4 Month Bikram Yoga Benefits

Well I started Bikram about 4 months ago (Start Date: May 7th, 2011). I am no longer in the honeymoon phase --> That brief stage of exercise (happens right after the horrible stage of this is miserable I can't do it) where you see big changes (not necessarily weight loss, but mood,ability to stretch/run faster or father/lift more, etc), then you hit a plateau. YUCK...I feel like I've been trudging along that flat surface for about 2 months now...then I had somewhat of a breakthrough (I know I'll hit a stand still stage again soon...all part of the process)

Bikram was so different and so good for me. Here is a brief outline of how it has affected me:

Month 1: Feeling great/went 6 days/week and seeing all those results I wrote about here
Month 2: Signed up for 3 month unlimited, things were getting easier & I could start focusing on the more specific details (hold in your abs, hips forward, arms back etc). Then 1 week beach trip, 1 week sick = two weeks of no yoga. This lead me right into month 3...
Month 3: Running was brought back into the routine. Start only attending 3-4 days/week. Suddenly very frustrated, my hip started hurting again & things did not feel right!
Month 4: Here I am in August & my hip still hurts, but I have made few HUGE leaps forward in relation to my hip-hurting struggles! (Most important Aug update: Mother came along for her first Bikram Class!! A little glimpse of the class...."Esther,Esther...How much longer?????...Answer me!" We only had 2 more poses at this point, so obviously she did fabulous!...However, I don't think she was hit with the same Bikram Craze as I have been. Don't think she will be going again...but hey maybe I'm wrong??? It was so fun to have her there with me & of course we enjoyed Trolley Stop Pizza & 2 Muddy's Cupcakes directly after...all part of the deal!)

Here is what I've found out:

  • I hyper-extend my legs=lock knee (always known this)...this causes a jutting out of one's hip in quite a few poses
  • Stomach,Stomach,Stomach: pull it in & tighten it up...it can really relieve a lot of the pressure that is put on your hips during running, walking,standing and during yoga. 
  • Contrary to what they say in class, I don't need to lock out my knees. I need a slight bend, then pull up on my thigh muscle until you see muscle appear right there on your leg! (So, easy to just stand, run, walk, do yoga & not even really engage those muscles)
  • Awareness...think about your abs, think about your legs and use those muscles!!
Triangle Pose is the pose that I have seen the biggest change...I was doing it completely wrong!!

Triangle Pose
 Notice how her left hip (when looking at the picture..so technically it is her right..) is down & forward. For some reason I thought your hips where supposed to be squared towards the front mirror. This was causing quite a painful pinch in that hip region & I could always feel my hip injury durring this pose! So, I'm so glad I've made adjustments & no longer feel any pain...It has been about 2 weeks with these changes & so far so good. Hip pain is gone. It is amazing how other parts of our body when strengthened & engaged correctly can help cure the weak parts of our body.

I ran 8 miles last Saturday in 80 degree weather & I couldn't have been happier! I waited too long to sign up for St. Jude, so unless someone drops out I won't be running that in December. But, the Memphis Greenline is celebrating its 1 year anniversary & hosting a fun 1/2 marathon on October 2nd. Fingers crossed I will be running this! Just for fun, no need to worry about time and more than likely I will have to walk some of it.

Tofu Sandwich

Lunch today was rough...Slim pickings at home, but ended up being fabulous!
I made two version of a Tofu Sandwich:

Tofu Tahini Sandwich & Spicy Brown Mustard Tofu Sandwich

Tofu Tahini:
  • Left over tofu from Spring Rolls (marinated & cooked with soy sauce)
  • 1/4 cup Broccoli Slaw mixture
  • 1 t tahini
  • 4 Basil Leaves
Spicy Brown Mustard Tofu
  • Left over tofu from Spring Rolls (marinated & cooked with soy sauce)
  • 1/4 cup Broccoli Slaw mixture
  • 1 t Spicy Brown Mustard
  • Handful of Baby Spinach 

    Crazy Lunch with Leftovers
    Both were open faced on Ezekiel English Muffin. The slaw was mixed with either brown mustard or tahini & then I layered the sandwich with either basil or spinach.

    YUM! I made them different, because I was so unsure about both combos. I definitely had a favorite. Which one do y'all think it was??? Will reveal on next post!


    1. 1. I am guessing taihni basil.
      2. Always answer your mother.
      3. It could be worse. She could be dancing in your coworker's living room.
      4. Hips don't lie. They really don't

    2. Also , your mother taught you not to triangulate.

    3. Good morning BBG! I'm about to do my own little "mini-triathlon" myself (that's a household joke, btw; it's definitely "granny-style": I ride my bike to the gym, four miles, do a VERY leisurely 30-minute swim, shove around a few weights, bike back home, stopping at a local walking park for two s-l-o-w laps around, then home...don't really get my heartrate up much, but hey, beats sitting around!)

      Real reason I'm writing: that Vegan Basil "Cheese". I'd soaked my cashews overnight, check, had all the ingredients handy, check, and made it this morning. But it just kind of...I dunno...SAT there, needing something (?) Plus, I'd never call it "cheese;" it had nothing cheese-ish about it. HOWEVER---more lemon juice, some olive oil, a few organic baby carrots, MORE basil, MORE salt, a few strong dashes of smoked paprika and crushed red pepper flakes, and a handful of cilantro leaves---pulse pulse pulse in the processor---and voila', a sort of hummus-y spread that is sooooo good that I'm taking it to a dinner party tonight as my appetizer. Just thought I'd report on that...the original was simply too bland, I thought.

    4. Yum! That sounds delicious! And, I don't really think I would call it much of a cheese either, but mine was SOO Good. I did up the basil quite a bit maybe even used 1/2 cup, so it was a really creamy, basil-y (kind of like cheese??) flavor. It is definitely more of a spread though--hummus like. Glad you enjoyed the recipe.

    5. Like other forms of exercise, an individual can only experiences full Bikram yoga benefits if he or she is dedicated to the practice. Especially if your target is to lose weight, you must realize that you must go throughout a long procedure and exert constant effort before you can actually reach your goal.

    6. Bikram yoga has given me new life I found your blog to be greatly interesting,This is very nice blog I am waiting for your next blog post, Yoga is usually taught as a way to achieve physical and mental fitness .