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