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!
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.
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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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.
- Bikram Yoga 30 Day Challenge: Days 4 – 10 (soul-wholesome.com)
- Bikram Yoga 30 Day Challenge: Days 1 – 3 (soul-wholesome.com)
- My 13.1 Mile Running Experience at the See Jane Run Half Marathon (soul-wholesome.com)