January 14, 2011

Day 12 of the Hot Yoga Challenge

Addicted to Hot Vinyasa
I have half an hour before my hot yoga class today and I thought of updating you on my progress. I am strangely addicted to the challenging poses now, although when I'm in the moment of the pose, I really want to take child's pose. I struggle the most with my morning classes (7am start). My mind yesterday morning was not focused and I was not breathing well. Breathing is so important in maintaining your poses, and also helps you get your mind off the 'challenge'. So yesterday was a really challenging day for me. Towards the end of the day, I desperately wanted to go home and rest, but I had to linger around till 9pm to meet a friend from the US. I got a little emotional towards the end of the day, but reminded myself that the feeling is only temporary and it will pass.

That brings me to the topic of 'Yoga Philosophy'. I love learning bits of yoga philosophy that can be applied to my daily life. One of the best things my yoga teacher taught me was that we as human beings we are naturally attached to our everyday comforts. We don't seek to explore and we get complacent. We fear the unknown and the consequences that new 'experiments' will bring to our bodies. We have grown up to always be in defense and protect ourselves. Just like when we're doing our practice on the yoga mat, we know that the pose is challenging and painful. So we don't bend as much as we should  and we don't get 100% out of the practice. It's okay to try and experience it. The moment of fear and pain will pass. Everything is only temporary.

Experiencing the benefits of Daily Hot Yoga at Week 2
A friend of mine commented on my 'glowy' skin. I'm convinced that yoga is doing that for me. I'm also alot more hungry. I doubt I'm losing weight. But weight-loss is not my primary goal in doing this challenge anyway. I notice my back being stronger, and the muscle around the curvature of the spine is firmer. My posture has improved and I feel uncomfortable when I slouch. And it's good to also get a firmer butt too. :)

I've begun to use hair treatments on the ends of my hair before my classes. I wet my hair at first, then apply a hair treatment, tie it in a bun, grab my 2 towels and a large bottle of water, settle down on my mat and wait for the heat to open the hair shafts. I figured that I may not be enjoying that day's class, but my hair is. On the other hand, my scalp is annoyingly itchy. I will need to do some scalp treatments at the salon at Day 20.

Validating my commitment to the Hot Yoga Challenge
I have daily moments where I think that I should quit from this challenge. I am seeing the benefits, but I'm also experiencing the side-effects. In fact, I have 2 months left in my yoga studio membership (not 1), so I can complete a 30-day yoga challenge. I will persist to Day 20 and see if my mind and body needs a rest.

In summary... Day 1-7 is a physical challenge. I fare well in those type of challenges cos I don't have to engage the mind as much. As long as you're physically fit, you can get through 7 days and feel great.

Day 8-14 is a mental challenge. This is the week I am learning to control my emotions. I am a perfectionist at heart. I need to know that I'm doing a pose better than yesterday. So when I know I'm not doing it well, I get emotional. I strain my body even more to achieve it and I exert it day after day. During my hours outside of yoga, I'm incredibly emotional and want to lock myself in a room. I tell my friends I just feel like going to bed at 8pm and waking up at 8am. They call me 'Granny Tracy'.

I will do another update next week. Wish me luck for the weekend classes - hot vinyasa 3 days in a row. Namaste!

1 comment:

Rainy Days and Lattes said...

Hot yoga is one of the most challenging things you can do, but it also seems rewarding - especially for your hair and body :) I feel like a perfectionist sometimes too..and get really disappointed if I don't meet my goals, but at the end of the day, it's okay :) As long as you went for what you wanted, you can't criticize too hard.
I've done one session of hot yoga, and I enjoyed it although I admit, yoga is HARD for me. I am much better at kick boxing :p

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