Drs Orders: Get Healthy or Else
"Never too old, never too sick, never too bad, never too late to start from scratch and begin again."
- Bikram Choudhury
I've been practicing Bikram Yoga for nearly 6 years. And until last week, I could not convince anyone in my family (aside from Jim) to try it. There's always been lots of talk about the possibility and even a few near misses, but alas, nothing-until NOW.
My older brother and his wife have drunk from the Bikram fountain and I think they just may be hooked. I hope so. My brother needs Bikram Yoga. Here is his story:
It had been more than 18 months since I had last seen my doctor for my annual physical. I had been avoiding the appointment-worried about the outcome. The exam confirmed that my stubbornness of not paying attention to the scale as well as my less than healthy food choices had gotten the best of me.
I had gained 30 pounds since my last physical; my blood pressure was higher; I needed to increase my medication; my cholesterol was 250, and now my blood sugar was well over normal which could lead to diabetes. I was in the worst health of my life.
When the doctor gave me these results, he made it very clear that my condition was serious and that I needed to get my weight down-NOW.
I've exercised in the past and I have always maintained some sort of weight routine, but I think I was needed something more drastic. My sister has always talked about Bikram Yoga and I always said that I wanted to get in shape before trying it. She said No, it's the other way around; you do Bikram Yoga to get in shape.
I went to my first class (in Bend, Oregon) scared, because it was going to be hot, and I would be moving for 90 minutes in the heat. Also, I don't like taking off my shirt in public and all the men go shirtless. I left mine on. When I first walked into the heated room it didn't feel as intense as I thought it would. However, after about forty people (a packed room) started sweating and the instructor turned up the heat and humidity more, I felt like I was in a steam room. I have never sweated so much in my life. My shirt and towel were like wet rags by the end of class.
My goal was just to be able to stay in the room the entire class without leaving. I did try to do the poses instead of just sitting there and I was informed that if you do just one pose in Bikram Yoga and you do not leave the room then it is a successful class.
I completed my first class without leaving the room and I went three more days--in a row. They were all difficult days, but I could do a little more each day. I then took three days off before I headed to my fifth class. My fifth class was better than the previous ones and I could see improvement with the poses and the heat wasn't as overwhelming.
I lost 4 pounds in my first week and my goal is to go three to four times a week. I just signed up for a 3-month plan to keep me motivated. I am hoping that by doing Bikram Yoga, watching what I eat, and a little cardio will get this weight off. I'll keep you posted.