by Michelle Simpson
One morning I woke with yet another headache. Every second to third day I was waking with screaming headaches. I had been going to my physio on a regular basis over the past year which definitely helped but the situation was not fixed. This particular morning I had enough! I thought, “this has to stop and I’m the only one that can fix this”. On the spot I decided to go back to Bikram.
I had stopped Bikram when I became pregnant with my son and so it had been about 2 years since my last class at Brookvale. I took myself along, signed up for the month and headed for the room. As I approached that Essence of Bikram hit me and immediately a loud crazy voice in my head screamed “OH NO, what were you thinking?!?”.
I walked into the room and an even louder voice… “You have GOT to be KIDDING, did you NOT remember how HOT this place was!”
Day 1 I survived!
It went surprisingly well. After the initial shock of the heat I focused on following and it was OK. The most significant moment was doing the Locust Pose where you turn your arms towards the floor and lay on your arms. I was in excruciating pain and couldn’t bare my own weight. This was so significant for me as I used to be able to do this pose, it was a defining moment that I had to establish a regular practice again.
Day 2 and 3 OMG I was sooooooo stiff and sore, I was questioning taking myself back to the torture chamber but I was determined to do a few days in a row.
Day 4 was a turning point, I was starting to feel good and decided to keep coming back. I hadn’t planned to do a challenge but knew it was good to do a number of days in a row getting back into Bikram so decided to aim for 5 to 7 days.
Day 6 I went into the class with such high spirits. After 5 days of Bikram I was feeling amazing. Guess what happen on day 6? I was able to bare weight on my arms in the Locust Pose!
Day 7 was great and I decided “Well I’m at day 7, might as well go to 10 now” but the rest of the day I was exhausted. I had the biggest energy slump since I started and struggled with the idea of going back the next day but I had already committed in my head to 10 days… so off I went!
Day 8 to 10 I was glad I dragged myself back as every day I was just feeling amazing and it was easy to go back each day (with enthusiasm). I got to day 10 and it was basically…. “I’ve got this far, I might as well go for 14 days”. The detoxing and the increased vitality I was feeling made it an easy decision. I had not had a single piece of junk food, I was eating well and hadn’t craved anything sugary since I started. Paul was a great support, encouraging me to keep going and chatting to me about food. In fact, all the teachers were awesome. Everyone was so supportive and I really felt welcomed back.
Day 11 After class – Yep another big slump day but… I still went back….
Days 12 to 14 Every day I was just feeling amazing, I was looking forward to each session and believe it or not I had to stop myself from going! At that point I could have gone on and contemplated going to day 20. I would have but by this stage I was so busy and things had got crazy as I hadn’t planned to do 14 days straight of Bikram so I had to do some serious catching up!
How would I describe the 14 Day Back to Bikram Experience?
I was really happy I had completed 14 days. I felt fantastic and couldn’t believe how well, vibrant and energized I felt and no surprise – I had not had a single headache for 14 days! For the next 14 days I continued going every second day and I’m still going regularly.
Reflecting on when I use to go a couple of years back compared to today, now I seem to be able to focus on the teacher’s instructions whereas previously it was over and over in my head…”it’s too hot, when are they going to open the window/door, when is the floor exercises, when is this going to end etc etc”. It’s great knowing I can go to yoga and focus on what I’m there for (not saying there isn’t other chatter that cuts in every now and again but it is not usually heat related).
Lastly, the whole month since I’ve come back for some unknown reason I’ve struggled with Standing separate leg head to knee pose. As Jodie would say, I have a relationship with this pose.
I have no idea why I struggle mentally and physically with it. After a month of Bikram I decided I must just be trying too hard and, low and behold…our relationship is getting better!