Taking one Bikram Yoga class each day for 30 days is amazing on so many levels. Most people associate a 30 day challenge with wanting to lose weight. Bikram Choudhury, founder and creator of the Bikram Yoga series and sequence says, “Give me 30 days, I’ll change your body…” It’s true. Taking a Bikram Yoga class every single day could result in dropping a few pounds, but there are so many other amazing benefits to doing yoga every damn day other than changing your body composition.
For me, taking a Bikram Yoga class everyday helped me keep my head on straight while having to go through one of the most difficult times in my life. I could have easily stayed in bed and slept in an extra hour while I felt sorry for myself. Instead I forced myself to go to class every morning at 6am. By the end of the first week, I was already feeling like I had more energy throughout the day, my outlook on life was more positive, I slept better at night and I was making more healthy food choices than I ever had before. Sure, I lost weight, but the best part of my challenge was that it helped me get my mind, body and soul aligned, enabling me to deal with everyday life without the need of antidepressants or numbing myself with fast food or alcohol.
Before you decide to start your own 30 Day Bikram Yoga Challenge, there are some things you should consider before going in for your first class. It’s exciting to think about doing a challenge like this. It’s even more exciting when you’ve completed it successfully. Here are ten tips for surviving a 30 Day Bikram Yoga Challenge like a boss.
1 – Find A Studio Near Year
Google “Bikram Yoga” and the same of the city or town you live in. Once you’ve found a studio nearby, check their schedule of classes. Do they have class times that work with your schedule? Are you a morning workout type or would you rather get physical after work? For me, I have less chance of talking myself out of going to class if I go first thing in the morning so studios offering 6am classes Monday through Friday are always winners with my schedule.
2 – Get It On The Calendar
Once you’ve found a studio that’s nearby and offers classes that work with your schedule, add the class times you plan on taking to your calendar. For me, if it’s not on my calendar, it won’t happen. Give yourself a visual reminder of your daily commitment to your 30 day challenge.
Trying to decide on when to do your 30 day challenge? Take a look at your calendar first. I recommend picking a month when you don’t plan on traveling anywhere. The holidays are a great time of year to practice because its comforting practicing in a hot, humid studio while everything is freezing cold outside, but things can get tricky if you plan on traveling anywhere. It’s fun to check out other studios. I just wouldn’t recommend adding the extra work during a 30 day challenge. Keep it simple and do your challenge locally. Once you’ve completed your challenge, definitely get adventurous and explore other studios. New surroundings can inspire you to keep coming back to class long after your challenge.
3 – Preparation Is Key
Preparation was key for my own challenge. This meant packing my bag for both yoga and work the night before with my yoga costume, mat, shower towel, toiletries, clothes for work and my water bottle for class. It took me an extra 15 to 20 minutes each night, but it saved me precious minutes in the morning and eliminated a way for me to talk myself out of not going to class.
4 – Laundry
You might be wondering, “What the hell does laundry have to do with a 30 day Bikram Yoga challenge?” Unless you have multiple yoga mats and costumes, be prepared to do laundry several times a week. Bikram Yoga creates a lot of extra laundry when you practice on the daily. If you don’t love doing laundry now, you’ll need to learn how to love doing it for the next 30 days.
I quickly grew my collection from one to three towel mats and to several yoga costumes. I now have the ability to take five classes in a row without needing to do a load of laundry. This investment has saved me valuable time during the week and eliminates another excuse of why I can’t go to class. Priceless!
5 – Paying For Class
I’ll be honest. Bikram Yoga isn’t cheap, but you can definitely make it affordable. Most studios will offer a special, introductory rate for new students. This is a great way for studios to get people hooked on yoga and for studio newbies to check out the studio. It also helps make a 30 day challenge very affordable.
Most studios will offer a variety of class payment plans. The right payment plan for you will depend on how often you plan on coming to class. You can pay by the class, which can range anywhere from $12 to $25 per class. This is okay if you’re visiting, but steep if you want to practice everyday. Some studios offer multiple class packages for a discounted price. If you plan on going to class everyday, you might want to consider purchasing an unlimited, monthly class package. These packages will typically save you the most money, especially if you come to class each and everyday.
Another option is to go online and see if the studio near you is offering a Groupon special. Groupon is a great way to try out a new studio at an affordable price. These packages typically include some variation of unlimited classes for a specific amount of time, either a week, two weeks or up to a month.
6 – Find Your Ideal Costume
When you plan on spending an hour and a half in a hot room packed with heat, humidity and people, you’re going to want to be as comfortable as possible. Being comfortable starts with what you wear to class. Pick a costume you feel comfortable in. Look for material that’s light, breathable and sweat wicking. I went from wanting to hide my body in a cotton tank top and cotton shorts or cotton yoga pants to a pair of boy shorts and a sports bra. Nowadays, I couldn’t imagine wearing much else during class. You’re going to sweat a lot so you might as well sweat in something you’re going to feel comfortable wearing. Don’t worry about other people in class judging your body or costume. Everyone in class is there for the same reason – to get their open eyed mediation on for the next 90 minutes, sweat profusely and concentrate on their locked knee. No one is really concerned with what you’re wearing except for you.
7 – Get The Right Gear
Invest in a towel mat. Breathe Mats are my favorite! If you’re going to Bikram yoga everyday, you’ll be happy you did. A towel mat is a mat and towel in one. They do a great job absorbing sweat and help keep you from sliding all over the studio floor. You can use a regular bath or beach towel, but they tend to bunch up underneath your feet in postures and don’t absorb sweat as well as a towel mat does. Towel mats can be pricey, depending on the brand and size you get, but its such a worthy investment for someone who goes to Bikram everyday.
8- Drink Water
Not only is it important to take small sips of water throughout class, but also make sure to drink plenty of water before and after class and throughout the day. It’s important to replenish the water you sweat out during class. This keeps you from getting dehydrated, getting a raging headache or feeling lethargic during class.
9 – Food
People ask me all the time what I think about during a Bikram Yoga class. Honestly? I think about food. My mind always seems to wonder off, thinking about what I want to eat after class. With that said, you don’t want to eat food in class. I wouldn’t recommend eating anything right before class either. Everyone’s body works differently. For me, Bikram yoga takes a lot out of my body physically so I need to have a light snack before class, like a banana. If I don’t have a little something in my stomach, I tend to get dizzy and nauseous by the time we hit the spine strengthening series, starting with Cobra pose and get a nasty case of the hangries.
10 – Give Yourself A Gold Star Or Two Or Three
Reward yourself for going to class. Go ahead. You deserve it. Taking a Bikram Yoga class each day for 30 days in a row is no easy feat. Pick milestones you want to celebrate such as the end of the first week, half way through at day 15 or the last day of the challenge at day 30. Pick a reward that will motivate you to keep coming back to class. For me, I rewarded myself with gear for class like a new towel mat or a cute pair of sassy shorts. Sometimes I’d even reward myself with a special breakfast after class or something as simple as an Epsom salt bath. Ain’t no shame in your game for honoring yourself for a job well done.