Today shall forever be the day I had my first taste of Bikram’s.
I bought a 30 day pass at living social last August and totally forgot about it. If they didn’t remind me that it’s expiring this Thursday, I probably would have given them free money (or was that their plan all along?)
After much scrambling and printing off my pass, I called Bikram’s t and got a list of items to bring:
1) Yoga Mat
2) Beach towel, if you would like to shower bring anther one
3) Water, and drink lots beforehand; not an hour before, but the whole day before
4) Less is more, wear as little as you are comfortable with
With everything set, I rode out to Bikram’s on my bike and was ready for some heat. As I sat outside the classroom waiting, I got a bit nervous. I have heard so much about it, some say it’s so hot that they can’t breathe, or they felt really sick and almost fainted, or the teacher is yelling at them and became a very stressful experience. I didn’t know how my first class was going to be, but at least I consider myself to be an experienced yogi and I drank 2L of water today.
As the previous class ended, people started to come out drenched in sweat. My heart started to pound, it’s like they just got out of a swimming pool! I soon calmed myself and walked in with the others. As I entered the room, a gush of heat wave surrounded my body. The room is bright and big, with mirrors all across the front and side of the room. I found a spot near the mirror and sat down.
A note here about the mirrors, I am not a big fan, but it seems the goal is to look at your own alignment and others’ so that you are more willing to push yourself further. I didn’t look at the mirror much and don’t plan to.
As I sat there waiting, it didn’t seem as bad as I’d thought! I could still breathe normally, even though the air was thick and dry. 2 ceiling fans blew hot air onto my face, and I felt more confident that I was going to make it out alive.
So here’s a low down of how I felt throughout the class:
At first: why am I not sweating like a pig yet? Wow the guys in front of me are already dripping in sweat! Is it just my body?
15min later: Holy cow I’m really sweating! This is awesome! I haven’t sweated like this in ages! What have I been doing for the past eight years in Vancouver? I’ve been really missing out!!!! Man I should do this everyday!
30min later: omg omg omg… I am as slimy as a snake! Hang in there… oh so slippery, wipe wipe, I can’t even grab my feet without slipping.
60min later: I am dying… maybe I should skip this pose and just sit it out? No, just keep on going, you can do it! I wish I could just get out of here and get some fresh air… so hard to breathe and so hot… Maybe I should just do this once and never come back!
80min later: Is it over yet? I have no strength left…
At the end: Yes! I made it! I am alive!!! Oh…it’s kinda cold outside… brrrr
The hardest part?
Keep on going at the end and bicycling home afterwards…
I think I’ll definitely keep it up for twice a week. I’m addicted to the feeling of sweating it all off and feeling so refreshed afterwards. It really is a great work out! Maybe I’ll be more toned and get some abs! LOL.
However, I don’t think hot yoga is for everyone, and it’s best to have some Hatha yoga experience beforehand. The heat can be too much for some to handle, and being well hydrated is very crucial. Absolutely do not eat at least 3 hours before the class, and wear as little as you can (swim suits are very suitable here).
For me, I wouldn’t drop regular yoga for this. I still prefer a variety of poses, and knowing why each pose is good for you. I also like the sense of calmness with Hatha yoga, especially when setting an intention for each class and learning something new about life everyday.
How was your experience with hot yoga? Are you for or against? Share your thought with me or come join me for a class!
Here is my new Bikram key chain:
And if you ever want to turn your heat on at home to do hot yoga, here are the poses: