02 January 2011

How did I get in that room?

In April 2009, I tried Bikram Yoga for the first time. My fiancee had tried it the week before at the behest of one of her closest friends, who has practiced Bikram for several years and thought my betrothed would enjoy it. She did, and a week later, they asked me to try. I was nervous, but I tried it. The following comes from I testimonial I was asked to write by one of the owners of our studio:

When I started, I weighed 278 pounds. Fast food and soft drinks were my favorite poisons. For the better part of the last 10 years, exercise was just a rumor for me. My fiancée had taken up the yoga a week prior and asked me to give it a try.

April 13, 2009 – I attended my first class. I was completely overwhelmed, flopping around like a fish out of water. I could not control my breathing, or keep my balance, or do much of anything. I left the room with 25 minutes remaining in class. As I sat in the lobby I thought, “This is impossible. This is madness. I’ll never be able to do this.” Then I sat quietly and began to listen to my body for the first time in ages. I was sore, tired, and really thirsty! Strangely enough, however, I felt as though my body was telling me, “More. We need more. We need it now!!”

I took class for four straight nights during that first week. It wasn’t until the fourth night that I stayed in the room for the entire class. I decided then that I was in this for the long haul, and purchased a two month package. About a month later, Melissa and I agreed to do a Bikram Challenge: 52 classes in 60 days. Yes, doing a challenge is difficult. You must discipline yourself to eat right, hydrate, and make sure you get your classes in on time. I will tell you, though, that benefits are almost innumerable. You lose weight and inches for sure, but you get so many more benefits!! Your practice will improve so much faster. (Never thought I would be able to do the Camel pose, but I can now!!) Slowly, you will begin to feel your body heal and strengthen itself. Your ability to focus and concentrate on your daily tasks improves. Your view of the world, and those in it, begins to change.

August 13, 2009 – Today, my weight has dropped to 233 pounds (that’s a decrease of 45 pounds)!! However, that is only the beginning! The chronic pain in my knees is almost a thing of the past.  Instead of 4 – 6 sodas a day, I drink almost a gallon of water. My diet is so much better. My practice is better. My body is healing itself. I am transforming in ways I never thought possible!!

If you have never tried something like this, I urge you to consider taking three or four classes. First, your body will thank you for the chance to heal and improve itself. Secondly, you will have instructors who are very passionate about their calling, and will answer any questions you have. Finally, you will connect with a group of wonderful people who, at one time, were beginners as well. Many of them will share their own stories with you, and you will learn so much from them! 

Now, we had to take a break from November 2009 until this past June. It has been a bit of a challenge getting to class on a regular basis but now things are much better and three or four classes a week is doable.

So, what are my goals for this year?

1) Stay off the cigarettes!! I quit three weeks ago after basically smoking for 20 years, usually 3-10 per day. (The fact that I am being treated for pneumonia is a good reason to leave them alone!!)

2) My target is 200 classes for the year.

3) Learn more about and improve my diet. If I could be around 215 pounds I would be ecstatic.

4) Improve all my postures to some degree, but mostly be able to hold a Triangle!

5) Lock the knee!!! (Practitioners of Bikram have that engraved on their brain. It is their mantra.)

The general idea is that, now that I have lost a good deal of weight (even though I have definitely gained some back), it's time to really learn and do the postures the right way. Unfortunately, I still don't have the energy or lungs to get back to class. Tuesday is my target date for first class of the year.

By The Numbers:
0 classes down, 200 to go
Weight: IDK (will go to Doc tomorrow)


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