Surviving Bikram yoga: Days 3 and 4

I’m posting about Bikram days 3 and 4 since I went last night and this morning.  Here’s how my sessions went:

Last night, I was pretty tired.  There was another new instructor for me and I liked her too.  She reminded us to be still and present in our practice, saying it was “active meditation”.  This was a good description.  You are working really hard, but you have to be in your mental zone to be able to concentrate since the lights are full on.  I noticed last night now many guys come to this studio.  I recognized one from my old studio.  I love his tattoos and he paints his toenails silver.  Awesomeness.

My goal last night was not to sit out of any of the postures.  I realized that perhaps I was wimping out on Day 2, rather than just sitting out because I was overwhelmed.  I vowed to do each posture, even if it was 25% because I think I was mentally checking out when I laid down or kneeled on my mat.  I’m realizing the difference between needing to sit down because I’m truly spent or nauseous versus I’m avoiding a posture.  Pong (the instructor) said that sometimes the postures you dread the most are the ones that benefit you the most.  So I pushed along and didn’t have any issues.

I am also trying to limit my water intake during class.  I read that people start using water like a crutch for a break.  I am averaging about 8 ounces in each class session.  Frankly, I noticed that I was feeling nauseous when I drank more water so when I need it, I sip real small and put my water down fast.

This morning, I hopped out of bed bright and early for an 8am class.  I’m still getting up 30 minutes before my alarm clock.  Who knows.

The owner guided us this morning and it was a really full room, which surprised me.  There was a girl behind me who laid on her mat almost the entire time and I felt bad for her.  I think it was her first week at the studio too.  The owner says not to leave the room, just lay down and stay there the whole time if you need to.  I can see why now.  It is distracting to have people moving around in poses.

Today, I noticed that I wasn’t bothered by the heat as much.  I was still sweating a lot, but I wasn’t feeling suffocated.  I am going to move to another part of the room my next time and see if I can figure out where the hot and cool spots of the room are, since all hot yoga studios have them.  I could have set up in a cooler spot today.

I really focused on my triangle poses yesterday and today. I’m getting better about pulling in my inner thigh and stabilizing my legs.  I can still tell my left leg is weak because my leg slips around so I have to be diligent with that.  Pong said yesterday that people who say they don’t like their mat blankets because they make their feet slip usually have weak legs.  In order to avoid slipping in poses, you have to pull your quads up and really squeeze hard to stabilize your legs.

Triangle is the most comprehensive posture in the Bikram Yoga series. This post helps to work all of the major organs, muscles and systems of the body. Triangle involves an extreme amount of concentration because there are so many things going on between breathing and keeping your heart rate consistent, then your arms, then your legs, then twisting.

becka

This is the owner, Becka, demonstrating.  She just had a baby a few months ago.  She looks amazing here, but in person, she looks even stronger.  She said that she did Bikram during her entire pregnancy.

In addition to working your entire body all at once, it is really good for stretching your hips and shoulders.  It stimulates your kidneys, thyroid, adrenal glands, and cardiovascular system.  It is also supposed to be good for people with shoulder problems because you are pulling your arms in opposite directions with great purpose.  It also helps with constipation, colitis, low blood pressure, appendicitis, spondylitis (which is when you get inflammation in the bitty parts of your spine, and menstrual disorders.

I plan to take tomorrow off to go to my step class, but I’m half tempted to go again tomorrow afternoon.  We will see.

I was pretty slack this week with my recipe challenge.  I just didn’t feel inspired.  Every day, I was thinking, what can I do?  I couldn’t come up with anything!  Then, today when I got home from yoga, I felt like a smoothie.  I am not a big smoothie person, but Kevin has one every day.

So here is what I whipped up:

  • 1/2 cup strawberries
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • a couple of handfuls of fresh baby spinach
  • about an inch square of fresh ginger
  • one peeled orange
  • a handful of ice
  • a cup of water

I blended it up and it was delicious!  Here is what it looked like:

image copyAs you can see, it was very dark but it was super tasty.  I drank that for breakfast and it was a good post-yoga meal.  Success!

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