February 10, 2012

Bikram 10 day challenge: Half-way

Today's AM class was tough. I suspect that's always true at this studio, but I found it more difficult than last night's class.

I struggled through as long as I could (no straight leg head to knee for me. Just holding the foot, locking the leg, thanks). Eventually, I opted out of the first triangle pose, but after granting myself that respite, I pushed through all the other poses and I did several of the backbends at an actual "I'm trying" effort whereas before I've just been going through the motions 'til I felt certain I could finish the series.

When I wasn't desperately trying to regulate my nose breathing, I couldn't help but notice that a new student actually managed to leave the room in today's class.

After 5 consecutive days, and after wanting to do so myself, I've never seen anyone successfully do so.

There is mad group psychological pressure and tricks going on in Bikram. Make no mistake. They are geared to make you better in your practice, but they are strong, and not to be underestimated.

The instructor tried to convince her to stay, but eventually, the vulcan mind tricks that worked on me and convinced me to tough it out failed, and she escaped.

In an unfortunate coincidence for her, being new, she made the faux-pas of bringing her purse into the practice room, so she couldn't actually leave for good. And, in all honesty, she probably couldn't have left anyways, because this studio locks the front doors during the class (I wonder how this lines up with fire codes?).

At the end of the class, I was pleased to see the group of people encouraging the new student to come back. I'd been exactly behind her, and I'd watched her rest and try to engage through the remainder of the class once she'd been coaxed back into the room. I told her I'd almost puked my first class 5 days ago, but that I felt much better in the heat now, and that at this point I could make it through the entire series (or, almost, anyways).

I hope she comes back.

Either way, I'm impressed that I've done 5 days straight and I'm excited for the next 5.

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