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Bikram Challenge

© Lauren Greenfield

Paige, 42, was overwhelmed with financial problems and burdened with stress. She lost her writing job and ended up $100,000 in debt, causing her to lose her home and forcing her to couch surf on a friend’s futon in Memphis, Tennessee. Even with an impressive resume that includes a National Magazine Award for feature writing, a Neiman Fellowship at Harvard, and title of Editor-In-Chief for a regional magazine, it seemed like the only thing she was gaining was increasing credit card debt, and an expanding waistline. Both factors contributed to a major loss in self-esteem and clinical depression.

She started taking a cocktail of prescription anti-depressants while her poor eating habits spiraled out of control. Her constant cravings for fast food caused her to gain over 80 lbs. After hearing Bikram Choudhury speak about his Bikram Yoga 60-day challenge, which calls for performing strenuous poses in a 105-degree Fahrenheit room for eight-weeks straight, she decided to take the challenge and start her own personal intervention. By day three, Paige was ready to give up. Unable to perform many of the poses, quitting was on the mind of the self-proclaimed “inveterate leaver.”

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