Sunday, March 21, 2010

Day 49: Bikram Yoga Challenge - Double or Nothing

From March 2010 Snow
Snow? Isn't it Spring?!

I'm in my week of "doubles", something I am doing in preparation for going to Bikram Yoga Teacher Training. Today was my 3rd day of doubles, taking two classes in one day. I actually need to take 9 days of doubles to catch up on 2 classes I've missed. People look at me kind of funny when I tell them I am going to do 9 days of doubles, I just look at them and say, "If I can't do 9 DAYS of doubles, I'm in trouble, I have to do 9 WEEKS of doubles for training!" Today's two classes were good, they reinforced to me why the heat is so good for the body. My first class was in the morning and between it being early in the day and it not being that hot, my body was really fighting the yoga. My second class was in the afternoon and the class was PACKED which helped with the heat and humidity and I think I had my best class since I started the Challenge.

From March 2010 Snow
more snow at my house
My day started off with a startling revelation it has snowed over night, there must have been 6 inches of snow on the a/c unit outside my bathroom window. Brrrrr. I bundled up and off to yoga I went, freezing and all. My only happy thought was I would soon be in a hot room, sweating instead of freezing. Class was small, I guess lots of people either decided to sleep in or woke up and saw the snow and assumed the studio would be closed. When it is that cold outside, the room never seems to feel quite as hot as it should. I don't actually know how hot it was, it could have been 105 degrees but it sure didn't feel like it. I barely sweated and any sweat I did have seemed to dry up quickly. And my poor muscles were as tight and stiff as if it were my first class. Everything hurt, my back, hamstrings, feet, arms, neck, everything! I thought it was because I had taken so many classes and I was cursing the 60 Day Challenge, that is, until I took my second class in the afternoon.

The afternoon class was packed, they had to turn people away it was so crowded. I snagged a spot on the back row, I hate being up close if I feel like I am going to have a bad class. Since I had already taken one class today and felt I was worn out, I was a little worried about what my practice would look. To my surprise, it was a great class, probably the best class I've had since I started the 60 Day Challenge. In Backward Bending I went all the way back, as far as I could. First set I could see the ballet bar behind me but I couldn't go backwards enough to get my fingertips the same level. In second set I did! Now, if you go to the studio and see where the ballet bar is, it might not seem like such an amazing feet to bend backwards that far but I've struggled lately to bend backwards and I haven't been anywhere near the ballet bar level for awhile so this was a pretty big accomplishment, particularly since I thought I was going to have a bad class. Then in Hands to Feet Pose I actually locked out my knees! In the morning class I couldn't straighten my legs at all, my hamstrings were so tight it was extremely painful to straighten my legs. The entire afternoon class was like that, whatever I couldn't do in the morning class was so much easier.

And the heat! Wow, it was hot in there! I sweated so much it was crazy; sweat was streaming down my body almost all class. I always know it is going to be a sweaty class when I come up from Standing Separate Leg Stretching and sweat streams off my face like water coming out of a faucet. I just love coming out of the pose slowly and watching the sweat hit the towel in a steady stream. I guess between it being warmer outside and the class being full, the humidity and heat combo was just right. My muscles were so "juicy" and ready to stretch it was wonderful. During Rabbit, when I was actually able to touch my forehead to my knees first, I decided it wasn't the 60 Day Challenge that was making my body hurt, it was the lack of heat. When there isn't enough heat, the muscles can't loosen up, so every stretch hurts. Don't believe me? Go run when it is freezing outside or lift weights in a cold room. It hurts. It only gets better once the body is warmed up, when the muscles are warmed up and loose. The heated room in Bikram Yoga helps with this process by starting off hot, helping loosen the muscles faster.

Tomorrow I plan on taking a morning and afternoon class, same as today.I hope both classes are hot hot hot, it is after all BIKRAM YOGA!

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