Wednesday, October 15, 2008

DAY1: 30 Day Bikram Challenge


Pranayama - Standing Deep Breathing
From WorldYogaFoundation.com


I started the 30 days of Bikram Yoga Challenge today. In case you didn't know, there are 26 poses in the series. I thought I would cover all of the poses for you over the course of the event and share with you what is happening with me/to me during this challenge. I was talking to CreoleInDC today and she asked me what I wanted to get out of doing this challenge. Well, I certainly wanted the physical benefits from doing Bikram Yoga:

- Flexibility

- Strength - Many yoga poses require you to support the weight of your own body in new ways, including balancing on one leg or supporting yourself with your core. Some exercises require you to move slowly in and out of poses, which also increases strength.

- Muscle Tone

- Weight Loss

However, there is some other things that I want to achieve from this:

Mental Calmness - Concentrating so intently on what your body is doing has the effect of bringing a calmness to the mind. Yoga also introduces you to meditation techniques, such as watching how you breathe and disengagement from your thoughts, which help calm the mind. My mind is always going a mile a minute, and 90 minutes of moving meditation is just what this sister need to slow down and smell the daisies.

Stress Reduction -Because of the concentration required, your daily troubles, both large and small, seem to melt away during the time you are doing yoga. This provides a much-needed break from your stressors, as well as helping put things into perspective. There is a lot going on in my life right now. Proper perspective and an ability to relax, relate, release is welcome.

Body Awareness -Doing yoga will give you an increased awareness of your own body. Over time, this will increase your level of comfort in your own body. This can lead to improved posture and greater self-confidence. I always feel taller & more lean after class. Perhaps my stride will get even more fierce.

So, how was Day1? Let me tell you...Giiiiirrrrrlllll...it was hot as a mofo today. We had a male instructor lead us through the poses and it was like having Gengis Khan teaching. No fans, no occassional opening of the doors. Just cracking the whip, moving it along. DAMN. Although I am definitly improving on my poses and ability to focus, concentrate and hold, I thought I was gonna die. Then there was this chick in the back row that just wanted to do her own ish. WTF? Do you know how distracting it is when you are doing something totally different and moving all around. Get control of yourself. Finally, the instructor had to tell her to "be still" in between poses. Thank you!

Something happened to me today after the standing series that the instructors are always saying might happen, but of course, I thought it was malarky. I know about the gettting dizzy part, but what I didn't buy was that you might get all emotional after some of the poses due to the release of toxins, stress or whatever else you might be holding on to. Humph. Yeah right. Well, after the standing series, I started to feel sick - for real. I felt like my skin was on fire, my heart beat was not returning to normal - constantly racing and like a weight was on my chest. I tries to work it out by relaxing in Savasana (Dead Body Pose), but it was just getting worse. The instructors always recommend that you stay in the room and try to work though it, but I just couldn't. I thought I was gonna blow chunks or explode in flames if I didn't get outta there. I went into the bathroom, and burst in to tears. Nope, I do not know why. All I know is that after my short boo hoo, I felt like the weight of the world was lifted off my sholders, went back into class and knocked out the final poses without a hitch.

I don't know what that was all about, but whatever it was - it was cathartic. Amazing. I'm going back tomorrow for Day2.

1 comment:

phd in yogurtry said...

you GO girl! The heat doesn't appeal to me, but, I know I would do better. I play better tennis in the heat. The muscles just cooperate better.