My Bikram Journal Day 5, Final Day!!

I have come to my last day of this Bikram yoga challenge and I must admit I do not want it to end; having a challenge to document everyday has been somewhat therapeutic for me.  Although I will say I am looking forward to drinking coffee this weekend!  

bikram journal

I love coffee too much!

On the way to work my mind felt so clear and throughout my work day I felt connected, grounded, and fueled. My muscles felt more toned especially in my legs and arms and my posture more upright. I was so intrigued by the experience I went through this week that I couldn’t stop researching more and more about yoga online and finally purchased the book I have been craving for some time: Hell-Bent by Benjamin Lorr. I was hungry to learn more and experience more.


Come 5:30 it was time to leave work and bring my 5-day challenge to a close. I lay on the floor staring at the ceiling, trying to meditate and pushing all thoughts away before class started. There were only 6 of us in the class tonight, it was quiet. The door opened… an elderly man walked in, “up please, begin” and so I went into standing deep breath. I thought after 4 days I had mastered the pose but I was wrong. The instructor stood behind “no, no, no you’re releasing your elbows at the wrong time, inhale… now open”, “don’t be lazy on me”, “push your elbows up further… and smile”. The posture seemed tougher than before and I had never had one-on-one critique like that.

Bikram Journal

Standing Deep Breathing

Throughout the entire class the instructor, who I later found out was Joel Pier, was fascinating me, adjusting every single posture one on one making us get the fullest out of each pose.

Joel Pier was one of the senior instructors and he has been practicing yoga for 35 years. He had spent 14 years abroad mastering the yoga practice and has earned the reputation of one of the best yoga instructors in Philadelphia. Joel graduated from one of the first intensive Bikram yoga teaching training programs, held by Mr. Bikram Choudhury himself, and was the one that opened this first Bikram yoga studio in Philadelphia. I felt honored to be in his class and was learning intensely about each posture and how to correct them.

bikram journal

Standing Head To Knee

I had come to realize by the end that I had so much more to learn in mastering my poses, and with that I got dressed, went to the counter before I left and bought a 3 month unlimited course. Bikram has been an incredible experience for me and I would suggest everyone try it out… any type of yoga. It’s incredibly healing and you will come to realize like me that after a week you will feel a difference mentally, physically, and spiritually. Your heart and mind will glow.

Posture images visit Bikram Yoga Philadelphia.

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  1. Me too! Thanks a lot! Last year I did Iyengar yoga and it was really hard too, but I felt so powerful after each session. Bikram looks very intense as well, especially with the heat…kind of a challenge exactly.

  2. I am so impressed with you. In fact, you’ve inspired me to start my own 5-day Bikram Challenge tonight! Giving up coffee might not be possible though.

  3. Loved reading your thoughts and progress through this challenge. I discovered Bikram yoga last year and I was hooked from the beginning. I’m currently doing my third 30-day challenge, it’s physically and mentally demanding but so worth it!! :-)

  4. You inspired me to do the same thing! Day 1 is finished. I got to a point after all the standing poses when I though I was going to pass out and had to leave the room for a few minutes. Hopefully it goes better tomorrow. Apart from that, I loved it, I am detoxing at the moment and I feel that this is encouraging me NOT to have all those chocolates at night…

  5. Right now I’m doing a fitness challenge that I’m super into, but it’s not Bikram. Sometimes I feel like I am the only person on earth who despises Bikram. The heat makes me irritable and headachey, my skin burns. The poses stretch me out in all the wrong ways. I have to do laundry afterwards. Blech. I think I might get into cryoworkouts or something. I read that you can burn as many calories sitting in cold water as you can jogging. i’ve heard of it being used for healing. sounds like something free people might report on next.

  6. This is wild… I was looking for a Bikram course in Asheville and found this – as soon as you said “…the door opened… an elderly man walked in, “up please, begin” – I was like, “Joel Pierce…?” I didn’t even know at the time that you were in Philly. I did some computer work for them a few years back in trade for classes, and man, did I get my time’s worth. The man is a force of nature, and his instructors are really, really fantastic. The location is great too. I miss it. I definitely appreciate his approach, which is indeed different from many other instructors. I’m really glad you got a chance to meet him, and I hope you’re still sticking with it. Really neat to read a story about Bikram Philly!

  7. I’ve just started Bikram! I’ve done four classes now and can relate to everything you were talking about. At first it is so challenging, and you are literally trying to count how many poses you have done, just so you can figure out how many more are to go, but then you step outside the room and feel so satisfied (despite being sick after my first class).

    I’ve noticed that because I sweat so much during the class, I become more aware of all the toxins and other bad things that are leaving my body, which makes me think even more about what I let enter into my body! Bikram has helped me in thinking of what I’m putting into my body, so when I feel like eating something that isn’t good for me after a hard day, it’s much easier to reconsider. It also helps me to consciously drink water more regularly too!!

    I’ve noticed I am also more aware of my posture and how I used my muscles. Tonight I found myself in the shower, unwinding by putting on hot, steamy water and stretching up and down, side to side, noticing the great affects Bikram is having on me. I would recommend to anyone, just don’t give up in the first few lessons!

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