One of the main reasons for keeping this blog was so I could look back and see how I did over the 30 days. It would be a record of at which points I may have struggled or had a breakthrough. For both there may be external reasons that aided or abetted me. Having a reminder of these reasons could help me repeat the good factors or avoid the not so good factors in the future.
Compared to the first challenge I felt a lot stronger. My practice was in a different place to where it was in November. I knew what to expect with organising my life around the challenge so that it didn't stress me out. I went with the flow and I can safely say there wasn't a day I didn't want to be in that hot room.
A friend, who has known me for about twenty four years, told me last night she finds it funny how obsessed I get with new things and I have such an addictive personality. I'd totally forgotten this about myself, probably as its so normal for me I don't realise it's happening anymore. Over the years this one friend would have seen me get OTT about many new pursuits. I like to try and experience as many different things as I can. Safe and normal is boring. Small obsessions come and go for me. I think this friend has realised now my obsession with Bikram Yoga has fast turned into a new lifestyle and way of thinking. A majority of instructors say they can't see themselves without this practice in their lives. This is what kept me going back every day, I needed this practice as it makes me feel so good. I can't see myself without it now.
The first two weeks of the challenge were easy for me, I flew through. I was excited, pumped up and ready to go. There was a fantastic atmosphere at the studio. Everyone, even non challengers, were all supportive and encouraging. (Thank you!) We all helped each other through. "The only way out is through," (Craig Villani) we had to keep going if we were to come out the other end. Some regulars/non challengers even turned up on our last class to cheer us on to the end. How awesome is that?! Bikram Yoga Joondalup is right up there on my happy places to be list. It's a pleasure to be surrounded by such good people.
I hit a road block in the middle of week three. I wasn't going anywhere, I was getting tired. I was doing a lot, not just the yoga but a full time job that requires creative thinking, precision and organisation. On top of that a commute that often takes over an hour. It frustrated me I had hit a rut in my practice. I wanted to move forward, I wanted to break my limitations. Looking back I only had two, maybe three what I'd call rough classes. Apart from a few Camel's I never took a knee, I completed two sets of everything. Even in the dodgy camel's I got into the set up and gave it a go. That is an achievement in itself I feel.
I made sure I kept moving my spot in the room. It made such a difference to my practice. It challenged me further. It's amazing how different you feel in a different part of the room. There are new distractions to deal with. Staying in the same spot every class is easy, yes you can work on yourself without worrying someone else will put you off or steal your space as you go in a spot that minimizes this. Here's a thought, how much more of an achievement would it be if you were placed in the centre of the room, surrounded by people on all sides and you executed a strong Standing Bow Pulling without falling out despite everyone around you falling out, flapping or stealing your energy? I would feel happier about doing a strong posture surrounded by distractions than doing one on the front row with my nose on the mirror and minimal disturbance.
When I was feeling flat I can say it could have been down to my diet. I was having real issues with sugar throughout the month. I wasn't eating cream cakes everyday but chocolate was playing a staring role. After quitting alcohol, I think I was replacing it with chocolate. I was thinking, 'oh I can have another few squares as I'm not drinking at the moment, saved some calories to spend on extra chocolate.' Classic. I wasn't doing this challenge for weight loss at all but I did keep at eye on the scales. Totally stupid. They didn't budge one kilo. My body was in shock, it thought a dinosaur was chasing me as I was on the run. It went into panic mode, clinging onto every ounce of nutrition it could and to save it up just in case. My cortisol levels were probably sky high. Now I've finished, chilled out and relaxed I may well see a difference. Not on the scales but it my clothes feeling loser. This happened on the last challenge and a few people pointed out my butt had vanished. Saggy pants all round.
My skin was horrific the last few days as well. I thought zits vanished after you hit thirty?! Ahhh all those lovely toxins escaping through my skin. Probably hay wire hormones and cortisol playing a part as well.
Now it's Monday. I finished on Wednesday night, took Thursday and Friday off which was hard. I got itchy feet on Friday thinking I wanted to go to class but didn't. I needed to rest, I needed some sleep. I had a good class on Saturday morning with Dom again. He was giving out a lot of pointers and adjustments. My mind is in over load now trying to remember all the new information I've collected over the past month. I took Sunday off which was again a struggle. I was craving the hot room. But I also needed time to reconnect with my man. With his new shift pattern at work it doesn't leave us with a lot of time together so Sunday was the perfect time to catch up.
I was undecided which class to do today as it's public holiday there was a choice of 9am or 4pm. I didn't set an alarm I wanted to wake up naturally, which i did at 6:30am so off I went to 9am. Anthony lead a strong class. My muscles and mind were thanking me for the rest. My hips had locked up however and needed some extra encouragement to loosen. Standing H2K was improving again. I still need to keep my leg up, toes flexed back as I round down. My toes are starting to curl forwards to grip round my fingers as I round down which means my kicking leg will not be locked properly. My towel and mat made some comedy squeaking noises today which got me a sideways look from Janette. It was the rubber honest!!!
I am going to see how the rest of the week pans out. I'll take the 5:45am on Tuesday and Thursday resting in between. Maybe, like the last challenge, I will start to see improvements happening as I've absorbed the challenge, rested and moved on. I must carry on eating properly (get off that chocolate!!) even though the challenge is over my regular practice is four or five times a week so I still need to be aware of this. Eating better may well be what was holding me back in the last two weeks. I will only know with experimenting.
I'll post my 30 day testimonial tomorrow. It's up at the studio already if you can't wait till then. I had a pretty major personal breakthrough this challenge, even if my practice didn't. The testimonial will explain it all....