The 365 Day Challenge:
90 Minutes Of Hot Yoga Every Day For A Year
Today is my 364th day in a row of doing 90 minutes of Bikram Yoga–– yes, in a row. Every day for a year, doing yoga poses in a 108 degree room.
April 23, 2010 – Encinitas, California. Why would anyone do hot yoga every day for 365 days? Ask Doctor, Comedian and Yogi, Howard Richmond, M.D., age 52, who on April 24, will have completed 381 classes of Bikram Yoga in 365 days.
“I used to hate this yoga,” says Richmond, a psychotherapist and psychiatrist in Encinitas, California. “I almost gave it up––many times. Especially when I’d pull out my back, or feel worse, after doing Bikram.”
But Richmond didn’t give up. Despite his injuries, he kept coming back for more punishment: 90 minutes of yoga postures in a room full of scantily-clan people, the temperature hovering around 108 degrees with an instructor who’d bark out a dialogue explaining the postures like a drill sergeant at boot camp. Why?
“Maybe it was my ego. Maybe I wanted to master this yoga instead of it mastering me. And then slowly, very slowly at first, and with lots of body work––massage, Feldenkrais, Chiropractic, Rolfing––my mind and body started to work together. I learned how to listen to my body more and to the instructors less.”
Richmond says he never intended to make or break any records, but once he found his rhythm, he was inspired to keep on going. “I noticed I was enjoying the yoga––and the more I did it, the better I felt.” With the intention of doing one class a day, he kept plugging away, and before he knew it, a year had just about gone by. “Now I’m in better shape than I’ve been for at least 10 years,” he added.
Besides doing yoga and therapy, Dr. Howard performs stand-up comedy, where he is known as the Comic Shrink. Recently he’s incorporated a yoga routine in his material.