Yoga Challenge Vegetarian Body Builder Ian Su

Tired of being “all fat, no muscle” and “looking terrible” (his words, not ours), Ian took on a seven-week yoga challenge to change his body. As part of his routine, Ian (whose YouTube alias is “Vegetarian Body Builder”) committed to doing one Bikram Yoga class a day for 49 days (along with other fitness and nutritional components). Check out his results so far, and follow his progress on YouTube!

What made you decide to do this challenge?

I recently wrote a list: “10 Wishes for My Death Bed.” One of the items was, for once in my life, to get my body ripped and looking awesome. That’s become my new focus. But our bodies need time to change, and I wanted to set a realistic goal for myself. I did some research on the Internet – mainly on YouTube – and discovered that some people have been able to transform themselves physically in seven to 14 weeks. I’m hoping that seven weeks is the magic number to get the dramatic results I’m dreaming of!

Why did you decide to incorporate Bikram Yoga into your challenge?

If Toastmasters is the gym for our mind, yoga is the gym for our soul. When you do an exercise program that leaves out the spiritual element, well, a mouse or a monkey or an elephant could do it better. Of all the yoga styles out there, Bikram Yoga is the cream of the crop, the most divine, the one practised by NBA superstars, NHL players and celebrities like Lady Gaga. I also have a firefighter/bodybuilder friend who incorporates Bikram Yoga into his personal training. I designed my own body-transformation program with this in mind, as well as the fact that other exercise programs seem to strengthen and damage the body at the same time. I think yoga is the only type of exercise that can strengthen AND, simultaneously, restore and re-energize the entire body, mind and spirit!

Yoga Challenge Ian Su PrayerWhat benefits have you already gained from Bikram Yoga?

My energy level has shifted. After every Bikram Yoga class I do, I feel like I’ve gained an incredible amount of energy. I can also feel my spine becoming more flexible and my hamstrings loosening up. I can literally see and feel my body changing. And I notice these improvements happening faster with Bikram Yoga than other forms of yoga.

Why do you think Bikram Yoga works so well?

The reason is very simple. At Bikram Yoga, different teachers teach the same yoga series in each class. Other studios have different teachers all teaching different types of yoga – it gets confusing, and goes nowhere.

Why is increased flexibility so important to reaching your goals?

In life, business – anything – flexibility is key. So that’s an area I want to work on, physically. After all, a healthy body is the foundation for everything else in life!

What are some of the methods you use to stay motivated?

Our brains think and work in pictures. Whatever we want to achieve, we have to draw it out on paper with graphs, charts and mottos so that we can keep track of our progress daily, weekly, monthly and even yearly. It’s also important to share your plans and goals with positive friends who will keep you accountable and help you stay motivated. That’s why I’ve been making videos every day of my challenge and posting them on YouTube, so people can follow my progress. Positive people give us compliments and help us push through all the difficulties.

What are your personal “mottos” or “mantras” during this challenge?

  • Be the best you can be
  • Keep going and never quit
  • My parents should be proud of me
  • Stand strong
  • No excuses
  • Eat healthier
  • No pain, no gain

Yoga Challenge MeditationHow will meditation and positive thinking help you achieve your physical goals?

Meditation, mantras, positive thinking – these are different tools we can use to gain control over our minds. We also need to identify all the “viruses” that attack us, like depression, negative self-talk, etc. As soon as those thoughts come in, we need to wipe them out. My motto is: stay focused, stay relaxed and stay positive! And quickly go to a Bikram Yoga class!

How does being a vegetarian fit into your goals?

Just like a fish in the ocean doesn’t understand what “water” is because he’s lived in it his whole life, I was born into a vegetarian family, so that is all I know. But being vegetarian or not really does not matter in fitness. The key is eating healthier. Both vegetarians and non-vegetarians can eat junk food and look terrible.

How did you feel after you completed the first week of your program?

I felt excited and more determined and focused than ever. After 10 days, I had already lost over 6 pounds! No matter what happens, I’m going to get this done. In my mind it’s done already. This focus gives me the ability to let go of things that aren’t important, and put training and doing Bikram Yoga first.


Be sure to follow Ian’s progress daily by visiting his YouTube channel.



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