Thursday, November 18, 2010

A Bikram Yoga Experience

Last Thursday I had a bloggie sleep over with Julie (she was flying out of BWI early in the AM and I live pretty close to the airport) and on the drive to dinner (Olive Tree—rip off of the Olive Garden—but tasty) she was raving about Bikram Yoga. After hearing her rave on and on about it, I figured I might as well give it a shot. It would probably help with my running and stretching and maybe help take care of my hip issues.

If you are unfamiliar with Bikram, here is a little snipet I pulled from

“Bikram Yoga is the 26 postures Sequence selected and developed by Bikram Choudhury from Hatha Yoga.

It has been proved and experienced by millions that these 26 postures systematically work every part of the body, to give all the internal organs, all the veins, all the ligaments, and all the muscles everything they need to maintain optimum health and maximum function. Each component takes care of something different in the body, and yet they all work together synergistically, contributing to the success of every other one, and extending its benefits.

The room is kept at 104*F because yoga changes the construction of the body from the inside out, from bones to skin and from fingertips to toes. So before you change it, you have to heat it up to soften it, because a warm body is a flexible body. Then you can reshape the body any way you want.

Hatha Yoga flushes away the waste products, the toxins of all the glands and organs of your body. It provides a natural irrigation of the body through the circulatory system, with the help of the respiratory system. It brings nourishments to every cell of your body so that each one can perform its function and keep your body healthy. Bikram Yoga also employs heat to further that cleaning process: When you sweat, impurities are flushed out of the body through the skin.”

I found a place between my house and my office and decided to give it a shot last night and was able to talk my friend K into coming. First impression—I walked in to the office of the studio and it was quite steamy with a lot of half dressed people lounging about. I actually started sweating once I walked it. I signed up for a week of unlimited Bikram, listened to the instructor give me a few first timer pointers, got changed and walked in to the studio.

Yeeesh, if I thought the front office was warm, I thought the studio was ridiculous. I could only imagine what their electricity use must be like. I got myself all situated and laid down on the mat until class started.

I think its no secret I am a sweaty beast. I really underestimated how much I would sweat during class and I was soaked about 5 minutes in to it and we were just working on a breathing exercise!! I really worried about the remaining 85 minutes of class.

Let me tell you something; I am inflexible—way more than I ever thought I was. I struggled to grab onto parts of my body, but I gave it my best and just tried to get close. The first half off the class was all poses where you stood. Some poses worked your flexibility, some worked your strength, some worked your balance (which I lack) but all had you sweating like crazy. I felt great during this part of class, to the point where I was thinking I could get into it.

The second part of class, you did a lot of laying down, back and stomach stretches. At this point, I started to feel really sick. I have been fighting a cold for a couple of weeks now and thought I had it kicked. I am not sure if it was the travel, stress, the late nights, the yoga or a combination of all, but I started to feel more congested and my throat started to kill me. I also was feeling a bit nauseous (note to self—maybe put some vicks under my nose so the BO smell is not as strong), so I took the rest of the class pretty easy, trying poses when I could and drinking some water, hoping it would make me feel better.

Even though the class was long, I really felt like it went by quickly and I enjoyed it. I am planning on going tonight too, hoping that it will help flush out the rest of this cold and that I will. I have heard that the first couple of classes are the toughest, so I think that next week will be a different experience!

Today, I feel a bit sore in places that were stretched and not often used.  I am hoping that the poses are a bit easier tonight, but expect another report after my week of unlimited Bikram Yoga is over!


the dawn said...

wow! that sounds intense. i hate sweating, so i'm not sure i could hack it, but i bet its great to have the muscles be so warm while you're stretching and stuff. yoga (even the less "official" kind at the YMCA) always kicks my butt.

jamie@sweatyhugs said...

Wow! Go you on signing up for a week of unlim. sessions! I've done regular yoga before and realized quickly how inflexible and weak I am in balancing. My personal trainer has also introduced me to yoga stretches recently and ever since this injury I'm realizing how important having long, stretched out muscles are.

Please post more about Bikram when you can. I just might look into adding in a session sometime. :)

sfauthor said...

Nice posting. Do you know about these hatha yoga books?

(Just) Trying is for Little Girls said...

Great yoga report. I learned a lot from your post. Not sure I want to do Bikram, though!

Wendy Boka said...

Ooh -- I love yoga! I have a place in Austin I go to, and can't wait to get back there!

Anonymous said...

great report on yoga! oh, and happy birthday!

Marina J said...

Thanks for the tips. It's definitely important to maintain your bones health. Yoga can make the joints strong. All those who want to have strong bones should perform balanced yoga which has got all the benefits of weight bearing exercises without causing any negative impact on joints. Yoga is the best exercise to prevent osteoporosis. When the age progresses naturally the bones become weak but you can have strong bones by doing yoga. Approach your yoga with gentleness, knowledge and acceptance.
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Wins said...

Very informative blog this is. I have recently joined the yoga classes where I got to know many postures, but I think you also have some exciting classes. Thanks for informing us about this postures.

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