30 Day Bikram Yoga Challenge Day 2
Not one to shy away from a challenge, I decided the night before that I would perhaps try for a double session this day. I already know there are some days I won’t be able to fit a session in due to other commitments, and seen as Mr BB will only just be rising by the time I’m finished, this notion seems like a good decision.
Already showing improvement, the 2nd session was easier going than the first, my muscle memory was most definitely kicking in. That and I felt so determined in the balancing postures! My tree, eagle and archer pose had come on leaps and bounds in just three sessions and I could feel my body growing in strength and flexibility.
The instructor for these two classes was great, I have a feeling double Bikram on a Saturday morning
will be a regular thing for me if this instructor is regularly there!
30 Day Bikram Yoga Challenge Day 3
A hard session today but totally worth it. I had a stressful morning getting ready for an event in the afternoon which meant I was late, rushing around with my kit in a rucksack and my event materials in a wheelie bag. The instant I stepped into the studio however I left the hustle and bustle of the city behind. There’s nothing else, just me and a few other hot bods sweating it out under the guidance of another excellent instructor.
I was brave this time and took a spot at the front of the classroom. The instructor asked if I was ok at the front and if I knew the moves, I was fairly confident I knew what to do, doing it right however was another matter. Regardless I remained in my prime location and found being so close to the mirror brought me my best balance and focus yet. I didn’t look at anyone else in the mirror once, I only engaged with the tutor, who gave me some great advice. It was in head to knee pose and rather than interlocking my fingers under the foot at pulling up, I was holding my knee up and bent. “Stop selling yourself short! Why are you holding that pose like that?” I explained that the instructor in the previous class has told me to and the current yogi advised that as the position was about compression as well as stretching I was missing out on half the benefits, and she reckoned in a few classes I’d be advancing on the position anyway. So I gave it a go, and guess what? I was way better at this pose than I could possibly have imagined! But still a long way to go 🙂
That afternoon I indulge in a glass of wine-the first hard drink I’ve had since starting this regime. I don’t know if it’s coincidence but a headache sets in soon after. I take on board more water and add a little salt and lime for good measure.
30 Day Bikram Yoga Challenge Day 4 – Blood, Sweat & Tears
As I’m getting ready for work I have a mini-meltdown. I realise that I’ve hardly spent any QT with Mr BB for quite some time now. Before I was working all the time, now I’m working and practising Bikram yoga all the time. I’m trying to persuade him to join up for stoptober but as tomorrow is the 1st and he seems less than enthralled with the idea of stopping smoking right now (despite it being something he says he wants to do) I don’t think it’s going to happen. I’ve offered various rewards in return for him to give up smoking but none have been tantalising enough it seems….
After I have a big cuddle and get the tears under control I leave for work, I’m out at a client’s all day today so there’s no time for tears. I feel unusually calm, slow but not in the sense that it’s taking me ages to do things. Slow in the sense of clear thinking and no rushed actions.
That evening at Bikram I struggle with the balancing postures, I was far better at these on days 2 and 3. I wonder if the time of day affects my performance, or indeed my concentration. I sweat buckets as usual, as does everyone else, but I notice partway through the standing postures that my foot is bleeding. I burnt the top of it on the carpet performing Supta Vajrasana, where my foot was off the mat and towel in the first couple of days.
Whilst performing the camel this evening, the instructor tells us that it’s a pose opening everything up, emotions included. I feel relieved at the thought that this may explain my tearful outburst in the morning.
30 Day Bikram Yoga Challenge Day 5 – Double Yoga Again!
First morning yoga session and again I struggle with the balancing poses. That puts my theory out the window then. I then realise that as I advance into the poses more, I’m working the body harder and leaning into moves more so, of course, it’s going to get harder! I’m feeling much stronger in my triangle pose and my second round of bow poses are heaps better.
Second yoga session and this time my balancing poses are infinitely better. Body warmed up and recognising what it has to do, mind and spirit aligned with the sheer determination to advance and improve, I go even further into bow pose. My elbows are getting further underneath for locust too! This is the only pose that is truly uncomfortable for me, my arms feel great relief when it’s over!
There are still some poses I don’t feel I’m advancing that much with, eagle pose being one, tree another and Supta Vajrasana. The first few sessions I felt frustrated but I can’t push my body to do anything it’s not ready to do. All things in good time as they say.
30 Day Bikram Yoga Challenge Day 6 – Evening Class
Back to Bikram for an evening class, and it’s the same lean chap who taught the first class yesterday. Tonight his words and guidance taught me several new things. Firstly that the time of day does affect your practice. In the morning, you are putting your body in alignment with your endocrine and digestive systems as well as stimulating the organs involved in these processes. In the evening, your body is more warmed up and ready to be exercised, whilst your mind may be tired and not so focused.
Having attended morning and evening classes, I believe on the whole my body prefers to practise in the morning, but I also think it’s good to mix it up and practise at different times in order to reap the full benefits Bikram has to offer.
30 Day Bikram Yoga Challenge – The End
In the end, I did 22 sessions in about 18 days, which in hindsight I view as a massive achievement in itself. I may have failed the 30 day Bikram Yoga Challenge, but I proved to myself that I can be disciplined and that I can fit exercise into my day despite running my own business. I have every faith that I can do the 30 Day Bikram Yoga Challenge and will do it when the time is right. I have since moved house even closer to the Kentish Town studio, however, on my one trip to the Old Street studio I was much more impressed. It’s way more modern and shiny and airy.
Since I flunked my Bikram Yoga 30 Day Challenge there has been a rebrand of the studios, they are now called Fierce Grace. Whilst still offering classic Bikram classes, they are also offering a new class called…. Fierce Grace. Described as “49 Steps to Peak Fitness & Health …. (this) general level class working 100% of the body… combines the central poses of Bikram, classical Hatha and Ashtanga Yoga and is designed to bring peak fitness, strength, flexibility and alignment. Working arms, core and bum, combined with deep hip, shoulder and leg stretches, this class will help you gain cardiovascular fitness, stamina and flexibility while realigning your skeletal system.
Sounds interesting, and I am sure I will be popping along at some point to try, maybe even before I recommence the 30-day challenge! I for one love the fun images the centres have used for their campaign – For more information visit fiercegrace.com