February’s Challenge – Introduction!

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Drumroll please……

YOGA.

Royal Dancing in a castle window - Northern Ireland

More specifically – stretching.  Meditating. Foam Rolling.  Relaxing.  Zenning.  Every day in February.

I used to have a much more regular yoga practice than I do now.  Somewhere in time running, teaching classes and worrying more about cardio and toning became more important to me.  I definitely feel that faster-paced cardio and classes fit my personality better but branching out of your comfort zone allows for growth, right?  And after a month of running every day, I can tell my body needs some quality time stretching.  My hamstrings and hips are tight, hell even my arms and shoulders are tight.

I’ve outlined a few goals/expectations for the month:

  • Increase my flexibility

Someday..

(source)

  • Learn to be present in my body, and truly appreciate it
  • Increase my strength without lifting weights

This = strong

  • Explore different kinds of yoga: Bikram, Hatha, Asana, studio, DVD etc.
  • See what yogi stereotypes rub off on me: already I’m feeling the pressure to dress in Lululemon and wear Toms….
  • Learn to create my own routine(s) for my specific body and fitness goals

And I’m already done with one day!  I dove right in and signed up for the New Student Introductory Special at Bikram Yoga Memphis.  This is not my first encounter with Bikram (the notorious 90-minute hot yoga class), we met when I studied in Dublin in 2009.

February 1 – Day 1/29

Location: Bikram Yoga Memphis – noon.

Two main things to know about Bikram before you jump in (and then decide that I, and other practicers are crazy!):

  • The studio rooms are kept at 105 degrees and 40% humidity
  • Every class is 90 minutes and follows the same series of 26 challenging poses, most being performed twice

26 Poses in 90 Minutes

Poses I struggled with today:

  • I have a lot of trouble with many of the poses – I couldn’t extend my floating leg on #5, my head doesn’t quite get to the floor on #8, completely skipped #9 and #12 today (was light headed), #17 and 19 are very painful for me and I’m not quite flat on the floor for #20.

Poses I’m awesome at:

  • 13.  Yes, I will just lay there and be still.

Other thoughts:  I’d like to have Bikram be my choice of practice at least three times a week – it’s challenging, but a part of me likes knowing the routine ahead of time.  I can focus on my progress on struggle poses, and really notice my flexibility (hopefully) increase.

Did I mention it’s hot in there?  More on that in the next Bikram post.

Did you pick a challenge for February?  It’s not too late!

 

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2 responses »

  1. Pingback: February Challenge Summary « RUNMEM

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