I now have the answer to this strange question!
Day 1 of Bikram Yoga was tough; when we moved to the floor for savasana I thought, “Okay, we’re done, that was faster than I expected!” Then I realized this wasn’t the signal that class was over (unlike my previous yoga classes of the regular room temperature variety) and was in fact, a transition to the floor series (still more than 10 postures to go!).
In a way though, I was right about that moment being a milestone in the class. This is the part where you have finished with all the standing balancing poses and you get to be on the floor with a 20 second rest in between each pose. Now, as soon I reach this point in the session, I’m in the home stretch.
People have asked me if I’ve lost weight or noticed changes in my physical appearance. I don’t think I have, but maybe it’s because I’m staring at myself in the yoga room mirrors 90 minutes a day? However, I have noticed many other changes that are significant enough that I want to stick with this! At least for another 60 days (I signed up for 90 total so far).
Changes/Benefits so far
– I wake up easily! Maybe it’s because I’m on a schedule to take 6:30 am classes M-F but I feel refreshed.
– My skin is so soft – it’s all that sweat!
– Postures – I notice a difference in each one! The breathing ones at the beginning and end- I couldn’t always keep in beat with the instructors claps but I can now. My balance is better and concentration stronger. I like that I always know what to expect (same 26 postures each class) and have something measurable that I can use to track my progress (am I holding the posture for a longer time without falling or am I able to touch my head closer to my knee?) .
It was hard for me (and still is scary sometimes!) to do back bends so the first time I could put my head on the mat in fixed fern was an accomplishment! I can hold the standing bow a lot longer, and go deeper in the back bend and this is the one that I really look forward to improving (partly because I know I still have a ways to go and also because it looks so cool)!
– I was doing some physiotherapy and massage therapy because of a sore back, but I don’t feel as much lower back pain anymore. I also hurt my elbow several months ago but these postures don’t seem to be irritating it (I think it’s actually helping!)
– I feel more confident. This one is huge! Just making it to class gives me a great sense of accomplishment and even though I’ve been told by many that I’m an eternal optimist, I feel so happy every time I finish class. I’ve heard some instructors call the tree pose the confidence post because you stand so tall and still.
I knew that dress attire was minimal so it was easy to feel a bit self-conscious. But after doing it, you realize that everyone is focused on themselves (the instructors remind you to look into your own two eyes for balance :), that no one is looking at you anyways!
So that’s what I’ve told my friends who I’ve tried to coerce into joining me – at the very least for a free first class! I’m approaching my final few days of my personal 30 day challenge and I’ve already decided that I’ll still keep to a regular schedule.
Other than the website of the studio I go to above, I also found the Hot Yoga Doctor forum to be a fantastic resource for anyone else interested in learning more.