One key objective I set myself for my last month in London prior to travelling is undertaking the 30 day Bikram Yoga challenge. For those of you who don’t already know, Bikram Yoga is traditional Hatha Yoga, but instead, takes place in a hot room. There are 26 postures, each with unique medical benefits, each that must be practised in sequence for those benefits to be realised.
I actively recommenced Bikram in the beginning of May this year, after focusing my training on running and the gym the year prior. My initial milestone was taking time off work to undertake the 10 day introductory trial at Great Portland Street’s ‘SoHotBikram’ studio. I’ve been practising more or less about 3-4 times a week. I’ve had a few breaks mainly due to going abroad, but I’ve picked it back up again as best as I could to ensure I was prepared for the 30 day challenge.
So – the 26th of August 2011 – day 1 of the 30 day Bikram Yoga challenge. Having been on holiday in Tuscany and Athens for a week and a half, each day drinking and eating like a pig, and having not eaten any food prior to the 15:30 class, I found it very difficult. Within the first 4 postures, I felt faint, dizzy and weak to the extent I could hardly hear the instructor – her voice became muffled and slurred. My toes also started feeling numb, which is particularly uncomfortable when doing the awkward pose on your tip tippy toes as I really couldn’t feel them!!! I sat through half a posture when I was convinced I would fall over, but persevered through the rest…the floor exercises made me relax a bit (though, of course, I shouldn’t be relaxing during Bikram!)… enough to stop me from walking out of the room. I finished the class and put my first lovely tick next to my name on the 30 day challenge poster the studio has at reception.
Today, Day 2, was far better. I made sure I had a little breakfast, went into the hot room twenty minutes prior to the start of the class to acclimatise to the heat, and mainly struggled from soreness rather than anything else.
Though Sindy, the instructor, said I should avoid ‘counting down’ as the challenge is designed to encourage daily practice… like brushing your teeth… I think I’ll find it to be a challenge within itself to psychologically convince myself to stop counting down.
Let’s see… 28 days await me… oh wait… I just counted down.