Hello, hello. Heat wave? Check. Water bottle? Check. Bikram yoga daily? Check. Most people think we're crazy for practicing in this heat, but really, it is because we practice in the heat that we can handle the rest of our day without freakin out. This month's featured yogi is Amanda McFarland from Massachusetts. Check out what she's got to say about her challenge...
MH: Hi Amanda. How did you stumble into the hot room your very first time?
AM: I had just moved to MA from NYC and was looking for a yoga studio. the nearest class that fit my schedule was a Bikram class, thank goodness!
And how did that first class go for you?
The class was packed with people and it felt hotter than the NYC subway in July. I stood in the front row because i thought it was really the back row... how humiliating! i stayed in the room for the full 90 minutes and that was the most I could that day.
Ohhhh....yes. NYC subway in July, I hear that. For most people, dealing with the heat is usually the biggest challenge. Which is why just staying in the room the whole 90 minutes is such a victory. Well done. What made you come back?
During my first class i realized how out of shape i was for a 33 year old--i went back to combat that obstacle. And because even though i was terribly miserable in the class, after i left i could not stop thinking about when i would be able to go back.
Ha... this is going to sound really dorky but if i had a dollar for every time I heard that I would commute in this bicycle (it would say 'Mishel' of course) with nothing but my black Amex in my back pocket. Mmmm.... anyway... are you, or were you working with any injuries?
Before practicing Bikram yoga regularly i would have described myself as having a bad back.
I can see that. Getting in the hot room and moving your spine (especially backbending) does wonders for your back. What is it that you like about the practice?
I love that it gives me the chance to transform my mind and my body simultaneously. Since i started practicing regularly i feel that all the energy i expend while i am in class has made room for other, more positive energy to be present in my everyday life. i feel more physically and mentally empowered.
That's beautiful. It's so very true. And since positive energy multiplies, everyone you encounter in your day and all the people in your life benefit too :) Any dislikes about the practice?
I dislike all the laundry that comes along with it.
Yeah. It's a hindrance, but as I wash them, I love to think of those sweaty clothes as trophies for victoriously showing up for practice. Now tell me, what made you sign-up for a 30DC?
I am eager to see if i can make strides in postures that i struggle with. My husband and i are doing the challenge together and the commitment to practice is also a commitment to having a shared experience.
That's amazing. You guys must share stories all the time. Did you set any intentions before starting?
Yes. My intention is to make bikram a part of my everyday life, to always find room for what makes me feel wonderful and to embrace the energy i receive when i practice.
You just reminded me of an intention-setting usually done in spiritual ceremonies... when summoning the winds of the north, the Hummingbird is called upon to guide us to where our nectar is in life, and to give us the discipline to go there most often. It's so great that you've found yours :) Now finally... tell me, which are your fav/least fav postures & why.
Triangle pose is my least favorite. I regularly find myself dreading it from the moment the class starts. i have to say to myself 'i love triangle, i love triangle' to get through. Standing bow is my favorite posture. 1.5 years ago i was not even able to grab my foot but it didnt take long before my foot was above my head in the mirror, with my body down, the more i kick i can "balance forever."
Yup. And so the dialogue goes. As for triangle, check out this video where Bikram gives tips on how to improve it. It was such a pleasure to hear your story, Amanda. Stay strong, and may you have the discipline to go where your nectar is in life, for the rest of your life :)
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