30-Day Challenge: Bikram Yoga - Final Update!

Well, I did it!  I completed 30 classes in 30 27 days!  I have to say, it feels really good to reach the finish line of this challenge.  I am so proud of myself for sticking it out and completing what I set out to do.  And I may or may not have shed a tear as I laid down for my final savasana of the challenge.

It has also inspired me to do another challenge.  Not necessarily the physical sort, but something that I can tackle over 30 days that I might not otherwise do.  Stay tuned... I'm sure there will be another challenge in the near future.

Rounding out my challenge updates, I began to notice another cyst forming in my bad knee over the past week or so.  Discouraging, of course, but I still managed to do every yoga class since it started to form. And I am hopeful that it won't lead to a stiff and swollen knee by bursting yet again.  I have been careful not to overdo it.  I have also noticed increased flexibility (though still laughable by most standards), better form and depth in all of the postures, and slightly better balance.  I hope to continue with Bikram 3-4 mornings per week, and perhaps return to Dailey Method on the weekends since it is much nearer to home.

It occurred to me yesterday that three of the past 27 days included: 9 hours at work, 1 hour commuting and 3 hours of yoga!  Phew!

Here are the final 5 postures in the series.

 22.  Ustrasana  (Camel Posture)
This posture is by far the hardest for me.  I can do it outside of the heated room, but as soon as I try it in 105-degree heat, I get nauseous and dizzy.  Even thirty days in!  It is the biggest back bend of the series. The teachers often say the whole class is a warm-up for this pose and the Rabbit pose.  That is one LONG warm-up!  This posture, is however, very beneficial for the body.  It creates maximum compression of the spine, which stimulates the nervous system.  It improves flexibility of the neck and spine, relieves back ache and helps degenerative spinal problems.  By stretching the abdominal organs, it helps digestion and also stretches the throat, thyroid and parathyroid glands.

23.  Sasangasana  (Rabbit Posture)
The biggest back bend is followed by the biggest forward bend.  Maximum extension of the spine increases mobility and elasticity and does the same for the back muscles.  It expedites the feeding of the nervous system with fresh blood and oxygen.  This pose relieves tension in the neck, back and shoulders, and helps alleviate colds, sinus problems and chronic tonsillitis.  Compression of the thyroid and parathyroid glands rejuvenates these glands.  Rabbit is also therapeutic for insomnia, diabetes and depression.

24.  Janushirasana and Paschimotthanasana  (Head to knee pose and stretching pose)
This pose is excellent for the immune and lymphatic systems, increases circulation to the liver, pancreas, thyroid, thymus and intestines.  It improves digestion and is good for allergies and arthritis.

25.  Ardha-Matsyendrasana  (Spine Twisting Posture)
This is the only posture that twists the spine from top to bottom which increases circulation to all the spinal nerves, veins and tissues, and improves elasticity of the spine.  It helps to relieve lower back pain and prevents slipped discs, rheumatism of the spine, scoliosis and arthritis.

26.  Kapalbhati in Vajrasana  (Blowing in Firm Pose)
This pose improves digestion and circulation and increases elasticity of the lungs with every forceful exhale.  You generate prana and push out every ounce of carbon dioxide, replacing it with life-giving oxygen.  It also helps to increase abdominal organs and increases circulation to them.  Bonus: it also stimulates the digestive system!

Keeping myself honest, here are all of my check-ins from my 30 classes!  Feels so good to look through all of these and know that I accomplished my goal!

Happy Friday!!  I am looking forward to my first day off in 27 days!  Sleeping in, here I come!