I ADORE Bikram yoga. Its hard and painful but a good kind of hard and painful! I have be practicing off and on (more off than on) at Bikram Yoga Calgary South for the last 4 or so years, and during my “on” times I have loved seeing how quickly my body responds to it.
Bikram Yoga is a series of 26 poses (and 2 breathing exercises) designed to move fresh oxygen throughout your entire body. Bikram claims the practice will restore health to every muscle, joint and organ in the body. Bikram yoga is typically practiced in a room that is heated to 105F.
It was one of my New Years Resolutions to complete a Bikram 30 day challenge. I have wanted to do this for the last 4 years, maybe longer….but there is always something that makes it near impossible to do (vacations, husband who works away, kids activities, lack of babysitter, too busy running my business and really the ONLY valid excuse – pregnancy!!). My life is far too busy to do something for myself every. single. day. or so I have always told myself.
This year I decided was the year I would make it work so, without thinking about it and giving myself the chance to talk myself out of it again I signed up. I was committed. My name went up on the BIG chart in the studio hallway – no backing out now…it would be FAR too embarrassing to be the one with no stickers by my name (thank you competitive nature)!!
I thought I would share a little about my experiences over the month, some of the “milestones” or struggles I am feeling along the way.
Day 1 – was a fantastic start. I kicked butt, or so I thought anyway! I left class feeling so good about how I did and how I was going to improve over the next 30 days.
Day 2 – sucked ass big time! OMG I wanted to die!! I could not balance no matter what, I was nauseous and having dizzy spells. After the 2nd pose in the standing series I told myself it was going to be a rotten class and it was, thanks to my negative thinking!! All the way through the class I was cursing myself for stupidly signing up….as I left the class it was apparent that my attitude was what impacted the class the most!
Day 3 – YAY! Great class, and I felt some improvements, definitely getting deeper into my stretches than the day before. This is what I love about Bikram! Because you are practicing the same set of 26 poses each class you can see and recognize the improvements as they happen. The instructor this day was brutal, but I love that. There is no “cheating” in her class, and she really kept us motivated and trying harder.
Day 4 – the muscle burn is setting in. My abs are sore, my legs are sore, my arms are sore…..how will I make it through today’s class? was the first thing on my mind when I woke up. When I went into class I told myself that it would feel so awesome to stretch out my sore muscles….and guess what? It really was!
Day 5 & 6 – I am seeing a definite improvement in my flexibility! I was secretly hoping I would have mastered all the poses by this point but, oh well..I guess I will just have to keep working on that!
Day 7 – YAY!! First week complete. I do have to say I am really proud of myself. If you know how crazy busy my life is you would understand what a HUGE accomplishment it is for me to actually spend time on myself everyday! Now that I have MADE it happen for 7 days in a row I am
pretty sure positive I can see this thing through.
This weeks tip for a better class:
The biggest observation I have made this week is that I know I MUST make myself move to the front of the class. I hate it, I hate feeling like I am on display and everyone behind me is judging me and my cellulite but I have been up nearer the front twice this week and I worked much harder those days.
I found that freezing my water the night before class is really the only way to go. No matter how cold it is, it will be gross and warm by the end of class. If you go in with it frozen it stays cold all the way through, and because it melts slowly through the class you can’t guzzle it as much…trust me you do not want to take big gulping mouthfuls of water, it will only make you feel like you need to hurl while doing the floor series!!
Pretty toes will likely make me more focused in my practice. My feet are really ugly right now and at least 10 times during my class I can’t help but notice them, be disgusted by them, and think about how I really must get a pedicure. Its on my list to book one for this coming week…I mean, if it makes my yoga better its kinda necessary right? I will be sure to report back on that!
Be sure to sign up for the class you want in advance through the online booking system, or get there early, at least 30 minutes early as I have found most class times to be quite busy, and one time (not this last week) I was turned away from a 8pm class because it was full. The quietest class would be the Mon/Wed/Fri 6 am class. This one usually has 6-8 people in it.