Sunday 12 April 2015

The Bikram Diaries: 1

I decided I would chart my progress at Bikram here. I fear this chart may end up being one post long, as I move into silly season at work, but the intent is there, in any case.

I have now completed 10 Bikram classes. It's been interesting to see my progress. I said to the instructor at the end of class number 10 that I felt I'd only been able to do a quarter of the class to begin with, but now felt I could do about half. I might be being a little generous, but there is certainly a lot less kneeling down, particularly when I have remembered to drink well for 24 hours in advance. That makes an enormous difference.

The heat is still oppressive but weird things happen now. At certain points in the class, particularly in the floor poses, I actually feel a bit cooler. It's almost like the sweat is doing its job! Also, I am no longer constantly fighting the urge to run screaming from the room and stick my head under the cold tap. Not gonna lie though - that moment at the end of class when someone opens the door and a breath of cool air floats over me is still the best bit of the class (this is like when I say taking my ski boots off at the end of the day is the best bit of skiing).

As for the postures, well. My aim is to attempt each posture at least once on each side, and to not just stop practice when my heart rate goes up, unless I am really labouring for breath. Some of the postures are just too difficult, while I find others a lot easier. But I think that is probably the same for everyone.

An interesting thing happened today. I went swimming, and at the end, I decided I would try and do a couple of the postures I find most challenging in the shallow end, to see if it was a bit easier. I have a theory that my excessive bulk physically blocks me from getting into certain positions and I wanted to prove to myself that this wasn't just an excuse. Unfortunately, it would appear that it is just that.

Take the standing head to knee pose, for example. I can stand on one leg, holding the other foot with both hands with my leg straight out. BUT, I can't grab my foot by bending my knee, which is the posture set up, so I end up standing, like a gently sweating lemon, bent over and reaching. This is immensely frustrating. Yet, in the pool, I can grab my foot. Likewise, I can grab my ankle from the inside to do the standing bow pose. Presumably this works because I am not afraid of falling over. It was quite motivating to find that these things are not beyond my reach.

This week's goals:
Attendance: Monday, Thursday, Saturday
Postures: Standing bow pose once on each side. Grab my heels in camel - I managed this when I was practising yesterday
Other exercise: Swimming x 2 (including today), PT session, maybe school gym induction

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