So I took about a week off due to the sniffles and runny nose and scheduling. Went back tonight to the 8:15pm hot yoga class. It was really hot and humid in the room and I was lacking energy or the focus drive. I did a lot of the lying down or “dead man’s” posture, a valid and difficult posture for me as the heat doesn’t radiate off my back lying down so it builds up.
Blood pressure went down during the class, 140/60 pulse 74 (mild hypertension) to 138/72 pulse 111 (high normal BP); not much of a difference but it still shifted my blood pressure category down! Excellent! My doctor is liking the low diastolic numbers (60-72) although the wrist cuff device isn’t as accurate as an upper arm cuff device. After writing this article my blood pressure is 130/57 with a pulse of 89 (I had some caffeine) which is sweet even if it’s still a bit high, 120 would be better but heck I’ll take the lower number! Hot yoga really consistently lowers my high blood pressure! Eventually I expect to be able to reduce the meds as a result, and maybe even not need them anymore!
Body mass the past week has hovered around 333 lbs, just over my digital scale limit. With more classes it is inevitable that it will go downward!
Going back after a week was a serious challenge. As they say, the yoga doesn’t get any easier, you just get better and stronger when you get to the classes! I confirmed this with the Justin, the 2012 and 2013 Canadian Yoga Champion who was in tonight’s class! He did say that one’s “flow” does improve. He look like he had a maximum workout in the yoga class too!
Basically the hot yoga pummeled me today, which is fine as one is in a way having a battle pushing one’s body and mind and determination to the limits and inch by inch and centimeter by centimeter one gets strong.
When the topic of yoga comes up with people they often thing the only benefit is getting flexible.
There are many benefits, let me relate the ones I’ve been experiencing in the roughly two months since I’ve been back to Bikrams Hot Yoga (since 13 Dec 2013).
Strength is one of the most noticeable significant improvements in this short time of being back doing the hot yoga. Leg strength. Abdominal muscular strength has significantly improved. I joke that I’ve got a six or eight pack abs now but it’s just plush covered! It’s funny and 100% true! The lower abdominal muscles that connect into the hip and pelvic floor area have dramatically improved in strength.
Remember at 333 pounds I’m just about carrying another person (Justin for example is about 165 pounds so I’m double his body mass currently)!!! So for me and other large people hot yoga is a serious strength training, body weight strength training, set of exercises.
Of course I’m also more flexible. I can now do full squats to the ground and hang out there. The practical benefit is that I can add air to my vehicle’s tires without bending over! Squatting does the trick!
Another huge improvement has been my lung capacity aka volume of air that I can breath in and co2 that I can expel on the exhale! A large person with over a hundred extra pounds of body fat typically ends up being short of breath due to the fat impinging on the lung chamber. Since starting the hot yoga about two months ago it feels like I might have almost doubled my lung capacity… empirical tests will see. I had a CO2 Max Test done a few years ago at UBC… in a few months I’ll see if I can arrange another so I can report objective results on improvements to my lung capacity. In the meantime I can now feel my lungs expanding and pushing hard up against my chest cavity in the front, sides and even at the back! More room for improvement of course! This is exciting!
During the class I just about drink or pour on my body to keep cool three liters of water! Two liters in a former club soda 2 L bottle have a large (1/5 of the bottle) ice block in it (put it in the freezer over night 1/5 full then fill it from the yoga studio’s cool water fountain). I generally drink this to “moderate the fire” so that I can manage to stay in the room (the heat is too much for me at this early stage so I’m using this “ice water crutch”). The second bottle is filled with the yoga studio cool water just before class and typically it warms up quickly whereas the ice water stays cool all class). I use this third litter to cool off my head, back and front. Eventually I’ll ween myself off of the iced water and even water during the class all together – as I did above fifteen years ago when I was doing the yoga regularly. Why did I stop???
My focus was wandering and my determination wasn’t sharp in tonight’s class… but I’m going to sleep deep indeed! Speaking of which, the head is starting to nod off so that’s a rap on this status report.
Oh, stopped and picked up an awesome Vera’s Burger (Main Street and 13th Ave location), took it home, couldn’t finish it all so it’s also breakfast! Oh my gosh they make excellent burgers! I need the protein and fat to keep up the energy and to keep up the fat loss and maintenance of my lean body protein mass!
Onward to the target body shape and less than 10% body fat! To 10% and beyond lower!
In the morning after an excellent deep sleep, my body mass was 331 pounds. Real progress will be melting another 31 pounds plus to get below 300. Downward to 10% body fat and lower!