For today I had an entirely different topic in mind. Until I went to Bikram this morning, that is. This morning I had a very embarrassing, eye-opening, humbling, terrific & rewarding class all rolled into one. I’ll walk you through it..
Within the first few standing poses of the standing series I could already notice I was feeling a bit ‘off’ today. It took me a lot more concentration than usual to just get into the poses and keep breathing, let alone stretch further, go deeper, etc. As the class progressed I felt a little hint of dizziness and light-headedness, which scared me a bit. Had I eaten enough? Was maybe taking a class two days in a row too much for me? I figuredI’d take it easy and it would pass eventually. But after the standing head-to-knee pose, I had to sit down. In the 6 times (I think?) I’ve taken a class, I’ve never sat down, so I knew something wasn’t right.
Standing head-to-knee pose
I sat down on my mat but realized it wasn’t helping. I was only getting more and more dizzy and light-headed, such a scary feeling! I tried staying, tried to breathe slow and deep, but I started getting black spots and eventually everything turned black. I know what fainting feels like, and this was it! Thank God I sat pretty close to the entrance today, normally I sit all the way across the room. Even with the instruction to stay in the room whatever happens at the beginning of each class, I decided to listen to myself and my body and leave the room. Good call.
When I reached the door a woman held my arm and suggested I stayed in the room but I told her that wasn’t an option, I was fainting. The women, who I later figured out was another teacher taking a class, came with me and stayed with me and gave me some tips like keeping my eyes open and focus on my breathing. I could feel all the blood rushing away from my face. After maybe a minute though, I suddenly felt what was the real problem. I ran to the toilet and, well, released a lot of my discomfort. No not vomiting, the other thing. I wouldn’t call it explosive, but diarrhea it certainly was. I instantly felt this was what was flushing me (no pun intended :p) and making me so sick. When I came out and the teacher tried to coach me back in I told her I could feel I was still sick but she kept insisting so I went back in, only to go staight back out and back to the toilet…. After a few minutes there I sat in the cold hallway for a few more minutes. I never thought I’d go back in, I mean, this was a) pretty scary and b) pretty embarrassing. But I did.
I went back in because I could tell from the way I felt I got it all out. Blood and color returned back to my face and I could see normally again. I figured, even if I would just lay in there the whole time enjoying the heat, at least I’ll get something out of it, so I am going back in. And wouldn’t you know it, I was able to perform all of the poses from the sitting poses wonderfully. I felt great and I didn’t feel like I needed to hold back or take it slow. Plus, I couldn’t stop smiling. I was so proud of myself for going back into a room filled with people after that little incident. But, most of all, I felt relieved, fresh, clean. I knew that what had just happened, had freed up a lot of old crap from my body (pun very much intended). And what a great feeling that is. Like I said, the ultimate detox experience. I had of course been pretty sick for a full week and recovering last week but I still felt my health and immune system weren’t quite 100% yet, and I think today really helped. I think it was the combination of still having some bad bacteria and maybe leftover sick-gunk in me, eating more detox-wise again lately, and taking two Bikram classes in a row that resulted in this. And even though I felt really bad, scared & embarrassed at first, I am now only greatful it happened. I also learned from this the mental strength I have, and it showed me I have grown a lot over the years in terms of self-acceptence. Before, I would never have returned to class, and would’ve felt embarrased everytime I even set foot in the studio.
Today, none of that was left. I performed my poses with grace, left the room with my chin high and a smile on my face. The other students smiled back at me and gave me reassured nods. They were only happy to see I was truly ok. What a wonderful feeling, and what a great realization that people actually care about your well-being, instead of thinking weird things about you.
Today’s class once again confirmed for me how Bikram is one of the best ways to detox your body. It cleanses all your muscles and organs by twisting and stretching super deep, and the warmth and weird pranayama, breathing exercises, help flush them out as fast as possible. I think this is what I like best about Bikram, because I love the thought of cleansing my body on an ongoing basis. I always feel so fresh and pure after class. After today’s class, I actually can’t wait to go again, and I might add a third class to this week .
Possible my favorite part of the whole class: ‘blowing in firm’ pranayama. Powerful breathing cleanses the body on a deep level by transporting a lot of oxygen through your blood. Blood and oxygen transportion are very important for the flushing out of toxins from all over your body.
I know todays post was quite blunt but hey, that’s life, and in my opinion everyone should be comfortable enough to talk about their toilet habits, since it’s such an important part of a healthy body. It’s part of feeling comfortable in your own skin, I think.
Pre & post workout fuel:one liter of Glowing Green Smoothie!
Glowing Green Smoothie
Slightly adapted from Kimberly Snyder
* 1.5 cups cold water
* juice of 1/2 lemon
* 1 apple, cored & chopped
* 1 pear, cored & chopped
* 1 banana (I use frozen)
* 3-4 stalks celery, chopped
* 3 big hands of spinach (originally: 1 head Romaine lettuce + other leafy greens)
* my addition: a few shakes cinnamon (ginger would be great too!)
Blend until smooth. Keeps well in the fridge for two days. This is Kimberly’s signature smoothie and I have to say: I love it! Note: if you don’t have a high speed blender, peeling the apple and pear will result in a smoother consistency!
Green smoothies are a great, simple, fast and tasty way to get in a ton of greens, plus, they are a perfectly combined food as well (greens & fruit).
See ya tomorrow with another nutrition 101 post!