Ladies and gentlemen it’s a wrap. My 30 Day Bikram Yoga Challenge has come to its completion. I have successfully practiced Bikram yoga 30 consecutive days – that’s 90 minutes, 105 degree temperature, 26 postures, for 30 days straight.
You may think I’m crazy but boy I feel so good! Mentally, physically, I feel like I can accomplish anything I put my mind to. It’s the best feeling. Check out my journal for days 25 – 30 below. And if you haven’t yet done so, start with days 1 – 24 by going here, here, here, and here.
Today’s post is my journal for days 25 – 30. But for the grand finale and summary on my experience, the good, the bad, the ugly, pictures of me from day 30 compared to day 1, weight and body transformation, and my future with Bikram yoga and more…then click here for where I recap everything — with selfies! (pics of myself). And please please please post your comments below. I want to hear from you!
Day 25 – Monday 7/22/13
“Health can be instantly improved simply by changing your mood .”
The teacher said this in class today and it instantly made me adjust the stank expression I had imprinted on my face. Sometimes when we put the body in new, challenging positions, the face can express the discomfort and apprehension we may feel in our thoughts.
We may grind our teeth, hold our breath, scrunch up the face, or just mean-mug. These negative expressions affect the body’s ability to perform the pose as efficiently and as deeply as you can possibly go in the posture.
By simply smiling and breathing through the nose, it allows the body to flow through the poses and you end up performing much better and enjoying the experience. The quote is deep, I believe it.
Other activity done for the day: n/a
Day 26 – Tuesday 7/23/13
6am class, bright and early, barely made class in time but super glad I did. The teacher shared with the class her wonderful weekend experience working with a Bikram Yoga expert teacher who has been practicing yoga for over 30 years. My teacher incorporated some tips during our class and wow, it added quite a change to my practice.
Two of the biggest takeaways learned:
1. Hold in the stomach – always. It is important to keep the core engaged for support, posture and to help build the core muscles. I definitely felt and saw the definition in my stomach the next day. Powerful.
2. Tuck in the butt/hips to keep the spine straight. As a woman with extra junk in the truck, the lower spine is left bent where the lower back meets the crack of the butt. Often referred to as “duck butt”. This can prevent one from fully stretching the length of the spine and reaping the full benefits of each pose.
The solution is to tuck in the butt/hips which then rolls in the lower stomach so that the spine is as straight as possible from top to bottom. Not to mention, this helps to tone and shape the butt and lower abdomen. I try to tuck in my hips and engage my core muscles as often as I remember throughout the entire day, not just in yoga class.
Being aware of these two changes have changed my practice in a promising way. My core area is a bit sore after each class which is a sign that extra toning is going on there. Plus it makes me feel good to know that I am practicing each pose the correct way. It is always smart to learn new perspectives and implement them to improve your practice.
My teacher has been practicing for over 10 years and it blew her mind that weekend to learn new tips that will potentially take her Bikram yoga practice to a whole new level.
Other activity done for the day: 30 minute at home cardio workout
Day 27 – Wednesday 7/24/13
Look at this photo:
Can you believe the spine can bend so deeply? Who knew how flexible the spine really is. I’m sure it took years for the girl in the photo to be able to go into such a deep backward bend in which her pointed fingers are merely inches away from touching the ground below her. Quite amazing. I wonder how bendy I’ll be after practicing consistently for a couple years? Trips me out just thinking about it.
Click on the photo above to read about the benefits back-bending has on the spine and the wonders it can do for back pain.
Other activity done for the day: 30 minute park workout: running, jumping jacks, lunges, mountain climbers
Day 28 – Thursday 7/25/13
As I have increased my commitment to Bikram Yoga because of this challenge and have seen the wonderful benefits it has bestowed upon me physically and mentally, I couldn’t help but wonder about the celebrities who practice Bikram Yoga. Celebrities tend to stay on top of the latest health and fitness craze and Bikram yoga is no exception.
Here is a short list of celebrities who love Bikram Yoga!
Jennifer Aniston – (helped her heal over the Brad Pitt divorce)
George Clooney – (practices whenever he is near a Bikram studio, even while traveling)
Madonna – (credits Bikram Yoga as a powerful and positive force in her life)
Lady Gaga –
“Yoga makes me feel like I can do anything…yoga heals me…” – Lady Gaga
David Beckham (arguably has one of the best soccer bodies in the game)
Beyonce (my birthday twin!) she was quoted as saying:
“Every time I do yoga, I want to cry. … By the end of the class your body can do things it couldn’t do in the beginning so you feel accomplished and emotional. It’s therapeutic.” – Beyonce
Ashton Kutcher (probably how he always seems to have lots of energy)
Demi Moore (says the heat helps her body detoxify)
Jenny McCarthy (lost 65 lbs post-baby by practicing 3 times per week)
Matthew McConaughey (my celebrity crush)
Carmen Electra (yoga is how she keeps her hot shape)
Carmen Electra – Standing Bow Pose
Other activity done for the day: 20 minute at-home workout: situps, pushups, planks
Day 29 – Friday 7/26/13
I realized in class today that I have a half marathon coming up in about 9 weeks and I have not yet started training.
I’m kind of behind as I usually like to allow 12 weeks to train. But it’s all good, I’ll finish out this 30 Day Bikram Yoga Challenge then focus on my running schedule. Out of guilt, I ran for about a half hour today. Felt good.
Other activity done for the day: 33 minute run
Day 30 – Saturday 7/27/13
Last day of the challenge!!! I walked into the yoga studio with a huge grin on my face knowing that in 90 minutes, I would be done with my challenge.
On day one, 30 days seemed like forever. But now that I am at the end of my journey, it seems like it breezed by. Nevertheless, I am excited to have set a goal and accomplish it.
Furthermore, blogging about it on a weekly basis helped me to stay on tracj because of all the questions and cheers I was receiving from you all. Thank you for the support, it kept me motivated especially on the days I wanted to sleep in instead of sweat.
I love the people at Bikram Yoga College of India Oakland. Each day, they check in with me to see what day I am on and their eyes widen with excitement when I tell them about my journey. In all of my years of working out at gyms and other group settings, I have never felt like I was part of a family until now. Bikram Yoga Oakland has the most down-to-earth, friendly, interesting people – I feel like I’m at home when I go to class and see familiar smiley faces greeting me.
Other activity done for the day: 45 minute run, 45 minute walk
Again, click here for my Bikram Yoga 30 Day Challenge recap where I talk about the good, the bad, the ugly, body transformation, and my future practicing Bikram Yoga. Is there a 100 day challenge in the works?
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.
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