Can you change your EVERYTHING in 60 days?
Spend 60 days in a Hot Yoga Challenge and let me know.
Why? Unlike your job, yoga never fails to reward honest effort.
60 Days of hot yoga may sound like you’ll end up a dehydrated, shriveled shadow of your former self – and hey, this may be just what you need.
I can tell you from my experience of my 30 Day Hot Yoga Challenge: this is one fabulous way to sweat the small stuff out of your life for good. Read days 36- 42 of Aimee Mack’s 60 Day Hot Yoga Challenge and then…challenge yourself, baby: COMMENT ON what you’d like to purge from your life.
My 60 Day HOT YOGA CHALLENGE by Aimee
A fun experiment: ask a friend if they want to hit an early morning yoga class on the weekend and rate the look of horror on their face on a scale of one to ten. Now ask a Bikram yogi and wait for them to exclaim “Oh yes! And let’s make it a double!” Bikram yogis are a seriously dedicated, devout and fantastically deranged bunch.
Day 36: Weekend Heat
The Saturday morning 10 a.m. class at the downtown studio is one of my favorites. You would think it would be a nice, mellow, un-crowded class, it being before noon on a weekend. Wrong. So, so wrong. The class is always crowded, but the energy is always a bit relaxed, playful, dare I say…fun.
I had a bit of a breakthrough in class — I managed to get my forearms to almost touch under my torso in Full Locust. Trust me, this is harder than it looks. Since I’ve started practicing, I’ve always cheated in this posture a bit by keeping my upper arms at the side of my body and just sneaking my hands and forearms under my body ever so slightly. Not anymore. This is the great thing about a yoga practice. It is an ever-evolving, living thing. It must be emotionally nurtured, fed and tested. And there is no end.
Tonight is the “halfway” party for the studio, to celebrate the midway point of the challenge. I’m excited to meet some fellow yogis outside of the hot room and bond over conversation about politics, movies, art…and yoga. Yoga is all we talked about.
Body: How about a couple Advil up in here?
Mind: Yes. Advil. With a half-liter water chaser.
“Yoga never fails to reward honest effort.”
One of my new yogi friends, AK, blurts out “I love this Bikram s&*t”, which becomes the mantra of the night. And apparently one of the bartenders was overheard saying
“These yoga people are crazy.” Darling, you have no idea.
For the first time, I wake up feeling like a stiff strap of leather that’s become all hard and crusty. I decide to ease into the day by getting some work done before hitting an afternoon class. My body and mind are in complete agreement.
Body: How about a couple Advil up in here?
Mind: Yes. Advil. With a half-liter water chaser. And I know we should go to the grocery store today, but forget it. We’ll have leftovers for lunch and we’ll get P. Terry’s after class.
Body: Yes! Milkshake!
Mind: Besides, it’s cold and yucky out right now. Better to let the weather subside.
By 3 p.m. it’s warm and sunny out and I practically skip to class, ready to get in the torture chamber. The class is not very packed, so we have room to spread out. But I’ve also learned, the fewer the people, the more frequent the corrections.
The instructor roams the room giving great personal attention to everyone, including me. “Aimee, arms straight,” “Aimee, legs straight,” “Aimee, stretch!!” He even comes over and does Half Tortoise right next to me to correct me. He busts our butts. And it hurts so good.
Mind: That was a good class!
Body: Yes! Want to stay for the next one?
Mind: You’re obsessed. And no.
Body: You started it.
Day 41: Fresh Meat
I love when there are new people in class. I feel like running over to them beforehand and whispering “Yes, it’s going to suck, but it’s going to be so worth it!”
Today there is a young gentleman that has been brought in by a friend. They are set up in the front row (which I encourage for first timers — get as close to the instructor as you can), and I notice that he has on a regular tee shirt, khaki shorts and a baseball cap. I make a mental bet with myself as to how soon that cap is coming off.
It takes about 2 minutes after class starts. It reminded me of my first class. Not knowing much about the practice, I showed up in full sweatpants and a tee shirt (no post-class clothing), which were immediately drenched.
Other than the instructor telling me that my only goal was to stay in the room, I don’t remember anything about that class. I think the humidity fogged out the memory. But I do remembering wondering how soon was too soon to go back.
Day 42: Thank your hot yoga teachers
One of the reasons Pure Bikram is the standout studio in Austin as far as I’m concerned is because of the instructors, one of whom happens to be the 2011 woman’s national yoga champion. Taking class from her is like getting the chance to throw around a football with Eli Manning. (In fact, four current teachers are headed to the 2012 national yoga championships, the Super Bowl of Bikram yoga, being held in New York City in a few weeks. This is a huge deal.)
During class, said instructor throws this quote in from Bikram himself: “Yoga never fails to reward honest effort.”
As a writer constantly facing rejection, this is like a balm to my battle-weary soul. After class, I realize that yoga is no longer just something I like to do — it is something I have to do and will continue to do as long as I’m on this side of the great divide.