This is the final week of my 30 days’ Bikram yoga challenge and they don’t call this a challenge for no reason. Perhaps the last three weeks have been too much of smooth sailing. Read below to find out how I pushed through to finish this challenge.
Day 22: Thursday 22nd September
After not having much sleep over the past week or so and working very long hours as well as spending 3 hours each day for Bikram yoga (including travel and shower times), I am stressed and have been feeling dizzy since yesterday. I decided last night not to practise at the 6:30am class and allow myself a mini lie-in but clearly, I have overdone it as I felt really quite dizzy all day. I thought I could practise in an evening yoga class but I just couldn’t even stay upright without feeling dizzy. I needed to lie down and be horizontal.
Throughout my whole day I battled in my mind on completing the challenge versus listening to my body and resting. In the end, I decided to have a rest day and not practise yoga, as I was doing this challenge to improve my health and one of the most important things about yoga is for me to listen to my body. I decided to let my guilt go and rest as much as I could around my work schedule.
I practised pranayama (breathing exercises) to help de-stress and I hydrated and ate well. Hopefully I will get back into the hot room tomorrow.
Day 23: Friday 23rd September
I woke up this morning feeling a lot better and decided to eat well, hydrate well and try not to stress about work in preparation for an early evening yoga class. I seemed to have been ok until I sat in front of my computer screens and my dizziness came back. After much resistance, I decided to take the afternoon off and lie horizontally to make myself rest whilst my vertigo made me feel like I was rocking left and right on a boat.
The guilt was overwhelming and I kept questioning whether it was my ego which wanted me to complete this challenge. The whole point of me attempting this challenge was to improve my health as well as see how far I can take my body within 30 days. I knew all of this, yet I really wanted to finish this. I have been feeling so good all along and I feel sad that I have no choice but to take another rest day. I have decided that tomorrow is another day and I just have to listen to my body and sleep well.
Day 24: Saturday 24th September
I woke up after 10 hours’ sleep and felt quite good so I had a light breakfast, hydrated and practised in the front row of an 11am class at Bikram Yoga Chiswick. I told Laura, my teacher, about my vertigo and how I felt. I took my class very easily and just decided to focus on my breathing and honestly, I could not believe how good and strong my class was. I no longer had the strong effects of vertigo and didn’t feel dizziness very much anymore. I felt so good that I ate a good lunch, hydrated well and drove to Bikram Yoga Fleet to practise at the 5pm class on their 6th birthday open day.
I told the Helena, my teacher in Fleet, that I was doing the challenge, I had vertigo and this is my second class of the day. She advised for me to take it easy and just see how I feel. I was surprised during the second class on how much energy I had left. My hips and thighs were a bit tired and sore but I felt good and strong for a second class of the day. I couldn’t believe how plenty of rest could make such a quick recovery from my vertigo, as it has historically taken me longer than this to get better.
Day 25: Sunday 25th September
Given how good I felt yesterday, I decided to practise 2 classes again today and started at the 11am class in Bikram Yoga Surbiton. Tim (my teacher) was very nice and supportive as always.
Today was the first time ever where I officially ran out of energy completely in class. As usual, we start off with pranayama deep breathing exercises followed by half moon pose. When we were in half moon pose, my mind and spirit were so focused yet my body had hardly any energy left. I kept telling myself that I can just breathe through it and the energy would come but it didn’t. I began to get these anxious chest feelings and couldn’t control my breathing like I normally could. I still kept trying to do one set of each posture but by the time we got to triangle pose, I lied down into savasana. Once I was in savasana, I could no longer get back up. It felt like my battery has completely run out of my body. After class, I struggled to get back up and drank a lot of water. Tim advised that I take some electrolytes he recommended and wow – I could not believe how quickly the energy came back, although it didn’t last me until my planned 5pm class.
By the time it got to 4pm, I had no energy again so I decided to take rest for the remainder of the day. I realise that I will have to do a Bikram double class later on this week to complete my 30 days’ challenge.
Day 26: Monday 26th September
I decided to practise in an early evening class today to allow more time between my last class and the class this evening. Gosh my hips and thighs are so sore that I feel like they don’t belong to me but I was so happy that I had energy to practise again.
Day 27: Tuesday 27th September
I am fully aware that my challenge will end and I have only 4 days left to finish 5 classes. I have decided to do two classes late in the week in the hope that I am resting enough to be able to complete this.
Tonight’s class was taught by Andy and his energy and support carried me through this class. I feel very lucky to have such amazing yoga teachers in my life. Now that I am sleeping more, everything seems easier.
Day 28: Wednesday 28th September
I have finally realised today that I am not eating enough in the evenings after yoga. Although class went quickly and I only have 2 days to go, I am practising two classes tomorrow and I need to make sure I have enough energy for both classes. The teachers in Chiswick advised that I eat some carbohydrates in the evening such as lentils and chickpeas to replenish and before my 6:30am class in the morning, I should eat a banana even if it is at 6am.
I am so looking forward to completing this challenge. I am starting to feel a sense of accomplishment and really hope that I finish it.
Day 29: Thursday 29th September
I woke up at 5:30am and had some redbush tea with a banana before the 6:30am class. I believe that the lentils and quinoa last night as well as banana this morning have given me the much needed energy for this morning’s class. I feel quite sore in my hips and thighs but enjoying this sore feeling at the same time. I can feel that my hips are slightly more open now.
I went back to the studio to practise the 6:30pm class and I definitely feel more flexible in the evening. My teacher, Andy was great in making me believe that I can finish the class and his teaching style gave me the energy to get to the end.
I feel so happy that I don’t feel too tired or dizzy and that I have managed to catch up on my classes. Looking forward to tomorrow morning’s 6:30am!
Day 30: Friday 30th September
I practised at 6:30am this morning to finish my 30 days’ challenge. I can’t believe I have done it! Yes, my hips and thighs feel sore but I feel so elated from this experience. This is the best thing I have done from my mind, body and soul for a very long time.
I am looking forward to having a few days’ break before practising again.
Have you ever attempted a Bikram 30 days’ challenge? I would love to hear your experience and thoughts.