Well, I’ve done it! I have survived my first week of our 30 Day Yoga Challenge. I’m not sure I could do any of this without my best sweat pal Katie Phillips. I have gone to hot yoga 5 times in the past 7 days and 4 of those days I woke up and said “I should probably just stay in bed and eat ice cream all day…I deserve that because I went to yoga once and it was hard.” But then I remembered that Katie would be there waiting for me, with her game face on, and that I couldn’t disappoint her. Thank you, Katie! You’re a peach.
It started off in the best possible way. On Day One, right before our class started, someone who worked at Moksha came into the hallway and asked everyone who owned Blundstones to come into the porch and hold them up to claim our pairs. Katie and I looked at each other and immediately started laughing. If you recall from my previous hot yoga post, my biggest fear upon entering the studio was that my boots would be stolen. Sure enough, someone accidentally walked away with another girl’s Blundstones, and as unfortunate as that is, Katie and I couldn’t help but laugh at the irony. After ensuring our beloved boots were safe and sound, we entered the hot yoga studio for class. The room wasn’t as hot as I remembered it being from my “Is it Possible to Sweat to Death” days, but I didn’t feel like I was getting in the groove. My body felt foreign to me and I was sweating uncontrollably. There is this one pose called “pigeon pose” where you swing one leg to the opposite side of your mat and then you rest your whole body down on it. I’m pretty sure if He Who Names Yoga Poses (Buddha…is it Buddha?) saw me doing that pose whilst trying to name things he would have called it “walrus pose.” I was pretty terrible at most poses, except the ones that I had already “mastered” during Yoga Meltdown with Jillian Michaels. Luckily the instructor was really funny and used great analogies to help me with my practice. When trying to get us to put all of our weight into our hands she told us to visualize ourselves as those Garfield stuffed toys that suction cup to car windows, and to visualize our hands as those suction cups. I did a great job with that pose! I can Garfield like it’s nobody’s business! She also reminded the class to purchase storm chips in case we were going to be hit with the blizzard we were expecting for the next day (she’s so cool and she really gets me). Aside from Katie and I realizing we were breathing incorrectly the entire hour (it’s supposed to be in through your nose and out through your nose) I finished the class feeling proud of myself for beginning this transformative journey/month-long excuse to eat that extra piece of cake. I went home feeling like a whole new person, and then I spent about 7 minutes trying to peel off my soaking wet shirt and flailed around yelling that I was stuck.
Day Two of the 30 day challenge consisted of very little yoga, as St. John’s got hit with that 40 cm of snow and everything was closed except Needs Convenience where I went to get my storm chips. I did manage to help Boyfriend with the shovelling though, and I breathed in and out through my nose like you’re supposed to do in yoga. I guess that means I can classify that as freezing yoga, which is a great complimentary exercise when doing hot yoga (I’m not a scientician – don’t actually believe me when I say things like that and then go outside in the freezing cold to do yoga).
Day Three also consisted of very little yoga, which I am ashamed to say. I know I am supposed to do yoga every day for 30 days but there isn’t a time slot on Fridays that works with my schedule. I did manage to show Boyfriend one move that I learned in class on Wednesday, though. So I guess I did in fact do yoga. Look at me, doing yoga every single day!
Day Four was an amazing class. I was really sad about it at first because it took place at 8:30 on a Saturday and any time I can’t sleep in on a weekend I feel very upset. But I moaned and groaned my way down to the Moksha studio and by the time I entered the front porch I was feeling very proud of myself. The instructor was very nice and he told us to thank our bodies for getting up early and doing this nice thing for ourselves. So I pretty much beamed with pride the entire day because I woke up early and took care of myself while some people slept in. Ha! In your faces! (I realize that is probably the opposite of the feelings you should have about doing yoga). The instructor did a great job of reminding us of our breaths which I think really helped me grow my practice. I felt totally in the groove and barely had to lay in corpse pose at all this time! Yes, finally a yoga guru!
And then Day Five happened. Sunday’s class was capital R Rough. The instructor was great but the moves felt a little more intense and the room felt way hotter than the previous classes. It was in this class that I felt like I was actually going to melt into a puddle and then evaporate. I spent a lot of time sighing and wincing and wanting it all to be over with. I spent a lot of time asking myself why I thought I should do such horrible things to my body and thinking “woah is me!” I also spent a lot of time wondering if it was normal to not feel my legs during certain poses, but then I decided that was okay because at least there wasn’t any pain when that happened. And then I actually started feeling good again and ended the class with a smile on my face. “You are a warrior,” I told my horrific, drowned-rat reflection in the mirror.
Day Six started off a little iffy for me. I realized when I had made it to the yoga studio and looked at the schedule in the window, that I had accidentally signed us up for a 75 minute class. Right away I told myself there was no way in hell I could survive 75 minutes of that. And then I saw very few people entering the studio, and each one that entered was just completely beautiful and looked like they had been doing yoga since the moment they left the womb. I was too nervous to go inside without Katie, and I even started coming up with excuses why I wanted to cancel the class. But Katie showed up, gave me the courage I needed, and we went inside. The class was actually amazing. I felt way more flexible already, my breathing was improving, and I felt very good about myself the entire class. While in corpse (savasana) pose at the end I lay there and reflected on how much progress I have made in just 6 days and then I smiled a huge smile.
Day Seven had its ups and downs. The instructor was great – very encouraging, funny, and supportive. She reminded us that we are not weak, that those feelings that make us break a pose a little too early are just mental blocks. We are actually quite strong. And I started to believe that and I could feel myself pushing through a little longer on each pose. And then we did a pose where we separated our legs, folded our bodies at our waists, and placed our hands on the floor before us. We were hanging our heads for awhile and then blood started gushing from my nose. I quietly reached for the face cloth I had brought to wipe away the 8 litres of sweat from my face and used it to stop the bleeding. It took awhile, and then I had to lay in corpse pose for about 5 minutes while I tried to clot the blood in my nose. I was very proud of myself for being stealthy about it and not running out of the classroom screaming like an idiot as soon as I saw the blood. When the geyser had stopped I returned to downward dog to join the class again and I pushed through. We went into Warrior 2 pose (look at me – knowing the names of things!) and about 30 seconds in I actually thought my muscles were burning so much that they could catch on fire. I figured if anyone could spontaneously engulf in flames during hot yoga it would be me. But my limbs remained charred free for the rest of the class. Then, at the end of the class, I had to use my mat towel to wipe off all of my sweat because my other towel was a little busy being used as a bloody nose rag. The mat towel kept sticking to me and when I made it home after class I realized I was full of hot pink woolies. It’s amazing how attractive I am.
So far there has only been one nose bleed, one night of me crying from pain while forcing Boyfriend to feed me Advil, and one night of me going to bed around 7:30 pm from exhaustion. All in all, I consider the first week a success. I can only imagine how ripped I will be in 3 more weeks. Look out Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition, I’m coming for you! (That is a huuuuge exaggeration- especially since I have eaten an entire cake since Saturday).
Stay tuned for updates from Week 2!