Preparing Yourself: Part 2: Emotionally/Mentally

Author: bikramyogachick /

They say alot of what goes on in that hot room is mental. I know this to be true when I succumb to the heat and my exhaustion, fall to my knees during triangle, panting thinking I am toast. Then I will hear my teacher, in her cute accent: "Michelle! Get up! I know you can do this! Do not give up on yourself!" So I get up and I am able to do triangle.

Before starting this challenge remember one thing: Do not give up on yourself inside or outside of that hot room. Be your own best friend. Be your own cheerleader. Know that you can achieve anything you put your mind to. Remember our mantra for the year of the tiger: the impossible becomes possible.

Here are my tips for your emotional/mental state during this challenge:

1. Accountability and Support

I started blogging in May of 2008. My "60 Day Challenge" blog was to be temporary. For one challenge only. It was my second challenge ever and I wanted a place to record the changes I go through when I do a challenge. Having done one other 60 day challenge, I already knew the ups and downs I was facing and blogging seemed like a great outlet. The support I received from the Bikram blogging community was incredible. I kept going. I blogged when I wasn't doing challenges and I blogged for two more challenges after that one! Friends, family, coworkers, can be found in many places. Find your support. Let your loved ones know what you are going to embark on and how important it is for you to finish it. Find somebody who will listen when you want to share your ups and downs. If you can't find somebody to talk to, consider blogging. Many times I have driven to my studio, 3/4 of the way through a challenge, wanting to give up but knowing I had a blog post to write that night. I would drag myself into the studio because I didn't want to start my post off with this: "I did not go to yoga tonight". Accountability.

2. Restoration

Your body is going to go through many changes during this 101 day challenge. You may work through old injuries, soreness or other aches and pains. Due to guilt "I have to get home and make dinner, I'm already robbing my family of time!" you may sprint out of class every night, in a rush to get home. Don't do that. Allow yourself a few minutes of rest in final savasana. This is critical. Your body needs to cool down, relax and absorb the changes of the 90 minute class. You wouldn't run a marathon and then immediately sit down! You will probably walk around slowly, gasping for air, holding your sides (that would be me) to cool down. Let your engines idle. A nice rule of thumb is this: Lay there until you don't want to get up. Then you know it's ok to leave.

3. Emotions

Some challenges are physical....."I can now wrap my legs in eagle!" "After that challenge I was able to put my forehead to my knee!" Others are emotional. I believe that Bikram yoga helps to dig in there and peel back years of buried feelings. Like the layers of an onion, we are peeled back until our real "self" is exposed to us in that mirror. I don't think the process will ever be finished. That's the beauty of Bikram yoga. You may have epiphanies, ideas, make decisions or understand lessons while doing camel, or standing bow, or even just sitting on your knees waiting for the teacher to come in and start class. Always there is growth that happens during a challenge. Embrace the process and experience any emotions you feel without judgement. Heck, I've even cried during some classes **blushes** Totally normal, trust me!

Three more days. I'm getting excited! Are you????


aHappyYogi said...

I am SO exicted! I am looking SO forward to the challenge and all the changes and growth that will come with it.

Big G said...

Good stuff! As for "restoration", I would add for anyone else reading to really take advantage of the savasanas between postures. Get into savasana as fast as possible after the posture, and of course, lay still. It can make a big difference. Many times, I thought I had no more energy, but after the 20 second savasana I felt totally refreshed for the next posture.

thedancingj said...

This is absolutely lovely. And very true.

The Missus said...

I am so excited!!! Can't wait!!!

Sisya said...

I'm excited and obsessing about it.

hannahjustbreathe said...

Even though I'm not participating, I'm cheering you all on from the sidelines! Great post, Michelle.

ActionJoJo said...

Thanks M for another great post in helping us prepare for our 101!! Wahoooo wheeee! I'm excited. 1 more day left. :)

YogaSkier said...

"Lay there until you don't want to get up"...I like this one! Good rule of thumb.

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