Has it really been almost 4 weeks since I posted about my bikram yoga challenge? Yikes, in between all the 5.30am starts and piles of sweaty sports bras it feels like September has been and gone.
My body seems to have noticed that spring has sprung however as I’m craving all kinds of fresh fruit smoothies first thing in the morning. Tropical fruits such as papaya, pineapple and watermelon are back on the shopping list and the blender is getting a serious workout. There’s something about the hot weather that just goes hand in hand with fresh fruit right?
So, back to bikram. I’m in my last week of the challenge and so far have successfully completed the required 4 sessions per week (apart from 1 class I missed while I was visiting my grandparents in Victoria – some things are more important!)
Throughout the challenge our yoga instructors remind us we should expect every single class to be different, and man they’re right. I cannot for the life of me predict if it is going to be 90 minutes of feeling strong, focused and in control or an hour and a half of hellish exhaustion.
Is it the dinner I eat the night before? The type of work I do during the day? There seemed to be no rhyme or reason behind it. One class is awesome, the next torture. It’s strangely humbling in a way to know that no matter how much you think you’ve mastered the poses, yoga has a way of shaking its head at you and saying; ‘not even close hun.’
One thing that does remain constant is the feeling 5, 10 minutes, an entire day after class. Relaxation. Pleasantly heavy limbs. Accomplishment. When I finally finish that 26th pose and lay down in ‘savasana,’ heart beating wildly, I have my very own fist pump moment. I did it! I survived! There’s one regular yogi who lets out a loud WHOOOO HOOO at the end of class. Every single time. I love her.
The things I’ve learnt from this experience?
1. I actually like bikram yoga. Once the challenge is over, I’m going to try and keep up 2-3 classes per week.
2. Regular practice plus a few walks and runs throughout the week is my fitness routine done and dusted. And I’ve never felt better! Take that 6am bootcamp.
3. Evening classes are way tougher and a lot hotter than morning classes (the room has been heated all day, and already held 4 or 5 classes of sweating bodies.)
4. One DOES NOT place ones mat directly under a heater vent unless one feels like an extra special challenge. SO. FREAKING. HOT.
5. I need some new sports bras.
A regular breakfast I’ve been preparing after my morning bikram class is this super fresh berry and basil smoothie. I found the original recipe on the beautiful blog My New Roots, and subbed in and out a few ingredients depending on what I had in my cupboard.
What’s great about it?
Blueberries, Raspberries & Strawberries
Freezing berries does not affect the level of antioxidants in this delicious little fruits, so buy in bulk to save your pennies. Antioxidants are essential for fighting free radicals in the body that can damage our cells and cause crappy things like cancer. Berries are also one of the lowest GI fruits, so perfect for whacking into your smoothies on the run and making up a large component of your breakfast.
1 cup frozen berries
5 large basil leaves
1 tablespoon tahini or any type of nut butter
2 tablespoons hemp seeds (if you can’t find hemp seeds – a natural plant based protein powder could be used as a substitute, or 2 tablespoons of almonds)
1 handful of kale or spinach
Water or milk to thin out as needed
How to go about it:
Throw all ingredients into a high speed blender and whizz until nice and smooth.