Home Forums General Hot Yoga Discussion Benefits of Hot Yoga What are the benefits of a 30-day challenge

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  • edgehH20
    Participant
    Post count: 41
    #1053 |

    Some of you know I am currently in the midst of a 30 day challenge, day 16 to be exact. I can describe week 1 and week 2, but *warning* it is blunt.

    I was hoping Gabrielle might be able to shed some light as to why I am doing this. What am I getting out of day after day, as opposed to say practicing 4 days a week.

    Anyway ;
    week 1: I was pooping like 4 or 5 times a day & was wondering if this was going to go on all month
    week 2: I was sore and tired and some of the classes were very difficult to get through
    week 3: Just started, my class was good, but the pooping thing is back . . . .

    Gabrielle
    Participant
    Post count: 2885
    #2954 |

    Hi Edge

    ๐Ÿ˜† I couldn’t help but laugh! Especially the warning…

    Re pooping: Well, you must be pleased that everything is in tip top shape and working well. It sounds like the body-cleansing reputation that Bikram Yoga has is really quite evident and literal for you. And maybe it is also a great way to get in touch with and more intuitively connect with what your body needs.

    I love the question: Why am I doing this? And you are asking me ;). Yep, I know the feeling. You turn up and your mind is the best saboteur trying to coerce you out of what is clearly the most fabulous thing. After all your body just keeps dragging you back there every day. Mind you, you have made a momentous commitment and honestly the hardest element to doing the challenge is going back every day, finding the time to get there NO MATTER WHAT life throws at you, no matter how many ‘valid’ excuses you can come up with. It is GETTING THERE THAT COUNTS. After that it seems easy (well you lose track of those things some time during your class as you willingly submit).

    So what is the difference between 4 classes per week and going everyday?
    There are so many reasons:
    You are taming and quietening your mind. This moving meditation yields phenomenal results. And as meditation is a skill it can be practiced. Going everyday means more meditation and more opportunity to get in touch with yourself on deeper levels. I sometimes talk about yoga credits. And when you go often enough and for long enough you stack up your yoga credits. You can tell the difference they make when you can’t get to yoga or you find yourself in a stressful situation that you previously didn’t handle as well.

    Going these 30 days without break teaches you endurance of course. Putting your body through it is easier than dragging that sometimes unwilling conscious part of your mind along. I mean, you have that conscious part that has made the commitment to go and you don’t want to betray that or let yourself down. But still there is that other part of your mind that is dreading going today for whatever reason. Anyone who as done any similar challenge goes through something like this. It is oh so totally normal.

    You are learning how to explore your own limitless nature… how you can achieve anything despite the obstacles, despite the negativity that part of your conscious mind is throwing at you to sabotage you. But guess what? You are still there. You are winning.

    Keep it up, not long to go…
    Your progress is inspiring many readers, I assure you
    Namaste
    Gabrielle :)

    edgehH20
    Participant
    Post count: 41
    #2960 |

    So it appears from my research then, that everything is moving through my system, faster. how interesting!
    My day number 18 of the challenge was once again a good class.

    from CureZone website regarding “Transit time”

    The longer the transit time, the longer the toxic waste matter sits in the bowels, allowing proteins to putrefy, fats to become rancid, and carbohydrates to ferment. The longer the body is exposed to rotting food in the intestines, the greater the risk of developing disease. Even with one bowel movement per day, there are still at least three mealsโ€™ worth of waste sitting in the colon at any given time.

    Gabrielle
    Participant
    Post count: 2885
    #2964 |

    Hi Edge

    Well I am sure glad you got to re-frame the ‘pooping’ in a positive light for yourself.

    Don’t you just feel healthier (if not a little inconvenienced :cheese: )?

    Namaste
    Gabrielle :)

    marinyogi
    Participant
    Post count: 1
    #2971 |

    I did the 30 day Bikram challenge in January of this year, and was disappointed because I actually gained weight (about 3-4 pounds). I thought for certain the strenuous daily activity would help me drop weight, but it didn’t. I was sad about that.

    It could be that the yoga series strenghtened my muscles and that actually added weight to my body. I was also drinking a lot of water.

    My shape did change a bit, and I felt firmer, but I was hoping to burn fat off too. I don’t know if that happened.

    Gabrielle
    Participant
    Post count: 2885
    #2986 |

    Hi marinyogi

    Congratulations on doing the challenge. Your results are good. I wish you felt better about them. I mean, you lost shape, and toned up. That is GREAT. :cheese:

    Muscle is more dense than fat so it is common to put on some pounds. That is a surefire indication that you burned fat.

    Feeling sad about your success must be disappointing for you. But if I may be a little provocative, let me say that you are possibly making some harsh judgments and you owe it to yourself to let it go and give yourself a break.

    I did struggle with shape (notice I don’t say weight gain!) in the past (before Bikram Yoga). But I found that the moment I threw away the scales and started focusing on how I felt, and how my clothes felt and fit, and how my body toned, my life changed.

    Maybe a re-frame on weight to shape could work for you too. Don’t be discouraged. The shape changes when it changes. And often it sneaks up on you. I know in the past, that when I am expecting it to happen I keep looking and looking and then one day all of a sudden I see the change. Incremental (physical and mental) change day by day can be hard to judge. And luckily with the mental benefits of this practice the physical stuff usually ends up being just the bonus to a sharper, clearer and calmer mind.

    Is there anyone else out there who would feel encouraged by a similar result?

    Hey, have you kept up the yoga since then? How many times a week do you go now? 7 a week is a bit hard to sustain, but can you manage 4 times?

    Namaste
    Gabrielle :)

    edgehH20
    Participant
    Post count: 41
    #3347 |

    Hi All!
    I’ve started another 30-day challenge. I am on day 16.
    The one thing I’ve noticed this round: my back is so strong. My backbends are far-reaching, forward bends are straight, and the locust is high high high.
    Is this an indication of other positive things going on in the body or in the future I wonder??

    Gabrielle
    Participant
    Post count: 2885
    #3348 |

    Hi Edge

    Congrats on your current challenge. Did you notice that you posted on day 16 on your other challenge? :cheese:

    You know what? I don’t believe in ascribing meaning to things that happen in the yoga room… well not when they are negative.

    I imagine you are feeling delighted with your progress which seems to go beyond the physical.

    Go ahead and program your mind for wonderful changes, allow them to happen, be receptive and be the observer! And CELEBRATE!!!

    Namaste
    Gabrielle :)

    bonmar
    Participant
    Post count: 220
    #3660 |

    I just finished Day 22 on my 30, maybe 60-day challenge. All was going fabulously, until, unexpectedly, my local yoga studio closed! With only one day’s notice!

    So now we’ve all trooped across town to a smaller studio and it’s jam-packed. I heard the owner saying it might be six or eight months before they can find and open one on my side of town again!

    I had no idea how spoiled I was at my studio – I would always position myself not far from one of the doors and windows and the teachers would always “flap” the doors once we got to the floor series, and fresh, cool air would waft over me – ahhhh, it was fabulous. Then, to top it off, they would refill people’s water bottles, which meant maybe six more door flaps through the floor series as they put the bottles outside the room for the receptionist to refill. Ohhh, so wonderful.

    The new studio said right off, you Cambie people, don’t expect any refills on your water, we don’t have that luxury here! No calling for a cool one, no door wafting in cold air and twice as many people. Now, that’s what I call a CHALLENGE!

    grapevinegirl
    Participant
    Post count: 5
    #3665 |

    That’s tough Bonmar!

    Hopefully you’ll find peace at another studio soon.

    bonmar
    Participant
    Post count: 220
    #3672 |

    Day 23 today.

    My job for today cancelled so I was able to get to the new studio across town and to an earlier class (2:30 p.m.) and avoid the monstrous crowds that attend the 4:00 and 6:00 p.m.

    Today we had a new instructor, she had an Australian accent. Right away I could tell she’d been teaching a long time, remembering people’s names and she had an excellent dialogue. She told me after class she’s going to instruct at a new studio Bikram’s setting up in India, she’s leaving in a few days. I wondered on my way home whether she speaks any Indian languages or will be teaching in English with her Australian accent and whether the attendees will be able to understand her …

    She said something I found interesting today – most people have a misconception about yoga, that its intent is stretching. She said it’s mostly for building strength, mental and physical, and the stretching is a nice side benefit. hmmmm.

    I didn’t get away with turning my towel sideways for Triangle, she made me move it. That’s okay, my legs are so strong now, I don’t slip. And now that I’m keeping my leg and butt strong and not turning my hip inward, as per Gabrielle, it’s not too bad.

    bonmar
    Participant
    Post count: 220
    #3684 |

    Last night would have been Day 26. I didn’t make it to class.

    Excuses? My car is barely working so I have to bum a ride, it was pouring rain, the classes way across town have been so packed, I felt like going out for dinner …

    I will start up again once my new SmartCar gets here from France. It should be here by the end of November. I’ll remember, though, that even though the last class was packed I still had a fabulous class!

    bonmar
    Participant
    Post count: 220
    #3701 |

    Made it across town to yoga today. I haven’t been for three days, after my Day 25.

    Boy, I found class hard.

    I really wanted to run out of the room after Toe. Had to force myself to stay. I then thought about the fact that I always wanted to quit halfway through a marathon as well, especially if they had the split at the halfway point, 1/2 marathoners this way, full the other. So many times I almost veered to the half, even though I was fully trained and had paid to run a full. But I never once quit a marathon, why do I want to quit halfway through a Bikram class? hmmm. I’ll have to ponder this.

    Gabrielle
    Participant
    Post count: 2885
    #3704 |

    Hi BonMar

    Strange how the mind works isn’t it? Comparing the marathon to the Bikram class and how you felt more likely to give up in the studio had me thinking too.

    I wondered whether it has to do with the momentum of the marathon. You can let your mind wander, even fantasize as to how glorious that would feel finishing much sooner by taking the half marathon track, yet you keep on going. The instant that it takes to change your mind is gone in an umm, instant! :cheese: and you sail past the point and you literally move on. You are moving 100% of the time. Yet with the Bikram class you are in your poses and you come out of them. Generally you can keep your focus when your body is busy doing something. And I wonder whether in the moments BETWEEN the poses that you feel that tremendous urge to quit or lie down or leave the room or whatever other fantasy you are having at the time. I guess then too it could be about your ability to tie your poses together so it is one long set of poses with your Savasana treated as a pose instead of a ‘break’. I think this is why it can be so challenging. Keeping your focused state throughout the 90 minutes is a skill that not only takes time it is dependent on other factors too.

    I think you are doing a wonderful and inspiring job to keep up your 30 day challenge. I can’t imagine there would be another instance that a studio has closed down giving the students one day notice. You could have used it as an excuse. But you didn’t. Go girl!

    Namaste
    Gabrielle :)

    saucyskirt
    Participant
    Post count: 16
    #3754 |

    I just wanted to take a moment to share that for some reason yoga makes me feel so beautiful. I can proudly say that I am becoming more and more comfortable with looking into my own eyes. Some days I’m still a little uncomfortable, but I’m sure that will slowly go away. I love how I am growing more at ease with my body image. Other than hair in my face I am working on not having to adjust anything other than concentrating on my breath. Bikram Yoga is challenging, but I enjoy how fantastic I feel when I succeed in doing something even a little bit better than the last time I couldn’t do something. Just me looking myself in the mirror and seeing something beautiful has been priceless lately. Thank you once again for this great site.
    I am learning so much every day!
    Just this morning I finished my 46th consecutive day!
    Aloha,
    Natasha

    bonmar
    Participant
    Post count: 220
    #3755 |

    Your 46th day – wow! Way to go!

    Can you please tell me how you got that nice picture on below your name? :bug:

    Robert
    Participant
    Post count: 261
    #3756 |

    Hey there BonMar,

    Robert here (webmaster & Hot Yoga Doctor hubby).

    That’s easy – just go to your control panel and select photo:

    http://www.hotyogadoctor.com/index.php/site/forum/member/edit_photo/

    Then follow the easy instructions there and you can upload whatever you like in addition to your avatar! (There are some size limits).

    Hope that helps … I need to make some faqs I think …

    For anyone else reading – there is a general forum explanation here:

    http://www.hotyogadoctor.com/index.php/site/forum/viewthread/247/

    I’ll add something extra in there about uploading your photo … (it’s there but very sketchy).

    ๐Ÿ˜€

    Robert

    @ Natasha – congratulations! I know how that feels … nice.

    Gabrielle
    Participant
    Post count: 2885
    #3757 |

    Wow Natasha!
    46 days is a wonderful achievement!

    I was particularly happy to read of your observations about your increasing comfort and self-acceptance. It was just wonderful for you to notice this. I find that it is one of those elements of practice that most teachers don’t talk about (well at least not in my experience), but to me is one of the key benefits.

    Namaste
    Gabrielle :)

    saucyskirt
    Participant
    Post count: 16
    #3760 |

    Once again thanks for the encouraging words. It’s comforting to be able to visit this site and read everyone’s questions, worries, frustrations, accomplishments. I enjoy your comments and all the responses that you’ve shared with other yogis Geabrielle. Thanks once again.
    Today was day 47. It was a great class because I got there. I noticed a couple feelings today: fear, anger and of course frustration. I noticed I am afraid to fall forward…and then anger because I couldn’t focus or complete something. And then I would get angry because I was getting angry and would try to let it go…Why am I so hard on myself??? Fear and Anger grrrrr!
    Oh well tomorrow is another day, I’m sure I’m right where I’m supposed to be and learning exactly what I’m supposed to be learning.
    Phew I feel better after sharing thanks for listening!
    Have a great day!
    Aloha,
    Natasha

    saucyskirt
    Participant
    Post count: 16
    #3794 |

    I learned/realized something new today: If I just concentrate on my continuous breath I should be too busy to be getting frustrated or angry. Why is breathing so hard????

    LoveTheHeat
    Participant
    Post count: 41
    #4031 |

    I am on day 10 of a 30 day challenge. I am enjoying it so far. Except for the fact that my body hurts. It’s starting to get tired. Specifically the front side of the body. I suppose this means that I have to get my backside stronger? , To support the frontside.

    Getting lots of rest too, like I said I am enjoying the practice each day and especially seeing other enthusiastic folks each day. Also, trying practice at different times depending on my schedule has been interesting as well.

    bonmar
    Participant
    Post count: 220
    #4032 |

    [quote author=”saucyskirt” date=1227586463]I learned/realized something new today: If I just concentrate on my continuous breath I should be too busy to be getting frustrated or angry. Why is breathing so hard????

    Yes, I find really concentrating on breathing changes my practice quite a bit and the time just flies by, and makes the yoga so much easier.

    Another thing that has changed my practice is immersing myself in Gabrielle’s fabulous Masterclass book. Thinking so much about the minute details of each pose and I just have a vague memory of wanting to run out of the room for some strange reason in what seems like another life!

    saucyskirt
    Participant
    Post count: 16
    #4096 |

    I started a new challenge after finishing a 60 day challenge and my body still gets sore. LOL I suppose I welcome it, knowing that it’s probably new muscles getting stronger.
    I have also started experimenting with doubles. I have found that I enjoy taking an early morning class and then an evening class. So enjoyable. This past week I was able to do 10 classes. Feeling really tender I made myself take a rest day. What I noticed about the double classes is that I am able to really go into the postures. I can’t explain how wonderful the second class is.
    I’m still working on my breathing…
    And I have improved on my anger/frustration issues. Thankfully I am learning tolerance, acceptance, and gratitude.
    Am currently saving up in hopes of buying the Masterclass book….*sigh one of these days.

    LoveTheHeat
    Participant
    Post count: 41
    #4097 |

    I am now on day 21 of the 30 days challenge. So after the first 10 days I noticed more stamina. Now at day 20 or so I feel much more flexible. My hope is to gain more strength in the next 10 days to end the challenge at day 30 stronger. I gotta think that up to this point I am tired and have less strength, at least that is my excuse.

    fraseram
    Participant
    Post count: 356
    #4098 |

    way to go all!!! I LOVE the people here and the honesty is also such a welcome change. I don’t know why some people are so afraid to talk about emotions? some are so afraid to share and speak openly that i find it quite heartbreaking. When you find a place w/ kindred thoughts and passions it feels like home
    thankyou

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