Body by Bikram

Standing Bow Pulling Pose
This is Standing Bow Pulling Pose, my favorite part of Bikram class.

Today’s Weight: 162.6

Also, I measured everything this morning, which I’ll do from here on out every Friday and post in a blog, as well as on the sidebar to your right, under ‘My Stats’. Today’s measurements:
Waist: 29.5″
Hips: 40″
Belly: 36″
Thighs: 23.5″
Upper Arm: 12″

My goal size is to fit into an 8 in jeans, which, according to US Standard clothing sizes (which we all know are anything but ‘standard’, but anyway), would mean I need to lose an inch and a half off of my hips and two inches off of my waist. I’m going to go ahead and say right now that I don’t think an inch and a half is going to get me into an 8, when I’m already struggling (really, really struggling) to get into a 10 with stretch capacity. But we’ll see. Maybe miracles happen.

I don’t know how much I need to lose from my arms, but since most things with non-stretchy sleeves are really tight, I would hazard to guess losing an inch or two would be beneficial. Not to mention that it’s embarrassing for me to wear sleeveless things, since my arms jiggle so much and look HUGE when you look at me from the side. I think a lot of yoga is really going to help firm my arms up, though. Hopefully my thighs will follow suit in this process.

Starting yesterday, I began a the 30 Day Bikram Challenge. That means that for the next 30 days, if you see me skipping yoga class, you have my permission to call me out on lying to you (and myself). I’ve been doing Bikram yoga off and on for about a year and a half, but just recently started getting more serious about my practice.

Just in case you haven’t heard me rhapsodizing about the sweaty magic that is Bikram, here’s the run down. It’s a 90 minute class consisting of 26 postures, each repeated twice, in a 105 degree room with 40% humidity. Every class is formatted exactly the same. Even the words the instructor uses are the same. It’s tough. It’s regimented. It makes you sweat buckets. It’s a little smelly, though you get used to it. In short, it is not what most of you would think of when you think yoga – no dark room and soft music, no incense and cute outfits, just sweaty, nearly naked people trying to listen to their bodies, control their breath, and maintain balance.

The first half of class is spent in standing postures, and the latter half of class is spent on the floor. Most of the poses are dedicated to strengthening your spine, but as I’ve found since I started trying harder, most poses work every muscle in your arms, shoulders, upper back, thighs, butt, and calves if you’re doing it right. Also, most of the poses call for sucking in your stomach, which I’m sure will eventually give me very strong ab muscles. I still have a lot of trouble remembering to breathe during some poses, and keeping my abs tight while breathing deeply in others. Some classes are just too much for me, and I find myself sitting a pose or two out. But as one of my teachers said the other day, “The only bad yoga class is the one you didn’t make it to.” I feel like a champion in Bikram class.

In fact, I’m about to head off to Day 2 of the challenge at my local studio. After that, who knows? I have roughly 500 calories left to play with today, and I’m thinking about my options. Right now, oven baked potato slices, sauteed asparagus, and a tilapia filet sound pretty darn tasty…

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