30-Day Challenge: Bikram Yoga - Update 1

Well, I am happy to report that I am 4 days into my challenge and going strong.  It may not sound like a great accomplishment, but I am happy to see myself sticking with it, and hey I'm more than 10% in now!  Ha!  As strange as it might sound, after four days in a row, I am already experiencing improved balance in the postures. I think the more regularly you attend class, the quicker you see results like this.  I am still in desperate need of improved flexibility, but I am excited to see how that progresses through this challenge.

I thought I would share some of the poses from Bikram with every update that I post, along with some of the benefits each pose offers.  I knew a lot of these benefits from the instructors in class, but found it really fascinating just how good each and every pose is for your body.  It makes me appreciate my time in class a lot more knowing the benefits my body is experiencing.

Bikram yoga consists of the same 26 poses, in the same order, each and every class.  Some might find this to get a bit boring, but I love the predictability of it.  I also think it is easier to progress further into the postures when you do the same ones each class.  There is 60 minutes of standing poses, followed by 30 minutes of floor poses.  The room temperature is about 105 degrees Fahrenheit and approximately 40% humidity.  Yeah, you sweat.  A lot.

Here are the first 4 poses.

1.  Pranayama (Standing Deep Breathing Pose)
          Benefits:  Pranayama prevents respiratory problems (such as bronchitis, emphysema and shortness of breath.)

2.  Ardha-Chandrasana (Half Moon Pose)
          Benefits:  Strengthens every muscle in your core, increases flexibility of the spine, firms and trims the waistline, hips, abdomen, buttocks and thighs.

3.  Utkatasana (Awkward Pose)
        Benefits:  Tones and shapes legs, heals chronically cold feet, relieves rheumatism and arthritis in the legs, helps cure slipped discs and other problems in the lower spine.

4.  Garurasana (Eagle Pose)
        Benefits: The Eagle pose is the only one that opens up the 14 largest joints in the skeletal system, improves flexibility in the hips, knees and ankles, and supplies fresh blood to the reproductive system and kidneys.

The next 30-day challenge update will be up this weekend.  Do you think I can stick it out for the full thirty days?