Sunday, March 6, 2011

you will probably think i am crazy

But that's okay by me.

I think Bikram yoga actually works.

Now, I have no scientific evidence. I only have my body and the way it has responded to all of this. So here is my health story as of late. You can believe it, or you can think I am nuts.

Back in October, I felt like I was getting sick. So, I stayed home from yoga to get extra sleep and rest.... and then I got sick. Snot. Fever. Cough. All the good stuff.

In December, I felt like I was getting sick. It was almost time for Winterfest, so I thought, "I should stay home from yoga, get some rest so I wont be sick at Winterfest." aaaaaaaand I got sick. Fever. Lost voice. Nasty cough. Excessive snot. Awful.

So two weeks ago, I felt like I was about to get sick. Except this time, I was mid 30 day challenge, and, well, I don't fail at challenges. So I figured, "I am just gonna go to yoga. If I am passed out on the mat halfway through class- no big deal. I still get to put my sticker on the board." So I went to yoga. Everyday. For 5 days, I felt like I was on the verge of getting sick. I would wake up with a little tickle in my throat, and I felt a little tired. But I went to yoga.

And ya know what?


And thus, Bikram works. All the health benefits? I probably get them. All that talk about boosting my immune system? Well, it happened to me.

All that I can tell you is that I feel fantastic. It is hard to describe because you think your body feels fine- and then you do Bikram for nine months and you realize that you have never ever physically felt this way before. I can wiggle. I can roll around. I can stretch and reach for things. I can breathe. I have lower blood pressure. Luna is calmer. My handsome and health conscious boyfriend has noticed a change. And I am way less stressed about midterms than the rest of my classmates. This is just the tip of the iceberg.

But, it is hard to convince people to stick with Bikram. The first week is almost too much to handle. The next three months bring all kinds of weird bodily kinks (that you didn’t even know you had) to the surface. Every class is a challenge. You don't have "easy" days. You just have days where you feel a little less hot and so you work even harder. It’s tricky to figure out the proper way to hydrate, and eating the wrong kind of food can throw off your practice. And it is a 90-minute workout.

If you ever start doing Bigram- you will want to quit. You will want to leave the f-in hot room. You will want to never feel that much sweat dripping off of you again. But when you actually do leave the room, your body will be changed, and you will want to get back in the torture chamber.

I know that Bikram isn't for everyone because some people just cant take the heat- literally and figuratively. But mostly figuratively- you have to constantly work on your mental toughness for Bikram to work for you. Perhaps that is why it is really so difficult (kind of like long distance running). Your body, given the chance, can handle Bikram. It is your mind that wants to give up quickly, just like it is your mind that wants to give up at mile 20. The human body can do all kinds of wild and crazy things- just ask my friend Sabrina or watch the yoga national championships!

As I slowly step off my soap box- I know you think I am crazy for buying into all this Bikram health nonsense. And 9 months ago, I would have said the same thing. Yet, after this 30 day challenge that I completed, I think it is safe to say that I drank the Kool-Aid, y'all. Maybe you should too.

ultra love.

P.S.- My instructor, Robin, said she would take pictures of all my poses this week so I can mark my progress. I will certainly post them for all my loyal listeners, and so you can see my cute yoga clothes.