3.15.2010

My article for the BYN e-newsletter!

I have made several unsuccessful attempts to post an actual copy of my studio’s March e-newsletter in all its original glory, but I can’t seem to make it work. So here is a copy of the student article written by yours truly! As I mentioned before, I'm so grateful to Audrey & Jeff (owners of Bikram Yoga Northampton) for giving me this opportunity. A few people I practice with have mentioned that they really enjoyed the article, and at least one of them said they want to try doing a challenge! YAY! My studio really does feel like a home to me, and so being able to connect with even more students there is very rewarding. I love expanding my yoga family!

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Up for the challenge? Then make a commitment… to yourself!

Written by Stephanie Marek.

How often do you practice Bikram yoga? Have you ever thought about coming to class more frequently than you do now? What about if you made the commitment to come everyday? That’s a tall order for most students. For me though, that has become my reality. As a participant in the worldwide Bikram 101 Challenge, I’m trying to reach the goal of completing 101 Bikram classes in 101 consecutive days. Therefore, since January 1st I’ve been going to class each and every day!

The reasons I decided to take on such a hefty challenge are similar to the reasons why I started practicing Bikram in the first place. I was looking to lift my psyche, to regain focus, and to commit to something that was personally fulfilling. Additionally, I knew the challenge would strengthen my practice and transform my body. Now, at almost 70 days in, I can say that all of those things are being realized. It’s been a pretty amazing experience!

It’s certainly not always easy, though. And I’m not just talking about all the yoga. Finding the motivation every single day can get difficult. I quickly realized this was as much a mental challenge as a physical one (if not more mental). Also, I’ve had to make some adjustments just due to logistics. For example, I’ve had to alter my regular Monday through Friday, 9 to 5:30 work schedule whereby I leave early on some days for class and then work extra time on other days to make up for it. I’ve also had to sacrifice a lot of my free time normally spent with family and friends. That is probably the hardest part, but it’s not forever. Also, I know that when I’m saying “no” to certain social invitations what I’m really doing is saying “yes” to myself. It feels very empowering, and I never have any regrets or feel like I’m missing out. The people in all facets of my life understand this and are incredibly supportive. And to me, being personally fulfilled means I have more to offer back to those I care about anyway. It’s all been so worth it.

Making Bikram a part of daily life is something I would like to encourage all my fellow students at Bikram Yoga Northampton to try sometime by doing a challenge. It won’t be easy, but then most things that are worth doing aren’t. Your challenge can start on any day you choose and be however long you decide- 7 days, 10 days, 30 days, or more. A challenge of any length will provide excellent healing benefits. Not to mention the well-earned sense of accomplishment you will feel upon completion. Maybe you even have a mat buddy (or two, or three) that you can rope into doing it with you- there’s nothing like a little group energy to provide inspiration and motivation! The idea is just to decide whatever challenge is right for you and commit to it. Every day. Your practice will change, your body will change, and your life will change! You’ll actually be making a commitment to yourself, and you won’t regret it!

Stephanie has been practicing at BYN since October of 2009. She works as a full-time Media Buyer for a local advertising agency. Someday she hopes to go to Bikram Teacher Training. The Bikram 101 Challenge is her first challenge and you can read more about her experience at http://ladyyogaga.blogspot.com/.

6 comments:

  1. Yay! So inspiring!! I'm not sure that I'm ready for an everyday challenge (though I know that if I go longer than 36 hours, my body craves it...) so, I may commit to every other day for the next 2 weeks and see how I feel after! I'm also looking into bikram vacations... any ideas on that?? :)

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  2. i think a yoga retreat or Bikram vacation would be amazing! at present it would be out of the realm of (financial) possibilities for me. but it sounds lovely. someday!

    and you know, i had the "i'm not sure i'm ready..." feeling before this challenge. i had previously only been practicing 2 - 3 times a week. and only for about 3 months total. so committing to going everyday for as much time seemed daunting. at first i thought maybe i would just commit to the first 30 days of the challenge. that way if i wanted to stop after that, i wouldn't look like a quitter. but i realized that was just me getting in my own way- it was my "self" doubting my "Self". (are you familiar with the distinction Bikram makes between the two?)

    but in other words bikramyogicheryl, i think that if you can commit to every other day, you are certainly ready to commit to everyday. it's just a little mental journey you have to take to get from A to B. you'll get there. :)

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  3. Oh how exciting! GREAT article! I'm so glad you were able to share your experience with your fellow studio buddies and hopefully some will be inspired to try a challenge!

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  4. Wahoo!! Great job, miss!

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  5. thank you, thank you and thank you!

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