Thursday, July 15, 2010

Bikram 60-day Challenge: Half way point

Bikram says that, at the end of a 60-day challenge, you will have a new body. I am already seeing that at the mid-point of the challenge.

I started Bikram Yoga to improve my stamina and focus. This year, I will be teaching at the local community college, taking classes at Wayne State University toward my PhD, and working full-time. I would agree with anyone who thinks that is just too much to do! And yet, that's the plan. I felt that I needed to do something to prepare for the work ahead. And, my doctor has been nagging me to get into an exercise program, but everything I have done has brought on migraines of epic proportions. That does not help with stamina, focus, or anything else.

My friend, Ann from work, suggested that we take Bikram's 10-day trial membership to see what it was all about. She had done a bunch of research and told me what to bring, how to prepare, and what to expect. We went one Saturday morning in May with a "We can do this!" attitude. She was successful and I was not. In truth, I had not prepared as she advised. So, a few days later, I went back on my own, fully prepared. I went everyday that was left in the 10-day trial and felt better than I had in years. I couldn't do half of the poses and staying in the room was a major accomplishment, but I stuck it out. A few weeks later, I learned about the 60-day challenge and decided that the time was right to give that a try.

The benefits of doing yoga are far more than I expected. As of this morning, I have lost 16 pounds. I have an appointment next month to see the pain specialist about getting cortisone shots in my back to ease arthritis pain, but it's mostly gone. I still sleep with the CPAP mask, but now I actually sleep. I am not waking every 45 minutes all night long. When I get up, I feel refreshed and ready for the day. And I have lost my sweet tooth! When I first started Bikram, I craved protein, but now I find that I want something green, some protein, and lots of water. Heavy, rich meals don't appeal to me. And I'll pass on the dessert (unless it's fruit!).

At the mid-point, I can do two set of many of the poses, and one set of the ones that are hard for me. I can do about half of the (modified) situps. Staying in the room is not an issue. Staying focused is getting easier. Still struggling with controlling the breath. I set a goal for every practice and, while it is not always achieved, a lesson is always learned. I can see that reaching the goal of having the stamina and focus to succeed in school will be met. That's a pretty good mid-point assessment, I think.


1 comment:

nhodge said...

hooray for the return of the blog!!