Ever notice how this time of year a lot of people are starting to cleanse, diet, detox, start over and ramp up their routines? The gyms are full of new faces, the classes are a little larger, the wait time for certain weight equipment is stretched and the locker rooms have an overused smelled to them. Year after year this is the routine as people get bathing suit ready bodies and tighten everything up a little more so that spontaneous BBQ parties don’t come with an overwhelming amount of guilt. I don’t ebb and flow through yearly routines like other’s because mine routine is more constant but even I need to cleanse, re-focus, re-balance and re-evaluate my routine from time to time. Now is that time for me.
I have been committed to Bikram yoga for nine years and when I say committed I was truly committed to a 5 day a week routine but I found myself thinking of Bikram more as a chore than a yoga practice. I was getting to the point that when I was headed into the studio I couldn’t wait to get back out. This has never happened to me before so I clearly needed a break. I agonized over giving up the heat, my yogie ladies, and the routine of getting hot and sweaty but the time had come for me to let go and re-focus.
I need a yoga practice and I am also one that commits whole heartedly when I want to do something so I found a yoga studio near my home that has vinyassa flow, Thai Chi and Qi Gong as well Yin, Pilates, and restorative yoga. I made a yearlong commitment to this studio, found the classes I was interested in and set up my calendar with my appointment times. Exercise for me are like doctor appointments because they are all part of my management program. I treat each class I take the same way I treat a personal training session and it goes in my calendar and I only cancel if there is no way around it. Sure there are days I don’t want to do something but I don’t have the luxury of deciding not to. If I really feel like I cannot do my exercise then I adjust and walk but I take my medications everyday as prescribed and do my work out routine everyday as prescribed. The difference is my medications are prescribed by my doctors and my exercise is prescribed by me. This way I also have the luxury of changing my prescription when needed and this was needed.
So, what have I done so far? I signed up for my yearlong commitment on Memorial Day, May 26th. In the 3 weeks I have been going I have indulged in Qi Gong/Thai Chi and enjoyed this practice so much that I bought a DVD recommended by the instructor to have at home on the few nights a week that I cannot get to the yoga studio. I have enjoyed Pilates and find that even with my core strength she still gets me in places that I forget I have muscles until they are sore. The Yin is so hard but so rewarding as it goes deep into my connective tissues and just when I think I can’t take it one more minute we do 2 more minutes and I come out of the pose thinking what a relief. My vinyassa flow is getting much better and the most amazing benefit of this yoga practice is that I am sleeping so well each and every night. There are 3 nights a week I don’t have the studio available to me so on Sat, Sun and Wed night I have my own Qi Gong practice that I do right before bed to ensure a wonderful rested night’s sleep. As each day goes by and learn something new about the studio I have joined or the people I am meeting or the practice I’m doing I realize this was a good move for me. I am not saying I won’t ever go back to Bikram but I have a new commitment this year and I am throwing myself into my new yoga practice 100%.
I do miss the Bikram ladies very much but that is what lunch is for and although I also miss the heat very much, that is what summer is for. I have some regret not signing back up for Bikram classes but then I remember that I’m only 2 miles from my home when I come out of the studio and my body is thanking me for my new found commitment.