Bikram’s 30-Day Challenge

“It’s never too late, it’s never too bad, you’re never too old, you’re never too sick to start from scratch once again, to be born once again” -Bikram Choudhury

It has been just about 1 year since I stepped foot in a Bikram studio. Today I decided to go for the double whammy: my first class back and start of a 30 day challenge. That is when you do Bikram for 30 days, every single day without fail. At my studio, you are rewarded with a free month of Bikram upon completion, so it’s a double incentive to meet the challenge head on, especially in these hard financial times.

Bikram yoga is a sequence of 26 poses, done for 90 minutes in a room that is heated to about 105 degrees F. I started practicing Bikram yoga about 2 years ago. But yoga was nothing new for me, I started well over 10 years ago with the Iyengar method, and haven't looked back since.

Bikram yoga was like a dream come true for me. It combined the best aspects of stretching and meditation that I loved about yoga with an athleticism that I find addictive. There is nothing like hitting that mat and sweating out all of the problems and stresses for the day. I attempted a 30 day challenge about 1 year ago, but I faltered at about day 15. This time, I don't want anything to stop me.

Walking into the studio today was like coming home. It all came rushing back, the balmy feeling of the studio, the friendly and kind instructors who make an effort to learn your name and give you encouragement where they can, the other practitioners who are friendly and encouraging without being intrusive. I took a deep breath and realized imeediately how much I missed it.

Now the first class back in a while is difficult. I have lost a lot of muscle tone, which made some of the poses frustrating. But isn't that the ultimate lesson of yoga? I had to slow down, listen to my body, not push myself too hard and congratulate myself for even making it to class. I was also doubly proud today because I made it through class without taking a sip of water. (Of course I was gulping it down right until the beginning of class, & I haven't stopped drinking since).

Already my body feels different: I am aware of my arm muscles, although I know it will take time for them to develop again. I can also feel my digestive system moving about, waking up and adjusting itself. I hadn't realize just how sluggish my body had become until this morning's class.

The sense of accomplishment that is felt at the end of a Bikram class can't be beat. And I couldn't help the smile that spread across my face at the end of class in savasna (corpse pose), when the instructor said "and congrats to HQ for jumping in with both feet and completing the first day of her 30 day challenge!"

Yay! Congrats to me!

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~ by Reveye on April 16, 2009.

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