Andreas, a dear friend of mine who recently returned to Colorado after spending nearly a year and a half in Thailand, teaching, has challenged me to 30 straight days of Bikram Yoga. I was not up for it. The last thing I want to do is drag myself out of bed at 5 AM to make time for class. But, even though I wasn’t “feeling” it, I know I need it more than I’d like to admit.
30 days doesn’t work for my schedule because I have a wedding to attend so 30 session is the goal. I will try to accomplish that in 28 days.
I have recently been in an emotional, physical and spiritual funk so lets see how my life changes, if at all, with this challenge.
To prepare you for your own Bikram Yoga Challenge I’m going to write a few lines, about my day to day. I hope this will, somehow, better equip you mentally and give you a glimpse into the basic tools you need.
Bikram Yoga Challenge
I scored a sweet deal on Groupon, $35 for one-month unlimited. I encourage you to do the same. Be smart, shop around. There’s no need to pay full price unless you know you’re going to invest in whatever practice you choose.
The teacher gave me two tips before entering class. One, don’t push yourself too hard, listen to your body. Two, don’t leave the room. She explained the importance of getting your body used to the temperature. So, if you’re too tired or light headed, just rest on the mat.
After class, my energy spiked then it dropped dramatically. I was dragging by 6 pm and in bed by 10 o’clock. I felt hungry and thirsty most of the day. My roomie said I was dehydrated. This is to be expected if you’re not drinking loads of water religiously. I need to adjust to the needs of my body.
Because I felt dehydrated I emptied a pack of electrolytes into my bottled water before class. If I plan to get through 30 days of Bikram Yoga–and if that’s your goal, too, drink plenty of water–always. That is numero uno.
Halfway through the day I completely crashed. I was depleted of energy, my body was sore and I had a mean headache. I popped three 200 mg of ibuprofen and slept nine hours to ensure a better day to come.
I rolled out of bed at 5:20 in d’mornin’ and drank an 8 oz. glass of coconut water. My body was exhausted, but my headache gone. I was running a little behind schedule, but told myself to breathe deep instead of panicking. Why start my day off with unnecessary stress?
I’m not sure how I got through the class. I had to stop roughly six to seven times, I was dizzy and lightheaded. The room started to blackout, I quickly sat on my mat and waited for my body to resume stability and balance. What have I got myself into?
Wow, what a difference! My body feels recharged and ready to go. There are still plenty of sore muscles from head to toe, but it feels damn good. These are rewarding moments; when you can say, “That was rough, but I got through it.” When you are able to stick with something no matter how difficult it is and know that you are capable of almost anything. This type of attitude helps in all aspects of your life.
I’m not one for routine so going to a class every day and doing the same exact thing will be a whole other challenge, mentally. I get bored. This will help me to find something new despite the routine. I’m always up for learning and growing. Bring it on!
I’m beginning to feel sore in places I’m not used to. My hips are getting the worst beating. It’s the kind of pain that feels good because you know your body is loving it.
It seems that one side of the room is typically cooler, so I decided to test the “warmer” side. Warmer really means hot as balls! Too soon. I was extremely light headed and dizzy. Another big life lesson–patience!
The reality is we all have a life and sometimes it can get in the way. An overnight stay in Laguna Beach was in my cards. I didn’t want to slack on the challenge so I questioned going at all, but my boyfriend snapped me right out of that narrow minded thinking with a simple question, “Aren’t there Bikram classes in Laguna?” Well, duh!
Remember to make time for yourself as well as the people you love. Balance is key.
Today hit me hard. I wanted to walk out of class. I wanted to give up. It goes hand in hand with how I feel about life sometimes. Sometimes I want to run away because it’s too much–too hard. Instead of giving up I plopped my drenched body on my yoga mat, took several deep breathes and waited until I was ready to get back up. And you know what? I got back up. We are so much stronger than we think we are.
I was given a great piece of advice about hydration. I was told to make my own gatorade! How fun. (Below are a list of the ingredients I used)
After class the teacher said I deserved a glass of wine, but I’ll wait until I’m done with the challenge.
1.5 Liters of Water
1 whole lemon, squeezed
1-2 pinches of salt
Teaspoon of honey
Thanks for reading! Now go challenge yourself and tune in next week for some more tips.