Day 30, Bikram party time

Friday, 6am class

My yoga marathon of the previous 24 hours has really wiped me out. Eight hours of sleeping like a baby was just not enough as I force myself out of my warm bed at 4:50am. As I take my dog outside in the frigid dark I feel tired to the bone. Even my eyes hurt as if I only slept a couple of hours. It takes all of my will power not to crawl back into my cozy bed but this is day 30 of my challenge and there’s no stopping me now. 

I won’t lie, this was not one of my best classes. Any hope of ending the challenge with an all out, superman, king of the yoga world finish is quickly doused as I struggle through the opening breathing excersise just trying to stay present. My mind wanders, anxious to finally complete this thing. My body does no better than my mind, struggling to find balance as we progress through the postures. The final 90 minutes of what has been a 2,700 minute challenge seem to crawl by. I can hear a clock ticking in my brain and it’s ticking in slow motion. Time stands still as I sweat out every last drop of perspiration my body has left. Several times I catch myself going into the next posture only to realize we still have a second set to do. Apparently I’m not the only one absent mentally as at one point our teacher remarks, “what’s going on, do you all have a hot date after class?”.

I hear my mind saying, “I just want a day off” and “I just want to sleep in”. I’m so close now I can barely stand it. The last few postures take an eternity but we finally arrive at the final breathing exercise and those last few exhales have never felt so good. I did it! I feel a true sense of accomplishment as my teacher congratulates four of us by name that have just completed the challenge. The rest of the class applauds. 

I lay on my back in final savasana, my 30 day challenge complete. Just one more step in my yoga journey. 

Day 29, double down

Thursday

6am class

Back in the hot room after just 10 hours and I’m nervously staring down the barrel of my first double! First class goes by swimmingly. I’m feeling pretty loose after last night’s class and the short turn around. I don’t push myself extra hard as I know I’ll be back at 5pm for round two.

5pm class – breakthrough!

So here goes my first double! This is also my third class in less than 24 hours, pretty hard-core for me. I made sure to stay hydrated in between classes, I even drank some Gatorade on top of lots of water. I hope I don’t have to pee during class! I had a nice breakfast after morning class, made myself a 3 egg omelette and some refried beans. By lunch I was famished again and had a plate of left over pasta figuring I could use the extra carbs for energy. I also ate 3 pieces of turkey just to get some protein. I made sure to allow 4 hours to digest.

Class starts well. I feel pretty loose all over; don’t think I’ve had time to get stiff. The first half of class I feel good. The second half of class on the floor is where I experience a real breakthrough. Normally, the first half of class is usually my strongest while the second half always feels harder to me physically but not today; I have my best floor series ever! My body feels so loose that I experience new depths in every single floor posture. My body feels stronger and stronger as we progress through the postures. As the teacher announces that we only have two postures to go I actually think oh no, I don’t want this to end! This is a huge breakthrough in my floor series and it’s happening during a double. Uh oh, I really don’t want to get addicted to doing doubles, haha.

As I hit the shower I have a big old-fashioned yoga buzz on!! I feel amazing. I think I’m walking around grinning for no reason.

Afterwards, I go home and eat a light dinner and realize I am completely and utterly exhausted. Like I’m going to pass out if I don’t get in bed right now. My head hits the pillow and I am fast asleep, dead to the world. When the alarm goes off at 4:50am my body and mind still feel dead, I think I have a yoga hangover. 8 hours of sleep was just not enough after 3 classes in 24 hours but today is day 30 so I begrudgingly force my groggy self out of bed.

Day 28, rested

Wednesday, 6:30pm class

What a difference a day off makes! With the mandatory day off yesterday courtesy of Mother Nature and her blizzard, I returned to the hot room tonight feeling rested. Despite the fact that I shoveled over 2 feet of snow this morning, my back feels wonderful all throughout class. No stiffness, no soreness, ahhhhh. I almost forgot what it felt like to have a strong back. 

I was shoveling snow yesterday and this morning. There was a time a couple of years ago, before Bikram, when shoveling that much snow for that long (2 hours) would have resulted in my back being so sore and painful that I would have been hobbled for at least a few days. Not anymore, this yoga is truly amazing!

Tomorrow will be my toughest day of the challenge, double day! I’ll be back in the hot room in less than 10 hours for the 6am class and then take the 5pm class with work in between. Man, work really gets in the way of my yoga, haha.

Day 27, Blizzard

Tuesday, Day 27

A little thing called the Blizzard of 2015 rolled into town and everything, including my yoga studio, is shut down under 2 feet of snow.  No yoga today means…..uh oh… I’m going to have to do a dreaded double; two classes in one day in order to make up for this. I’ve never done a double before so this will be interesting to say the least!

Snow fun!
Snow fun!

Eve

Day 26 the ride continues

Monday 6am class

As tough as yesterday was today was the  diametric opposite. The myriad aches and pains from yesterday were mysteriously subdued. I have no explanation other than the power of the yoga. Class was kind of a blur, it went by quickly and I kept waiting for my body to begin its protestations but was relieved when they never arose. 4 more days!

Broken

Day 25
Sunday, 8am class 

 My body is broken. As I lay on my mat after class I do a check list of what hurts. 

 Left shoulder -feels like my rotator cuff, it woke me up last night, a constant dull throbbing that escalates to a sharp pain if I move it the wrong way.

Right lower shoulder blade- this one is new, it happened sometime during class today, yay!

Thumbs- yes my thumbs ache, “hands overhead, release the fingers, interlock the thumps”. After 25 days my thumps feel tortured. 

Knees- feeling old and sore.

Lower back- my albatross has reared its ugly head during the challenge- my biggest fear going into the challenge, it’s screaming for a day off.  

So here I am, lying on my mat, broken. I’m not sure how long I lay here, enveloped in my pain. When I open my eyes I’m the last one left. My body is worn out, worn down, it’s had enough. With only 5 days to go I have to pull it together. There is no way I’m quiting now. I have to make it through this, somehow..