Friday, March 11, 2011

Bikram Yoga Challenge: 10 day recap

The following is a list of changes I've noticed in the past 10 days. (Actually, I had been practicing 'almost every day' in the 10 days before the challenge.)

Food cravings:
  • water!!! (not filtered, but actual spring water including yummy minerals)
  • more food in general (seems like my body is busy busy keeping up with the yoga!)
  • protein (thus the salmon and hummus... seems like my body is also busy building muscle!)
  • salt/minerals
  • fruit/vitamins (low-dose multivitamin, fruit, freshly squeezed lemon juice, and pomegranate juice to fulfill my body's requests)

Energy and Sleep:
After day 5 of the challenge, I started being sooooo tired! It might also have to do with the busy schedule I have right now. I leave the house at 7/8 am, work, take yoga class, and get home at 9/10 pm. When I get home, I haven't eaten yet (can't eat before yoga class), so yeah, there is not much time left for sleeping.
Another thing I've noticed: I think my sleep is deeper than usual.

  • no more cold feet
  • super-soft skin, no more lotion needed - except for hands (due to frequent hand washing) and face (sunblock)
  • only slightly sore muscles... nothing too bad :) 
  • stronger legs, core, arms (esp. lower arms!), stronger everything
  • tiny bit of knee and lower back pain, but those are my "troubled areas" and supposedly, before they heal, they will hurt for a short time. I just make sure to keep proper form when in postures (locking the knee to make it easier on the knee, tightening the abs to make it easier on the lower back)

I didn't notice any other huge changes. I do feel like my muscles have gotten stronger, generally... legs, feet, arms, shoulders, core, ... but nothing particular stands out

  • can concentrate better
  • more calm, can handle stress better
  • more positive attitude

  • half moon pose is not (as much) torture anymore, I feel much stronger in this (yay, core strength!)
  • cobra & full locust pose: I can activate a new muscle group in my lower back to rise much higher
  • back bends are getting better
  • much deeper stretching on most days, esp. in hands to feet, sit-up, standing separate leg head to knee and head to knee poses
  • can handle the heat better (I'm really interested to see how I will handle heat outside the studio, ie in the summer)
  • I'm able to contract my stomach muscles throughout the whole class -> better postures, safer for the lower back! (Before the challenge, I would get so tired/weak during the class that I couldn't keep them contracted tightly anymore toward the end)

I am very tired all the time, because I don't get much sleep, but I just go to yoga every day after work without thinking about it. To an extent, it feels like my will was broken. It's a good thing though, because this will of mine is lazy and wants to go and sit on the couch. It's broken though, so now I go every day without (much of) a struggle. And the yoga is and will be so good for me (and anybody, really). A routine has set in and it's just normal to go to the studio every day. One of the super-cool things about that is, that I got to know the fellow yogis at the studio better and we motivate each other, yay! :)

If everything goes according to plan, I will finish the 30 Day Challenge on March 30th.

Namaste :)