Preparing yourself: Part 1: Physically

Author: bikramyogachick /

Hi there! It's Bikramyogachick here! Thanks to the missus and the spunky DancingJ we have a central place to track our progress, provide help to each other and over to the right, a list of all 101 day bloggers. Email us or post a comment if you would like your blog added to our list. Don't forget to join us on facebook too! Get the support you need during this awesome challenge.
Great news! The Bikram 101 challenge starts in TEN days! It's the holidays right now. We are eating all sorts of delicious baked goodies and basking in the glow of love, family and the spirit of the season. While we bask, we pretend we didn't have to just loosen our belt a notch, or that we aren't avoiding specific pairs of jeans in our closet because they are a bit snug right now. What better way to tighten that belt back up than a 101 day challenge??!!
Let's talk Chinese astrology for a minute, shall we? Even if you don't believe in astrology, it is fun to read it sometimes, no? 2010 is the year of the Metal Tiger. Here is what has to say about it:

"Hot passion meets cold steel with the arrival of the year of the Metal Tiger. This combined sign signifies both the energy to begin activity and the determination to follow it through to the end. Forget about last year's slow plodding. Events set in motion now will pick up speed and continue until either the objective is attained or the whole endeavor crashes and burns. The impossible just might be possible during this exciting time."

I don't know about you, but I have decided to make that my mantra this year. That the impossible just might be possible! Let's go for it!

Now to the meat of this post. Let's talk shop for a minute, shall we? If you've read my blog, then you know I've done a few challenges. I've been practicing for two and a half years and have done three 60 day challenges and at the beginning of 2009 I attempted 101 days. I ended up doing 99 classes in 101 days, falling short of my mark. (Let's fix that in 2010, shall we?) From a practical standpoint I'd like to give out some pointers. Whether or not you've done a challenge, there is always preparation and each challenge brings it's own, well, challenges! You have to figure out what works for you. Hopefully you can glean some good information from my experiences. Today we will discuss the physical aspects of a challenge.

Logistics are the hardest part. Each person has a unique life situation. Work full time? Work crazy shifts that change? Have kids? Married? Single? Involved in other activities? Before starting the challenge, you must sit down and decide how you will approach the logistics. What time will you go to yoga each day? Decide on it and commit to it. You may have to forgo some things during this time. I always have to give up my bowling league. It's one night a week I can't afford to have booked during a challenge. So I only bowl during the summer now, as I'm usually doing challenges Jan 1st and again in the fall. Once you have decided your class time make sure you are prepared. Here are some things to think about:
Hydration- force yourself to drink a liter or two of water throughout the day before class. It's also a very good idea to supplement during this time even if you don't normally. Especially if you are prone to cramping. I add an emergen-C lite packet to one of my liters of water in the afternoon before I go to class. I can get away with plain water when I'm not doing a challenge, but trust me, during a challenge you need the extra help. You don't want to get depleted.
Yoga bag- I have a bag just for yoga. It's got an extra set of yoga clothes in it at all times. A plastic cosmetic bag with hair ties, a comb and make up remover towels. I also store an extra packet or two of emergen-C in my bag. I have a bunch of plastic shopping bags shoved in side pockets for wet clothes after yoga. Every night I pack my yogi toes towel, another towel to dry off, my "after yoga" sweatsuit and uggs, flip flops and my yoga outfit. It's all about routine!
Yoga laundry- Don't run around like a chicken with your head cut off looking for things! I have a shelf in my closet (well a couple of shelves) that is just for yoga stuff. Here you will find a stack of yogi toes and towels and a stack of yoga clothes. I have a special basket in the garage just for sweaty yoga stuff and every couple of days I throw a yoga load of laundry in as I am coming in for the night from my 530 class.
Your body- Yes, your body. It is entirely possible your body will get sore. You may even work through old injuries at this time. One challenge I could hardly lock my right knee for the better part of a month. It hurt so bad I wanted to stop doing yoga. I decided to trust the process and you guessed it, my knee is fixed. That old running injury that used to pop and crackle going up and down stairs is gone. So just remember: no matter what the aches and pains are that you encounter keep going. Know the difference between sharp pain and soreness. Know when to back off a bit when you are in the room, and know when to push forward. The best way to fix soreness from yoga is more yoga. The hot room works.
Really the whole point is to have YOUR routine and really stick to it during this time. You don't need any extra stress so the more you plan and stick to your routine, the easier this challenge will be. Then you can focus on the fun stuff, like talking to your friends before and after class! Sharing your joy as you make progress in postures! Blogging about your adventure!
Remember, help is here if you need it. Email or comment and one of us ladies will be glad to answer any questions you have. Now go pack your yoga bag!!


ActionJoJo said...

Thanks M!!! This post is highly motivating and has made me excited to be part of the group doing the 101 challenge! You are absolutely right about having a routine and a physical space set aside for our yoga -- it sure makes the process a whole lot easier. I also appreciate reading about your old knee injury. I have one too and since doing bikram, my knee has drastically improved and healed but it is not 100% gone. By doing this challenge, I am committing to 100% healing my knee and the mental healing associated with having a knee injury for so long.

Like you, I will make my mantra for 2010: The impossible just might be possible during this exciting time. Everything we desire in life is indeed possible yet often, we are our own worst enemy. Thank you!!!

The Missus said...

LOL! Thanks BYC! I also have a "Yoga Shelf" in my closet too.

Anonymous said...

Wow, what a gorgeous blog. Good luck to you all!

Big G said...

Good advice for everyone! I have my yoga schedule and I move mountains to make it happen if anything threatens to get in the way!

aHappyYogi said...

I too have a yoga shelf... :-)

And for certain to make a challenge one needs the routines

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