The yoga studio I most go to when not doing beach yoga is Mosaic.  Starting on the 21st of this month, they are beginning a 30-Day Challenge, which includes doing yoga for 30 days, eating clean, and meditating.   I thought I would participate, but after looking at the studio’s class schedule, I realized there was no way to make it work for me.  So I decided to make my own challenge.  I started on February 1, which makes today the eighth day of my challenge.  My usual yoga schedule for the last year or so has been beach yoga on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays, with the occasional class at Mosaic when it rained.

I love to walk, and as I’ve talked about before, pre-attack, I used to walk 60-90 miles each week.  The reason I got so much mileage is living on Coronado Island and walking everywhere.  My actual workout walk would be anywhere from 6-10 miles, depending on the day.  As I have also mentioned before, after my attack, my walking went to zero miles per week.  I could barely even walk to the grocery store in the middle of the day.  Eventually I was able to get back to walking, but only after the sun came up.  I have never gotten back to the kind of miles I used to put in.  That is partly because of not walking in the dark and partly because I’ve been really busy with work and don’t feel like I can take the time to walk when I need to be working.  In any case, my schedule of late has been walk on Mondays, walk sometimes early with my friend Mike on Tuesdays, bike to beach yoga on Tuesdays at 8:30a, Wednesdays sometimes walk, but usually this would be my off day, Thursdays bike to beach yoga at 8a, Fridays walk, Saturdays walk and Sundays walk to beach yoga at 9:30.  It may sound like a lot, but, really, it isn’t.  I need to move my body.  A lot.

For the month of January, I decided to drink no alcohol, eat clean, cut out sugar and processed carbs.  Though I was not 100% successful, I’d say I was better than 90% ‘good.’   I was actually in bars 3 different times during the month and drank only water.  That wasn’t as hard as it sounds when one of the bars I was in has drinks that are $15.50 without tax and tip!  Anyway, I chose to begin the year with a cleanse of sorts because I have yet to lose the weight gained after my attack.  And while it is not much, at most 10-15 pounds, and since I am tall and was thin to begin with, it’s not like I look bad; I am just not comfortable, and so decided that 2015 is the year to make it happen.  I have to say the biggest benefit of not eating sugar, which is what alcohol becomes, is very few hot flashes, and even the ones I’ve had have been tiny and not disruptive.  That alone should be enough to keep me from ever drinking again!  And to be honest, I did have one, and only one, glass of champagne on the 31st, so I did not remain alcohol-free the entire month.  I haven’t had anything since though, so that must count for something.

For February, with the idea planted in my brain to do yoga for 30 days, I decided to challenge myself to do it every day this month.  Saturday was an easy choice: go back to doing the ashtanga class I used to do in Pacific Beach.  Now I just needed to fill Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.  The obvious choice for this was to do Bikram yoga at the studio here on the island.  Best of all, they have a 6a class on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.  Perfect!  (I did a class there almost 2 years ago, and though I didn’t hate it, I had never gone back.  It really was difficult with hot flashes and made them worse.  I couldn’t see torturing myself even more so.)  I got a Groupon for $99 of 2 months unlimited yoga.  So, I had my schedule down: M,W,F Bikram, T, Th, Su, beach yoga and Sa ashtanga in Pacific Beach.  I figured the biggest challenge would be M,W,F, and oh, was I right.

I did okay on my first Bikram class last Monday.  Yes, I sweated buckets, but, thankfully, the heat did not give me hot flashes (must be the no sugar.)  Also, since I am a year more into my practice of yoga in general, I am simply stronger and better able to do the poses.  So, my first class was okay.  Since beach yoga is never a problem, Tuesday’s class was uneventful.  I did choose to walk to it, just to get some walking in.  Wednesday’s Bikram class had me wondering what I was thinking making this challenge for myself.  I was so sore.  I have been ‘Epsom salting’ myself on a nightly basis, which I’m sure helps, but I was really hurting.  I went to bed at 8:30p and slept 9 hours.  I also took ibuprofen in the middle of the night and woke up feeling much better.  Thursday beach yoga was good, as usual.  I wasn’t so much dreading Friday’s Bikram class as I was looking forward to Saturday and Sunday, which meant no Bikram.  Talk about a vacation!

Yesterday’s ashtanga class, which I had not been to since June, was awesome.  It is a pretty challenging class, but I love it.  This class is outside, on the grass above the ocean, not on the actual beach.  Steve Hubbard is the instructor and this class has grown from just a few at the beginning 7 or 8 years ago to over 200 people today.  There were between 230 and 250 yogis at yesterday’s class!  And today’s beach class was also wonderful.

Tomorrow it is back to Bikram at 6a.  I think, maybe, hopefully, the first week was the hardest.  While I cannot imagine ever loving Bikram the way I love doing yoga on the beach or my class in Pacific Beach, stranger things have happened.  I will continue to keep my mind open and enjoy the challenge I set for myself.

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The picture is from my Saturday class, taught by the wonderful Steve Hubbard.  I took this shot from Steve’s Facebook page.  You sure can’t beat the location!