Tiffany walked out of her first class. She eventually returned to the hot room, and her comeback made quite a splash: she completed a 100 day challenge, is feeling fine & fabulous about her sexy self, and also added the Foxy Bod program to her repertoire. She's a native New Yorker & practices at Bikram Yoga Grand Central.
MH: Hello, you fox! Tell me, how did you hear about bikram?
About 2 years ago, a friend of mine mentioned it and thought we should take a class to try it out but I never really paid any mind to him until I saw a living social deal a year later and decided to give it a try.
Good old Living Social and their hard-to-resist temptations. Tell me about your first class.
My first class was tough, to say the least. The heat was unbearable and I didn't really know how to silence the part of my brain that kept telling me I couldn't get through it so i ended up leaving before the floor series even began.
Naughty negative thinking. But, you came back. Why?
I remember one of my teaches asking me this when i first started the challenge and my answer was "I don't know" but I know now it is what my body and mind craved and needed at the time. It was that feeling of accomplishment you get after EVERY class. It took me about a month to come back but I just knew I was stronger mentally and physically and I wanted to prove it to myself. I didn't want that first class to define me, I didn't want to be the person who gave up when it got to tough.
You certainly showed yourself you were absolutely capable of it. Brava. Once you began to practice regularly, what is it about the practice that you liked/disliked?
I love that even though we do the same 26 postures and 2 breathing exercises every time, every single class is different and challenging. Bikram yoga has taught me a lot about life and myself. It's taught me that no matter how hard things get or how hot class gets, I choose whether or not it will affect me and nothing can steal my peace unless I allow it to. That the second something/a posture takes place, it is already in the past and I can let go of it. I can't really think of anything I dislike about the practice other than the soreness you feel the next day but it is a good excuse to treat yourself to a massage so I really don't mind it, and it reminds me that I am working hard everyday in class.
Love it. Choosing your thoughts, shaping your experience. And then letting go. I can absolutely relate to these insights. And yes, any reason to get a massage is a good reason :) So, what is it that ultimately inspired you to go on a challenge?
I like the person I've become with Bikram yoga. I eat healthier, I drink a ton of water and I feel amazing after every class. I wanted to have that feeling everyday and I wanted to give myself those 90 minutes a day. Living in NYC, everything is very fast pace and I never really get a chance to slow things down, doing the challenge helped me calm my mind everyday and helped me see things clearer. I also wanted to prove to myself that I could do anything I set my mind to. I wanted to be in control of my body and mind(even if was only for 90 minutes a day).
Mmmm... yes. Slowing down. Feels so good, once we realize how essential it is to our health, and once we allow ourselves to do it. You've given yourself a wonderful gift by taking on this challenge, my dear. What were your intentions for the challenge?
To improve my postures and achieve overall health. I'd also like to see myself become stronger physically and mentally.
Done & done. What about postures? Which are your favorite/least favorite?
This is a tough question. I have many favorites but i guess if I had to choose just one, I would have to say floor bow because it was one of the postures I struggled the most with but now I understand it and it is one of my strongest ones + it is a beautiful posture. Least favorite, I would have to say half moon because I haven't yet learn how to control my breathing while in the posture and it requires a lot of core strength, which I have a hard time with.
Yes! It's amazing how one we understand the posture, there's an affinity to it. The breathing can be a bit tricky in half moon. I recommend trying 80-20 (it's helped me loads). During 80-20 breathing, you essentially start with a full breath, but during the posture maintain 80% of the air inside your lungs, while using only 20% to inhale and exhale. It's easier than it sounds.
There's something else I am curious to know. Towards the end of your 100 day challenge, you did the Foxy Bod program. Did you notice a difference in your body, and in your practice, while you did the program?
I did. I usually take class after work and can be a little tired or hungry which can make the practice a bit more difficult because your mind keeps reminding you of this. While on the Foxy Bod program, I never felt hungry or tired, I feel like it really balanced me.
I realize that what you put into your body is very important. Having a healthy relationship with food and choosing foods that give you energy and make you feel great really makes a difference in the practice(mentally and physically). It is a challenging practice and any little bit you can do outside the hot room will help you in there.
And that's why we love it. Any last thoughts, my dear?
I can say after completing the challenge that this whole experience has been an amazing one. I really feel like a complete different person both inside and out. If you really want to make a difference in your life, this is a great way of doing it, challenge yourself and don't be a afraid. Discover what you are made of. Believe me, we are all stronger than we think we are and we limit ourselves with our minds. I know I emerged from this experience really leaning a lot about myself and knowing that the sky's the limit for me and just feeling an incredible sense of accomplishment and clarity. During the process, I kept discovering what my body could do with the help of my mind if I just let go. I became stronger, I felt in control for the first time and I was glad I gave myself this opportunity.
Gorgeous. Thank you so much for sharing, Tiffany. To clarity, strength, letting go, self-care, and feeling foxy!