My Two B's

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Hello, Friends! Do you remember yesterday's post? It was about my attempt to quit buying clothes and my determination to make myself better from the inside out. Well here is how I am doing it. 
Bikram and Boxing. Two total opposites. {but are they? - yes, they are}

Bikram: Bikram is a specific yoga practice {ew, yoga! I see you rolling your eyes}, that no matter where you take it in the world two things will be the same. The poses {26 of them} and the temperature. 105 degrees folks. If I must say, which I must since I am a huge advocate of this practice, it is quite overwhelming to begin with. If you are interested in trying a bikram class I suggest talking to someone who has done it before {hello, nice to meet you!} and let them explain what  is going to happen for 90minutes. Oh, did I forget to mention that part? Ok, let's just break this down bit-by-bit.

Bikram Knowledge 1: It is foh-kin hot. You will sweat. And since most Bikram studios use the same room for each class all day every day, it's going to smell. I know, I know but please don't let this discourage you. Half of the battle is knowing that it's going to smell before you walk into the sauna room! And see, I've just told you {you're welcome!} I promise, unless you are next to someone who ate 2lbs of garlic the day before, the smell will dissipate as you sink into your practice. 
Which brings me to bit #2

Bikram Knowledge 2: Unless you have been before and can now zone out completely while you practice {well, 1. you wont be reading this any further because why would you? You already know what I'm telling you!} you will not likely have any bloody idea what is happening or what the instructor is saying. Unless you happen to know the meaning of Dandayamana-Bibhaktapada Paschimotthanasana. I didn't think so. But that's ok. Because if you listen and observe you hear them use english terms and before you know it you're a pro. Please, go through the sequence of poses, it's super easy to google. Bikram Poses. Done. And look here for medical benefits of each. 

Bikram Knowledge 3: What to bring. Most studios will provide everything you need, but at a cost. If you can, bring your own mat, a towel to lay on your mat, and a water bottle that will not melt. You laugh, but the typical water bottle burns your lips in Bikram. Also, you will be extremely sweaty when you leave class so be mindful of that when making plans afterward. 

Bikram Knowledge 4: This class will kick your a**. And you will be grateful for it.

Now, onto Boxing. So just to clarify, I am not talking about a kickboxing aerobics class at the local gym. I'm talking about martial arts. There is nothing wrong with kickboxing at a local club/gym as a group fitness class. But there are two reasons I did not choose that path. 1} I am not coordinated enough to do those classes. Okay, that's really the only reason. Seriously! Anyone who knows me well, knows coordination I do not have. I would get no physical benefits from a class organized in such a manner that I must keep up with fast paced movements quickly tied to other fast paced movements. In my current program I get to do the same motion over and over for 3 minutes at a time, so there is more of a chance that I get the move down correctly. Now let me explain further.

I am not a boxer. I am simply training like one. I do not get into a ring and hit people...but now I will go even further... two types of boxing are taking place here:

Traditional Boxing: which training includes: 10 minutes of warm up. Getting the heart pumping by jogging, jumping, push ups, ballistic stretches, and a whole bunch of exercises that make you look ridiculous. Warm up is followed by 3 minutes of jumping rope {a huge feat for me personally and something I am still extremely awkward at doing} and 3 minutes of shadow boxing. Shadow boxing is very simple, you just move around on your feet and throw punches at the air. Then the gloves come out. We partner up {I am lucky enough to have a girl in similar hopes as me in my class, but girls pairing up is not necessary} and go through cycles of different punching sequences. I throw for 3 minutes, rest for 30 seconds and then she throws to me. We continue this, changing up the sequences after each full turn...and that's it. We do that for an hour! It's pretty incredible. The time flies by. We wrap up the training session with some more exercises, this time core work is involved, more pushups and some sort of squat to top it off. 

Muay Thai: Muay Thai is the official martial art of Thailand {woopie!! big surprise there}. The training style is very similar to traditional boxing; the biggest difference is the use of your entire body. We kick a lot in Muay Thai. Like, a lot. {my a** is thanking me for that!} So in addition to gloves we have shin/foot pads. Everything else....basically the same. 

So now, a few things you should know before you join a martial arts gym...

Boxing Knowledge 1: No one cares you're a girl. You are expected to do what everyone does no matter what. That includes taking hits to the face. Which leads me to...

Boxing Knowledge 2: You will get hit in the face, kicked in the side and tripped to the ground. This is the real deal and even if you walk into the session not knowing its the real will take you .05 seconds to figure that out. But it's a total freakin' blast and the craziest workout ever!

So that's it. Really, that's all I can tell you about any of it. It's not your traditional path to a mind-body balance but it's working for me so far. I wont lie to you {I never do} I haven't quite gotten on the schedule that I need in order to take full advantage of each of these avenues. This week {yes, it's only wednesday} I have done a good job at sticking to the plan - so I will try to keep it up.

I hope this post didn't bore you too much - I know it's not fashion but it's fitness and it's life! Love to you all 



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