It's January! And we all know what that means... new beginnings and new goals. I must admit that I am not much of a new year's resolution person. I believe that every day is a new opportunity to resolute. But I can't knock anything that moves us toward positive results.
One thing that I constantly battle along with many of you is weight management and an exercise routine. Thus a resolution to "get into shape" becomes a default year after year even if I'm not making one. :-) Gym memberships and weight loss program enrollments skyrocket during the month of January. So we are all thinking on the same wave length in this arena.
One form of exercise that I have been able to stick with (mostly) since 2010, is Bikram Yoga also know as hot yoga. The room is heated to 105 degrees not including any residual body heat as you work your way through 90 minutes of 26 poses. By the end of the class, you should have worked every muscle, tendon, internal organ, joint, and ligament while providing the entire body with oxygenated blood.
Holding your body in those poses in that high heat takes a lot of work. Do not expect to leave class feeling like you just received a massage. A spa treatment for your skin may be more realistic since you can reap the benefits of detoxing to a clearer complexion.
What no one ever tells you about hot yoga is that you have to have an acquired sense of smell for the classroom. Put 20-50 people barefoot and dripping with sweat into a room and you can imagine what you get. The great thing is that the smell doesn't last for more than 15 minutes. After that, you stop registering the smell because your brain is working overtime thinking about how hot your body is.
I have to be honest. It's hot! This is a work out that requires you to drink the recommended eight glasses of water per day. A lot of people have an image of yoga that screams "relaxing". Yoga is designated to be mentally relaxing. But hot yoga will also challenge you to move beyond your thoughts of being uncomfortable. For some people ,this process takes 30 classes. For others it may take over 100 classes. Every yogi's journey is different. After your mind moves beyond the thought's listed below, you've arrived at the point of mild mental relaxation and possibly into some realm of meditation:
- What's that smell?
- It's hot!
- I'm going to pass out!
- This class is really 90 whole minutes?
Now your next goal is to not think about anything except the poses. Not what happened this morning or what will happen at a later date. You will grow to reach your best physical performance with the poses as well. Your physical strength may vary form class to class. I have learned that my physical strength is normally driven by my mental strength. The more mentally clear I am, the better I physically perform.
This has been the path of least resistance for me as far as exercise is concerned. It's still hard.I won't even address diet in this post. But I highly recommend Bikram/hot yoga to anyone looking to challenge themselves both physically and mentally. It is near the middle of January. Don't loose you New Year's momentum.