Bikram Yoga 30 Day Challenge: Days 18 – 24

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Just when I think I’ve got this yoga challenge in the bag, there are days that sneak up on me in which I struggle to make it through each class.  Sometimes my breathing is off or my body is sore therefore preventing me from going deep in each pose.

athlete doing bikram yoga

I simply allow these things to naturally occur and not let it consume my every thought.  Once class is over, I move on and focus on the rest of my day.  I realize that tomorrow is another day and I can try again then.

On another note, I am amazed at how far I have come!  Mentally, I am a more relaxed, care-free person able to enjoy each moment instead of anxiously wondering what’s going to happen in my future regarding career, relationships, finances, etc.  I simply am able to just be.  Being the perfectionist that sometimes labels my every action, being able to let go of worry is the greatest gift my Bikram yoga practice has placed upon me thus far.

If you haven’t read already, check out my recap on my 30 day challenge for days 1 – 17 here, here, and here.  Read about days 18 – 24 below:

Day 18 – Monday 7/15/13

I had no idea of the social following and interest I’d gather with my 30 Day Bikram Yoga Challenge.  It has been a welcome surprise.  A few of my friends have joined me in Bikram yoga classes – for some, it was their first time ever. I have one friend who is undergoing her own 30 day challenge.

It feels good to give someone the experience of trying a Bikram yoga class. In fact, I encourage everyone to try it out.  Many studios offer discounted introductory packages for new students.  Find your nearest Bikram Yoga Studio and check it out!  Then let me know how it went!

Other activity done for the day:  n/a

Day 19 – Tuesday 7/16/13

Today, the teacher focused her attention on me during Balancing Stick Pose (Tuladandasana)

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Balancing Stick Pose (Tuladandasana)

I love how this pose exudes strength, confidence, and elongates the body.  It takes concentration and willpower to trust that you can balance yourself on one leg, with knee locked, with body perpendicular and stretched out like a ‘T’ shape and not a broken umbrella.

Sometimes when my concentration is not all the way there, my standing leg wobbles and shakes.  My other leg doesn’t get up as high as it needs to and my pointed fingers points sideways instead of straight forward towards the mirror.  The teacher had my back today and helped me out a bit, thankfully.

Balancing stick pose perfects control and balance, firms the hips, butt, and upper thighs.  It increases circulation and strengthens the cardiovascular system and improves poor posture.  Flexibility, strength, and muscle tone of shoulders, upper arms, spine, and hip joints all improve because of this pose.  With swimsuit season in session, it’s the answer to any girl’s flabby arm problems.

Other activity done for the day:  40 minute run

Day 20 – Wednesday 7/17/13

One day I will master Fixed Firm Pose (Supta-Vajrasana)

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Fixed Firm Pose (Supta – Vajrasana)

From the photo above, fixed firm pose looks like a sexy, flirty present that you just want to unwrap. Am I right?  Lol. Unfortunately for me, the furthest I can go in the posture is opening my feet wide enough to sit my hips down as low as they go until my butt touches the floor.

At this point in my yoga practice, my hips are so tight that my butt remains in the air, about 3 inches from the floor.  Once the hips open up and I’m able to sit my butt all the way down, I can then lower my upper body back and down until it’s on the floor like the photo above.  Then I can say that I am a sexy, flirty present that you just want to unwrap.  Hope that’s not too weird.

Other activity done for the day:  n/a

Day 21 – Thursday 7/18/13

I’m not saying that everyone needs to do Bikram yoga.  But, it is an amazing practice that improves the physical, mental, and spiritual being.  If you can, try it:  give it a month of going at least 3 times per week (ideally 5x) before you decide if it’s for you or not.   Bikram yoga offers crazy huge benefits including:

–          Detoxifies skin and cleans out dirt from the pores resulting in the famous bikram yoga glow

–          Relieves stress

–          Increases blood circulation throughout body (hello improved libido!)

–          Cardiovascular and resistance weight training workout in one

–          Boosts digestive system

–          Reduces cravings for processed food and food in general, stabilizing appetite

–          Speeds up metabolism and normalizes blood sugar levels

–          Reduces flatulence, and eases bowel movements

I can attest to many of the above.  In fact, I received a massage from a Chinese masseuse not too long ago and she almost screamed in shocking amazement when I told her my age.  Seems she was under the impression that I was a teenager.  “Naw,” I said smiling, “it’s just that Bikram yoga glow.”

Other activity done for the day:  Zumba!

Day 22 – Friday 7/19/13

I’ve been really interested in yoga related quotes lately.  Something about them offers inspiration and allows me to relax my mind and know that I’ve got this challenge squared away and will cross the finish line without fail.  Here are a few quotes that I am digging:

Nothing can steal happiness, peace away from you: if anyone does make you angry, you are the loser; if someone can allow you to lose peace, you are the loser. –Bikram Choudhury
On an airplane, you are always told to put on your oxygen mask first. The same way in life, you need to take care of your health first. If you are not happy and healthy, you cannot make anyone else happy and healthy. -Rajashree Choudhury
Breathe and all will be revealed, love and all will be healed. This is yoga. –Seane Corn

Other activity done for the day:  30 minute park workout of sprints, lunges, burpees, jumping jacks

Day 23 – Saturday 7/20/13

I visited a different Bikram Yoga studio in El Cerrito this morning because the timing fit my schedule better than my regular studio in Oakland.  It is true what they say:  the instructions in bikram yoga classes are the same everywhere you go.  Therefore it makes it super easy to visit different yoga studios no matter what city, state, or country that your travels may take you.  I recommend you try out different studios whether locally or while traveling, for a new experience.

My only recommendation is to bring your own mat and towel just out of sheer comfort.  Laundry was still on my to-do list so I had to pay $2 to borrow a baby-sized towel that barely fit 1/3 of my mat.  It was kind of frustrating that during the postures, I had to focus my attention on not slipping on my own sweat.

But hey, you live and you learn.  I’ll be back El Cerrito. 🙂

Other activity done for the day:  n/a

Day 24 – Sunday 7/21/13

Sometimes a Bikram yoga girl can use a breather.  My all-time favorite pose:

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Dead Body Pose (Savasana)

Other activity done for the day:  15 minute walk

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Chika Obih is a certified holistic nutrition consultant; blogger; and founder of Chika Obih Wellness based in Oakland, CA and offers services virtually, in-person or by phone.  Chika is passionate about empowering people to take charge of their own health utilizing the power of wholesome, clean foods and fun holistic lifestyle solutions.  Contact Chika today to set up your free consultation.

Follow Chika on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram

 

Bikram Yoga 30 Day Challenge: Days 11 – 17

yoga quote finishing

We are getting closer to goal!  My Bikram yoga 30 Day challenge has been nothing short of motivating in both the physical and mental sense.  You all are cheering me on and keeping tabs on my progress and I appreciate all the love.  Because of you and the overwhelming support, I have gotten through 17 of 30 days — over halfway done!

If you haven’t already done so, you can read my days 1 – 10 journey here and here.

Then read below for days 11 – 17.

Day 11 – Monday 7/8/2013

My thighs are getting stronger and shapelier each day.  I credit it mostly to standing head to knee pose (check photo below).  In this pose, I am balancing on one leg with knee locked to start.  If the knee is not locked, the posture has not yet begun.  With the standing knee locked, I then bend forward by the hip with fingers of both hands interlocked together and hanging down in front by the knees.  I pick up the other leg at a 90 degree angle and sit that leg in my hands.

With standing knee locked, this is the beginning of the pose.

Part 2: Once balanced there, one can then extend the leg up and out at a 90 degree angle.

Part 3: If both legs are completely locked, then one can lower their head until the head is touching the knee like the dude in the photo below.

This pose is the ultimate thigh toner.  My thighs have strengthened so much; they have developed the vertical line running down the outer center length similar to track runners and sprinters.  I can barely extend the leg to a 90 degree angle (it’s more like 45 degrees) but by keeping the standing leg locked, my thighs are reaping the benefits of standing head to knee pose quite nicely.

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Other activity done for the day:  15 minute walk

Day 12 – Tuesday 7/9/2013

Don’t know how I was able to make it to the 6am class but I’m glad I did.  The instructor shared a few words regarding body image.  I’ll paraphrase what she said.

If you practice Bikram Yoga wearing a t-shirt and pants, you are wearing too much clothing.  Often times we want to hide our flaws because of embarrassment.  But you need to remove the layers and come to class ready to face yourself in that mirror and look at your body as you are doing each pose. This will not only help you to improve each pose faster, but your commitment to yoga will grow stronger as you begin seeing improvements in your shape.

What she said was golden.  It’s true we all have reservations about our body: we don’t want our rolls or cellulite to be on display for the whole class.  Nor do we want to see it ourselves.  But in Bikram Yoga, no one is there to judge.  We are all there to practice, grow, build, and strengthen our bodies and minds.  Shed the layers of clothing so that you can start to see and appreciate the transformation as it occurs in the yoga room.

Other activity done for the day:  25 minute run

Day 13 – Wednesday 7/10/13

Nothing can interrupt a Yogi from their practice.  Check out this story:

I walked into the Bikram Yoga studio and found the teacher and a few students discussing a recent car robbery that culminated in front of the yoga studio a couple days ago.  Two teenage boys stole a Mercedes sports car in nearby posh Piedmont then proceeded to speed away but not before crashing and flipping the car on its side which caused it to burst into flames right outside the yoga studio while class was in session.  Everything could be seen and heard from the 3rd story studio.  When the instructor excitedly asked the class if they wanted to stop and watch, the class unanimously replied, “no, keep going.”

Goes to show nothing can interrupt a Yogi from practicing their craft.

Other activity done for the day:  30 minute walk

Day 14 – Thursday 7/11/13

Best thing you can do for a friend?  Take her (or him) to a Bikram yoga class!!!  I brought my friend to the 6am class where she commenced to drop bucket loads of sweat onto her mat and towel.  She was super impressive, attempting each pose and following through to the end despite being unfamiliar with the heat and intensity.  After class the teacher expressed how much she was impressed by my friend’s effort.

Loved that I could introduce her to yoga which will no doubt help her manage stress and add clarity to her busy life.

Other activity done for the day:  15 minute walk

Day 15 – Friday 7/12/13

Woohoo!! I am at the mountaintop and from this point onward, its all downhill from here!!  I am at the halfway mark.  I can’t say that it’s been easy but I am ecstatic that I have gotten to this point.

Many of the students in class are aware that I am on this 30 day journey and they have been super supportive, cheering me on along the way.  It feels good when everyone knows your name.

Other activity done for the day:  Cardio kickboxing class

Day 16 – Saturday 7/13/13

OMG I missed a day!  Today was jam-packed with commitments beginning from bright n early in the morning until way past my bedtime.  In fact I left the house at 8am and didn’t lay my head to rest until 3am that night.  It was a super fun day spent with colleagues and friends so well worth the skip.  But I knew Sunday had a double in-store for me which I wasn’t too thrilled about, not in the slightest.

Other activity done for the day:  Dancing to reggae music

Day 17 – Sunday 7/14/13

A miss on Saturday meant a double today to make up for that miss.  By taking two classes in one day, I’d make up for the miss so that I remain on par with my 30 day challenge goals.  It was no easy feat.

I attended the 11am and the 2pm class.

I felt super dehydrated and half awake during the first class.  My body was stiff and stomach looked bloated (due to last night’s spirited festivities).  I didn’t enjoy staring at myself during the 90 minutes.  My eyes could only focus on my core abdominal area and the thoughts that were accumulating in my head were not positive ones.  It wasn’t pretty or effortless but I miraculously got through the first class.

Immediately following the first class, I carried my tired, sweaty, half asleep butt home to hydrate for round 2 which was only 90 minutes away from starting.  Gathering a few things from my refrigerator, I concocted this super hydrating smoothie.  After drinking, I felt like a whole new person with a new mindset and revived energy.  I blended coconut water, banana, coconut milk, and maca root powder with ice.  As I quickly downed it, it literally felt like my muscles and body were finally waking up.

I went into Round 2 thinking that I was fatigued because that is how I thought I was supposed to feel.  However, when I noticed the extra flexibility in my limbs and the absence of soreness, I immediately washed my mind of any weak thoughts.  Staring in the mirror, I noticed how strong my core and thighs looked.  I don’t know if it was my imagination or what, but it seemed the bloated look from the first session disappeared and I was back to having my normal, superwoman mentality. I felt good.

Accomplishing a double is a big deal.  Imagine all the sweating, straining, and emotions spinning around.  Then multiply that by two.  I thought the second class would be much harder than the first but was content to realize it was the other way around.  That hydrating coconut smoothie really came through in a major way.

I’d rather not have to do anymore doubles during this 30 day challenge, but we’ll see what life and reality brings to the table.

Other activity done for the day:  are you kidding me??!  n/a

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Click here to get juicy food and life notes straight from Chika to your inbox!

Chika Obih is a certified holistic nutrition consultant; blogger; and founder of Soul-Wholesome Nutrition based in Oakland, CA and offers services virtually, in-person or by phone.  Chika is passionate about empowering people to take charge of their own health utilizing the power of wholesome, clean foods and fun holistic lifestyle solutions.  Contact Chika today to set up your free consultation.

Follow Chika on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram

Bikram Yoga 30 Day Challenge: Days 4 – 10

Going to class at the same time each day has made this challenge easier; it’s like a regularly scheduled routine in my day.  I’ve been going to the 9am morning sessions which allows me to complete class before the summer heat wave kicks in for the day.

If you haven’t done so already, read about my 30 Day Challenge: Days 1 – 3.  Then continue reading below!

Day 4 – Monday 7/1/13

Today in class I accomplished the toe stand pose for the first time ever (only with the right leg up, not yet with the left leg).  I felt like a 5 year old on Christmas and the big grin on my face after expressed my pure delight.  For those who may not be familiar with the 26 poses, toe stand pose is an extension of the tree pose.  This is how each looks:

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Tree Pose (Tadasana)

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Toe Stand Pose (Padangustasana)

To get from tree to toe stand, one has to have exceptional balance as you lean forward from the hips looking about four feet on the floor in front of you with arms and hands extended out as you attempt to touch the floor.

Once your extended hands are touching the floor, you bend at the knee then place hands in prayer position until you look like the picture above.  It’s nothing short of miraculous to go from tree to toe pose.

In fact, prior to today, I’ve spent many classes (while in tree pose) watching people fluidly go from tree to toe pose; it is such a beautiful movement.  Then when I emulate the same movement, I confusingly get stuck in the position where my butt is in the air as I’m bended at the hips with my hands (more like fingers) touching the floor trying to prop me up so that I don’t go falling face forward onto my mat.  Yea it can be embarrassing.

But I’m living proof that with practice, patience, and poise, the body will open up and allow you to get into any pose.

Other activity done for the day:  30 minute run; 1 minute plank

Day 5 – Tuesday 7/2/13

It’s weird.  Sometimes in class all I can think is “Can it please be over!? How much longer? I need this to be over NOW.”  And then when class is indeed over, I think “dang, it’s over already?!”  Today was one of those days.

Other activity done for the day:  15 minute walk; 1 minute plank

Day 6 – Wednesday 7/3/13

Received a “beautiful job Chika” from the teacher during Standing Deep Breathing (SDB) – the first pose in the 26 posture series.   That made class a little brighter to start.  You see, SDB is a seemingly easy pose (see photo below).  However, you really have to stretch ALL your muscles in your legs, thighs, spine, shoulders, arms, neck, head, everywhere… with the stomach sucked in.  While you are extending each limb, you are deeply breathing in and out using 100% of your lungs.  Most people use only a small percentage of their lung capacity, never allowing the lungs to reach maximum expansion that nature intended.  SDB expands the lungs and increases circulation, elevating your core temperature and preparing the muscles for exercise.

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Standing Deep Breathing (Pranayama Series)

Other activity done for the day:  TRX Suspension class (1 hour);  15 minute walk

Day 7 – Thursday 7/4/13

Class was packed on today, Independence Day.  Makes sense that people want to get in a good sweat prior to BBQ festivities.  I positioned myself in the hottest area of the room and commenced to sweat buckets for 90 minutes straight.  Felt accomplished.

Other activity done for the day:  15 minute walk

Day 8 – Friday 7/5/13

On days that I run, I usually run before my yoga session.  Sometimes it’s brutal because I do not leave enough time to recharge between running and yoga.  Sometimes I finish a run and then 30 minutes later I’m in yoga class getting my pose on.  It can be intense.  But my green energy smoothie recharges me like no other.  I drink it immediately after my run so that it can refuel my muscles instantly.  It’s a blended mix of coconut water, banana, lemon, raw spinach, and maca root powder.  Perfect for pre- or post- endurance workouts. Just blend everything together and sip.  I’ll post the recipe soon.

Chika's Green Energy Smoothie

Chika’s Green Energy Smoothie

Other activity done for the day:  40 minute run; 15 minute walk

Day 9 – Saturday 7/6/13

As I obediently followed the teacher’s instructions, attempting each pose with face forward in the mirror, my mind wandered.  With sweat dripping from every pore of my body, I wondered what exactly is happening  in my body during Bikram Yoga?  With all the twists, compressions, full-body extensions, sweating, and holding the stomach in tight, the body must be going through a dramatic change.  Turns out it is.  Here are some of the things going on:

–          Muscles are contracted and stretched at a cellular, biochemical level.

–          Lipids (fats) and proteins reorganize optimally in such stretching, allowing for better circulation.

–          Joint mobility and range of motion is increased, and strength is built by the use of gravity.

–          Muscles and joints are balanced.

–          Blood and calcium are brought to the bones.

–          The organs of the immune system within the bones are boosted.

–          Lymph nodes are massaged, lymph is pumped throughout the body, and white blood cells are distributed throughout the body as the lymphatic system works more efficiently.

–          Compression and extension to the thymus, spleen, appendix, and intestines; lungs are stretched and flushed out by increased blood circulation.

–          Endocrine glands are encouraged to secrete appropriate hormones, and the communication between hormones and various glands and systems of the body is perfected.

–          Toxins and waste are eliminated through the organs of elimination.

It’s like a full-body premium deluxe car wash & detail for your body.

Other activity done for the day:  43 minute run; 15 minute walk

Day 10 – Sunday 7/7/2013

Class was packed today and the only spots left when I entered the room was in the hottest corner.  I laid down on my mat for a few minutes before the teacher walked in and class commenced.  As sweat dripped down from my pits when I got up to start the first stretching pose, I knew it would be a long 90 minutes.

To help me last the 90 minutes, I paid special attention to my breathing making sure I was breathing in and out through my nose which is more efficient and beneficial to the body than breathing through the mouth.  Deep breathing through the nose calls on the parasympathetic nervous system which is responsible for stimulation of “rest-and-digest” or “feed and breed”.  In opposition, the sympathetic nervous system is responsible for the “fight-or-flight” mechanism that turns on during times of emergency where quick response actions are required.

It’s nothing short of miraculous how quickly my body relaxes and rejuvenates after intense, cardio-intensive poses such as triangle pose by simply and calmly breathing in and out deeply through the nose.  Sometimes when I forget and breathe through my mouth instead, it feels as if energy is just leaving my body in mass droves.

Learn to engage the parasympathetic nervous system by simply breathing through your nose.  You will soon notice a positive difference in your energy, stress levels, and mental clarity…and you will last longer during intense exercise.

Triangle Pose (Trikanasana)

Triangle Pose (Trikanasana)

Other activity done for the day:  TRX Suspension class (1 hour)

Feels good to be ten days into the challenge.  I’m a third of the way closer to completion.  Stay tuned for my next 30 Day Challenge blog post coming next Monday.  Subscribe to receive all updates straight into your email inbox.

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Click here to get juicy food and life notes straight from Chika to your inbox!

Chika Obih is a certified holistic nutrition consultant; blogger; and founder of Soul-Wholesome Nutrition based in Oakland, CA and offers services virtually, in-person or by phone.  Chika is passionate about empowering people to take charge of their own health utilizing the power of wholesome, clean foods and fun holistic lifestyle solutions.  Contact Chika today to set up your free consultation.

Follow Chika on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram

Bikram Yoga 30 Day Challenge: Days 1 – 3

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Standing Bow Pulling Pose (Dandayamana – Dhanuraiana)

Yoga.  They say its good for the body, mind and spirit.  And I believe it.  But why did it take me so long to finally embrace yoga and all of its wonderful health benefits?  A few reasons:

1.  I am NOT flexible.

It is a challenge for me to even touch my toes.  Growing up as a child I used to watch in awe at the little girls who could do the splits so effortlessly when I could barely open my legs wide enough for a half split. Jealous!  Being born without flexibility is something I learned to accept.  My natural stiffness kept me far away from activities such as gymnastics, pilates, and yoga.  I gravitated towards running, weight lifting and tennis instead.

2.  Yoga is SO SLOW.

To sit, flex and stretch the body in contorted positions for 60 – 90 minutes at a time with no music and absent of any big movement is boring.  Combined with reason #1, yoga was torture for me.  Although I know the health benefits of stretching the limbs and strengthening the core using yoga-type moves, I had it set in my mind that I hated it and therefore I avoided it for years.

3.  I don’t look or act like a YOGI.

For the longest time, I thought the typical yogi was a thin, lean, hippy, vegan or vegetarian, who eats raw foods exclusively and loves the idea of saving animals more than feeding the hungry.  This belief kept me away from the world of Yogis because I thought they were weird. 

But then it all changed…

Thank goodness for Groupon!!  Groupon is amazing because it provides people the opportunity to try new experiences for 50 – 90% off the regular price.  With groupon, I tried bikram yoga with a few friends a couple of years ago.  Although it was tough and I didn’t keep with it after the deal ended, I knew that I would return to bikram yoga someday.    In March 2013, I did.

Since March, I have been a regular yogi (a person who practices yoga).  Yes I still think it is slower than most activities I am used to, but the benefits of practicing yoga are too vast for me to put up a fuss about the slowness.  In fact, the slowness allows for one to get in touch with their emotional and mental well-being – it’s quite therapeutic!

So there you have it:  I have decided to face my yoga fears and instead embrace it and all the benefits it has bestowed upon me since March 2013.  On June 28th I decided to challenge myself and partake in a 30 Day Bikram Yoga Challenge.   Every day for the next 30 days I will complete a 90 minute intense Bikram yoga session.  I’ll be blogging weekly and tweeting daily so follow along with me on my journey! I can use the support.

“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.”

–Helen Keller

What I hope to accomplish during this 30 Day Bikram Yoga Challenge

Bikram yoga is a set of 26 postures completed within 90 minutes in room heated to 105 degrees.  The official Bikram Yoga website states: “It has been proved and experienced by millions that these 26 postures systematically work every part of the body, to give all the internal organs, all the veins, all the ligaments, and all the muscles everything they need to maintain optimum health and maximum function.  Each component takes care of something different in the body, and yet they all work together synergistically, contributing to the success of every other one, and extending its benefits.”

There are thousands of testimonials from people who have healed or managed their health problems using Bikram yoga including arthritis, diabetes, obesity, depression, anxiety, cardiovascular issues, sciatica, and more.  The heat acts as a source of detoxification to release toxins and other nasties through the pores.  Therefore it is vital to drink lots of water before, during and after class (all day, everyday) to aid in the release of such toxins.  In 30 days I hope to see improvements in the following areas:

–          Flexibility: I can touch my toes now…barely. But I hope to release the tightness in my hip area that makes it difficult for me to do a proper squat.

–          Mental Clarity:  I tend to be inside my head thinking too hard instead of taking care of tasks.  I would love to be more action-prone instead of thinking about how to take action.  I want to be able to “just do it”. Yoga can help calm the mind.

–          Lean out in my lower abdominal area:  Genetically, I am prone to carry excess weight in my stomach area, specifically my lower abs.  Thanks to my dad.  He’s a rather average/lean guy with a huge belly that is tough to lose even when he is on his best behavior.

For me, as a woman, having a lean, trim waistline seems to be a greater priority because in the eyes of society, flat stomachs are all the rage.  I’ve tried for years to get mine as flat as possible.  As a Nutritionist dealing with this “issue”, I can honestly say that clean eating and an active lifestyle do not (and cannot) always trump genetics. Sure a healthy lifestyle helps tremendously and I don’t advocate treating your body like a garbage can.  But sometimes you have to recognize the reality of your God-given features.   So I am learning to embrace my waist. With all the sweating I’ll be doing for the next 30 days, I can’t help but wonder if I’ll see a smaller waistline.  Check me out on day 1.  I’ll post another picture on day 30 to compare.

30 Day Bikram Yoga Challenge - Day 1

Note: I tend to engage in other activities, not just yoga.  If I do other exercises on a certain day, I’ll post it. Yoga alone may help with my waistline but I want to be honest and mention any and all activity that I do for the purposes of the day 1 vs. day 30 photo comparison.

Day 1 – Friday 6/28/13

Class was H O T!!  It didn’t help that I was positioned right underneath the heater.  I’m surprised I didn’t pass out due to dehydration.  My goal was to attempt each pose, which I accomplished.  I didn’t focus on going as deep as possible in each position – just try each pose instead of just sitting on my towel watching the rest of class.  Felt rejuvenated after class.

Other activity for the day:  30 minute run outdoors; 15 minute walk

Day 2 – Saturday 6/29/13

Barely got to class before the teacher came into the room. In a packed class, this meant that I was stuck in the hottest area of the room.  Wheww it was a tremendous effort just battling the heater blasting on full speed right in front of me.  But I tried to ignore the loud, grumpy heater and focus on myself in the mirror as I attempted each posture.  I made it through miraculously.  I even heard the teacher say “good job Chika” during the Eagle pose Garurasana.  I was far from looking anywhere poised and perfect in the posture like the beautiful lady in the picture below but I think he recognized my effort to go into the position as deep as my body would allow.

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Eagle Pose (Garurasana)

Other activity for the day:  30 minute run outdoors; 15 minute walk

Day 3 – Sunday 6/30/13

My mind was wandering every where during class.  I was barely focused on myself in the mirror and found myself staying in positions longer than prescribed or setting up to do the wrong pose simply because I wasn’t paying attention to the teacher’s words.  In yoga, this is normal – sometimes the mind wants to wander and think about random things such as “what will I eat after class… I wonder what my mom is doing, I need to call her…I hope this dude responded to my text…man this guy next to me better not step on my mat, he’s sweating everywhere, yuck.”  Yea random thoughts.  I felt super exhausted after the 90 minute session.  But as soon as I stepped outside to walk back home, I immediately felt grateful and refreshed.  Nice.

Other activity done for the day:  30 minute walk

Days 1 – 3 is a wrap. Stay tuned for more and share your comments below!

Subscribe to my blog to get updates of my 30 Day Bikram Yoga Challenge straight into your email inbox.

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Click here to get juicy food and life notes straight from Chika to your inbox!

Chika Obih is a certified holistic nutrition consultant; blogger; and founder of Soul-Wholesome Nutrition based in Oakland, CA and also offers services virtually for those who are not local.  Chika is passionate about empowering people to take charge of their own health utilizing the power of wholesome, clean foods and fun holistic lifestyle solutions.  Contact Chika today to set up a free consultation.

Follow Chika on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram