Tag Archives: bikram challenge

Day 39

28 Feb

I went into the Saturday afternoon class expecting the usual perfect storm of crap- maybe I’d lie down for half the class, maybe someone would yell at the instructor, mass exodus in the middle of class?  But none of that happened.  Instead, I broke the Saturday curse and had a really great class!  Which is slightly surprising, considering how I prepared for class: ate a few saltines, 2 cupcakes, and part of a leftover quesadilla, and sat on the couch for about 5 hours watching mindless tv.  Maybe that’s further proof that hydration is more important than pre-class food choices?

I didn’t have any great breakthroughs today, but I remembered something the instructor said the other day about camel pose (would have posted the other day…but chose to rant about the heat instead 🙂 ).  Camel pose is considered the pinnacle of the floor series, much like triangle pose is the pinnacle of the standing series.  This backward bend is said to compress the spine, open the rib cage, lungs and digestive system, relieve back problems, and improve and strengthen the neck, back and shoulders. This pose also makes you dizzy and nauseous from time to time.  Our instructor the other day was explaining that this posture is so difficult because it evokes your “fight or flight” reflex since you’re opening the entire front of your body.  And when we get scared, our natural tendency is to get into a fetal position, or protect our front.  I’d say about half the time I’m in this posture I freak out a little bit and have to talk myself into staying put.  And after hearing the instructors reasoning behind this freakout, I think it’s a little easier to stay put.

Lesson learned: Not all weekend classes are hell! I’m going to stop going into every weekend class with a negative mindset.

Goal: Work on looking a little less pissed during class.  The owner told me after class that he kept trying to make me smile during class (he was a couple of rows behind me) and instead I just looked mad the whole time.  I didn’t see his attempts, but I should still probably work on looking a little happier 🙂

-L

After a night of many, many margaritas, great music, and great company in the city that never sleeps, I was dreading my noon class in NYC. My sister has originally planned to join but ended up balking in exchange for more sleep.

SO I trekked the 7 or so blocks to Bikram yoga NYC’s midtown location.  As soon as I arrived, I was greeted by several extremely friendly employees who got me all set up and acquainted with the studio, which encompassed two floors of a city high rise.  The studio was very big and I took a seat right next to the wall of windows since it was a beautiful day and I thought I might luck out and catch a cool draft. The instructor was an incredibly warm and friendly woman who took a chance to learn the name of each student in her class beforehand and used the names throughout class for encouragement.  Her positive energy and encouragement was a major factor in my not dying during class.  Several differences between my normal studio and this studio that struck me before and during class:

  • Everyone was incredibly fit and flexible.  I was surrounded by dancers and actors felt like a lumpy slob.
  • People were chatting the entire 15 minutes before class. In my regular studio, the hot room is more of a place for reflection and it is actually frowned upon to carry on conversations before/during/after class. 
  • Everyone had hand towels and used them to wipe their faces throughout class. I was under the assumption that your body sweats to cool off- so why would you get rid of it?
  • The teacher opened the windows at a few points during class (which I appreciated a lot!)
  • People were wearing all sorts of crazy stuff. Legwarmers, cut off stockings, jewelery.  In essence it was more bohemian yoga chic than cookie cutter lululemon (but everything is essentially cookie-cutter where I live, not that I’m complaining). 

I was so distracted by my surroundings and hangover that I really didn’t focus on my practice like I should have, but the instructor’s watchful eye did make me attempt each asana and never give up or half-ass anything throughout the 90 minutes. Overall, it was really nice to change things up, but I can’t wait to get back to my normal studio where class ends in cold, minty towels 🙂

Lessons learned: Each bikram studio has small differences, but it is comforting to receive almost identical instruction and type of workout at each of the studios.

Goals: Hydrate while traveling! It’s much tougher to fit in water-chugging when you are socializing.

-C

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