Bikram yoga is an amazing 90 minute class conducted in a humid, 105 degree room. It is specifically designed to work every muscle, bone, joint, ligament, tendon, gland and organ in the body. While improving strength, balance and flexibility, a person will reshape and heal their body as well as relieve stress and tension. Additional benefits include the prevention of illness and injury.
When I started my Bikram yoga practice, I was mostly interested in taking my health and fitness to the next level, and seeing how Bikram yoga could positively impact my life on all levels. I decided to commit myself to Bikram yoga until further notice and report on my progress.
Here is a log of my journey.
December 2o11 to April 2012 still needs to be compiled. *
December 12, 2011 – class 97.
Heart is *really* not beating wildly in my chest at times during class since I stopped taking the pill. I wonder how BCP affects blood pressure, even in healthy people. The strength in my pelvic area has come back since my monthly ended, and my low back is hurting much less than it has ever been since I started yoga. One of my goals is to do a sit-up in class, and I can tell my abdomen is much more engaged when my back is not in pain. The muscles around my hernia scar are not cramping up like the used to – hope this continues! This is the fourth time I went to yoga this last week – ramping up for 60 day challenge starting Jan 1, 2012!
December 10, 2011 – class 96.
I haven’t felt my heart race in class since I quit taking the pill. Going to keep checking in on that to see if it makes a difference. Hopefully I can hold poses for longer without my heart pumping so hard. Had a very hard time holding a couple of standing poses today – standing head to knee, standing bow pose, and balancing stick – absolutely no strength in my pelvic area. But I am experiencing a painful monthly so that is probably why. I planning on doing yoga as much as possible before the 60 day challenge starts so I hoping doing daily yoga this next month does some deep healing in me hormonally and in the core of my belly. Also – having to adjust some foods again. Digestion is changing with the elimination of the pill. Should be a much healthier life from now on though without those
hormones in my system.
December 9, 2011 – class 95.
I felt strong and flexible in today’s class – not an ounce of fatigue. I have more energy right
now and felt incredibly happy in class. I haven’t gotten that shoulder fixed by the chiropractor yet, hopefully I will have time to go next week. Feeling pretty crampy from my monthly, but its not as bad as it used to be. Sure hoping to feel some good stable hormones in my body after practicing this yoga for almost eight months.
December 7, 2011 – class 94.
Class seemed to speed by today – I felt strong and enjoyed myself, felt emotionally calm as
well. Got through every pose once and a few twice with no troubles, though I can feel some cartilage needs to be loosened up with Yin yoga. Biking has stabilized my low back. Still need to visit the chiropractor to fix my arm, but overall feeling pretty good!
We start a 60 day challenge on Jan 1 – and I am going for it! Also just went off the BCP for the first time in 7 years to see how my body functions on her own. Looking forward to a great time of cleansing and renewing and being completely at home in my body. Bringing in the New Year strong!
November 30, 2011 – class 93.
Sometimes I am extremely uncomfortable in class because I feel overheated. It takes everything inside of me to not leave the classroom and have a meltdown in the lobby. But there is something amazing that happens when we take on the internal conversation, “I can’t”.
Today a woman actually left halfway thru class and was yelling in the hallway during our
first savasana. I thought it ironic that our instructor was having us relax completely while she was having a fit. I wonder how many of us were lying there thinking about doing the same exact thing. And we have all been in that spot where we have lost it inside of “I can’t”. What is possible in our lives when we take on an exercise that helps us move beyond “I
I tried Bikram yoga four times over five years and couldn’t deal with the heat. I finally got to the point in my life where I wanted to move past not being able to deal with it. So in a big way, I am forging a path into a life that is unprecedented by my past, because my body is doing something unlike anything I have ever done in my past. What a great way to open up a bright new future, down to my flesh and bones.
November 28, 2011 – class 92.
I missed one class along the way – my official number of classes taken is 92! My body is feeling great overall and I have pretty much mastered checking in with my body each class. My body keeps feeling better; as time goes by I have more strength and flexibility, not just physically but emotionally and mentally as well. I notice that my bike riding makes my muscles tighter, so then I am stretching them back out in class. My left shoulder still
hurts, so going to take it to my chiropractor to adjust.
I continue to have weakness in my right hip and pelvis which affects my practice – I have had problems for years in this area of my body – around my hip, in my abdomen and down my leg because of the scar adhesions. If I could get that laparoscopy done on my scar adhesions from the hernia, I could have such a better practice and life overall without this pain. I am happy it is something that can be fixed, and not some degenerative disc or deep seated emotional problem. Here is hoping for a good job so I can afford it someday soon! And still Bikram yoga practice has helped this injury more than any other exercise has – ever! I am still hopeful that I can fully heal this issue with Bikram yoga.
November 23, 2011 – class 90.
Tonight I practiced and it was divine. I am often completely in love with this practice, because I can feel changes in my body as they come. I started having tightness in my left arm and have no idea why. It would have been unnoticeable to me normally, but I can feel it in practice and give it some good stretching. My body overall is feeling much stronger.
I am still struggling with my abdominal muscles in practice so am starting to do some Yin yoga pelvic and back stretching at home along with a few classic vinyasa flow sun salutations. Yin is also one of my favorite forms of yoga because it works solely on the connective tissue, while vinyasa flow works on everything. Because of my particular body issues, I find doing other forms of yoga to augment my Bikram practice is very wise. Doing yoga in a 105 degree room is very different than doing yoga in a 70 degree room. The warm
up and sequencing are very different.
So I am very excited to now feel well versed in Bikram and Yin from regular practice and Vinyasa Flow from my teacher training last summer. Here’s to a flexible and healthy middle life…
November 18, 2011 – class 89.
The changing of the weather this last month has affected my vitality in a big way. I have literally been too tired and in pain to go to yoga much. Releasing emotional energy has taken up most of my energy as well, as I have been going through a lot of life changes and having to let go of a few people I didn’t want to let go of.
I finally am adjusted to the cold and dark of this time of year and was craving the warm humid room and yoga practice. I notice my body is not as strong and flexible as usual, so I was feeling like a beginner all over again, but in a good way. My mind is very relaxed after the focus and structure of my practice though, and my soul is feeling stronger again. I am planning on sleeping early tonight in freshly washed sheets and having blissful dreams.
That stumble I took the other night dislodged something that has caused a lot of binding pain in my hip and low back. My practice was so much easier tonight because of that. Though I was sore from falling, its nothing like the pain I have felt this last month. Thank goodness for life’s little miracles.
November 7, 2011 – class 88.
Tonight was such a deep healing night. I drove 160 miles this weekend with a lot of stop and go traffic. Because of my hernia scar, I had a spasming right psoas muscle that was jerking around my back and making my digestion miserable. Usually after that kind of driving, it takes a couple weeks for the muscle to relax, but tonight I got some deep stretches in and balance is being restored. My sustenance was strong and I had zero
November 3, 2011 – class 87.
Went to class tonight and my muscles felt very stiff and tight. Though I had muscle strength, I had little mobility. I was too emotionally exhausted this last week so I didn’t go to practice, but I felt emotionally strong tonight. I seem to be moving to a higher plateau of devotion to my practice, because I have seen the mental and emotional strength I have
gained over these last six months. I will be stepping up and attending more days so I can move through this next phase of life with strength and flexibility…
October 25, 2011 – class 86.
Feeling very tired and overheated… and my back has been going through some issues so it was difficult to do anything. Going to chiropractor tomorrow and taking a few days off to heal up.
October 18, 2011 – class 85.
No overheating tonight, my heart and lungs seem to be working ok for once, but had to be careful with my low back as its been too sore to even bend over or sit up. I am hoping someday to be able to afford an MRI so I can know what is going on in there, if anything. Maybe I am simply pushing myself too hard in class?
The stretching and strengthening have been so helpful for my overall health. I was exhausted yesterday from three days of job search and not being able to sleep – and instead of having a meltdown wondering when I am going to get sick, I just took an antihistamine/tylenol and went to sleep. Doing this yoga makes me feel more rational and less emotional about life in general, even the real bad parts which there are a lot of right now.
Amazing what a good workout and good night’s sleep will do to an outlook.
October 13, 2011 – class 84.
Tonight I got through class without feeling overheated once. That spasm in my mid back has disappeared. I find it strange that one area of my back will spasm one day, and it seems like it moves to another part of my body! Tonight I had no spasm, but a lot of hip popping. Weird. Each session seems to relax the area that was in distress and the pain is gone within a day or two. I wasn’t too limber, so I took it easy with my stretches.
I also talked to a recruiter about a job today and felt very confident while speaking to her about the position. That is SO the work of almost six months of Bikram. And then I was more focused in class because of feeling that confidence today. Pretty awesome!
October 11, 2011 – class 83.
I have been avoiding going to Bikram class because parts of my spine and muscles hurt too much after. I took it easy tonight and feel very grateful for my practice as I am feeling VERY relaxed after a stressful few days. BUT it was a heart beating hard to breathe night tonight. I have been very flushed lately, and can tell I have a spine subluxation on the backside of my heart and lungs (3rd-5th thoracic is my weak spot where its bent a little to the left, so a rib gets pinched as well). I could feel every part of my body that needs to get adjusted at the chiropractor – so I can get into my next phase of healing in yoga.
TBE – Sept….
August 17, 2011 – class 66.
I had a lot of inner mental strength today – probably from doing all that mental activity with marketing communications and completing a big project, yet noticed my body has new sore spots from all my computer work. It was impossible to deal with my forearms today especially in Savasana. And I noticed new sore energy in my heart area (marcom is my first love in business) that I see I need to strengthen. But overall, I gave it my all, and came out of the room SHAKY with a pink face, which is GOOD.
My body is on an overall higher fitness level than when I started nearly four months ago. Poses that I was shaky in even two months ago, are exponentially getting easier to do. The fact that Bikram yoga works out every single muscle in the body is superior because I am always getting a balanced workout. And the fact that a lot of my body pain issues are so much less than they were before – that is amazing. Its tougher to keep a healthy body as I have gotten older. I have always been active with weight training, dance, yoga, sports. I thought those days were behind me, but with this practice I feel younger all the time. And I know things will only get better as time moves on.
August 16, 2011 – class 65.
I felt sturdy and flexible in today’s class though I was too hot. There are so many poses that are much easier for me to do lately, but I notice my mental state is still back a month or two ago anticipating that it’s going to be harder than it actually is. But when I do the pose, its much easier than I am thinking its going to be! I have been holding poses for much longer than before, sometimes even the entire time. And I usually get through both sets of each posture. That is something I never thought could be possible. I know now when to sit out a set, and when to push myself. I am in control of my breathing and calming my heart and lungs when they get going.
I can get my leg out straight in Standing Knee to Leg pose and can hold Standing Bow Pulling Pose most of both sets – though my mind still worries that I can’t do it. My biggest accomplishment so far is Balancing Stick Pose – it was almost impossible to do four months ago – and now I just pop right up. I wonder how often in my life I have processed “things are going to be too hard and so I don’t do them” without knowing it. Bikram yoga is a great laboratory for personal growth!
I’m also getting used to when my heart pounds wildly during more difficult poses (Triangle pose still kills me). It used to be overwhelming and worrisome. And I used to have that panic feeling from being carjacked two and a half years ago, so that was not helpful for my poor heart. Instead of getting overwhelmed, I just breathe very deeply and keep concentrating on the task at hand. I need to remember this out in life too.
It took me nearly four months of practice before my body could get down into Toe pose. I still have to balance with my hands on the ground, but my next step is to balance with no hands. I was so excited and wanted to shout out in class – hey look at this! If I tried to do this four months ago, I’m sure I would have injured myself. What a great feeling to do something I never thought I could do! People on the outside think I’m crazy for wanting to do this – but it makes me feel so good!
August 14, 2011 – class 64.
Yesterday was so awesome at the studio’s first birthday! Each teacher took turns delivering instructions for each set and around 80 people practiced so it was incredible energy in the room. My body has been hurting a lot from too much computer and home improvement work, so my body was feeling very happy to feel the familiar aaaaaahhhhh of Bikram yoga self torture.
This practice is so stabilizing for every part of a person’s system – physical, emotional, spiritual, etc. I am amazed how strong I feel lately. Almost ten years younger, promise! I see people in class who I know are in their 60s and 70s and they have amazingly strong and youthful looking bodies.
August 11, 2011 – class 63.
Last night’s practice was awesome! I can feel my body is stronger even though I’ve got a low back issue going on. Some of the poses I could barely do two months ago, I pop right into. Other ones I modify as my back heals. I woke up today feeling a little sore and my lymph are swollen again. I hope my body is releasing long held toxins. or just that my immune system is getting stronger and more vital. I am feeling more energy though and body is doing better on my gluten free diet. Stomach has been flat and that swelling feeling in my digestion has abated.
August 10, 2011 – class 62.
I had a strong practice today though my back has been a bit messed up from bending, sitting, scraping, and working to fix the leak into the house. But I feel so much more balanced after class. Though my back was hurting a lot in its typical weak parts, many of my muscles are in great shape, so my practice was able to focus on healing the sore spots. I notice lately that my scar does not hurt much at all after class, though its still tough to stay in Triangle pose. Occasionally, I will massage the muscles in my abdomen right at the end of class – and that helps tremendously!
August 4, 2011 – class 61.
I was a bit sore today from yesterday’s class so had a bit of a rough time getting through. Think I do best when I go a day in between classes and let my body recover. My face was bright red when I got done with class, but I’m sure that is simply bringing oxygen rich blood to fight wrinkles! Rosy cheeks make me look VITAL!
August 3, 2011 – class 60.
I went through class last night feeling strong and flexible. Was very much into my poses both mentally and physically – so little pain with everything and didn’t get overheated once! But today I am achy and tired. But still proud of my body for how far its come in this practice!
July 30, 2011 – class 59.
I have been fighting off some virus so have been in bed for a couple of days. I drug myself to yoga today hoping to sweat it out. My body was very weak & I couldn’t do most poses, but it felt really good to be in that warm room. I learned a long time ago that the best way to get a bug out of your body is to stay in an elevated temperature humid room or a tub for an extended amount of time. My doctor says my body has been fighting off the gluten issue for a long time so my immune system might be low. He gave me some nutritional supplements that will resolve the issue. So happy!
July 27, 2011 – class 58.
Was sore from yesterday’s stellar session so my weak spots were acting up today; though my mental strength was amazing. I ate a baked potato last night, that will be the last one; it really messed up my digestion. When my tummy has food issues, my back hurts so bad I can’t do my poses correctly. One of the girls in work trade was schooling me on the proper foods to eat – very cool!
July 25, 2011 – class 57.
Was a lot of fun being in class as a member of the work trade staff with all the other staff. We were all in the back row and the combined energy seemed to really strengthen my practice. I got through every pose and did my best to hold through the entire time – so it was a bit of a breakthrough for me. I feel more like I belong to the community now – happy.
July 22, 2011 – class 56.
It feels very different to go 3-4 days a week instead of 6, but I feel stronger and more into my practice when I am there. My mind just goes blank during class and I get into my body movement. I seem to have more energy for other things, while still keeping the magic of Bikram alive in my life.
The teacher in class said that a lot of people come out of pose too early – but if they just held it three more seconds, they would hold the entire pose. I made a commitment to count to three after I decide to come out of pose, just to challenge myself to do the entire time. It made a difference, and I made it happen. Accomplishment!!!
July 19, 2011 – class 55.
I didn’t go to class for two weeks until last night and was surprised I did quite well, which leads me to believe it’s true that the practice IS very mental. I’m happy my body still has strength & balance, though my flexibility was a little lacking. I AM a bit sore today (though I did regular yoga during my break) – so anyone needs to keep that in mind if taking a break from Bikram. But nothing compares to being in that warm room during practice.
July 2, 2011 – class 54.
I always know that no matter how I feel walking into class, I will feel much relieved and younger after. 70 days ago, I started the Bikram yoga journey and I have to say it restored me to my higher and stronger self in a big way. I have learned a lot about my mind, body and spirit. I have enjoyed being around others who continue to honor themselves with this practice. Namaste.
July 1, 2011.
I am still recovering from the digestion debacle. Am getting used to my new diet, and feeling so much better. I can’t believe this has been going on for so long and the culprit was gluten! I am happy though because once everything heals – my body will feel much better. I was worried something was terribly wrong, but so happy its just an allergy!
June 30, 2011 – class 53.
I was in major digestive distress for three days and went to the doctor. He put me on a strict diet and told me to stop eating wheat/gluten immediately. This seems to be the answer to my stomach distress and why my body won’t lose any weight. I have been dedicated to my Bikram practice, and didn’t understand why sometimes I felt so sick. I am happy that I finally figured out what was causing so many problems with my body.
I was itching to go to Bikram yoga today & welcomed the warm air. I felt strong & balanced, was not overheated, & my weak spots were not too sore. I did a moderate practice & am proud of myself for indulging in this practice for over two months. I look at where I was two months ago, & I have come a long way, mind, body & soul.
June 26-29, 2011.
Very sick with a severe digestion issue. Went to the doctor and he told me to stop eating wheat. He put me on a meat and vegetable diet. My body was overly heated, and face broke out. I am happy to know there is a solution to my digestion issues, and it’s not IBS.
June 25, 2011 – class 52.
My body was asking me today to BE GENTLE, so I listened to my breath and didn’t let myself overheat one bit. I usually like to push myself but not today. Though I sat out quite a few second sets, I felt good about my practice and even better after, and most of all, my hernia scar is not screaming at me. All because I heard my body tell me to take it easy.
June 24, 2011.
Took my final today and simply rested after.
June 23, 2011 – class 51.
Got a space by the door and I had a blissful practice. I love days where I can breeze through class without overheating. Today was definitely a strength building day. I find it funny how I can be completely solid in one pose on one day and can’t even hold it the next. It seems completely random.
I like that the class is conducted the same every day. I have gotten to know and understand my body in a whole new way. I love feeling the strength I have developed over the last two months. I do wish my body would dump some pounds but am happy inches have lessened. I am very happy that my mind and spirit are working together again – it’s a great feeling… and the insecurities I have had this last year are diminished greatly.
The hernia scar has not been hurting and hopefully I got enough stretch – am hoping to get back to dance classes soon!
June 22, 2011 – class 50.
Sometimes the room just feels too hot. Today I skipped the second set of most postures. On the floor, I listened to my very fast heart beat, and listened to my little valves open and shut over and over again as I took deep breaths to calm down my system. This runaway heart and lung combo sometimes bothers me, but then I realize how healthy it is to have oxygen run through my system. I also got halfway into toe pose today – was very excited!
June 21, 2011.
Needed to study, so not enough time for yoga.
June 20, 2011.
Needed to study, so not enough time for yoga.
June 19, 2011.
Still recovering, plus I had school and study.
June 18, 2011.
Was out all Saturday night – I was resting and too tired for yoga.
June 17, 2011 – class 49.
I noticed I had that feeling of deep fatigue, as opposed to other days lately where I feel more strength & energy. I find it interesting though the class is the same, my practice is different every day. I’m having a weak in my right leg & hip because of my hernia scar. I can feel it in my nerves & muscles. For some reason it’s not completely depressing me like it usually is.
I would have a much stronger practice if I didn’t have this handicap. It’s basically the thorn in my side (or groin in this case) But on a happy note, my stretchy pants are practically falling off me. I haven’t lost pounds, but have lost inches.
June 16, 2011 – class 48.
This class was as close to perfect that I could wish for so far. I felt flexible & strong. Actually got in to standing head to knee with my left leg on the ground, but since I have that hernia scar on the right, its just too weak on the other side. I wish I didn’t have that scar there – it has caused so many problems. I keep trying though! At least I can strengthen all the other muscles around it!
June 15, 2011. I had a wonderful time on my date, and my dad even told me I am looking slimmer. I was tired, because I didn’t get much sleep, so I took the day off.
June 14, 2011 – class 47.
I felt strong & flexible, all was good – my only issue was my dysfunctional iliocecal valve which gives me low back pain, sciatica and weakness in my right leg. Its something that comes and goes but needs a lot of attention. But the yoga helps balance that issue and worked out the pain. I don’t know if it will ever be remedied, but at least I have something now that helps keep me from being disabled.
It’s been hurting off and on for about ten years. I have to be careful with my diet and keep working out and avoid stress. That’s all I can really do. It probably won’t get any worse, but each time it acts up, it creates a backflow that pollutes my system – so I need to be mindful of self care and massage it when it hurts.
June 12, 2011 – class 46.
Am continuing (slowly) to have more flexibility, strength and balance. I’m glad I have been doing this series, because it’s made me stronger, calmer and more creative. I like that I always feel much more grounded when I am done with class. I still notice areas where my body is been weak, but feel grateful I can continue to do something about it.
June 11, 2011.
Went to a business meeting, so I didn’t go to class.
June 10, 2011 – class 45.
I got the seat next to the door which was perfect to my easily overheated body. I talked with someone I care a lot about, and I usually get sad because there seems to be so much distance sometimes and I don’t know how to bridge it. So, tears going down my face in class, but it helped me feel stronger emotionally to be there.
I am also starting to be very hungry again – which is not good because then I eat more and the scale and my belly inch up again. I ate very carefully for over a month and didn’t lose any weight. Now I’m up six pounds because I added another serving this last week and my belly is all chubby. This doesn’t make sense to me. oh well – if it goes on – it will come off.
If I eat anything other than chicken, fish and veggies, my digestion gets messed up. I get IBS if I am stressed and eat the wrong things. So its a delicate balance.
Its the first time in my life that I have had time to think about my life, so a lot of old bad memories are coming up. As a psychologist, I know its a good thing to let them purge, its just very stressful at times.
June 9, 2011 – class 44.
The good energy I had from yesterday is continuing. I got through every pose without stopping YAY and I am able to get into some poses deeper than before. I am still as pink as ever, but my heart is taking the heat without pumping like crazy. I am able to pull in a few breaths while in backbends as well. I feel a new creativity, confidence and calm manifesting inside of me. I was able to speak the truth to someone I have been seeing for a while, and finally connected and had understanding. This was a miracle in my mind, but I see it happened as a result of the strengthening of my body and mind connection.
I have NOT lost any weight or inches in the last couple weeks though. That’s a bummer that its at a plateau. But I am feeling good.
June 8, 2011 – class 43.
I felt a new energy in class today and took on my poses with more vigor than in days past. There have been some situations that I am fed up with and I’m ready to make some changes. There is a facet of leadership that I have desperately been looking for but realized today that only I provide it. Get ready to see me out and about more and getting back into the swing of life.
June 7, 2011 – class 42.
Another day of feeling strong. Was a bit out of breath at times and worked hard to not get overheated. I can finally hold my foot in my hands in Standing Head to Knee for the entire pose. Having a tough time holding my glutes tight in class, but can tell they are getting much stronger. Was dripping water and sweat off me more than usual, very strange!
June 6, 2011 – class 41.
Got space by the door today and made it through my practice in one piece. I talked with the instructor and she said heart beating wildly and inability to breathe is just part of practice sometimes. Its all good, even when it doesn’t feel like it. I listened to my heart and lungs carefully today, they were telling me WE ARE ALIVE! After all the grief I went through last year, that is a GOOD thing…
They say “savasana” is the hardest pose to stay in because people hate just being still. So what does it mean when its actually your preferred pose? I could lay like a corpse all day long and revel in it.
June 5, 2011
I didn’t go to class today – just rested and contemplated when I want to go back.
June 4, 2011 – class 40.
I weighed in today at 5 pounds lighter than I was when I started Bikram yoga in last April. Exciting! My tummy is nearly flat and Im feeling slimmer everywhere from my practice.
Today’s class was the worst ever. The entire class was full when I got there and I ended up in the hot spot farthest from the door right after the advanced class (107 degrees instead of 105) and completely suffered from being overheated. My heart was beating wildly, my face was beet red, and I could barely breathe. I had a hard time even moving. Needless to say, I couldn’t even do half my practice and I was REALLY mad. I got out of there as soon as I could. It was the most ill and grouchy I have ever been. I ate a little bit of food an hour before class and only had chilled and not frozen water which must have contributed to my body not functioning correctly. I got out of there as soon as I could. It was a complete waste of my time. The studio is doing a 30 day challenge – so at least I got my star for today. whoopee.
June 3, 2011 – class 39.
Class was great – I was a rockstar. I felt strong and had excellent focus and balance. Did every single pose and am getting deeper into each pose. My car just broke down right before class but I went anyway instead of fixing the car right away. I was worried that something was terribly wrong but somewhere during class I just let it go that I needed to figure it out right away. A mechanic was at the studio so I found out it was just a spark plug misfiring. Cool!
June 2, 2011 – class 38.
I don’t know why some days the studio feels too hot and others it doesn’t. I had a hard time breathing without feeling overheated, but am still making progress with my postures. I actually can do Awkward chair pose without hurting my low back because my glute muscles are now strong. My butt is looking more bouncy, which is fabulous coming from a woman my age!
June 1, 2011 – class 37.
Got adjusted at the chiropractor today, so postures were much easier. Actually got my foot up cradled into my hands on Standing head to knee pose. Haven’t straightened out my leg yet; my focus has been on strengthening my standing leg first, which has been accomplished! I noticed some frustration that Im not farther along in my practice and that is exactly how I have been feeling in life. Nice parallel.
There are major frustrations I am having in life about wanting to have things more situated, to be stronger, more flexible. Im just not there yet, but have my practice to go to in order to create that mind/body connection.
May 31, 2011 – class 36.
I did most postures and completely got into Camel’s pose for the first time in awhile as my low back is not hurting. I learned to hold on to my ankles tight and pull forward to get the deepest stretch. I am usually in too much back pain or too dizzy to make this one happen, so Im excited I did it today!
I have been focusing on the accumulating strength in my low back by working hard on my glutes and where they connect into my low back. Getting much stronger!
May 30, 2011 – class 35.
I did every posture (modified on some). Feeling stronger and concentrated on balance and pulling myself deeper into each pose. Did not feel overheated once. So different from yesterday.
I got deeper into rabbit pose than I ever have before. Its a seated forward bend where the forehead touches the knees, walk the legs forward to get a super stretch along the back of the spine. Heavenly!
May 29, 2011 – class 34.
I could NOT deal with the heat today and had to sit out almost at least one of each pose. I don’t know what the deal was – yesterday was perfect! My low back wasn’t even sore from the backbends. Looking at pictures and my body is starting to get more angular and less curvy – don’t know if I like that. Well – strength and flexibility is the main reason I am going!
May 28, 2011 – class 33.
My low back was pretty solid tonight, so I got to do deeper backbends. I love backbends. Im starting to feel greater stability with my practice so I am able to move deeper into my compression and stretches. A woman in my class said she could tell I am losing weight – yay! Actually I haven’t lost pounds, but I have lost inches – which means I have lost FAT!
May 27, 2011 – class 32.
Pretty much flew through class today. Nothing remarkable physically, except I went in angry and in pain, and left without anger and pain. Im much more steady on my feet and feeling control in most of my muscles.
I have scar tissue from a hernia which has caused my a lot of discomfort. When I am in Bikram class, I can do a lot more stretching than I can in a regular Hatha yoga class. Its given me some deep healing I wouldn’t otherwise have.
May 26, 2011 – class 31.
Im starting to NOT get so pink in class! Only sat out one set of one pose. My 4th lumbar to sacrum area is sore in the back (I have a very messed up pelvis), so I went deep in forward bend and not much on backward bend to correct. My posture is much better than it was a month ago due to the balanced building of muscle. I have lost 1.5 inches on my hips, and 1 inch each around my belly and my waist since I started doing Bikram in late April. I have lost 0 pounds.
May 25, 2011 – class 30.
I had a bit of a setback with my PTSD and cried a lot last night. I was really tired but still had a strong practice. I might have gotten a lot of the stress I have been feeling out of my system because I was too spent in class to think about anything else. I took it easy and got through almost every pose – all of them once and 2/3 twice. I had to protect my low back which is hurting again, but by the end of class it wasn’t hurting at all.
May 24, 2011 – class 29.
I did every single pose today! Modified of course, but it felt great to move through every pose without sitting out. I had to protect my low back and pelvic area at times, its hurting a bit and still tilted in a weird way…
May 23, 2011
I had a business meeting today – so I took the day off.
May 22, 2011 – Class 28.
Had more endurance today. I tolerated the heat well and my heart thumped normal. I focused a lot on my standing series, creating strength and alignment from toes up to my head. My posture is much better and I feel taller and slimmer, though I haven’t lost any weight. I isolated a few specific parts to stretch, such as my forearms in Eagle’s pose and my hamstrings in Forward bending stretch.
I have had a hard time focusing, creating goals and writing sometimes since the carjacking. Bikram yoga is helping strengthen me on all levels. I cried about the carjacking last night for the first time without any anti-anxiety meds in my system. That is progress, a necessary release.
May 21, 2011 – Class 27.
Class was SO HARD last night. By pushing myself the previous two days, the top of my glutes were too sore for me to be effective. But soreness in the glute insertion means I am training my body to use muscles to exercise and not the lumbar region of my spine. This is good news, and my body is thanking me.
I had a hard time breathing and my heart was beating like crazy. I sat out half my practice. All my joints kept popping as well. Better popping than too tight to move, I suppose!
Seems to be a floor under my despair feeling. I didn’t cry in class like I had before when I felt weak in my practice.
I found the following on Bikram’s web site in FAQ. www.bikramyoga.com
“Bikram Yoga helps balance the emotions in several ways.
Physiologically, regular practice harmonizes the nervous and endocrine systems, two systems which figure heavily in emotional well-being.
In addition, practicing Bikram Yoga cultivates the mental faculties of faith, self-control, concentration, determination, and patience. As we become more aware of our inner life, we notice how events, interactions, and even the atmospheric pressure effect us. When we are aware, we can exercise choice in our response. This helps us balance our emotional life.”
I am also holding my upper back more straight when I use the computer. I was slumping too much and causing that muscle spasm in my mid back – its been shouting out this entire last week. Interesting how my bad posture in the mid back region is causing problems all the way up to my head. It is taking conscious mental strength to hold my mid back straight, but the muscle spasm is subsiding. Simple ergonomics, but its easy to forget!
May 20, 2011 – Class 26
Bikram class 26. I am feeling very solid in some poses, especially standing poses where my knees are solid. I notice an increasing strength in my glutes. I used to have a great butt in my 20s and 30s and its had some fat and cellulite issues over the last eight years or so. The way my back has been situated, my glutes don’t really engage strongly, so I couldn’t get a decent work out back there. And then with fat cells and gravity… well, you get the picture. Its been pretty depressing.
But now, I notice some strong action in my glutes, taking over motion where my low back has long been overworked and strained. I feel like I am on my own path toward buns of steel!
My goal for this next month is to redefine my derriere and the back of my thighs by continuing to do this work every day. I has come to the time in life where it makes me cry to look at it, but if I ignore it, things will just get worse. So feeling strength in my glutes makes me happy! I love feeling the strength knowing that I’m becoming more shapely as well!
May 19, 2011 – Class 25
Suddenly in class tonight, I was feeling strength and flexibility that I have never felt before. I was stretching beyond where I have ever gone. I have had a huge spasm in my mid back all day from an area that is normally tight. I wasn’t enthused about going to class and was having a stressful day, but the heat made my pain and tension go away. Now the pain is bearable and I expect it to go away while I’m sleeping like the neck pain did previously. My tension was diminished and I enjoyed my evening.
I have been enjoying my green vibrance blue juice rice milk and am eating more healthy this week – mostly chicken, rice, and veggies. I decided to not drink for a while to let my liver cleanse and lose the fat weight I don’t like. Its working! When I walked by the mirror to get into the showers, I was shocked at how little my torso appeared. I wondered where my waist had disappeared to and now I have a small torso again! SCORE!
May 18, 2011 – Class 24
I am finally able to stand on one leg without wobbling. I can feel the strength in my muscles from my foot all the way up to my waist. That is some pretty cool muscle strength happening! I got through most of my modified poses without sitting out or getting overheated. My back is feeling a lot better and my inner athlete is starting to reawaken!
May 17, 2011 – Class 23
I had a migraine headache and neck muscle spasm when I went into class, but the heat must have opened my blood vessels and I got through with no pain! The migraine was gone after class! I don’t know how this happened but I also had a lot of stamina in class, so I went straight to Zumba dance class after!
May 16, 2011 – Class 22
This was my first morning class so my joints were super stiff. I got up early (I have plans for tonight) but my muscles felt very heavy throughout class – though it was easier for me than yesterday. I do feel much better than if I skipped class, but I’m back in bed for a nap before going out tonight. Enjoying my green juice blue juice rice milk smoothie!
May 15, 2011 – Class 21
Today I was so fatigued. I had a hard time breathing and my heart was beating like crazy. I had no time to meditate on my life because every ounce of will power was spent resisting running out of the room for 90 minutes. Its crazy days like this that I feel a hundred times more accomplished than the days when I feel powerful.
May 14, 2011
Took the day off to rest my body and spend time with my friends. My sacrum is going through posture realignment and is in a lot of pain. All the tendons are very sore and I feel its even releasing toxic emotions – Wow. I am starting to finally lose inches too. I bought Green Vibrance to help purify my body. Its a green food that has everything for the body’s systems. I drink it with Naked Blue Food and Vanilla Rice Milk. Tastes like heaven!
May 13, 2011 – Class 20
I am continuing to modify my poses to avoid pain in my low back and hernia scar. I am really bummed that it is hurting this bad. One thing I learned in grad school (somatic psychology) was to really LISTEN to my body. Now that my typical body voice is being changed by yoga and intensive mind/body/emotions study, the low back is starting to release her gripe.
May 12, 2011 – Class 19
I continued modified poses to protect my hernia scar and low back. I am building strength in other areas of my body and I am feeling GOOD! My brain is turning back on and I am reading several books on mind, body, heart, and health. I ran up the stairs and felt that my legs are getting strong again! I am feeling generally happy and in good spirits.
May 11, 2011 – Class 18
I pushed myself too hard yesterday, and today my low back and hernia scar requested I take it easy on them. So there were a few poses I could barely get into though I was more meditative the entire class. I noticed that I did not get overheated and my heart was not pounding like crazy. It was also the first time I was completely focused on my practice without the outside world coming into my mind.
I also noticed mentally I was ok with where I was at – and that translates over to emotions, job, relationship, and everything else in life. Acceptance is key.
May 10, 2011 – Class 17
Feeling strong and had a great workout. Muscles in my legs felt stronger and I was able to lock my knees and be sturdy overall.
May 9, 2011 – Class 16
Feeling strong and flexible again – having stamina is awesome! I am able to do some poses for longer than I was able to before. Tonight I visited with a friend who I have been having a difficult time with and was able to listen in a way I wasn’t able to before.
May 8, 2011 – Class 15
I’m feeling more optimistic about life and am starting to think clearer about why others do the things they do. I feel more detached, though able to express my tears without shame. I am off all medications and only felt anxiety on the two days I didn’t practice. I am sleeping better at night and waking less tired. I am reading a lot which I haven’t done much of since I graduated from my MBA program eleven months ago.
I also cut out dairy from my diet because I don’t digest it well and the enzymes don’t work all the time. I want to get to the point where my digestion is working great again.
May 6, 2011 – Class 14
Class was a lot easier today. My strength and stability is starting to come back, so I am hoping for an emotional turn around as well. Life is pretty much gone to shitt – I have dealt with too many users and abusers this lifetime. Its raped my soul and numbed my heart. But I do have a class tomorrow and I have assurance that it will be just a little bit better. So I have a bit of hope. But that’s it.
May 5, 2011 – Class 13
Class was so completely hard tonight, I was in tears. Tired and unflexible, I was so frustrated! I wanted to scream and run out of the room. The instructor talked with me after class and said its normal to go through a phase where the muscles are retracting and feel tight. Inner changes are still happening and muscles will regenerate and be flexible again.
May 4, 2001 – Class 12
Class was tough tonight! I’m not feeling a lot of ambition, but going through the motions still makes a difference. Had good adjustments at the chiropractor with a more relaxed body and I’m sure the heat helps the adjustment stick instead of spasm and pull back out. I’m very tired and will probably sleep well tonight.
May 3, 2011 – Class 11
I received life changing benefits from my first ten days in Bikram yoga, but realize through this experience that I’m only at the start of a very long journey toward healing.
Today was difficult because I did not sleep AT ALL last night. I stopped taking pain killers and anti-anxiety medication to sleep and didn’t go to yoga yesterday. Bikram yoga has helped eliminate my anxiety and makes me so tired that I am sleeping well. I feel so much more healthy!
May 2, 2011
I did Zumba class today and it was very easy tonight after ten classes of Bikram yoga. My body does so much more of what I want it to do now – dancing was almost effortless. I can feel that I still have more flexibility, strength and healing to cause especially in my hernia scar and low back areas, so back to Bikram I go.
May 1, 2011 – Class 10
Before class – I am just starting to feel better from this work, but it is doing wonderful things to my body, mind, heart, and spirit. I have decided to take on 30 more days of this torture to more fully transform myself. I have had major health issues in the past, and have tough things I’ve had to cope with. This is the only thing I’ve done that feels like its actually healing all that.
After class – I am taking a day off Bikram yoga to visit my Zumba class. Zumba was great for losing fat weight and releasing stress. With Bikram I haven’t shed any weight, though my body feels much stronger and more flexible than Zumba could ever give me.
April 30, 2011 – Class 9
Before class – gee, did everyone wake up on the wrong side of the bed today or am I actually starting to rise up out of the muck of my own crappy thinking and just not thinking negative? I know life is hard for everyone, but that doesn’t mean we have to be all depressed and bitchy about it.
After class – by doing these very difficult almost impossible classes every day, I have noticed that everything else in life is much easier. If there is anything to complain about, its how hard it is to get through a Bikram class. Today was hard because I pushed myself so hard yesterday, but its rewarding to see the strength and flexibility move through my entire life is such little time.
April 29, 2011 – Class 8
Before class – much more flexibility and strength on all levels.
After class – I feel I have come a million steps since in my Bikram yoga practice. My body felt balanced and flexible all day today, especially with flexibility in my mid back which I have not had for MANY years! So I got to actually push myself in class tonight and now I am TIRED, but feeling quite blissful and calm.
April 28, 2011 – Class 7
Before class – still tired and sleeping a lot, though feeling more solid physically. My mind is starting to gravitate toward things that inspire me rather than what stresses me out or what I think I ought to be doing. My difficult emotions are getting easier to express confidently, calmly and clearly. I am starting to have more access to my intuition.
After class – today’s class was very hard, I was almost in tears. I couldn’t do it to save my life. I asked the instructor why one day can be so easy and the next so hard. She said because life is that way. I have been struggling with some emotional things today but class really helped me work that out. I’m starting to come out of my shell and feel some strength inside me.
April 27, 2011 – Class 6
Before class – Very tired this morning and have a deep ache in my low back. I am feeling warm in temperature. But overall I am feeling pretty flexible and in much less pain than usual. I want to get over this constantly disappointed feeling I have.
After class – I am feeling much more flexible and confident in class and able to deal with the heat. My body actually did some self adjustments in class. I felt calm and centered most of the day.
My body has not lost any weight or inches, but I do feel more sound structurally, strong, balanced and flexible. My fat weight (thighs and hips) seems to look more superficial which is encouraging because I think that means its wanting to come off!
April 26, 2011 – Class 5
Before class. Didn’t sleep until 6am and then slept for eight hours. Had very bad dreams about some decisions I made yesterday, though I believe they were the right ones. Still feeling blue. Muscular soreness has abated though my hernia scar problem area is tight as usual. Think I’m going to 6pm class today so I can enjoy the sunshine.
I went into class feeling so angry and frustrated – and worked through it with holding poses and breathing. Such a great workout and I am feeling calm and strong. I left class feeling that I am sick of denying and hiding that I love certain people out of fear of being a fool. I hope I can move past it.
April 25, 2011 – Class 4
Before class – I must be releasing toxins today. Can feel the I don’t give a shitt about anything” running through my veins. Bikram yoga class in three or five hours, whichever I can muster up enough commitment to go to.
After class – Bikram yoga is getting easier. I am keeping up with the breathing and can hold most poses. I did Camel Pose today for the first time! The emotional changes I am feeling are intense. Though I know this is part of the process, its very difficult to go through. So I am looking forward to the discipline of tomorrow’s practice.
April 24, 2011 – Class 3
Before class – My hamstrings are very sore, but I am slowly stretching once my aspirin absorbs. I slept several hours last night without waking up. I am VERY thirsty and my body feels too warm. Im taking vitamin B and C for energy.
After class – Very difficult class because my muscles have been worked out a lot the last couple of days, but I was able to tolerate the heat much better today. My heart and lungs handled the 90 minutes well, which is great because they are my body problem areas for exercise. I brought two frozen bottles of water which melted during class and cooled and hydrated me quite nicely.
I had to wash my comforter because it has a musty odor from me sweating at night and releasing body toxins. My skin is looking and smelling good though! My back popped in several tight areas while in class and my posture is starting to look better. I am very sore right now though, but not as wiped out as last night or the night before.
My mental stress has slowed down. Class is so strenuous, there is no time to think about anything other than getting into the poses and breathing through them. And I’m so tired otherwise, that I have zero energy to think about anything that has been stressing me out. I did recognize – that mentally I have been holding all areas of my life as “almost manifested”, so I hope to play with that thought process over the next week.
April 23, 2011 – Class 2
Before class – I’m so tired and my muscles are slightly quivery and sore. I slept well last night with no sleep medication which I have taken the majority of this last year. Was overwhelmed from the intensity of class, felt very spaced out; it took my heart over an hour to slow down. Extreme endorphins are happening throughout my body. I haven’t been hungry today, but have been drinking coconut water which is supposed to be high in potassium and has electrolytes.
Mentally, I am relaxed.
The scale dropped two pounds thought I have been drinking a lot of liquids.
After class – Today was easier on my cardio system, but tougher on my muscular system. I looked around class tonight and not one woman had cellulite. I got through today better than yesterday, brought frozen bottle and chilled bottle of water to hydrate. My balance was difficult because my legs were weak from yesterday. Its 8pm and I am in bed, though I am hoping my stamina will come back next week.
Two hours after class and my body is still running warm. This is good because my metabolism is burning calories and fat!
April 22, 2010 – Class 1
Bikram yoga class kicked my butt. I don’t know which end is up. Just found out that Bikram yoga is excellent for erasing cellulite! www.celluliteinvestigation.com
Never too late, never too old, never too bad, and never too sick, to start from scratch again – Bikram Choudhury