My 9 day Yoga Challenge

The past 6 months have been a lot!  I have divorced (amicably) and moved.  Talk about a stressful time.  I turn 50 this year as well.  I am actually very excited to be 50.  I feel my best years are ahead of me.

With all that being said….. I have had aches and pains that I should not have.  I have been doing yoga for a couple years now but with my travel schedule it has been hard to do it on a regular basis.  The other morning I woke up and I could barely move my neck…. I’ve been here before and it was not fun.  So I have the neck and shoulder and hip and lower back…. UGHHH…. so I decided that the only thing I could do is get this old ass in shape.

So I decided on Sat. that I was going to commit to 9 days of yoga and no alcohol.  9 days because on the 10th day, I will be traveling to MQX for a week.  My studio of choice is Bikram Yoga Exton…. no affiliation except that I love the studio.

Day 1: Sunday

Yin Yoga:  1 1/2 hours .  Yin yoga is a slow-paced style of modern yoga with postures, or asanas, that are held for longer periods of time—for beginners, it may range from 45 seconds to two minutes; more advanced practitioners may stay in one asana for five minutes or more.   I absolutely loved it but realized that it wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be.  When Monday morning came, it was the first morning in quite a while that I woke up with little to no hip and lower back pain.  This spurred me on.  I had been getting leg cramps so Kristin, the owner and instructor, suggested Coconut water.  Well, it was not very good, however, it did help in my post workout recovery ALOT!

Day 2:  Monday

Bikram Yoga:  1 1/2 hours  Bikram Yoga is a system of yoga that Bikram Choudhury synthesized from traditional hatha yoga techniques.[1] It became popular in the early 1970s.[2] All Bikram Yoga Beginning Series classes run for 90 minutes and consist of the same series of 26 postures, including two breathing exercises.[3] Bikram Yoga is a hot yoga style, and is ideally practiced in a room heated to 35–42 °C (95–108 °F) with a humidity of 40%.[4] All official Bikram classes are taught by Bikram-certified teachers, who have completed nine weeks of training endorsed by Choudhury.[5] Bikram-certified teachers are taught a standardized dialogue to run the class, but are encouraged to develop their teaching skills the longer they teach. This results in varying deliveries and distinct teaching styles.[4]

This is the yoga that I like to practice.  I love the heat which is normally around 104 degrees with 40% humidity.  When I  leave the studio it looks as if I had been swimming.  There are days that I drive the yoga bus and days that I get run over by the yoga bus.  LOL   There was a little bit of both today.   I took the 6:30pm class.  I normally like to practice earlier in the day but this is what worked into all of my show prep schedule.  I grabbed a coconut water again today and it tasted a little better than the day before… I’m thinking it might be growing on me.

Day 3:  Tuesday

I like to arrive at the studio 20 minutes prior to class so my body can adjust to the heat.  I went to the 9:30 class which was tough as I was just there the night before.   I am finding it easier to concentrate and balance on Day 3.  I am not having as many aches and pains in my joints which is so positive.

Day 4:  Wednesday

Oh boy, this morning was really rough.  Brody wasn’t feeling great so I drove him to school and we were late… this made getting to the 9:30 class really rough.  I’m thinking that late for yoga is NOT a good reason to speed but I was NOT missing this class.  I swear, every car and truck in front of me was the universe trying to teach me something….. I had bad words coming out of my mouth as I was sure I wasn’t going to make it.

Needless to say, I was NOT there 20 minutes prior…. what I failed to say on Day 1 is that I am a little particular about where in the hot room I practice.  It is REALLY hot and there are ceiling fans that the instructors will turn on periodically as well as the doors that they will open.  Let me just say that you want to be where you benefit from both of these things.  So when I got there a whole 5 minutes before class started, I didn’t have a lot of areas to choose from.  But I managed to squeeze in where I benefited from the door being opened.  I was feeling anything but ZEN as I entered the room.  The hour and a half flew by and I was able to relax and let go of my hectic morning.  I am now a coconut water believer….. no more leg cramps and my recovery from sweating my ass off for 90 minutes is so much easier.  Moving on to Day 5…. this will get me to the half way mark.

Day 5:  Thursday

Some days you drive the yoga bus and others you get run over by the yoga bus.  Today I got “clipped” by the bus.  It was a great class but a little rougher than the other days.  I think since I felt so good the previous days, I pushed a little harder today.  I also went to the 12:00 class.  I prefer to go in the morning but this is what worked into the schedule.

Day 6:  Friday

Back to the 9:30 class.  Yeah!  I am noticing that the postures are feeling a little different which the instructor says is good.  My body is changing.  Noticeably less lower back and hip pain.  Today I realized that I can do Triangle to the left side much better than the right.  My right hip and left should scream at me when I do it to the right.  just gotta take it easy on that side til things loosen up.

Day 7:  Sat.

10am class…..  needless to say, I do not know why I though dropping Brody off with Jon at 9:30 was ok.  I like to be at the studio 1/2 hour before.  I had to call the studio and ask them to NOT lock the door as I was going to be a few minutes late.  This means that I would have to squeeze into a spot and sure enough… it was in the corner of hell…. no relief with the fan or door opening.  AND I did not even have a glimpse of myself in the mirror which is fine with some poses but others…. good to see if you are out of alignment.   But alas, I survived and learned that I am more flexible then I had thought…. the mind not the body.  LOL

Day 8:  Sunday

This brought me back to YIN yoga.  which was good but I def. missed the heat and sweating.  But I will be back to that tomorrow on Day 9.

Day 9:  Monday

Holy Sh-t people…. I got run over by the yoga bus today.   The breathing exercise which is the first thing you do….. was a struggle.  What I really wanted to do was just lie down and take a nap in the hot room.  Do you think that would be acceptable??  I mustered through but sat for the majority of the standing series….

 

Things I learned about myself…. I am stronger than I thought both physically and mentally.  I am able to adapt to the stressors of life more so now than ever before.  I am more flexible in my thinking….. wish it were my body.  😂

Physically, I am in good shape and as the week progressed, the postures definitely started to change which meant that my body is changing.  I focused more on using my core strength.  (always wanted a six pack… on my bucket list)  This may never happen but I can try.

If you haven’t given Bikram Yoga a shot, I would def try it.  You DO have to go more than once to know if you will like it.  The first class you might just be trying to survive the heat.  I know Bikram Yoga Exton does a 30 days for $30 for new people.  You should give it a whirl.

 

Maybe I’ll see you in the hot room soon.

 

Lisa