Bikram Yoga Challenge Advice.

Today marks the third week of my Bikram 101-Day Challenge. And now that I am three weeks in, and hearing of other people's challenges getting started, I feel like is knowledge (thoughts, really) I should share. Plus, me being a teacher as well might make it all seem more legit.

  • Whatever you're feeling physically is absolutely normal. We tell students this all the time when we teach. Especially the new students. And it is true... Whatever you are feeling is perfectly normal. Nauseated? Full of energy? Swollen? Bloated? Constipated? Exhausted and run down? Like you could just lie down and take a nap in the middle of Standing Bow pose? Yep... Practice a while, and you will see it's all normal. Teachers have all been there.
  • Whatever you're feeling emotionally is absolutely normal. The postures each build upon one another. That's why we do them in the same order each and every time.... You're prepping your body for the next pose in the sequence. Massaging internal organs... Opening chakras... Weird mental junk starts to come out. Sometimes it makes you giggle. Sometimes it makes you cry. Sometimes it makes you angry. Realize that this is normal... And then let it go. Don't hold on to it!
  • Water, water everywhere... Drink more water than you think you need to before class. Drink more water than you think you need to after class. Try to drink less water actually in class. At one point in my practice (circa 2007/2008/2009) I didn't have to drink much - if at all - in class. There were a number of classes where I didn't take water at all. And now, when I see practitioners in class with beautiful practices not drinking water, I get totally envious. I used to be that. (Going to training actually messed that all up for me.) Point is, you should be hydrating before and after class... Water in class is a distraction. You should be focused on finding your breath and calming your mind. Not on when the next opportunity to take water will be.
  • Your practice will vary from day to day. Yeah... Think your practice is going to be slightly more awesome each day, after having gone days on days consecutively? Well, it might. But it's more likely that your going to have up days and down days. Overall, at the end of the challenge, your body will have improved and you will be in a different place with your practice - absolutely! But getting there means pushing your body differently each day, and it is going to feel "yucky" sometimes. As I tell students when I teach, "Lifetime practice! One day you will be kicking ass in your poses... The next day the poses will be kicking your ass! No two class experiences ever alike! That's what you pay for!"
  • Sometimes you're going to have to sit down. Just like your practice will vary from day to day... Sometimes you're endurance will vary. And it is okay to take a knee and rest. Hell, I do it! All teachers do sometimes. Again, you're getting all kinds of junk (physical, mental) out of you. Sometimes it is overwhelming. But learn to tell the difference between your ego is allowing you to cave in, and when it is your body truly needing a rest. Battle with the ego... Indulge the body.

That's all I got for now. I am sure I will have more at some point. I have 81 days left in my challenge. Let's see what my practice brings me today!!!!

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