So I've been keeping up on my little challenge so far. For two weeks in a row, I've practiced three times each week. The first week, it was three full-length Bikram classes! The second week, it was one single-set class and two regular classes. Only the first class of all six was in a studio, but that's OK. I can bundle with the best of 'em.
I was sweating almost immediately yesterday! I wonder if, after the past few years of classes, there's some kind of muscle/body memory that tells my pores to open wide as soon as I start the Pranayama breathing? My iTunes crashed after Fixed Firm pose yesterday, so I did the remaining postures in silence... It was nice.
I got to hold Camel as long as I wanted (yes, I'm one of those sickos who really enjoys it), so I stayed upside-down for ten long, deep, slow breaths. But I made a deal with myself: I have to stay in Rabbit posture for the same length of time that I hold Camel. My upper and middle back are so stiff (e.g. 90-degree backbends from my lower back, wonkily wrapped arms in Eagle, miserable floor bow, among others) that I really have to constantly think about rounding "360 degree angle," and lifting my hips to stretch my back. A teacher once said going into this posture should be like "curling in on yourself like a cinnamon roll." I like that visual, even though it makes me just a little bit hungry sometimes. Increasing flexibility in my upper back is a big goal of mine.
After practicing yesterday, I went on a reeeeeaaaally cold hike with B and the dog along the face of Mount Beacon (an old fallback that takes an hour flat. We call it Leo's Loop). It was so nice to see the sun set over the river. Between the yoga and the hike, I'm sore today. It feels good! :)