With each day of the 30 day Bikram Yoga challenge thus far, I have needed to overcome unique and discomforting challenges:
Day 1: Feeling faint. Blurry vision. Muffled and slurred hearing. Tingly, numb sensation on my toes.
Day 2: Muscle soreness from the previous session alongside additional soreness from playing badminton with my boyfriend.
Day 3: Feeling particularly hot and short of breath. No matter how much air or however deeply I tried to inhale through my nose, I still felt not enough oxygen was circulating through my respiratory system.
Day 4: Really, really needing the toilet.
Now, you can’t tell me necessarily that this is my fault…. nor can you tell me that I didn’t psychologically persevere, or push myself, as I never left the room to use the toilet (even when I witnessed a fellow practitioner leave…even when Sindy, the instructor, made reference to the toilet being an example of a time when you may be forgiven when leaving the room…)(though, you may be forgiven only once).
I arrived at the studio 40 minutes early… first thing I did was go to the toilet… when I was dressed, I walked into the hot room, left my mat, towel, water, attached my locker key to my towel… lied down… went back to the toilet… returned to the hot room…lied down… went back to the toilet. Let me highlight I didn’t necessarily need the toilet during each of the aforementioned attempts, I pre-empted the need to go during class which made me overcompensate and try anyway. This, however, didn’t stop me from feeling pressure in my bladder before Sindy even turned on the lights at precisely 6pm.
Now, for those readers who may not know much about Bikram, it is good practice not to leave the hot room when class has started. I’d almost like to say it’s forbidden… however, that tends to stop many people from even trying what is really a beneficial, rewarding and highly spiritual form of exercise. The best Bikram instructors really do put you off from leaving, coming late, moving or fidgeting during Savasana – mainly because it really is disruptive to your own and fellow practitioners’ concentration.
This, however, is hard to achieve… and I must admit, though I had no qualms with the heat today, felt relatively agile (despite some continued soreness in my hamstrings), and though I stayed in the room and maintained physcial stillness between postures – I didn’t achieve any of the spiritual benefits gained from mental stillness that I have in previous practice.
All I could think about was needing the toilet. From beginning to end of my 90 minutes of Bikram Yoga, with every twist, turn, stretch and compression… with every inhale and exhale and bringing of my hips forward, contraction of my thighs and my abdomen – all I desired was for those 90 minutes to be over… so that I could relieve myself.
With the Spine-Twisting Pose (Ardha-Matsyendrasana) and the final breathing exercise, the Blowing in Firm Pose (Kapalbhati in Vajrasana), a conclusive dialogue at the end of our 90 minutes and our Namaste… I couldn’t lay through the highly rewarding Savasana at the end… I just raced out the door to the toilet.
Nonetheless – I completed Day 4 of the 30 day Bikram Yoga Challenge…ticked it on the chart at reception, and now, I have… 26 sessions left to go… 🙂