Day 36. Bikram Yoga Challenge

snow yogi
This has been the story of my life these days…tromping through snow to get to yoga! We have had a ridiculous amount of snow this year. I’m scared to see what happens when it all finally melts.

I’ve been meeting some really cool people at the yoga studio. This is WILL. He’s hilarious! He’s also doing a yoga challenge. So, we are like comrades in arms. You should check out his blog.

seacress
This YOGA CHALLENGE has been intense!! But in a good way. I’ve been helping things along with my uber clean diet. This is a watercress/seaweed salad that I made yesterday. I got the recipe from SARMA’S book, and it is a winner! I have to tell you that raw food plus bikram yoga equals very powerful detox, to be sure. I’ve been going through a lot…from sore muscles to amazingly efficient elimination to feeling ill to feeling wonderful to unbelievable progress with my health issues. Admittedly, I’m holding up better than I thought I would. In some ways, I wish that progress was a little faster. But I know that my body is going at MY pace. If it went any faster, I think I would be overwhelmed.

halfmoonThis is the half moon pose, and it is my nemesis (for a lot of reasons). It’s the second pose in the series. It looks easy enough. But for me, it’s hard. First off, it’s early in the series. So, I’m still stiff. It’s very hard for me to lift my arms over my head like that the first time around (we do each posture twice). I have a lot of muscle pain from my ACCIDENT in my upper back and neck. It’s actually improved a lot since I started this challenge. In the beginning it was more widespread and diffuse. Now, it seems more focused. Like a lot of the milder tension has released a little. Now I’m left with the most stubborn spots. The other issue is that according to my teacher, Martha, there are many small muscles in the pelvis that stabilize you in this side stretch. Since I was on crutches/walker for some time, these muscles are really weak. This pose starts with a left and right side stretch and then progresses to a front and back stretch. Sounds pretty straightforward, right? You would think so. But OMG. It’s hard!! My lower back is kind of a wreck right now.

standing bowThis is the standing bow. I’ve actually been making good progress on this pose the last week or so. It really stretches out the shoulder surprisingly. So to me, it feels really good. The professional yogis do this pose and it looks like a sideways split. Right now, I can NOT fathom how they do that. But it’s amazingly inspirational. I have a ways to go before I get to that point. But I can see my foot coming up behind my head when I look in the mirror. So, I’ve reached the first goal. Yay!

chalupa
I’ve been eating really well to support the challenge, and I have to say it doesn’t feel difficult at all to me. Now that I have the repertoire, I feel like I’m really hitting a stride with my food prep. Here are some chalupas I made the other day.

pizza
This is a raw pizza. I garnished it with marinated mushroom, COCONUT JERKY, and pineapple for a hawaiian feel (I’m in denial about the snow). Healthwise, I’ve been noticing lots of changes. My muscle tension is slowly dissipating. I hoped that I would have worked through most of it by now. But alas, it is a lot worse than you can tell when you’re all numb. But it is changing. So I’m determined to stick it out until I get ahead of it. My liver has been going through a lot. If you have liver issues like me, I should warn you that I definitely had to do a lot of work on my liver to work up to this. My yoga teacher even noticed. She said that it seemed like I had a lot of gunk to work through at first. I was really surprised that she would observe that. Really intuitive! The liver is definitely working things out. Like, I have this constant burp that comes and goes in class (a symptom that first appeared when I was in the HOSPITAL with my liver issues). I also have had some healing crises like an episode of the chills and a severe episode of heartburn that wasn’t food related (liver symptoms). But I went into see my doctor last week (to follow up on my TEST RESULTS – perhaps a topic which is worthy of it’s own post). She checked my liver numbers, and they were good. So despite the challenges, I seem to be staying on top of things. And my doctor encouraged me to keep doing what I was doing. So, I think I will. I’ll keep you posted…

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