Week 7 Recap: Bikram Yoga Teacher Training in Thailand

Week 7 was the breaking point for me and many of my fellow yogis.  It dragged on so long as many nights and days were filed with never-ending  posture clinic sessions.  The staff was on a mission to finish posture clinic as soon as possible to leave enough time in the final weeks for Bikram (Boss) to lecture to us about becoming teachers.  This meant us yogis sacrificed sleep, meals, and every minute of free time to memorize and practice posture dialogue.  Some people presented as many as 5 postures in a single day! Talk about stressful nerve-wracking times! There was a real threat of losing our sanity; some people wanted to call it quits, pack their bags,  hop on a plane,  and leave teacher training immediately.  Thankfully they were talked off the ledge and found the willpower to continue on.

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Memorizing the dialogue. Good ole dialogue.

Outside of week 1,  week 7 has been my hardest week. I’m so thankful it is now over and is behind me. 76 hot yoga classes completed in 7 short weeks. My limbs, joints, muscles and bones – whole body- is crying mercy!

I will say,  week 7 had its highlights.  A Communications expert from India lectured to us about the power of voice, presentation and talking style. He creatively illustrated these points to us via interactive exercises where we sang aloud as a class, watched videos of greatness such as Martin Luther King “I Have A Dream” speech and used the audience to effectively teach the class. I learned that to become a great yoga teacher,  I need to showcase confidence,  commitment and courage.  It is vital to remove fears,  inhibitions,  and self criticism as those are surefire viruses that will hinder any success. One thing I took away from his lecture is to share my voice more with people.  I am comfortable talking to only those who require my attention and otherwise can be perfectly cool minding my own business in silence.  Staying quiet can be looked at as an injustice to others who may stand to gain from me sharing my wisdom and knowledge about the things I love and enjoy including yoga, food, healthy living,  cooking,  taxes & accounting, and wellness.  Going forward I will share more and speak more to spread love & community and to inspire change and health.

“Your voice is your calling card.”

Week 7 is a wrap, now on to week 8! Then we conclude teacher training week 9…November 15 to be exact. Let the countdown begin.

Namaste.

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Goodbye week 7

Week 4 Video Recap: Bikram Yoga Teacher Training in Thailand

Beach Flow (I'm in the back)

Beach Flow (I’m in the back)

From inconsistent weather to inconsistent teaching styles, week 4 was a roller coaster of emotional learning experiences.  The rain does a fantastic  job at sucking dry my happy positive spirits. Early in the week we experienced severe showers and thunderstorms. It was the worst rain I’ve seen in my life. Despite the wet gloomy weather, Bikram yoga teacher training continued without interruption.

I’ve put another video together where I recap on a few highlights of week 4.

Remember in week 3 how I struggled with nervousness while presenting yoga dialogue during Posture Clinic?  Check out the story of my week 4 break-thru!!

Also I’ve been playing around with the idea of adding weight-bearing workouts to my twice-a-day yoga routine for various reasons specific to my body type. I finally gave it a go at the start of week 4.  Was it a disaster or success?  Check out the video to find out!

Enjoy, and I look forward to next week’s update as I tell you about the one and only Rajashree , beautiful, knowledgeable, compassionate wife of Boss Bikram Choudury . She’s teaching us about the connection of body,  health,  and mind to yoga– the stuff I geek out on!! Week 5 shall be a week to remember.

Check out my week 1, 2 and 3 recaps if you haven’t yet done so.  Let me know what you think about my experience thus far in the comments below. And if you have questions,  I have answers …reach out to me, I’m nice.

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Week 4 Video Recap Bikram Yoga Teacher Training in Thailand

Week 2 Recap: Bikram Yoga Teacher Training in Thailand

Week two was probably both the fastest and shortest week of my life. It zoomed by in a jiffy  compared to week one but four days of lecture ending around 12:30am and even one long early morning 3:30am dismissal tried my patience and good spirits time and time again. In my regular life I usually like to lay my head down to rest around 10 or 11 at night. So with no choice but to stay up extremely beyond my normal bedtime to listen to lecture and watch Bollywood videos (The Boss’s favorites!) and still wake up 7:30am for morning yoga class every day of the week,  left me irritated, confused, frustrated and  itchy (attack of the mosquitoes…again !). Wednesday’s insanely long 3:30am ending was my breaking point. 

But of course this is Bikram Yoga Teacher Training taught by The Boss himself,  Bikram Choudhary,  so there’s a method to his madness,  a lesson in every action, an A-ha moment waiting to be unveiled. Week 2 of Bikram Yoga Teacher Training broke me down mentally and rebuilt  my mind using Terminator strength. 

Please Dont Take Away My Precious Sleep Boss

Wednesday night, week 2: After 3 hours of lecture on the topic of humanity and spirituality,  the time was 1am. Most of the 333 of us fellow yoga trainees were struggling to keep our eyes open. So when The Boss announced a ten minute break and then resume to watching a Bollywood love story film at 1am, our jaws must have dropped 5 feet below the ground in total shock and disbelief. But we had “no choice” – a phrase Boss and staff uses so often,  you’d think it was going  out of style.

So we complied, we snacked on late night munchies like ice cream,  cookies,  chips,  candy and drank coffee all in an attempt to stay alert during the movie. All that sugar and caffeine in my body only made me tired and bloated. I watched the first 3 quartets of the movie then my eyes gave up and shut themselves in peace until after the movie was over. Damn I missed the ending. 

Despite not knowing how the movie wrapped,  I was elated to get to my room in record time to lay my head on my snuggly soft pillow.  Before dozing off, negative thoughts boiled in my mind such as:

. Wow I can’t believe he took away my sleep just to watch a dumb movie. Soooo not right!

. Is this how the rest of the 7 weeks will go?? I don’t know if I’m cut out for this

.  He’s torturing us keeping us up so late.  How evil and inconsiderate.

. Eating all that crap just to stay up failed miserably.  If I gain weight at the end of this 9 weeks it will sorely put a damper on my spirits. 

Then I closed my eyes, slept a few hours, woke up zombie like, put on my sports bra and yoga shorts and headed to the hot room around 8am Thursday morning.  Class began 30 minutes later and as I sweated through each posture stretching and flexing and deep breathing, the most amazing thing began to happen: I slowly gained energy at the completion of each posture. 26 postures later I felt like a brand new woman: recharged, rejuevenated,  reenergized, rebuilt.  This renewed, vibrate person painted my persona for the whole day which didn’t end until after midnight. 

I was amazed at what my body was able to do off such little sleep.  The Boss brags to us how he stays up until 5am watching Bollywood movies with his staff.  He generally gets 2 to 3 hours of sleep each night and teaches us five days a week boosting the amount of energy it takes to  light the Staples Center.  Looking back at the negative thoughts that satiated my mind 3:45am Wed morning I learned many life lessons:

1. Sometimes in life, we have “no choice”. In such moments, instead of pouting and stressing over it, it’s best to use positive energy,  and go with the flow. In such moments when we let go and just allow things to take its natural course is when we learn valuable lessons. 

2.  You are as strong as what you allow your mind to believe.  Because I believed I wouldn’t be able to stay up for the movie,  I allowed myself to overload my body with sugar and processed foods which only failed me and proved what I was thinking in the first place: I can’t stay up.  Lesson: whether you succeed or fail is the doing of the mind.

3. Sometimes we have to be broken down in order to be built up. Bikram took away our sleep to get us out of our comfortable place and learn to adjust to what is not normal for us. After the 3:30am experience,  I now feel like I can handle any obstacle that comes my way. 

The Boss has a way of doing things.  He gives us “no choice” and tells us to “trust the process” time and time again.  Usually I just follow along because it’s what all 333 of us yoga teacher trainees are expected to do.  But after Wednesday night I realize why he tells us these things.  So much doubt,  fear, and limitations we put on ourselves when we have a choice to say no or not follow thru with the hard tasks in life. But by trusting the process we are trusting in ourselves to tackle life successfully.  Each and everytime.

Bikram Choudhary is a genius!  Week two was a much needed mental workout for me and fellow yogis. I am so grateful for my experience thus far. Looking forward to week 3. Follow along with me as I continue to blog my experience at Bikram Yoga Teacher Training in beautiful Khaolak Thailand. 

Namaste.

Bikram Yoga 30 Day Challenge: Days 25 -30

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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.

accomplishment

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:

Deep back-bending

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

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?  

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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 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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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.

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