Day 48. I feel more positive today than I have in a week. Despite having a conversation with my husband last night about whether 60 days of yoga was really a good idea (we both agreed that it might not be), I still had a great class this morning.
I understand the theory behind doing Bikram every day, for instance getting deeper into the postures to reap more health benefits. I know that I’ll be proud and thankful for this challenge on March 6. But my tired, aching body is seriously questioning if I’m really built to do this. Am I too broken to handle the physical intensity of this challenge?
I started thinking about the thousands of people who take on Bikram challenges all over the world every year. There are 60 day, even 100 day, challenges. I’m sure there are people way more broken than me and my Doppler taking this on, right?
There have to be which means it somehow works and I’ll be just fine.
Last fall when I began flirting with the idea of starting Bikram full time, I stumbled upon this article from 2010. It’s a good snapshot of what it’s like to dive into the deep end of Bikram, the 60 day challenge.
Can You Transform Your Whole Life in 60 Days?
By Paige Williams
O, The Oprah Magazine | From the January 2010 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine
Photo: Lauren Greenfield/Institute
The teacher wants me to make a Japanese ham sandwich. To my knowledge, I’ve never seen a Japanese ham sandwich, but as I understand it, I’m to stand bent with my face to my shins and chest to my thighs in perfect vertical union—I am the sandwich.I would say I look more like a jelly roll. My flabby abdomen won’t let my forehead anywhere near my knees, and my legs tremble as I try contorting myself into a position my body neither recognizes nor endorses. The goal is to concentrate on stretching and breathing, but I’m fixating on my unpedicured toenails. And the neon paleness of my legs. And the fact that I probably should have shaved.
The students around me are tanned and toned and very nearly nude. Every body glistens. We’re in a Bikram yoga studio, after all, where the heat is set to 105 degrees and the humidity to 40 percent, to facilitate flexibility. The men wear nothing but shorts; the women rock hot pants and halters. Because I’d rather lick the sweat-soaked carpet than bare my wretched flesh, I have on the hot-yoga equivalent of a snowsuit: calf-length sweatpants, a jog bra, and a T-shirt. I’m huffing harder than a serial killer. And we’re only on posture number one.