Oh Bikram, how I love thee
So I finally got my act together, and thanks to Jae's recent love list and Tonya Kay's nutrition and workout log, Andrew and I have just completed our second Bikram class over the past two days. My hope is that this will become a month long learning experience through Bikram. Dwelling only on the positive aspects of our first practice yesterday at 11am and our second one this morning at 9:15am, I have to say that despite feeling a little sore, I feel cleaner from the inside then I have in a very long time.
Like most other people, I can't say I've had a perfect diet my whole life. I've had my share of Happy Meals as a kid, chicken nuggets from Costco, Kraft macaroni and cheese, and all the usual nasty suspects, but every time I've tried to detox through a nutritional cleanse or a fast over more recent years, I can't say that I ever got any 'real' results. I've had friends and others tell me about the incredible experiences they had with detoxes, how they released age-old toxins that they had been holding on to since their earliest years and they could feel them washing away... That they got sick, went through dizzy spells, got more energy, got less energy, had better skin afterwards, etc. Me? Nada.
Sure I felt hungry or more energized or whatever at times, but never anything revolutionary, so I figured I might just not have that much to detox after all. I thought that maybe after all, my mom had always made sure her kids ate breakfast, had a healthy lunch to bring to school, and had a dinner with protein, veggies, and everything else you need to build a strong and lasting body during my whole childhood. Maybe I was fine! But I still knew that I'm no super-human so I always kind of wondered what I'd done wrong during a cleanse... until Bikram...
This is only the 4th time in my life that I've done it, and as a kid I absolutely hated heat and thrived in the winter months... so when I first heard of Bikram? My first thought was ick. Yesterday, after about 10 minutes into the first breathing exercise, I found myself just pouring sweat, literally buckets. My eyes stung from the sweat pouring down my face, and I could barely keep up an eagle poses because my limbs felt like wet noodles. But it was amazing. I could feel that the sweat I was releasing was bad sweat, the sweat of the toxins I had been keeping in no matter how much cardio or weight training I maintain.
This was different. It sounds gross, but I literally could smell the toxicity pouring out of me. When I came out class, I felt tired but mostly energized, clean, pure, light and so incredibly peaceful in a way I haven't in a long time.
Today was an even more interesting experience then yesterday. From the beginning, I was sweating less and when I did, I could feel that my sweat was so much cleaner. I was still physically detoxifying, but what happened today was more of a mental and physiological detox. I had what I would pretty much call a mental breakdown after our practice today (about something totally unrelated), which I realize was not just what was happening in the moment, but mostly a result of some form of chemical release of all the emotions that had been store been stored up somewhere inside me. My reactions were unlike me and the whole experience strange. I'm curious to see where these detoxing yoga experiences will send me next...
No wonder people say yoga is good for you and that it is necessary to reach enlightenment and higher consciousness. Every day I practice I feel myself letting go of something else that's been clinging to me for way too long...
Workout of the Day:
1.5 hours of Bikram yoga
160 crunch (usual 3 x 12 routine)
1 minute of plank
3 x 12 dumbbell chest press
3 x 12 shoulder flyes
3 x 12 one arm dumbbell row
15 minutes stretching
Recipe of the Day: I made my Chia-Nopal Bars again (a lovely nopal farm in Mexico pictured
1.You'll need: soaked apricots and raisins (I used hunza this time because it's all we had) that have been processed into a paste, chia seeds, hemp seeds, ground almonds, nopal jam (it's very sticky and is one of the bidding agents of the recipe), coconut shreads, sea salt, chili and cayenne powder to taste
2. Blend them all to form something that sticks together
3. Spread out into a dehydrator tray for about 7-8 hours (I'm sure you could chill them too) and cut into bars when done
Happy Moment of the Day: Made a serious looking man laugh out loud when he saw Andrew pushing the grocery card I was riding and had just exclaimed "onward towards the cucumbers!"