When I sweat it pours…from pores- 33 day Bikram Challenge

In Bikram Yoga, the Poses don’t change, you change.

This is the truest statement I have ever heard. Other than “no man/woman is an island/ it is darkest before the dawn/ intuition and dark chocolate are great tools/ and time is an illusion, lunchtime doubly so.”

“When you are in love things are easier. When you choose love you get a lot more of that luck. Gazes are powerful, meet someone’s gaze in this room and you just might fall in love. It has happened before.” My Yoga Yoda. at Bikram Yoga Fremont in Portland. Click here for their site. http://www.bikramfremontstreet.com/

Hot Yoga has changed my life…Period! Wait, that “period” was a little premature, because I actually have a lot to say about it. Especially if I want to convince anyone else to try it. Or have anyone read my posts or care at all about what I am doing : )

Balancing stick mimics a heart attack
Balancing stick mimics a heart attack

That is what I learned in College, you can’t just say stuff, or write stuff. You have to back it up. It is a lot like computers, you have to back it up. I remember when my computer crashed at Evergreen State in 2008. I was devastated. I didn’t back anything up. I would be equally devastated if my argument crashed right now, well maybe not equally my whole life was on that computer.

My whole life except my body, my car, my books, my friends, my family, my dreams, hopes and desires and soul. Come to think of it, it wasn’t that big of a deal. But it would have been a lot better if I had backed it up. It sucks to lose pictures and music. 😦

And so while it may not be a big deal if this argument crashes, it would be better if it didn’t. So that is why I have to back it up. Now what was the argument?

Right. Hot Yoga has changed my life. It has changed the lives of hundreds of thousands, possibly millions of people in the world.  The amount of people is not the point, so let’s not argue about millions, billions, trillions. The fact that it has done so for even one soul, one drop, in the ocean as a naysayer may say.

many bikram poses

“Yet what is any ocean, but a multitude of drops?” David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas. Yeah I snuck in a Cloud Atlas quote. If you loved that movie, read the book, it is fantastic and tells an even more detailed story about the characters worlds. Book review will be posted in the time differential between finishing it, (I am halfway thru) processing it, and writing the review.

Enough ADD, for the moment.

Here it is. In April of 2012, I suffered a semi-serious back spasm that made it impossible for me to work without pain or even carry my back pack on a trip back home to Colorado. I was in pain for about two weeks. I stopped in the middle of the 60 days of the Insanity workout, my workout partner was relieved. Sitting down all day at work and the pounding of the workouts had taken a toll and it broke/spasmed this camels back.

someday the forehead will touch the floor
someday the forehead will touch the floor

I promptly went in to see the chiropractor and was evaluated. I was told to cease physical activity. My back was adjusted and was assigned some specific stretches to alleviate the tightness in my low back and legs which was pulling on my muscles. I was also assigned to obtain a foam roller to roll out my muscles daily.

I was faced, as the dickensian carol would say with, “the ghost of christmas future.” I woke up quick. I had been involved in Yoga the previous year and took it fairly seriously then, but for some reason it faded out. It was a should do.

Should quickly became must. I  am under 30, I must not have back pain!!

bikram figuration

Later as I had partially recovered and my work in the Elementary school was dying down. I stumbled upon a Groupon which offered 20 sessions of Bikram Yoga for 20 Dollars (new students only). I had tried it the year before at another studio, but I was unmotivated at the time and sluffed off after only 3 sessions.

This time would be different. I thought of my back. I thought of my father and uncles who are in pretty good shape, but nothing like I want to be at that stage of my life. I brought up the idea to my friends at the memorial day work barbecue and I convinced a few of them to join. No, not the idea of fighting off old age, the idea of getting the groupon and embarking on the journey together. This proves, for my pessimistic fellows, misery loves company. And for my optimistic ones, “Happiness is real when shared.” First person who names the movie the quote in the last sentence is from gets my immediate follow, by the way.

And so we purchased our groupons and began the voyage into changing our lives by changing our bodies. There were five of us on this maiden voyage that began on Sunday June 3rd, 2012. Yes I remember the date, I have a cryptographic memory, that is unlocked only when things are important enough. The first stages were rough. It was hard to feel the energy to go to yoga after work and we found ourselves tiring out and napping all the time with only two sessions a week. A few of the crew faded out of it and never finished their groupon. Then there were only two of us, but by July we were hooked. We started going three times a week and were planning what to do when out groupons ran out.

Yoga gave me a new spirit for life.

The changes I felt over the summer were invaluable. When I got into July my pain had completely receded from the spasm and my flexibility had improved to a degree that was better than before. I also found that since I focused so much on my spine I was able to change it. I now have an incredibly flexible and strong spine and can nearly lift my legs over my head in Locust. Something I never would have dreamed of in the beginning.

This is how much I missed yoga while I was in Peru
This is how much I missed yoga while I was in Peru

My pain is still gone and even after traveling to South America and being unable to practice my beloved hot yoga for nearly three months, I came back and was able to get right back into it. I healed the pain of the planes, the all night busses, hostel beds, and endless walking in a matter of days. Because our bodies remember.

At the start of the year I made a rather noncommittal longterm resolution to practice hot yoga an average of 4-7 times a week all year. I was inspired to do more after reading Nicole Markhardts Article on doyouyoga.com about what she learned during her 30 day Bikram challenge. Read article here http://www.doyouyoga.com/9-things-i-learned-about-myself-during-my-30-day-bikram-yoga-challenge/

And now I am taking the plunge into the oh so hot, oh so sweaty buckets of my own Hot Yoga Challenge. Thank you for the inspiration Nicole.

Here is the challenge. 33 days in a row of Hot Yoga. No days off. That is all.

I am late posting this. I have completed two days so far. 1-22 and 1-23. I will be going to Yoga today 1-24 at 4:30 pm Pacific Time.

I chose 33, because it seemed like a good number. I have an unlimited pass at my studio so I will get to make the most of that. This short term goal will open my body so much that I believe it will be a great way to kickstart the yearly goal of 4-7 per week. The benefits have been so amazing for me. WhenI went in to the Chiropractor in the fall, they were astounded. They mentioned that my postural muscles had improved drastically and that my body is in great shape a huge difference between then and April. I still have a lot of tightness, especially in the legs, but that is why yoga is a lifetime practice.

I will be posting every day from now on during the challenge. Just small posts to let you know that I went and any feelings or changes that emerged. I will post the same number of revelations or experiences for each day. in a list format to keep it simple. And I may post more, its all good.

I would love to hear about anyone else’s journey, inward or outward, spiritual or physical.

Are you making any changes in the new year?

Has Yoga, kombucha, Travel, love, or anything else impacted your life lately?

What is your purpose?

And if yogis out there want to join me in telecommunicated daily practice, that would be great.

I urge you to comment below and maybe we can start a conversation. As I mentioned earlier Happiness is real when shared so let’s share some happiness, some glorious curly adventurous happiness.

My purpose is to dig deep into my soul and lead the change with my heart. After all the Curly Adventurer needs to journey inward at times.

Viva Aventura!

C.A.

10 thoughts on “When I sweat it pours…from pores- 33 day Bikram Challenge

  1. Hey,
    It’s great to hear that your back is doing so well; I can remember how much you were hurting. Anyways I have also learned the joys of yoga in the past few months. I have a cousin in Hawaii who is a yoga instructor and when I got to see her in November I jumped at the opportunity to get a private yoga session with her. At the start of this year one of my best friends and I have embarked on a similar challenge as the one you talked about. We are doing yoga or Pilates at least 3 times a week hopefully more. So far it’s been wonderful and I can’t explain how much better I feel all the way around. Although I am quite new to yoga I do love it very much and believe everyone should give it a try.
    Jessica

  2. “Happiness is only real when shared” is from Jon Krakauer’s “Into the Wild,” the movie stars Emilie Hirsch as Christopher McCandelless/Alexander Superchamp.

    1. You are correct Christine! Since I am already following your blog. Your reward is a re-blog of your most recent post. So there you go. I hope you can share your happiness in thailand with many people all over the world.

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