The Gift of Water

Have you ever had that feeling of extreme thirst… the kind where your mouth is dry, head is spinning and it seems to be the only thing on your mind?  I have this feeling daily with my Bikram “hot yoga” practice.  I can never seem to drink enough water to satisfy my thirst. The sad thing is that there are people in other countries that do no have the luxury of going to their faucet or Brita filters to get a healthy, cold drink.  There are people in Ethiopia that have to walk MILES for water and the water that they have when they get to these water holes is dark, dirty and filled with bacteria and parasites.
On average, women walk 4 miles and carry 40 pounds of water daily.
I love my yoga community here in San Antonio, Tx for so many things and I am now even more impressed.  Our studio has come together with studios in Austin, Tx to support:  A Glimmer of Hope.  An amazing non-profit that helps lift women and children out of extreme poverty in rural Ethiopia.  The plan is to work together to raise money to build wells for clean drinking water for the village of Ambras in Ethiopia.  The goal is to raise $120,000 between both studios.  Each water well costs $5,000, so we want to build 24 water wells this year!  WOW!  It brings chills to my body when I think about it!

Look at this short video below from Marty Chen who is the owner of Pure Bikram Austin and one of our owners, Lisa Ingle here in San Antonio.

I have a very lofty goal of $5,000 to raise on my own for this campaign and have a well built with the help of all of my friends and family.  While doing each of my 60 classes during these 72 days, I will be grateful for the clean water that I do have and working hard to reach my fundraising goal.
Will you help me on my mission?
Every little bit counts πŸ˜‰

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The Sweet Smell of Victory

I can feel it… the end.  I know I have said it in previous posts, but I honestly couldn’t even imagine what “the end” of this 60 Day Bikram Challenge would feel like.  When it started the excitement of doing something new and challenging myself kept me going.  Around Day 30 all I could think about is, “Why am I doing this again.”  And now after class #58 today, I am so proud of myself.  I am going to do this.

I was Blessed this week, by my two best girlfriends coming to their first Bikram class to support me.  Felicia hated every 90 minutes of Bikram yesterday and I’m pretty sure Lisa felt the same way today.  Neither one of them liked it or saw why I would want to do such a crazy thing.  I don’t know if I was expecting them to fall deeply in love with the practice, (which clearly they did not), but I thought maybe they’d see why I have a new love affair with this yoga.  It actually does make me smile though when I think about it.  Good friends are so priceless.  They support you when they don’t know what they are getting into and trust you to stay in a 105 degree room for 90 minutes.  And they cheer you on when they have no clue why you decided to do a crazy challenge involving HOT A** yoga class for 60 days straight.  I can honestly say I have some of the best friends a girl could ever ask for.

A few weeks ago I was searching (i love google), about Bikram’s 60 day Challenge.  One of the sites of a fellow yogi that I came across explained that the first 30 days of the Challenge is physical.  Your body will change drastically and you feel yourself getting stronger.  CHECK!  The last 30 days is mental and you will stretch in ways you never thought possible.  CHECK!
It’s funny how even though I took this practice serious when I started 6 months ago, you really do hold yourself back mentally even when your body can and will keep going.  For example, I realized as I was talking to my little sister tonight one thing that really threw me.
Since day one of yoga I have HATED the triangle posture (this is not my first mention of my hatred of triangle).  It was the worst thing I have ever had to do physically and I would sike myself out the whole beginning of the class until it came time and at some point would lay down and give up.  Ever since last week when one of my favorite teachers, Carlos threw a stuffed tiger at me in class and told me to get “Bengal Tiger Strength” in front of the entire class, I changed.  I haven’t laid down once during Triangle posture.  Not once!  There is no coincidence here….  I have stopped thinking about it and now I just do it.

WOW… in what other areas of my life am I doing this?

“The last 30 days of the challenge is mental…..”

“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face.  You are able to say to yourself, “I have lived through this horror.  I can take the next thing that comes along.”…. You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”
-Eleanor Roosevelt

30 days of Bikram and Beyond….

The picture above is old, but I just wanted to show the amazing support I am getting from my husband on this very long yoga journey of mine.  My friends and family have also been great, but no really quite understands the extent of my challenge until they actually try a Bikram class for themselves!  One of my friends, Rosie came for her first class last week and said that I am now her hero!  After my little sister tried it for the first time (my class #30), the first thing she said was that it was harder than child birth!
  I can’t believe how long it has been since I have written a post.  Amazing that after my “Bohlke challenge” was over where I did a blog post everyday for 30 days, I abandoned my blog for a long time!  
Hmmmm…. thinking I need to take note of this for my Bikram challenge, so I do not let myself walk away from yoga for a long time πŸ™‚
Yesterdays class was class #50!  It’s hard to believe that I have actually made it this far.  I honestly thought I would never see this day.  When in the beginning or middle of any sort of challenge it is hard to see the end result, the goal.  I know that next week when I finish day 60, it will feel amazing to have accomplished this crazy challenge!  I still laugh that I wanted to do it in the first place because it is such a hard thing to do.  My life has revolved around my yoga practice and when I am going to get my class done for that day.  I have only missed three classes (which I have done 3 doubles to be caught up) and need to do 2 more doubles if I want to finish on Thanksgiving as planned.  I really don’t think I can do any more doubles though.  I wish I could explain the pain my body is in.  It’s exhausted.  My hips and hamstrings feel constantly sore and getting to class is getting harder and harder.  Hoping that class this afternoon goes better than yesterday, as I am now starting the final countdown!  
There is some disappointment with my practice in the challenge though.  And my fellow Bikram friends may or may not understand.  Some of my postures have improved TEN FOLD and some seem to have gotten worse πŸ™  I know my body is stronger, I can definitely feel that yet wish I was further along.  Most teachers and students that have practiced this yoga for many years say it can take YEARS to master certain postures…. UGHHH!  The one I fight with the most is triangle.  This past week I have been trying to take evening classes because my body feels better then.  I am still sore and tight in the 9:30 and noon classes.  I had no choice but to take a morning class yesterday though and triangle almost killed me!  I laid down in savasana to rest and the teacher, Carlos threw a stuffed tiger at my head!!  Told me to get my “bengel tiger strength”and GET UP!  I just about killed him.  Then he threatened to “un-sign” my Challenge card!  GRRRRR….  Needless to say, I got up and was able to do the posture. 
No matter how hard this challenge has been, how sore my body is everyday… I WILL finish next week.  Hopefully before Saturday, but I can’t wait to say I have finished the 60 Day Bikram Challenge and sign the wall of the studio πŸ™‚
Wish me luck!

My Challenge…..

Today I did it.  I actually took into action what I have been thinking of doing for the past 4 months of my Bikram Yoga practice.  I signed up for the 60 day Bikram Challenge!  Getting the little red piece of cardboard paper in my hand today after class made me elated, yet nauseous in the same respect.  Now for those of you who have yet to try the “hot room” or “torture chamber”as it is so lovingly called, you may not have any idea what a big deal this actually is.
A little background info about me… for most of my life I have been a petite woman who barely weighed over 100# when I graduated college.  And after meeting the love of my life, who so happens to be 6’4” and 200#+, I started eating a bit more than usual.  I have never been one to exercise (I seriously DISLIKE gyms) and was a dancer most of my younger years.  I put on over 30# of weight in about three years.  At this time last year I finally got fed up and made a change.  I changed eating habits, beefed up my nutrition and got back to normal!  YEAH ME!!  But the question was… what can I do, that I enjoy doing, not to get back to my “unhappy” place again?
Luckily, I met a friend through our USANA business, Jay who introduced me to Bikram yoga and it changed my life.  Bikram is a funny thing though, as I have a love-hate relationship with it πŸ™‚  Picture this:  You are in a room that is 105 degrees for 90 minutes, doing 26 different postures.  And it IS NOT a cake walk!  I THOUGHT I was flexible, until Bikram.  I am challenged both physically AND mentally. It is absolutely one of the most amazing I have ever done and will do for myself.
As I said earlier, ever since the first day I tried Bikram I felt a tug inside of me to do the challenge.  To sign my name on the wall of the studio and feel the sense of accomplishment for achieving such an incredible feat.  But, thinking about something and doing it are a whole different story.  It was just this past month when I just knew I really had to do it.  You see, Bikram brought me out of one of the deepest depressions I have ever been in.  In the past 5 months, I had lost BOTH of my grandparents and an uncle who was very dear to me, along with a few other things that were going on in my life.  I am a firm believer that this yoga heals.  Not only physically, but mentally.  I remember talking to my grandmother when she was in rehab before she passed away telling her all about my new love.  I laugh thinking about how she called me NUTS to be in a room for that long being that hot!  But, I explained to her the euphoria it made me feel after.  How that last savasana (the dead pose), was worth all 90 minutes of hard work.  She was so happy for me that I found something I was so passionate about and urged me to do the challenge.
So, I WILL accomplish this goal of going to Bikram everyday, for 60 days.  I will do it not only for me but also for my Granny, who I already miss dearly.
Pray for me and WISH ME LUCK!