Bikram Yoga Challenge: 2nd Week Update


Bikram Yoga Alabang (BYA), the studio closest to the residents of the south, is currently located at the 7 month old newly built Commerce Building. A welcoming fruity froyo and an Army Navy would tempt you by the entrance and a flight of stairs or an elevator trip to get you to the second floor. For the first two weeks, my goal was to fight my way as I wake up and prepare for an early morning session. The challenge? the journey towards the destination.

The first week flew by successfully, although during the first few days I had moments of nausea and felt like passing out but as Ginger Diaz, BYA Studio Director’s instructions and words ” you’ve got to make up your mind, CHANGE,” Who would’ve thought words can be forms of metaphors while you’re in practice? left the seconds in passe and hopped back for the practice strong and proud.

Instructors usually steps in a podium or stands tall in the middle of the class, reminding yogi’s and the beginners to “put your feet together, heels and toes touching, begin!” so not to scare or overwhelm students feeling the hot humidity of the room. The ignition tunes in for the 90 minutes of resilience and movement;  unlike in the gym, the studio has the: No talking, no phones and no small chit chats policy. Next thing you know, the instructors speaks, delivers Bikram Choudhury’s dialogue, and number of men and women follows instantaneously.

Bikram Yoga teaches you to listen as you follow the asanas, it synchs in what you hear towards the posture. The idea of the hot and humid  room, lights brightly lit within its rectangular dimension with mirrors on the side and in front, is to meet your own eyes as you move through the asanas and develop a relationship with yourself and be kinder.

Photo Courtersy: Pye Trinidad

The first day was tough, I was thinking of nothing else but my assignment and how am I going to position the story. I had to struggle with my brain not until I decided to shut up and let it go, worry after. switched thoughts to different directions from noticing my under pedicured toes, the buldges that Ive yet to sculpt and burn, how my thighs has become close to an elephants leg, and how annoying cellulites are when you haven’t really worked much on your hamstrings and glutes.

As you stretch more and face the mirror, you notice how your sports bra fits, if you’ve shaved your underarms well, and how you’ll tie your ponytail next time so not to be irritated by the loose hair and sweat. After you notice all these things, you’d perhaps think of what I thought of towards the end of the asanas — Post workout food. What’s for Breakfast? What am I having for Dinner?

Resilience? it takes a while before it comes to you. You’ve got to set your heart and mind in the moment.

In Bikram Yoga, as Omar Green, one of the instructors of BYA mentioned during the interview “People wouldn’t mind how you dress up, you naturally care only about your comfort and understand that we`re all here because we want change and we want to get to know ourselves better.”  There goes the go signal to wear the lightest clothes I can find, as naked as you can to make yourself comfortable. You’ll be surprised how accepting people turn out to be in each practice once you enter BYA, No wonder people build more respect for themselves and care more about the surroundings because of Yoga.

Its amazing how many irritants you can find even in such a controlled environment and how a 90 minute asanas can cure the bothered mind. The heat may be exhausting but as the sweat drips excessively, you’ll be surprised how you endured an uncomfortable portal day after day. You wanted resilience and conquer your weaknesses and hone more from your strengths, you drink up more water, eat healthier, sleep even earlier and compliment almost everything you do for the practice to prepare you for the next day.

Choudhury’s heat-centric, copyrighted sequence of ancient hatha yoga postures is a transformative agent like no other; testimonials the world over suggest this yoga eases the serious health symptoms including depression, diabetes, migraines, arthritis, back pain, and heart disease —while relaxing the mind and slimming the body.

I have done Bikram Yoga in the past but as we age, our limbs and muscles toughens. I knew what I was about to get into but as years passed, things changed including my flexibility and the way I get to move through each posture  close to discomfort. “Yikes, I’m dead. 30 days challenge and a hot room, ” mumbled to myself.

Rina Kang, one of the power Bikram Yoga Instructor of BYA was right “Though every posture of every class is the same, you’ll realize over time that it’s also potentially different, CHANGE!” Perfectionism gets no points, either. Just having expectations is a mistake, and standing right beside a yogi who can do the pretzel won’t help your self-esteem either. How do you deal? you don’t, you accept yourself as you are and focus solely to what you can do and get through each day for overall wellness — mind, body, and soul.

Standing bow pulling pose

One of my few favorite asanas: Dandayamana Dhanurasana

Expect to be reminded to: Lock your knee, contract your abdominal muscles, chin down, chest up, focus only on yourself in the mirror, quiet your breath, pulling is the object of stretching, if you’re falling out of the posture you’re not kicking hard enough, chin up, eyes open, let it go, stay there, stay here, kick harder—kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick!  and then you’ll eventually feel comfortable hearing such reminders over and over again.

26 postures and that’s just half of what Bikram Yoga is. 2 more weeks (and 6 doubles? Dead.), Follow me as Bikram Yoga lead me to a life changing experience.

Savasana. Namaste.

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