Day 2 of 31 – Bikram Yoga and Smoothies/Juices

Note to self:   Do not drink fresh orange juice an hour before a Bikram Yoga class. 
About 30 minutes in, my stomach said, “what did you do that for!?!” 

I almost died last night.  I almost died in class 4 times.  Every time I think I’m going to faint or puke, I hear my mind racing with thoughts like, “Oh no…you can’t do this…you’re going to fall over…maybe you should just stop right now so you don’t faint in front of all of these people…why aren’t you stopping” and I hear my instructors voice cut through that and she says, “breathe” and I breathe.  The moment I can quiet my mind, the nausea goes away.  The moment I focus on my breath and just breathe in through my nose and out through my mouth everything settles down.

If there is any place where mind over matter is completely apparent and obvious, it’s in a Bikram Yoga class.  I think that’s honestly part of the appeal for me – learning to control my mind…or at least attempting to train it.
Do you ever meditate?  Some people meditate.  Some people pray.  I’m much better at praying (that is, I enjoy talking to God much more than sitting in silence with my own thoughts) but sometimes even during prayer my mind will run away with itself and suddenly I’m hanging out on a beach with my friend in San Diego…and then I realize, wait! What just happened.  I was mid-convo with God and now I’m on a beach?
Or driving in our cars… we arrive at our destination but we don’t even remember driving there!  We don’t recall consciously changing lanes and making the turns.  We just did it on autopilot because our minds were elsewhere…thinking about what we were making for dinner…thinking about hopping in the shower to relax after a long day, thinking about seeing our family, thinking about our to-do list for the evening.
The mind is more powerful than we can comprehend. 
There is that quote by Henry Ford that says, whether you think you can, or think you can’t….you’re right.
People throw that quote around a lot but I wonder if they really understand the reference to the power of the mind.  The moment I’m in a twisty position and I feel like I’m going to fall over in class, if I let my mind go and run a sound reel of thoughts through my head telling me I’m about to fall, or that I can’t do it, or that this sucks, etc etc etc, I’ll begin to lose my balance.  But if I play a different sound reel in my head – one that goes something like this: “you’ve got this, you’re there, just hold it, breathe, breathe, breathe…” and then my mind goes quiet…I can hold the twisty position forever.
Our minds control our bodies.
Your mind will always want to give up before your body ever does.  You are stronger than you think.  You are stronger than you give yourself credit for.  You are capable of anything “you set your mind to”.
Learning to shut off our minds is a powerful tool.
Learning to train our minds to help us accomplish our goals – I think that’s even more powerful.
Bikram Yoga isn’t just about getting sweaty or being in a hot room, or counting down the seconds until your instructor says that magic word, “SAVASANA” and you get to lie down.  It’s a journey.  It’s a healer.  
I’m a firm believer in the power of food as medicine.  Eating our veggies. Eating our fruit.  Eating to live, not living to eat.  Giving our body what it needs.
Bikram Yoga works in a similar way.  It’s medicine for our minds and for our bodies.
Stressed out at work?
Did you just get home from a crazy day and you want to punch something?
Are you about to flop on the couch with half a bottle of wine and some reality TV?
Maybe you feel like eating your feelings in the form of chips and crackers and cookies?
Are you watching Dancing With The Stars and thinking, “wow they have such great physiques!” as you munch away mindlessly on whatever….
Drive to a Bikram Yoga class instead.
Leave all of your feelings on the mat.
You’ll exit that studio remembering who YOU are.
You’ll feel like YOU again.  Connected.
Lighter…and full of light.
See? I’ve only been to one class this week and already I sound and feel like Yoda.   😉
Now for the nutrition:
Smoothie/juice wise, I’m having about 30 ounces of smoothie in the morning, spread over a few hours.  This mornings smoothie was 3 cups of spinach, water, banana and frozen pineapple.
I’ve got a coffee on my desk – cause hey, I like my coffee and I’m not a saint, but I drink it black with nothing added to it. 
I’ve also got a 34 ounce water bottle on my desk that I fill up twice a day during the day at work, and then I refill it to take it to yoga class…so that’s 102 ounces of water – but I sweat (soaking-wet-dripping) during Bikram, so it’s definitely needed.
I’ll have a 16 ounce veggie juice this afternoon and another juice an hour before class, only this time, I’ll make it with nothing acidic because I don’t need another orange juice experience like last night.  I might just throw a banana and water in the Vitamix and drink that an hour before class.
I’ll be adjusting/changing the amounts of juice and smoothies that I take in over the next month as I see how my body responds to Bikram Yoga and what it needs.  I encourage you to listen to your body as well!
Hope your May is off to a healthy start!

Lovely comments!

  1. Lauren, I love you. You are honest and real and inspiring. Starting a juice (and smoothie) fast today and feeling a little nervous about it but encouraged by reading this post of yours. Thank you!

  2. This was so inspiring. I loved it. I have a hard time shutting off my mind sometimes and have found the exact same thing to be true — i just have to quiet my mind and “train” it. You’re inspiring!

    PS — if you ever have a free moment, check out my blog at 🙂 I eat mostly vegan and loads of veggies – also a yogi! hehe.

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