In early January, I decided to purchase a one month unlimited yoga package from a local bikram yoga studio. At the time, I figured I’d go a few times a week. After going everyday for a week, I decided to participate in a 30 day challenge. In order to successfully complete the challenge you must attend 30 classes within a period of 30 days. If you’ve ever taken a Bikram class you know how intense it is. I wasn’t sure if I could do it, but I wanted to try.

This wasn’t my first time trying Bikram. I did it in 2008 and had fabulous results. I became more toned, more flexible, had more balance and lost so much weight that I was the smallest that I’ve EVER been! At that time, I didn’t do a 30 day challenge – or any challenge. I went to class about 3-4 times/week.

I knew that this time around probably wouldn’t yield the exact same type of results, but I anticipated at least similar results. Well, color me shocked when at the end of my challenge, I had lost a whopping five (5) pounds and still couldn’t do certain poses or balance worth a damn. I know I’m a little bit older than I was in 2008 and I’m sure that my body has changed some, but this lack of any significant results was a MAJOR disappointment. I was pleased because I had accomplished my goal of completing the challenge; but other than that I didn’t feel any better off for it.

I know there must be a lesson to be learned in this. Not quite sure what it is yet.

I purposely told myself going in that I couldn’t expect the same results as I had the first time, but I think – no, I KNOW – that in the back of my mind I hoped that I would have the same results. Especially since I gained about 20 pounds over the course of 2009. (Don’t ask.) The thing is, it’s not just the lack of weight loss that upset me. It was also the fact that I couldn’t get into the poses (asanas) as well as I could before. Some of them, like Dandayamana – JanuShirasana (standing head to knee pose,) which I could do in 2008, I couldn’t do AT ALL this time around. Actually, I pretty much couldn’t do anything that involved balancing on one foot. My body just would NOT cooperate. I felt betrayed. I kept focusing on my standing knee, willing it to be “solid like a lamppost – you have no knee.” It just wouldn’t do it. Then when I could finally get my knee to stay solid, my foot started to quiver. It was a no-win situation for sure. Still, I hung in there and and for that, I am proud of myself. I’ve thrown in enough towels to build a mountain to rival Kilamanjaro. So even without achieving any results that can be noticed by sight, I know that I set out to do something and I did it. Yay me!

Bikram truly is addictive so I’m definitely going back. It’s also expensive so I won’t be going back too often. Going to a 6:15 a.m. class in the dead of winter is not super fun so I plan to do another challenge when the weather gets warmer. Wish me luck!

Be who you want to be today.