Today marks the start of my 30 Day Fitness Challenge – for me, I’ll be doing 30 Bikram Yoga classes in 30 days.

Since the end of last year I’ve struggled with my training. After injuring my ankle and breaking my toe (on the same foot!) the resulting imbalance in my right leg has meant I have had to scale back while having physio, my body was having to work so hard to due to the pain and awkwardness of my walk that I’ve lost muscle strength all the way up to my glutes. Since getting back from Australia I have really found it difficult to get back to where I was.

My ankle is doing is on the mend but I still can’t get myself to where I want to be, and I am lacking the same focus and discipline I once had. So I decided I needed a challenge, something to give me that focus back and to set myself a goal. Better yet, I am going to tell you lot all about it so I am answerable to you! I need your support and encourage meant. Hell, why don’t you start your own challenges and we will support each other!

I did a lot of yoga when I was younger and first started getting healthy but it slacked off during and after uni, but it’s always been something I enjoyed and something  I wanted to get back to – and it just keeps coming up in my life at the moment; from watching inspiring videos online of war veterans who used yoga to fight back against injury, to comic’s with cerebral palsy who used yoga to defy the odds and learn to walk, yoga was just everywhere and I’m not one to ignore a sign. The final decision was made when I lucky enough to get to interview Nick Youngquest. The face of Paco Rabanne Invictus, the former rugby league player-turned model is now a devoted yogi. After seeing some of his insane poses on his Instagram account, and talking to him about how much yoga has helped him, I knew this was the challenge I wanted.

So I signed up to the 30 day challenge at Wimbledon’s Bikram Yoga Centre and today I had my first session…

OMFG, BIKRAM IS SO HARD.

I was expecting it to be a challenge, but with my yoga background I was hoping I would hold my own. The session was 90 minutes (the Bikram standard) and you really feel it. I didn’t know the human body could sweat that much! The room is 40 degrees Celsius and so, so, so humid. The Bikram practice revolves around a 26-move procession, doing each move twice (once in the 60 minute classes).

About 35 minutes in I stood up a little too fast and quickly sat my arse back down as I could feel myself about to faint. But I got on well with most of the poses and my ankle held up, it was just the heat that got to me. It will definitely take some time to acclimatise! But I absolutely loved it. Even after one session I feel so energised yet calm at the same time, I feel focused and I feel worked out! you really get your heart going with some of the moves and I had to work hard to remember to breathe through my nose and not pant through my mouth. I think the key is going in to the class fully hydrated, haven eaten well a couple hours prior.

I can’t wait for session two!

Check out my progress

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Written by Neil Thornton
London-based coffee drinker. Editor by day, blogger by whatever time he finds spare.