Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The truth about Bikram Yoga

Let's talk sweat. Whenever I tell people that I love Bikram yoga or hot yoga they automatically think I am nuts and they say "I could never do that". Then I tell them that I go at 6am and they lose all interest. That is of course what I said before I started going. Let me tell you though, you can do it. There are 50 year old, overweight men in my class and they rock it. So, I know you can do it. That is why I am going to lay it out for you so that you can put aside your fears.

first: What is Bikram yoga? You can read in detail about it here and the official website is here. In a nutshell, it is 26 postures and two breathing exercises that lasts 90 minutes (fastest 90 minutes ever) in a room that is heated to 105 degrees with 40 percent humidity. It is hard. It gets your heart pounding. It stretches you and makes you stronger, but oh man it does so so much more!

second: The things to take. You of course need a yoga mat. Any yoga mat, nothing special. Some people use thick fabric mats but I don't like the idea of having to wash my mat all the time. Then a towel. There are special microfiber towels that work the best and help your feet stick in certain positions. You can buy them online or at your local Bikram studio. I love mine, but any towel will do. Lastly a water bottle. There is a warning that goes with this. I fill my water bottle up with ice and water, BUT I don't drink it until the END of class. okay, sometimes I drink during 'party time' after the warm up. I really try not to because the more water you drink during class the harder it is. It sounds weird but it is true. The water takes longer to get in your system than the time you will be in the class. Remember, hydration starts the day before. 

third: what to wear. The less clothing you wear the better. Seriously. No matter what your body looks like or how self conscious you are. No one cares. You are going to be hot and sweating. a lot. Trust me you don't want to be in sweats and a t-shirt. I wear something similar to the above picture. You of course could wear more of a tank top with capris if you would like, but you might regret it.

lastly: a bunch of random info. I go first thing in the morning. I mean FIRST thing. I wake up at 5:30am for the 6am class. I do this craziness for a few reasons. I like to get it done. If I don't get it done early then I don't go. Also I have an empty stomach but am not hungry yet. Half of the class you do postures on the floor and on your stomach. You don't want food and water slushing around the gut. If there is any advice I can give you it would be to LISTEN. The class is scripted and is basically the same every time you go. They tell you exactly what you need to be doing and what you need to do to correct your posture. So always listen. You can always do better. My biggest pet peeve is when I see someone doing a posture wrong, the instructor is saying how to fix it and they don't listen. ugh.

Ok, I am almost done. Yoga is a practice. It is a no judgement zone. It is all about you for 90 minutes. Let it be. Don't talk during class. Just focus on you and your practice. Don't be scared about the heat. You don't notice it. You start to sweat and stink. That is ok. Don't wipe the sweat, embrace it. It helps you cool off. It is going to smell bad and be uncomfortable. Get over it. Anything worth doing is going to be hard. Do hard things, you will be a better person. 

oh yeah: If you live in Utah there are 3 studios you can go to (soon to be 4!). There is one in Sandy, where I go, Sugar House and Ogden. It is expensive. I pay 80$ a month. Take a deep breath. The first month is only 30$. If you hate it then you are only out the 30$. If you love it, and you will then you will be willing to pay the money. When you go that first month go AT LEAST ten times. If you can go every day. Well, I go every day but Sunday. On the days that you do go drink a lot of water after the class. Stay hydrated. If you don't you will be sick like my sister in law and never go again. I like to drink coconut water. Super hydrating. 

Go to Bikram yoga. It will heal all your health problems. You will sleep better, eat better, breath better, and feel better. You will be better. Go.



Gabrielle Kim said...

I have been tempted lately to try yoga to help loose a little weight and get back my flexibility. I don't know why it is so intimidating to start, but I love this post. I might...just might, give this a try!

Trevor said...

Wicked summary. Love it!

Anette Kauahikaua said...

I just bought a 20-pass card and go 2 times a week, but wanna go more times. I am trying to lose weight and supplementing my fitness since I am rehabbing a running injury. During my spring break I am going everyday. II am 56 and love all the health benefits it provides. It is like a body tune- up or overhaul. If you like to sweat and get or stay in shape this is for you.