My Bikram Journal: Day One

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I have always been the type of person who is continually searching for something… I have never felt rested. I needed to find my balance and calm the mild anxiety that had been following me for years. So, when the opportunity arose for me to participate in a 5-day Bikram challenge, I dove straight at the chance.

I had casually practiced Bikram yoga before, but never intensely. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Bikram yoga, it is a practice composed of 26 postures, 2 breathing exercises, in a 105 degree room. Throughout this challenge I will be drinking a ton of water, more than your average a day to stay hydrated, I will be giving up coffee and refined sugars, and going to yoga every day for 5 days at 6:30pm after work.

So, here it goes:

Bikram Yoga

It’s 5pm and I’m watching the clock, it’s a dark and rainy day and all I can think about is heading home and nestling on the couch. I snack on a handful of Spirulina Super Chips and say to myself you have to do this, you will feel so much better! And so, I pack up my things and head to the bus for the 6:30 class, worrying on the way that I haven’t drunk enough water throughout the course of the day. I had a healthy lunch of hummus, carrots and sunflower bread followed by a banana snack. I felt fueled but anxious.

Bikram yoga

I got dressed in my ‘barely there’ yoga kit and headed into the 105 degree room. As soon as I entered the room the heat and humidity caught my breath. It felt quite comfortable coming from a cold winter’s day, however my mind laughed at me as I then realized it wasn’t going to feel this way in 10 minutes time.

Bikram yoga

I sat crossed legged and faced staring at myself in the mirror; reflecting on my day, on who I was and how my posture looked before I laid down in shivasanna waiting for the instructor to enter the room… the lights came on “every one up please” and so the series of 26 postures began in the tremendous heat. The first posture Standing Deep Breathing is one of my least favorites poses, not because it’s difficult but because I don’t feel any benefits from it and I can never fully relax my shoulders to get the most out of inhaling and exhaling, but it prepares your body and lungs for the intensity that will follow.

bikram yoga

As we move into each posture my mind is racing, I’m constantly thinking about what time I will get home, what I will eat, and what needs to be done tomorrow. Although I’m starring at myself in the mirror, my mind is clouded by these running thoughts. I wish more than anything that I can just be calm…

As we go into Camel Pose my heart starts beating faster, I can feel the force of my blood and I have a huge awareness of the blood flow that’s running through my body. My heart thuds like thunder but I keep pushing myself, until all of sudden just before Balancing Stick I surrender. The rate of my heart overtakes my concentration for the postures and I stop… I gently place myself in shivasanna starring at the ceiling trying to make my heart come back to its natural rhythm.

bikram yoga

I stayed here till the end of class; I acknowledged the fact that I couldn’t push myself anymore and wondered why my concentration levels were so low. Was it lack of water? Maybe I should drink double the amount? Was it the fact that I was thinking this is going to be a 5-day challenge and I started to panic? Who knows… one thing’s for sure I was itching to get back inside the room the very next day and try even harder.

Stay tuned tomorrow for My Bikram Journal, Day Two!

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Comments

Carmen -January 21, 2013, 9:31AM

I thought I was the only one who struggles to calm my mind during yoga. Thanks for sharing, I look forward to hearing more about your challenge.

Morgan -January 21, 2013, 9:46AM

Good luck! You will do great!

Casey -January 21, 2013, 11:16AM

Where did you get your yoga clothes? They are incredibly cute!

fp jemma -January 21, 2013, 11:48AM

Hi Casey, they will be coming on line next week as part of our new FP Movement collection! xx

Jamie -January 21, 2013, 1:09PM

i wish there was a place to take bikram yoga near where i’m from, it sounds like an adventure. good luck!

Ashley -January 21, 2013, 2:17PM

Good Luck on your journey! As I was reading your post, every sentence I read made me think, “Wow, thats exactly what happens to me”. I also enjoy all your details of your first day because it’s the details that help relate to and inspire others. I look forward to your next post!

Elin -January 21, 2013, 2:36PM

I just tried Bikram for the first time last week so I can totally relate to the anxiety you went through. I’ll be back again tonight and look forward to following your 5-day Challenge. Keep it up, girl!

Montana -January 21, 2013, 2:48PM

I did bikram yoga on Saturday. It was the first time in over a year. I had coffee and that probably wasn’t a good idea. But there’s no way I can give it up

Sharla -January 21, 2013, 3:41PM

Bikram yoga is quite the ass-kicker, but sooo worth it! What a great, cleansed feeling you have when you’re done with a class. I’ve never done more than 2 classes a week, so I’m excited to read about your journey! Good luck, and you’ll be getting that forehead to floor connection in no time!

Elizabeth -January 21, 2013, 4:00PM

I’m excited to read future posts about your 5-day challenge! I do bikram almost every day and I love to hear and learn from other people’s experiences. Good luck!

allee foster -January 21, 2013, 5:10PM

Cute.

Holly -January 21, 2013, 5:57PM

Bikram melts the fat off of you – literally! It ends up in a pool on the floor! Be careful if you have a back injury though…do not push into it!

Lucy Sinclaire -January 21, 2013, 8:32PM

Great post Jemma! Thank you for sharing

Sally -January 21, 2013, 9:53PM

Love it! Bikram yoga is a fabulous practice, you are going to feel great:) I did a 30-day challenge this past June- electrolyte water and watermelon are your best friends!

Nancy -January 21, 2013, 10:03PM

Best of luck on your journey.! you’re never too old, you’re never too sick, to start again from scratch.
A minor correction but the pictorial is incorrect on “standing deep breathing its nuckles under chin with elbows up to the ceiling…. Exhale, wrists and elbows together.

fp jemma -January 22, 2013, 10:49AM

Thanks everyone for your kind comments and support!

Madison -February 12, 2013, 2:45PM

Where did you get your yoga clothes? I love them!

Jenny Ekberg -February 15, 2013, 6:20PM

Thank you, thank you, thank you for this!!!
I am like you, mild anxiety for as long as I can remember, sometimes escalating to SEVERE. It is summer where I live and very, very hot (Australia) but as soon as it cools down I am going to do this. There is a Bikram studio near where I live, this is sheer luck as I have very little time; I work full time and have 3 year old twins.
I am like you too in that I always “search” for something. So I think this will be perfect for me!!
Jenny, Brisbane, Australia.

Megan -February 19, 2013, 8:29PM

You should keep going! Doing the 30 day challenge at Bikram yoga Philadelphia changed my practice for the better! It really was a fun experience.

C -April 13, 2013, 1:04PM

Balancing stick comes well before Camel.
I think it’s the 6th in the standing where Camel is closer to the end of class….before rabbit.
Something tells me this isn’t exactly true.
Sorry.

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