Here are some tips for getting you through your yoga challenge:
- Communicate your intention. Tell people you're doing a Bikram (30, 60, 90, or 101) challenge. Tell your family, friends and co-workers. Write it on your journal, blog, twitter, Facebook. Write it down, make it happen.
- Make Bikram a top priority. Make your practice as important as work or school, and do whatever you have to do to get to the studio.
- Get organized. Before going to bed every night, I make sure my yoga 'stuff' is ready to go for the next day: outfit picked out, my bag packed with my towels and toiletries, water bottle in the fridge.
- If at all possible, go to class in the morning. Why? Simple. Classes are always easier on an empty stomach. If I wait until afternoon, I'm pretty sure I've had a few meals and a cookie or two. When I get my class over with, I have the rest of the day to eat whatever I want, and do whatever needs to get done without Bikram looming over my head. Also, I'm a morning person--full of energy when the sun rises, sleepy as soon it gets dark.
- Get ready to do a double or back-to-back. If you're doing a challenge, there are days when you just can't make it to the studio. If you've missed a day, don't give up the challenge. Just do two classes in a row, or get back to the studio and do another one. Know that your body can do this. It really can.
- Make friends at your studio. If you're doing a challenge, you'll see the same people often. Smile. Make small talk. Learn people's names. I'm not saying you should invite them all to your house for potluck. Just be friendly. Maybe the next time you go to your studio when you're having a tough day, you'll be greeted with smiles. You'll be happy to be there.
- Get inspired. I'm inspired by so manyyogis in my home studio. I'm in awe of the experienced students--their perfectly locked knees and straight legged standing bows. I'm equally inspired by some of the new yogis. It's great seeing them come into the studio, practising daily, and falling in love with the yoga just like I did.
- Eat small, healthy meals. By now you know you can't eat a big meal at McDonalds and then go to class. Basically you'll have to plan your meals around Bikram. Oh, and alcohol isn't going to be your friend. It's all worth it.
- Reward yourself. I like to buy myself a new tank top when I've reached a milestone. I don't mean you should head on over to Lululemon, home of the $130 hoodie. But you deserve to gift yourself with something to celebrate your success. Even if it's a cookie.