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  • Felice Cohen

Shake it Up Baby

With only a few weeks to go until spring, the anticipation of warmer weather is often overshadowed by Old Man Winter not quite ready to pack it in. This makes these last few weeks the toughest.

By now most of us are tired of dressing in multiple layers, the dry heat wreaking havoc on our skin, and doing the same routines at the gym. As it does towards the tail end of every winter, I find myself itching to get back on my bike or hiking up a mountain, having grown tired of spinning and stair climbers and elliptical machines. Winter routines can make us stale. And while there’s nothing wrong with routines, sometimes they need to be shaken, not stirred.

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In need of a change to my routine, I decided to try something completely new, something out of my comfort zone, and something that would get me out of the winter doldrums. I signed up for a 30-day challenge at Bikram Yoga. Bikram, or what I call nausea inducing bending while sweating like a pig, is a 90-minute yoga class in which you do 26 poses twice in 105 degrees.

The first class was packed. Forty men and women in two tight rows, the wall length mirror already fogged up before we began. I was told my goal for the first class was just to remain in the room. “Even lying on your mat is a goal, as long as you stay in the room,” the instructor said. Somehow I managed to stay and follow each pose without losing my lunch. For the next few days I found myself dreaming about water,

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I’ve now got seven days under my belt and while I’m not quite gulping the Kool Aid, I am the Gatorade. The change in my routine has given me a huge lift, the benefits already obvious. I’m drinking more water, have become more conscious of what I’m eating, and I’ve met a number of new people. Whether I do 30 classes during my 30-day challenge or 15 is irrelevant to me. I motivated myself to try something new and now those winter doldrums are all but forgotten. And the icing on the cake is that at the end of the 30 days it will be spring.

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