitment to think about.  I signed up for the 4:30 class — a beginners class — because I wanted to catch the game (if I would’ve know then …).  Surprisingly, there were only two of us in the class and we both were definitely not beginners.  (As a side note, I work with the other attendee; my office is right around the corner from hers, and we did last year’s challenge together.)  Our teacher was the girl from Saturday who is meticulous about the little things that go into a pose.  I wish all my classes could’ve been like this one!  She amped it up a little given our experience; however, there were times I did truly feel like a beginner.  With just the three of us in the studio, she could tell when we were holding our breath (unconsciously, of course) or not breathing deep enough and she would call us out on not using our Ujjayi breath.  No cheating in this class.  She also could pay attention to us on an individual basis and correct our poses or let us know when we were doing something correctly.  So this beginner class turned out to be a very intense class after all and I came away with a calmer mind and stronger lungs!  I am grateful it happened as it did.  8 down, 22 to go.