My 60 day journey has been incredible so far. I am amazed at how different I feel every day. Some days I have so much strength and energy and the postures come easily to me and some days I feel like its the first time I've ever done them... I'm beginning to see that my thoughts and focus (or lack of it) have much to do with the strength I feel during my 90 minute open-eyed moving meditation (...or Bikram class).
What I'm finding my biggest challenge to be is completely clearing my thoughts from my head and focusing only on my breath. There are always a hundred things running through my mind and it is insane how difficult it is to let those go and truly be in the moment of my practice. I am learning that I need to just accept that this mind clearing and thinking of nothing will not come in one day to me- I must keep practicing it and avoid judging myself over it. I understand that it is a habit that I've built for a long time (not being able to truly relax and let go) and it will take me a little while to break down.
Because Bikram works so deeply into the spine, (back bends, forward bends, spine twists, spine compressions & extensions) the release of energy and emotion can be very overwhelming during some of my practices. I have had a few experiences, during my challenge and in previous classes before I started the challenge, where I will feel completely taken over by a wave of emotion (sadness, joy, anxiety...) and begin to tear up without real control. It is an experience that I try not to fight because I recognize that this is normal and that my body wants to release what it needs to at that moment. It often comes after camel pose in the Bikram series (the deepest back bend of the series). It is truly an indescribable feeling.
I am learning a lot about myself and my thoughts through this intense practice. I am learning that the mind is where the bending and growing really happens and that if I can focus on a pose and listen to my own breath, I can get so much deeper into the pose and hold it almost with ease. I am genuinely loving every moment. And I am seeing that what I'm learning during my practice extends far beyond the hot room-- practicing has helped me begin to "see" better in the world around me as well. Its been 2 weeks and I am feeling amazing. I will keep updating every so often on how the challenge is going for me.
Other things of note:
As much as I absolutely love practicing Yoga, I have not neglected a girls need to maintain lean muscle either. I do believe you can keep a lean figure with just Yoga, however I enjoy lifting and functional training so much that I couldn't give it up completely during my challenge. So, I've disciplined myself to continue weight training at the YMCA right across from our condo complex two to three times a week. This has been a bit of a challenge because of the energy I expend during Yoga in the morning, but it is working out quite well so far. I will go to Yoga at 9 every morning, come home, get a bite to eat (enough to give me energy for a good lift) and then head to the Y around noon. And yes, still walking the dogs every day because I know how important that is to them. It is always a challenge for me not to overdo it, so I do limit myself to only being in the gym for an hour and keeping my lifts to mostly twice a week so that I am not wearing my body down. I feel like I have a healthy balance and a good routine as of now and my mind and body are responding well to it.
Spring Training officially starts tomorrow which means I'll be seeing less of Mo and more of players' wives, fiances, and girlfriends. I am ready for it and excited for it! I am looking so forward to getting to know everyone better and socializing with other females :)
One last little bit of goodness for today... I am leaving a connection to a YouTube video on the power of Validation. Its a really great short film that I highly recommend checking out if you have about 15 minutes. I've posted it on my Facebook page and Twitter so it may be a repeat for you if you follow me on those sites... ENJOY :)
Gus with the golfball he picked up for Mo on our walk.
Lucy and her underbite! Ha!
B-E-A-utiful Arizona sky- its been sunny every day!
A favorite lunch choice for Mo & I :) So much fresh produce!