30-Day Challenge: Bikram Yoga - Update 3

Here we are with another update on my challenge so far.  I finished my 12th class this morning, and would you believe me if I told you that I am going back for another class this afternoon?  Crazy, right?  Well, in theory this is a 30-day challenge, but my sister, brother-in-law and niece are coming for a visit the final three days of my challenge.  Therefore, I am challenging myself to complete the 30 classes in 27 days rather than 30.  

Today I noticed a few things that I am still struggling with in several of the poses.  It might sound weird, but the more you figure out the postures, the harder they become.  Because you start to focus on all of the different aspects of the posture that you weren't previously.  For instance, locking out your standing knee, when your focus is on the leg that is raised and doing something crazy.  So with the progress of being aware of what every part of your body is up to in the posture, I have realized three main things that I still struggle with.  Which is good, yoga is all about practice.  Not getting it right from your very first try.  What are these three trouble areas?  My hips, my flexibility and my back bends.  My hips are super tight, and this causes me some difficulty in more than a few postures.  I am interested in finding out if there are exercises that I can do outside of class to help with this.  Stay tuned.  The other two will come with time, and I am fully aware of that.  So I am accepting the fact that I have no control over it for now, and hope to improve in these areas as I continue my practice.  

And now, four more postures along with a few of their benefits.

9.  Trikanasana  (Triangle Posture)
Improves every single bone, muscle, joint, tendon, and internal organ and it revitalizes nerves, veins and tissues.  It also flexes and strengthens the last 5 vertebrae which can alleviate crooked spines as well as rheumatism and lower back pain.  The teachers always say this posture is the perfect marriage between the heart and lungs, forcing them to work together.  It really gets your heart rate up.

10.  Dandayamana-Bibhaktapada-Janushirasana  (Standing Separate Leg Head to Knee)
Trims the abdomen, waistline, hips, buttocks, thighs, and massages and compresses the thyroid gland which helps regulate the metabolism and the immune system.

11.  Tadasana   (Tree Pose)
Improves posture, balance and increases flexibility of the ankles, knees and hip joints.  By strengthening the internal obliques in this posture, it helps prevent hernia.

12.  Padangustasana  (Toe Stand)
Strengthens the knees and is therapeutic for rheumatism of the knees, ankles and feet.  It helps open up the knee and hip joints.  This posture is also great for developing mental strength.  I am currently unable to do this, as I need to strengthen the muscles around my knee for protection before I put that much pressure on it. Yet another thing I am working towards.  For now, I do another set of Tree.

I am keeping strong, and eager to get to my next milestone: 50% complete!  I hope to have some new house posts this weekend or early next week, so stay tuned!