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Fourth Week of #WakeUpWinter

The beginning of snow storm "Juno" at Columbus Circle Today
The beginning of snow storm “Juno” at Columbus Circle Today

 

It’s the fourth of week of my six week #WakeUpWinter Challenge! This week’s focus goal “Move & Stretch Daily.” Recapped here:

  • Move & stretch daily. I’m good right now about walking everywhere that I can but want to keep myself spurred on as the weather gets harsher. The true challenge for me here is to plan daily stretching. Why? Moving is essential to daily energy and getting out when there is sunshine is a definite bonus. I want to add in planned daily stretching to help feel more relaxed in the evening and to feel unwound for soreness and tightness.

With snow storm Juno hitting NYC today–expected to transform into a raging blizzard in less than an hour, this is the perfect time to focus on this challenge. I walked to work this morning as the snow was just beginning and ventured back out later on for a few shorter journeys.

My office closed early and it was tempting to stay nestled and cozy inside once I made it back to my apartment, but instead I peeled myself off the couch to spend 90 minutes with structure, stretching, strength and heat… that is my third ever Bikram yoga class. While I am not exactly convinced that I like Bikram yet, I am magnetically intrigued by the experience.

Class one was in some ways a fiery nightmare.  But, despite what I perceived as rigid constructs in class, there was something freeing about total acceptance of letting myself sweat like a Gatorade ad in a sauna-like room with a community of people who all seemed to like and accept sweating like a Gatorade ad. Basically we were all liquid.

I am not yet sold on three things:

  1. Accepting a stranger’s sweaty foot near my face (class was PACKED and we were encouraged to embrace it)
  2. That discouraging people from drinking water so as not to “disrupt anyone’s practice” for the first 25 minutes of class is safe or positive
  3. That intentionally bright lights (instead of the customary dreamy dim I’ve experienced in other yoga classes) and not-closing my eyes during resting poses helps me tune in (to the room yes, but to myself… maybe not)

However, in the spirit of Fitlosophy #3: “The three class rule,” I stayed patient with myself and the new experience to give it a fair 3-class try. Despite the moments of torturous heat and challenging new postures that I experienced in the first two classes, I’ll admit that I actually looked forward to my third class today. Is Bikram growing on me….?

More chronicles of my Bikram experience soon. Moving and stretching daily, however, doesn’t need to mean a 90-minute class commitment.  In fact, the spirit of this week’s challenge is purely to find small moments to integrate more movement and stretching into your day.

If you’re stuck inside tonight and tomorrow in the snowpocalypse, check back tomorrow. I’ll be sharing some ideas for some great go-to stretching & mini workouts to do at home.