It’s funny to me that many Bikram yogis do challenges. I’m referring to Bikram challenges but also challenging their lives in other ways. I think it boils down Bikram yogis like to push themselves. We want to be comfortable being uncomfortable and we’re going to experiment with different ways of improving ourselves (and our practice).
My first Bikram challenge was summer 2009. I challenged myself to take 30 classes in 30 days. I just just curious if I could do it and how it would make me feel. Turns out I CAN do it, and I felt about the same (of course my practice improved, but no huge body difference or huge enlightenment).
When I happened across my current beloved studio, I did a 60 in 60 challenge in early 2012. I was pretty nervous about the time commitment. I knew I COULD do it; I just WANTED to do it. What started as a 60 day challenge turned into a 94 day challenge. It was that challenge that changed by HABITS. I got a lot out going to yoga every day for 94 days (I got into the HABIT of doing daily). Bikram turned into part of my daily routine. I learned that it’s possible to have a daily practice and still have a life (it can create some scheduling headaches and late dinners).
This year I did another challenge with my studio (they do them annually). I did 100 classes in 99 days (had to outdo the 94 from last year). This time the lesson I learned was that I don’t need a challenge to make me go to class everyday. I already have the discipline (HABIT) and drive to come to yoga with frequency. I tweaked my body in ways that prevented me from making it to advanced classes during the 99 days. I’m just trying out advanced classes (I’m TERRIBLE). I had to put it on hold for a couple months. I think my body naturally needs a day off every week or so. By the end of the 99 days, I said I wasn’t going to do a yoga challenge again. I already have the HABIT. But we’ll wait and see how I feel during next year’s challenge season!
I overheard a couple of ladies at yoga talking about their challenges (one almost done with a 30 day and another starting a 60 day). I wonder what’s making them decide to challenge themselves?
I hear/read about other Bikram yogis (and ‘normal’ people too) trying new challenges with diet (paleo, the zone, atkins, veggie, vegan, I could go on). This is my first day of my detox smoothie/vegetarian 30 day challenge. I’m trying to change up my diet to see how I change (yoga and in general). It’s my personal science experiment! Sure it’s going to be annoying sometimes. I don’t eat bacon often, but I do love bacon when I eat it. One smoothie down 29 more to go!
What comes first? Does practicing Bikram make people challenge themselves or do people who already like to challenge themselves get drawn to Bikram because of this trait?