I’ve done it! Monday was the final day of my 30 day Bikram yoga challenge. What a month it’s been.

It’s been tough to say the least, not just physically but mentally and practically, too! Trying to schedule the classes in everyday was hard and it you do end up having to sacrifice other things in order to fit it in. But I am so glad I did.

The challenge has given me everything I hoped for and more. After a slow come back from injury, I thought I was done, I couldn’t focus or find the drive to keep training and making changes, but Bikram has changed it all. It’s given me back my discipline, my energy and my determination. I can’t wait to get back to training.

I can’t thank the team at Bikram Yoga Wimbledon enough – especially Sarah. Seeing Sarah’s smiling face as you walk through the door each and every time makes you happy to be there. I felt so welcome and supported the whole time, her words of encouragement were never failing. I’d also like to thank Raj, Sharka, Donna, Ros, Kee and the other amazing instructors I had the pleasure of training with. You kept me motivated, focused and strong throughout my challenge, guiding me to work harder where I could and teaching me the value in patience – letting my body tell me how it was feeling and settling into it.

The Bikram 30 day challenge is not for the faint hearted. It’s hard, simply said. From dizziness in the heat to muscle fatigue; it takes an iron will to still get up at 5.30 every morning and head down to class, still aching from the session before.

I kept my classes balanced between the 90 minute and 60 minute classes. I must admit I prefer the 60 – not because they are shorter, but because of the pace. I’m still learning and mastering my practice, so at the moment, with the slower pace of the 90 minute I find it near impossible not to let my mind wonder and get distracted from my breath. In the 60, I find I am totally present.

As for next steps, I am taking three days off from training all together; to let my body rest and because Press Days have begun so lots of early mornings and late nights around work attending them, then I will get back to training. I plan on keeping Yoga a central force of my training. After losing touch with the practice at uni (over 8 years ago now! EEK!) I am so happy to back in the flow of it. I am going to mix it up and try to get back into Ashtanga yoga as well as trying out Hot Yoga at my gym – it’s like Bikram, but the room is a little cooler at around 35 degrees and you do a flow yoga over static postures. I’ll then also work my resistance and HIIT training back in.

Now to find my next challenge! Any ideas, let me know.

If these has inspired you to take up a #30DayChallenge, get in touch and let me know on Twitter!

Namaste

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