WOW…my 30-60-90 Day Yoga Challenge is complete and I am so thrilled to share my journey with you!
On October 1st Bikram Yoga Takoma Park, Riverdale, and Ivy City announced a 30-60-90 day challenge. It was designed to challenge yourself and support others in joining in. The studio even did a promotion where new members could join for $99 a month!
The challenge was to complete 90 Bikram Yoga classes in 90 days! Each studio club had a challenge board where we could mark off each time we took class. My home studio is Takoma Park so in October 2017 we all put our names on the board and the challenge began. With so many doing the challenge, we all kept each other motivated. If someone was going to miss a class, they knew they would do a double to catch up. I even encouraged one of my friends Key to join and try out Bikram Yoga. He saw the results Mike and I were getting so he wanted to see the results for himself. Everyone worked hard and the energy was amazing! We even had a special Halloween Blend class with Kerry and a lot of the challengers came out to finish day 30 strong. I finished 40 yoga classes in 30 consecutive days along with Mike and also stepped up my other training. October was as a great month that taught me discipline. I noticed each time I got on the mat it got a little easier.
I wasn’t in my mind so much, I just listened to the dialogue and did exactly what the teacher said to do. I was also able to do this in my swimming. When the coach gave me feedback on my stroke I corrected it each time. Technique is huge in swimming. If you don’t have the correct technique you will use more energy. It feels like I have been working on my technique my whole life. Not having the discipline to believe I could do it, was what was missing in my practice.
30 consecutive days of Yoga showed me all I have to do is show up, try my best and forget the rest.
After 30 days I felt like a superhero but my body wanted rest since I went the whole month training nonstop. I took two days off then went back in for the month of November. After having two days off, my body was ready to push. I felt more flexible in my Yoga practice. I noticed it was easier to get in certain postures that I couldn’t even do before. I even got stronger in Hot Pilates. The teachers always say make sure you get into a Yoga class. Yoga and Pilates work well together. This month the studio also offered Melt the Gravy a 2 hour Bikram Yoga class doing each posture 3 times, and a Planksgiving a 75 minute Hot Pilates class. These added classes offered us other ways to challenge ourselves right after the Thanksgiving holiday. This month seemed to fly by! We continued to encouraged and motivate each other to come to class more. I would even message my “yoga fam” when I didn’t see them and sent motivating words to encourage them to keep trying. Being that I took a few more rest days in November to honor my body, I believe November taught me mindfulness. Noticing my thoughts on the mat and off and seeing how it affected me. Being more mindful gave me the courage to try a vegan experiment. I decided to try 15 days being vegan to see how my mind and body would feel. After 15 days I was hooked! I had more energy, I felt even more connected in my mind/body and felt leaner. I didn’t stop after 15 days I kept going. Our community was still going strong! Yogi’s pushing to get their yoga in no matter what. At my home studio yogis refer to me as the “Mermaid who does Doubles.” It’s a great feeling having others admire your progress. It wasn’t easy but it was definitely worth every bit of struggle! I learned something each time about myself. I learned it’s ok to rest in Yoga. As an athlete, I always want every training day to be perfect. But doing this challenge taught me that there are days I do not want to do yoga but I was committed to at least show up on the mat. Each day was different, some days I felt strong and others I just needed to take a rest, get my composure and start again.
It’s YOU versus YOU no judgement!
It’s December! …our final month was left to push through. The 2nd of December I decided to do a race to challenge myself to stick with my technique no matter what the time. It turned out great. Pushing myself in the hot room and in the pool had paid off. December 4th I had completed 70 yoga classes. It got harder and harder. The weather changed, and my body didn’t like it. I noticed I was fighting with myself more trying to push when my body just wanted rest. On December 14th my body did shut down and I got my first cold in at least one year. I took the whole day off laying in bed listening to my body. It was a great day because I reflected on my mindfulness and listened to what my body was trying to tell me. Spending the whole day in complete silence I realized the month of December taught me balance. Being a very motivated individual, I love pushing myself beyond what I think possible so I thought what if I could rest just as hard? Would my body be able to recover faster? Would I get faster results? I took those questions and after I healed, I paid closer attention to my body and I have since noticed I have more successful training days after resting just as hard.
On December 21st, I finished 90 yoga classes! Although I felt strong, it was hard and by December 29th, I made it to 100 classes to end the challenge. I felt so good and to end my 100th class with my fellow challengers was such a bonus. When I look back at what has happened to me mentally and physically just by showing up on my mat, it amazes me how much stronger I really have become thanks to 90 days of Bikram Yoga. I encourage anyone looking for a challenge to try at least 30 Days of Bikram Yoga and see the results for yourself!
Rest was just as important as my nutrition, workouts, and stillness. Having learned this at the end of 2017 has really been a blessing. Thank you Yoga Challenge, I took on 2018 being smarter not harder.
Sarah Bowfinger, aka Mermaid who does Doubles
If you are moved to share your story on the amazing benefits of your Bikram Yoga practice and or your experience with us, please contact us MEMBERSHIP@BIKRAMYOGARIVERIC.COM