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Now that I’ve broken two hours in the half marathon, I feel a sense of relief. With two low pressure races left this year, the Race Against PH 5K this weekend and the North Face Endurance Challenge 50K in December, I’m left wanting a challenge and goals to meet.

Inspired by this HuffPo article about the benefits of yoga, I decided to buy a Groupon for a Bikram studio I’ve frequented before, Funky Door Yoga. I’ve found myself craving yoga and now that San Francisco’s temperature is hovering at 60 degrees, I’ve wanted the heat, too. I’ve had significant neck pain for close to six years now, and yoga’s a cheap healing agent compared to the pricey sports massages, acupuncture, and chiropractic care I’ve had in the past.

I'm craving summer heat (as seen here in Santa Barbara for Allison's wedding); Bikram's my autumnal solution.

I’m craving summer heat (as seen here in Santa Barbara for Allison’s wedding); Bikram’s my autumnal solution.

Now is the perfect time for Bikram to play a significant role in my cross-training, so I’ve decided to challenge myself to take Bikram classes at least once a week (twice preferably) until my deal runs out.

I’ll be realistic: I will probably never be a full-fledged yogi, doing only yoga all the time. I like to be outside, I like to lift weights, and, most significantly, I like variety. But I’m going to close out this year pushing myself to improve the Bikram postures I’ve practiced on and off for three years.

My first class was this morning, and apart from the 5 am wake-up and brief faint feeling in the shower after class, it went well. I’m stiffer than I usually am, unable to sink as deeply in the squat as usual or bend my back as much in camel pose. I’m hoping I see an improvement during my 10-class stint.