Bikram 30 day challenge benifits

Here are some of the benefits I enjoyed from my Bikram 30 day challenge: Weight loss of 7 pounds, I wanted to lose 10 but the challenge definitely gave me the jump-start I needed and now I know I will be able to keep going and loose those last few pesky pounds of belly fat. I feel better and have more energy. My digestive system is working better and I’m sure that’s a combination of all the yoga and cutting out junk food as well. I definitely advanced my practice; I’m going deeper in many postures and I’m often able to hold the balancing postures for the entire posture. This is the most progress I’ve made since my first year. During my first year of Bikram I learned a lot and progress came in leaps and bounds but during my second year I feel like my practice plateaued and that’s part of why I wanted to do this challenge. Well, I wasn’t disappointed; the challenge has propelled my practice through any imaginary ceiling! Here are some random things that I discovered during my Bikram 30 day challenge: I enjoy starting my day with yoga at 6am because I feel great all day! I can sleep like a kid again. I can control my sweet tooth. I am finally able to do Pranayama breathing without sounding like an old man snoring (that only took two years!). Doing a double is enjoyable and can lead to a breakthrough. Bikram yoga really is amazing and whatever you put into it you get back 100 fold. If you’re considering doing the Bikram 30 day challenge I highly recommend it, you will definitely advance your practice, gain a sense of achievement and learn a thing or two about yourself along the journey. It truly is a journey, filled with ups and downs and challenges along the way but worth every minute (and every drop of sweat)!! So what’s next for me? My biggest fear about doing the challenge was that I would get burned out on yoga. Well that definitely didn’t happen. If anything the opposite happened, I think I’m more addicted to yoga than ever and that’s a good thing. Going forward I’m going to aim for 5 classes per week instead of my old average of 3 classes per week. I think that’s the sweet spot. I also want to thank all of you for your support, advice and encouragement over the last 30 days, it really means a lot to me and I feel like I’ve made some new friends along the way! I’m going to keep my blog going and continue giving updates on my yoga journey. ~Yoga Dad

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 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..

My 30 day challenge Meal Plan

Here is my exact diet I’ve followed during the Challenge. It’s actually not that different from how I normally eat, I’ve just cut out all junk food.

Breakfast

Egg burrito- 1 scrambled egg, refried beans, wrap

4oz of OJ

1 cup of coffee, w/sweetnlow, almond milk creamer

If I’m in a hurry I grab an egg white burrito out of the freezer, I buy Good Food Made Simple brand

On Sunday I make gluten free pancakes w/fresh blueberries

Mid morning snack

Raw veggies like celery and carrots or cucumbers

Lunch

Turkey sandwich with a sliced half avocado on it, no mayo. I buy the Applegate naturals, no nitrates, antibiotics, etc.

weekends I mix it up, usually with some type of light soup.

Afternoon snack

1 Apple, 1 or 2 Clementine’s, 1 rice cake (spread out)

1 cup of green tea

Dinner

Sensible dinner usually consisting of chicken, ground turkey or fish and a vegetable and rice or beans.

After dinner some type of fresh fruit to satisfy the sweet tooth.

If the munchie bug hits during the evening I’ll make some air popped popcorn with zero cal butter spray and some light salt

Lots and lots of water all day and night. The great thing about doing hot yoga everyday is that I’m always thirsty so drinking lots of water is not a problem.

Here’s a new favorite dinner of mine:

Ground turkey fried rice

Ingredients

3/4 cup long-grain white rice

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 pound ground turkey

1 tablespoon chopped garlic

1 tablespoon chopped ginger

4 scallions, sliced

1 cup frozen peas

1 cup snow peas, halved

4 carrots, sliced

2 tablespoons hoisin sauce

2 tablespoons rice vinegar

Directions

  1. Cook the rice according to the package directions.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the turkey, garlic, ginger, and half the scallions and cook, breaking up the meat with a spoon, until browned, 3 to 5 minutes.
  3. Add the rice, peas, snow peas, carrots, hoisin sauce, and vinegar to the turkey mixture and cook until heated through, 2 to 3 minutes. Top with the remaining scallions.
  4. Enjoy!