Have you heard of Bikram Yoga? Or maybe "hot" yoga? A Bikram Yoga studio opened in my town recently, and I decided to give it a try after hearing some great things about this type of yoga.
Bikram Yoga is a type of yoga that is practiced in a hot room - VERY hot...105 degrees kind of hot. The beginner series of Bikram is 26 postures and 2 breathing exercises completed in 90 minutes. The heat is used to help warm up your body. Because your body is warmer, you're able to stretch more and go deeper into the poses.
I've been practicing yoga at my gym for over a year now, but with race training the past few months, I haven't had time to fit it in. I'm also working at mixing up my routine this month so Bikram was the perfect chance to get back to yoga!
Before my first class, I wasn't really sure what to expect. I searched the internet for "first Bikram yoga class" and read some information. I talked with a colleague who has taken it several times before and reached out to some friends on Twitter. My biggest question was "What do I wear???" The overwhelming response can be summed up with - "as little as you're comfortable wearing". I ended up with a lightweight/moisture wicking tank and some "booty shorts" (these)
Besides wardrobe options, another big takeaway I got from my research was "it's okay to sit down if you need to". I tend to be a person in group exercise who gets a little competitive, so this was tough for me. But, at a few points during the first class I was feeling a little light headed so I sat down for a minute or two. During my second class, I didn't have to sit down at all.
So just how sweaty is this yoga? For me - VERY sweaty. But really, I sweat just thinking about exercising, so this didn't surprise me. I weighed myself before my first class and then again when I got home. Even with the 32 oz of water I drank, I still lost 3 pounds during class. Now if only that was fat and not just water weight - haha!!
Overall, I'm loving Bikram yoga. The 90 minutes passes really quickly and I feel awesome afterwards! The poses are simple enough for beginners and don't involve any headstands or craziness like that. The instructor guides you through each step, and it ends up being a moving meditation. Even my busy mind was able to shut out the chatter and concentrate on my practice. It's a great way to relax and destress!