Fitness: Bikram 30 Day Challenge – Day 30 Update

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I completed my 30 day Bikram Yoga challenge on Saturday, March 14. I started this journey because I wanted to add fitness as a daily habit and thought yoga would be a good place to start. And, that 30 days of Bikram yoga would be challenging as well as attainable. Now, here I am, happy to have accomplished my goal, but even happier to have gone through my journey. It wasn’t always easy, but it was worth it.

As I’ve said before, Bikram yoga is a 2.5 – 3 hour daily commitment. I started when I did because I knew that I could make the time for it. Sad to say, but it is not something I can keep up every day now. This is the only negative thing I’ve found with it.

When I started the journey, I was way out of shape. I had not worked out in a really long time and desperately wanted to make it a daily habit. But the thought of it was just too daunting (I hit a major wall after I completed my one and only marathon a few years ago). However, I committed and I made it. Here are some of the things I’ve learned along my journey.

It’s mind over matter – During class and during a particular pose, you will often hear a teacher say “Make up your mind and just do it.” This is so true. When I decided to commit to 30 days, I made up my mind that I was going to do it. I also posted daily on Instagram. During class, if I started to think too long about a pose, I would go back to this mantra of mind over matter and just do it. I think this could apply to life as well.

You will find time for the things that you make a priority – You know that saying, “If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way. If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse?” Well, this is so true. Before Bikram, I would tell myself I had no time for exercise (not even 30 minutes), yet I managed to find 2.5 hours a day every day for 30 days for Bikram. Why? Because I made it a priority. I had to juggle some days, but I always made it to class. I even made it to class when I was feeling so ill that I had to spend almost the entire day in bed, except for when I went to class.

I am a happier person when I exercise – There is scientific evidence that endorphins trigger a positive feeling in the body. I have always felt better after every class. On days that I was feeling lazy, this is one of the things I would remember to tell myself to get to class and it usually worked.

Small steps can lead to big things – I started my yoga journey on a mission to accomplish doing it for 30 days straight. Now I am on a mission to do it for 90 days straight. And, it has given me the confidence to start my running again as well as try other forms of exercise. Like they say, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.

Since I’ve completed my 30 days of Bikram, I’ve started to practice at another studio. While I really did love hot yoga, I wanted to learn other forms as well. My new yoga studio has classes ranging from Vinyasa to Ashtanga to Forrest, as well as other forms. So far, I’ve tried Vinyasa and Yin yoga and have enjoyed both. I want to keep a daily practice so I am seeing what works best for me. This journey to health is a lifelong one in which I will continue to challenge myself. It may not always be easy, but I will make sure to always make it worthy.

Do you practice yoga? Do you workout regularly? What keeps you motivated?

Fitness: My 30 Day Bikram Yoga Challenge – Week 4 Update

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Today marks the 28th day of my 30 day Bikram Yoga challenge. It seems just like yesterday that I started, yet I can see just how far I’ve come in 4 weeks. My body is still adjusting and I still have some poses I cannot do, but it has done the one thing I’d hoped to get out of it — it has motivated me to continue working out. I will write more about my yoga journey once I’ve completed my 30 days, but today I wanted to touch on motivation and habit in relation to my goal.

Studies have shown that it takes anywhere from 20 – 254 days to form a habit, with the average being 66 days depending on the goal (i.e. the easier the goal, the shorter time it took to make it a habit). With my yoga challenge (that sounds like an oxymoron, huh?) coming to a close in 2 days, it’s hard to say if I’ve formed a habit. I can say that I’m motivated to keep going. My ultimate goal is to exercise at least one hour daily.

As I’ve mentioned before, Bikram is a huge daily time commitment (about 2.5 – 3 hours a day). I know that I cannot keep that up because I have too much else going on. Let’s face it, how many of us can devote 3 hours a day to exercise?  I do want to keep a daily yoga practice though, so I’m considering my options. I am thinking of continuing my yoga challenge, but going to a different studio, where they have classes that are 45 minutes or an hour long. This way, in the future, I can try to do a mix of Bikram and other forms of yoga throughout the week. Until then, I want to just be as present as possible and work as hard as possible on my last two classes. Namaste.

P.S. Bikram Challenge week 1 update

P.P.S. Bikram Challenge week 2 update

P.P.P.S. Bikram challenge week 3 update