Today I began another 30 day Bikram challenge. I have done so many that I really don’t know what number this is. Though this will be the first time I am actually documenting it, day by day. I am actually doing a 30 day + 1 day challenge, basically to coincide with my 31 day challenge, or my own personal boot camp to get back to me!
I have been doing Bikram Yoga for ten years now. My first class ever was at Huntington Beach Hot Yoga in HB, CA. Though not officially a Bikram studio, the studio owner had studied with Bikram, and then adapted his own method, calling it the Dayton Method. I will always be partial to Jason, the owner, as my favorite instructor for many, many reasons. He was very kind, helpful and encouraging. He explained how tough it could be, but no matter what, don’t give up. And come back the next day!
Plus, he sent me a thank you postcard for attending his studio. I always am fond of someone with good manners!
Later, as I travelled a bunch, moved a bunch, and met a bunch of other teachers, I have nicknamed him the “Yoga Nazi”. I credit Jason to some of my OCD practices for studios and the class. Some of these will never be unlearned for me, and I am okay with that. However, it does make me less tolerant of other yogis who are too relaxed on the etiquette and rules.
It’s funny how much of a routine I have with my Bikram practice, because I so totally hate routines, rules, and what not. But whatever, we all have weird quirks, don’t we?
I wasn’t as prepared for class as I should have been today, but I was prepared to muddle through. The last time I attended a class was with Instructor M (IM, in all future references), an 8:00 am class on a Saturday in December. That had been a bit adventurous for me at the time, as I hadn’t been feeling well, smoking a lot, not sleeping, not eating well, if at all… But IM was going to be teaching at the studio closest to me, and since she moved, she rarely made it back to this studio.
So I went. We were FB friends and I love her [why I am not on Facebook anymore]. I would often attend her 6 am classes when I could, when my schedule required it, or if I needed to get back with the “serious” group. The 6 am class regulars follow the rules and are great students to practice with.
While we are on that topic, the later classes in the day have the most amount of what I call “riff-raff”: not regular practicers, first timers, those with really poor etiquette. I don’t like those classes.
Maybe you should just call me the “Yoga Nazi Jr”!
Anyways, on that frightful December 1st, I showed up for class, took my regular spot, in the middle of the room, just to the right side of the instructor’s stand, impossible for anyone to plop themselves directly in front of me, and one of the hottest spots in the room. Literally the hottest; not hottest in popularity. In fact, that is another reason why I like it. Most people head to either side of the studio: near the window where they think it’s cooler, or near the mirror where they think it’s hotter.
I made it to the Awkward Pose, normally one of my best in my practice. On the third part, I went up to my toes, started to lower myself down, felt my eyes roll back into my head, and almost passed out.
For fear of continuing and actually passing out, which I was certain would involve paramedics, an ambulance, a huge disruption of class, a lot of embarrassment, a trip to the hospital… I sat down. Normally I only sit down when I am being lazy. But, shhhh…. don’t share that with my instructors!
I tried several times to get up, and just couldn’t do it. I sat for the remainder of the standing series, laughing internally at myself, drinking my purple Gatorade. At the end of the standing series, IM turned off her mike and squatted down by me. “Are you okay?” she asked. “Yes,” I replied. “But I almost passed out!” She said, “I saw that!” I said, “I’m and just being cautious.” She returned to the class and got me another Gatorade.
I completed the floor series and got the hell out of there. I knew I was sick, but I didn’t seek treatment until March. Now I have taken three rounds of antibiotics since then for a nasty sinus infection that I am still not sure is gone!
So, today, my only expectation was to make it through the class.
IJ2 was the instructor, a very easy-going, fun instructor. I informed her that if I spent the entire time laying on the mat, that I was okay, it’s just been awhile.
But I did better than okay. I was a bit dizzy a few times, which again is not normal for me but rather something to do with this never-ending sinus infection, stress, and a lot of weight loss. So I just sat down. I didn’t push it. But I made it through, never passed out, and did pretty darn good for the first time back in quite awhile.
I felt great when class was over. I still feel great. I am happy to be back at it. It is simply one of my most favorite things!
My only issue is the headache I have from not being well hydrated. My own fault. I knew it.
How could I be underhydrated when I drank a gallon of water today? Simple. You have to prepare the day before. And I did not drink enough water yesterday!
As I write each day about my Bikram Yoga challenge, going forward I am going to focus on one position or breathing exercise each day, to help introduce you to Bikram Yoga. Also, describing how each class went could get awfully boring for everyone!