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?

Monday Musings: Making a Morning Routine

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Two confessions: I am not a morning person and I don’t like routine. However, I have enough awareness to realize the importance of those two things, which is why I want to change my thoughts and practices around them, starting with my morning routine.

I have always been a nocturnal person since I was a little girl. I used to share a bedroom with my sisters and would stay up late reading with my flashlight in hand. It took the entire household plus an army to wake me up the next day.

My current practice goes something like this: First alarm goes off (I have as many as five alarms set at any given time). Press Snooze. Second alarm goes off. Press snooze on that also. Third alarm goes off. Hit snooze again. First alarm snooze goes off. Hit snooze again. And finally, after all the snoozing, I wake up and rush to hit the shower, get dressed, grab my bag and rush out the door to get to the office. On some days, I share dog-walking duties with my husband and other days, I’m lucky enough to work from home. As you can imagine, this “routine” is pretty insane and makes for hectic days.

I want more peace and calm to my mornings and came up with a plan to establish a routine that will provide me with such an environment. First of all, the reason it is so hard for me to get up is because I stay up late. I have a really hard time falling asleep (though Bikram yoga is helping somewhat). I’m going to tackle that as well. Here are some things I plan on making my morning routine:

  • Set one alarm and wake up at 6:00AM without hitting the snooze button
  • Have a glass of room-temperature water with lemon
  • Meditate for 15 minutes
  • Do daily affirmations
  • Go for a walk / run
  • Have a green smoothie
  • Read a page of daily devotionals (I’ve been trying to get through Yoga Vasistha for the last few years now)

How about you? Are you a morning person or a night-owl? Do you have a morning routine or just fly by the seat of your pants? Have any good advice to share? I’d love to hear from you!