Tuesday, August 13, 2013

60 Day Yoga Challenge (1)

So I decided about a week ago that I needed to change one thing in my life. I had no idea what though, so I took to Groupon. I logged in and browsed the Toronto listings. Half way through browsing I paused to watch the new Miley Cyrus video "We can't stop" and wondered how to get her body! So, I goggled it, and Google told me that she did Pilates everyday. I closed the page and went back to Groupon. As I was scrolling through I noticed that there was a Groupon for a Bikram Yoga studio walking distance from my house - the fact that it is so close was very important. I clicked buy hoping I was not being to impulsive. I had not done any research on what Bikram Yoga was nor did I realise the commitment that would come along with it. After finalizing my purchase, I again did a quick Google search. This time to find out some info on Bikram Yoga. Every site I clicked on had people raving about the 30 or 60 day challenge and how it changed there lives. I didn't read much, but I decided between yawns that I was going to do it. With no further research I went to sleep.

Week 1

Wednesday morning I woke up to get ready for work and remembered my purchase from the previous night. I grabbed a pair of soccer shorts, a sports bra and my gym bag and headed to work for the day. I hadn't packed a lunch the night before so I decided I would have a burger for lunch. As soon as I got to work I checked the evening schedule for the Bikram Studio - class was at 6. I was already proud of myself for immediately following through with my commitment, although I still hadn't made it to class, there was no doubt in my mind that I would go.

 Side note: Usually  I tell myself I am going to go to the gym, but I really end up watching "How I Met Your Mother"

Although this would only be my second time in a hot yoga studio and my first time in a Bikram Studio, I didn't think to do any research because I didn't think the challenge would be the class, I thought the real challenge would be getting myself to the class. On day one I arrived at the studio and was greeted by a sign that informed me to be silent - kind of funny if you know me, I am always talking. I registered and went down to the change room. I threw on my sports bra and booty shorts, and was a bit nervous to be wearing so little, you know, with my love handles exposed. I rented a mat, went into class and laid in Savasana (on my back, palms up and in silence). After 5 minutes of laying there I was glad to be nearly naked. I hadn't moved yet and I was dripping. 30 minutes into the class (I think because there are no clocks) I started to feel light headed, hungry and nauseous. I pushed through it and 15 minutes later I felt a headache coming on, All I was thinking about was "when is this class over" and "why I am I so uncomfortable".  A week into this challenge and after doing some research, I now know the answer and I will list some reasons below. Towards the end of the class, I had to sit in "Child's Pose" a lot due to my now pounding headache and dizziness. I new if I didn't get some water that wasn't near boiling point quick, I would be in for a long night. Once class finished, I could barely thank the teacher and get to my car fast enough. By time I got home I had a full blown migraine and spent 30 minutes on my bathroom floor. I couldn't decide if this was my fault, yoga's fault or if I was just meant to have a migraine today and it coincided with yoga. At the time, I didn't realise that by committing to this 60 Day Challenge, I was committing to a lifestyle overhaul - and because  all I did was go to class with out preparing I was now facing the consequences.
Things I learned on Day 1 
  • Try to drink at least 3 litres of water through out the day - Don't just chug it before class begins as it will have no effect. From what I have learned you need to give your body at least an hour and a half to absorb the water
  • Processed foods do not sit well in your stomach while doing yoga - I ate a yummy burger for lunch
  • Do not eat 2 hours before class - and if you must, try eating crackers or fruit
  • The breathing actually is important, holding my breath and tensing my shoulders is what gave me that terrible migraine on top of being very dehydrated
The next day I was definitely discouraged and was advised by friends not to return right away. I was told that my body needed more time to recoup. However I did not want to give myself a reason to miss a day in the challenge so early on. I decided to go, talk to the teacher before hand and pace myself. Thankfully the teacher I had was very understanding and told me that was common for new comers. Every so often in the class she would look over and ask about my head. About 70 minutes into the class, I felt the head pounding again, she told me to skip out early and fold my tongue against the roof of my mouth and continue to breath on my way home.

With my headache gone, I was now faced with my next problem. The weekend! Tomorrow was Friday and I was heading out east to visit family - about an hour away from the studio I signed up at. I didn't want the weekend to ruin my challenge so I bought an unlimited membership to a Moksha (also hot) Yoga studio near my dads house. It was nice to try a different style of yoga - as Bikram is the same 26 poses every class. Regardless, I was extremely proud of myself for completing week one and sticking to the healthy diet that goes along with the challenge. I am very sore but I have already noticed some benefits. My shoulders are more relaxed especially when driving and typing, I realise when I am clenching my jaw muscles and I honestly do not crave any fast food! Lets see what week two brings!