Yoga Challenge — A real love and hate relationship
I never considered myself a “yogi material”. I like fast movements, strengths, I’ve always been more a Crossfit and HIIT girl. I thought I had nothing to do with yoga classes that are longer than 10 minutes (my yoga practice was purely based on short youtube videos), I thought yoga won’t make you strong, and it’s not even a real exercise.
In March of 2016, for some reason, I joined a Bikram yoga studio, called PurelyHot Yoga in Sacramento. After 6 month of on-and-off practice, I signed up for the 60 Day Challenge, which means 60 classes in 70 days. I love starting new challenges, but I also love leaving them halfway, and throw myself into a different one. This time, I decided to stick to it, and finish it.
Right now I’m starting my third week, and I couldn’t be more greatful for doing the challenge. So far I have done 18 classes in 14 days, meaning I did doubles (just for fun… ). I go in the morning, in the afternoon, no matter how the weather is, how busy I am, or how many “fun” activities I miss out with friends.
During this time, I have learnt so much about myself! Some days I hate going to the class. I’m constantly trying to find excuses to skip a day, as literally every single muscle in my body hurts (and I thought yogi won’t build strenghts…), but every time I’m on my mat, I’m grateful for being there. Other days are easier, I don’t think about it, I just go. This is one of the key lessons I’ve learnt so far: Don’t think, JUST DO IT.
During the challenge, I do Inferno Hot Pilates 2–3 times a week, Vinyasa flow and Bikram yoga. In Bikram, we do the same 27 poses every time. I expected it to be boring, but every day it feels different, and I stopped competing with myself. I don’t want to do a certain pose in a certain way anymore. I don’t think about how to reward myself afterwards. I’m just THERE. And now I understand that this is what yoga is all about. Just connecting to your breath, use it as a tool to calm down your body, to connect to your true self. The poses are just tools to achieve that. My vinyasa teacher was always saying this, but now I understand what she really means.
After the first two weeks, I feel that this challenge is not about getting better, is about a total life-changing experience. I started to connect more to my body, nourish it better. I eat more clean, go to bed earlier, drink less coffee, and I feel more calm. Ironically I have more time to be productive, even when I spend 2,5–3 hours in the studio. I feel more balanced, and I even lost weight (which is interesting, as I usually can’t go below a certain number, no matter how hard I try. This time, I didn’t even try, I was happy with my weight). I feel my body more toned, more strong (by the end I might have abs?).
I know that there is still a long way to go (42 classes, to be exact), but it don’t mind. I know I’ll have weeks when I really want to quit, as midterms and finals and more work is coming up, but I won’t. I know. For the first time in my life, I really stick to something that I’m doing just for myself. I’m not proving anything to my parents, teachers, friends, colleagues. I’m doing this because I want it, and it feels good. And for the first time in my life I don’t care what others say. Yes, I’m that crazy girl who is doing her second Bikram class on a Friday night. And I. Love. It.