It has been 34 days since I first started my personal challenge. I have completed 33 Bikram yoga classes in the 34 days and have been relatively faithful to my diet change. My personal challenge shifts and deepens and I have tried to challenge myself within the original parameters I set. On Saturday and Sunday of this week I decided to complete 4 classes which meant that I would have to stay in the yoga room for 3 very hot hours both days. I have completed a Double before, but never have I attempted to do two back-to-back.
I didn’t do a very good job of preparing for Saturday’s classes. I went to bed late, I didn’t take my trace minerals, and I didn’t drink nearly enough water the day before. It is so important that all of these things are done properly when doing this much hot yoga. Nutrition is also a very important part of completing a successful yoga challenge. My instructors say that without proper nutrition not only will the body be unable to heal itself but it will not be able to relax and recover from the classes.
The first class on Saturday went relatively well. By relatively, I mean that although I have performed better in classes my body was putting out what I had put into it the day before. I did get really hot and my muscles fatigued really quickly. Needless to say, I was pretty concerned about what my second class was going to be like.
I was right to be concerned. I moved my mat so that I could be in “hurricane alley” (right by the main door where cool drafts occasionally sneak into the hot room) but even that wasn’t enough. At one point, I looked up into the mirror and my lips had turned gray. Not good. That’s when the lump in my throat turned into a boulder and I started panicking. It is a strange sensation when you begin to lose it in the middle of something you have done so many times. I’m sure that we all go through it at some point in regards to one thing or another, but it was something that took me completely by surprise.
My brilliant instructor took notice and being the wonderful and compassionate person she is, tasked me to go into the hallway and turn on the industrial fan located in the lobby. My favorite part of her instruction? “And Mel, take your time.” After returning to the room, I finished my second class as gracefully as I could. There were five of us who did a Double that day and we all agreed it was the hottest it has been in that room in quite awhile. But we made it! And what a learning experience Saturday was. I went home, hydrated, napped, epsom salt soaked my feet, and pumped my body full of greens and trace minerals.
By Sunday morning, I was ready for my second Double. The room was cooler and the humidity was tolerable. That does not mean that the classes were necessarily easier, but my lips stayed pink and I did not leave the room. Rosemary essential oil helped me maintain a better body temperature during the second class. The instructor I had for my Sunday classes has a different style than the instructor who taught the Saturday classes. They both are incredible individuals and extremely knowledgeable, able to challenge me in different and unique ways. I am actually going to compete in the Colorado Regional Championship and it is their continuous encouragement that has inspired me to take my challenge public. No matter what my score or how I do, the fact that I even compete will be enough for me. Pictures to follow.
All in all, the past month has been wonderful. I feel better prepared for the upcoming months and I consider the first quarter of my challenge a great experience. I have lost about 15 lbs and feel fantastic. Only 87 more classes and days to go!