Hot Yoga (or something like it). My first adventure with Bikram.

This Bikram Choudhury, the inventor of Bikram Yoga, walking on one of his students.

Yoga is designed to keep you flexible, relax you, help you breathe, concentrate and find your inner peace. If you are looking to achieve these things, do not go to Bikram. It seems that Bikram was designed to torture you. Everything about it involves feelings of anger, passing out or throwing up….

So I’ve been wanting to try Bikram for a while now. I’ve read about all of the great benefits it provides and how your running times will improve etc. So finally I just bit the bullet and tried it out. I’ve done regular vinyasa yoga many times. I’m no guru, but I can get through a class fairly well and not look stupid and/or fall over. But Bikram yoga is on a whole. other. level. While regular yoga is more focused on breathing as a relaxation technique, during Bikram you rely on breathing to keep you from passing out.

And your body sweats in places you didn’t know it could sweat. i.e. your knee caps. They literally started to sweat before anything else and all I could think was: is this really happening right now? Your teacher will tell you to be as still as possible when not in the actual poses so that your body can heal itself. You will not fully understand how hard it is to stand still when there is sweat literally running into your ear.

Since my first Bikram class I have been back several times. Don’t ask me why I went back to the second class but I am glad I did. I am beginning to like the extreme heat, tolerate the sweat and even do most of the poses properly (sorta). So if you’ve ever thought about trying Bikram, definitely do! It will seem impossible up until the last savasana (the pose where you lay on the floor) and each time it gets a little more possible. And yes I do feel better since starting Bikram (that man is an evil genius).

Don’t forget to bring:

– a yoga mat (seems like a “duh” item but I’ve forgotten it many times. The studio will usually have extra in case you’re forgetful like me)

– Large towel to cover the yoga mat (helps catch the sweat and prevents slipping)

– a small hand towel (For all the sweat. The really “advanced” people don’t bring hand towels because they embrace their sweat or some shit like that. Personally I don’t like sweat in my eyes.)

– a water bottle (again the advanced people don’t drink water during the actual class. But this one I understand. The point is to sweat out all the toxins in your body not take in anything. But it is always good to have water in case you feel like passing out or vomiting.)

– headband to keep hair out of face (the sweat is annoying enough)

I also suggest you wear as little as possible. Don’t you worry about looking slutty (look at Bikram Choudhury as an example). Most just wear a sports bra and spandex shorts. I mean it’s like 105 degrees in there. Also hydrate throughout the day prior to your class. Drink more water than you think necessary because it helps fuel you during the class. I also like to drink  coconut water 15 minutes before class, but that’s just my routine.

I hope these tips are helpful. I know I was really nervous before my first class but all of the people there were really nice and supportive.

From the words of my first Bikram teacher “Stretching good for your endocrine system”. Whatever that is.

Get your Bikram on LorSer’s.

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