28February/2013

45 Hours in 30 Days Challenge

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45 Hours in 30 Days

Can Ultra FITNESS publisher Michael survive the Bikram challenge?

 

It all started in the doctor’s surgery. After a lifting injury, I was told to my dismay “No more lifting! Your left shoulder is ruined and will require an operation.” It was October and my summer was not looking good.

The next day my wife invited me to my first Bikram class and, as weird as it was, I was hooked! Halfway through the class while I was lying flat on my back in the savasana posture the instructor mentioned a 30-day challenge in November. Suddenly I was on a path that I felt would realign me both physically and mentally. What I did not expect was the emotional challenge I had just signed up for!

Day 1: I go to the very first class of the challenge at 6am – the room is packed with 30 people all excited and energised for what’s to come. Here we go!

 

Day 2: The first thing you learn about yoga is that you only ever ‘practise’ it. You never actually master it – sure you get better and stronger – but the aim is to continue improving…forever.

 

Day 3: People’s reactions to me doing Bikram yoga are interesting…here’s just a few of the comments I’ve received: “Yuck, all that sweat in one place”, “Yoga is never going to get you the results you need” and “How can you stand the heat for 90 minutes, that cannot be healthy??”

 

Day 4: Boy, it’s hard to get to today’s 6am class, but I leave the room feeling charged for a great day. Starting to feel improvement in my balance and I’m getting better sleep than I have in ages!

 

Day 6: I’m exhausted, do I really have to go again? I tell myself I’ll miss a day and it won’t be too hard to make it up tomorrow.

 

Day 7: Two classes in one day! First class at 10am: no problem. Second class at 7pm: that is nuts. I feel like I’ve run a marathon (or at the very least two half marathons in one day!).

 

Day 8: I’m still in recovery from yesterday but have to go today (no way am I doing two classes again tomorrow). I’m sleeping really well and even if I drink 3L+ of water a day I don’t wake up at 3am needing to pee. This is new for me!

 

Day 9: This is hard. My yoga is stagnating and I am tired. In the savasana posture I surprise myself by getting teary for no reason! I am focused on myself and emotions are flowing.

 

Day 10: 45 people in the room today! I just want out. My buddy needs to pee and the instructor will not let him leave the room – what is going on here!?

 

Day 12: Ouch. I have to do two classes as I’m flying to Queensland for a photo shoot tomorrow. To make matters worse I got a spray tan tonight on my badly dehydrated body and nearly collapsed!  I think my skin must have drunk the spray tan chemicals in or the tan stopped my rehydration process. Spending the night in bed dehydrated.

 

Day 13: Missed today’s class and really enjoyed it!

 

Day 14: Oops missed another class today.

 

Day 15: I’ll catch up on my extra classes later…the kite-surfing conditions are too good!

 

Day 17: Two classes for the second day in a row, what a mistake to make! Am so tired but once I get to the studio I am inspired and it’s good to get back into it.

 

Day 19: My 6am class was hard but good. The 15 minutes straight after class always feel incredible. I realise my skins feels brand new and I am breathing so slowly! Feeling this calm is a new experience.

 

Day 20: Ten days to go! I feel like my posture is better than it has been for ages…but not much progress in terms of getting better at the yoga postures. In fact, I am terrible at several postures.

 

Day 22: The women here are amazing, I start to notice the beauty in their grace and power. They do not look like gym girls but like dancers! Oops, I think my wife spotted me looking, I’m sure she understands it is for research purposes only…

 

Day 23: I have lost 4 kilos! I have nice little abs starting to show, who would have thought? 90 minutes spent looking in the mirror each day and I can see and feel change. 89kg is now 85kg, I eat better, I drink water like crazy and I move better. Best of all, all I have to do is turn up and the leader gets me through the rest. There is a strong feeling of contentment in the room. We are in this together and the group looks great.

 

Day 25: OMG I like the look of my body! Bought some yoga shorts, dude I am the real thing. Seems that most of the claims these yoga teachers made have some truth. What I like is that the benefits are also internal. I am not just looking good, I am detoxing, reducing stress and cleansing my body.

 

Day 26: I was so tired when I got up at 5:30am this morning that I drove to the yoga studio, turned around and went to the office to do accounts. A weird choice, but I needed the break!

 

Day 27: Just did my best class ever! Very focused, no eye wandering, just me with me for 90 sweaty minutes.

 

Day 29: Early class and then a morning swim at the beach followed by fruit salad for breakfast. Amazing!

 

Day 30: Away in New Zealand so I can’t finish with the group, but the Christmas party is a week away!

 

Michael After

The truth is I want to do this again. Next time I would choose a quieter month being so busy at work made it very hard. But my results are undeniable: 4 kilos fat loss, better sleep, straighter posture, my sore shoulder is still sore but stronger, I feel very strong and super healthy, made some new friends and I’ve seen several people transform themselves.

One lady at my studio has done 100 classes in 100 days to finish on her 50th birthday. She looks amazing and when I talked to her the other day it seemed like she has completely transformed her life throughout the process. The best part is how the yoga has helped her rebuild her self-esteem; I can see a great sense of pride in her as she stands tall. She has gained huge inner strength and power over her situation. Brilliant. 

 


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