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hot yoga

December 5, 2010

 

yesterday I went to my first ever Bikram Yoga class.  I’ve been doing plenty of other types of yoga for years, but I had never dared to enter a 105* room with a bunch of near naked strangers before.  I had a Groupon for 10 classes for $40, and I figured that it would be a good idea to go when I wasn’t hungover.  since I stayed in and worked on a paper while all of my friends got shit-tastic at an ugly sweater party, I was able to wake up at 7 am and make my way to the Bikram Yoga Pittsburgh studio in the Strip District.

90 minutes later, I was slick with sweat, thirsty as hell, and feeling pretty good (at least better than my morning-drunk friends).

some thoughts:

  • the preparation:  I had my bag packed and ready to go the night before, and while they recommend not eating for 2 hours before class, I woke up and ate a piece of toast with peanut butter just an hour before class.  I’m really glad I did.  I’m the kind of person who NEEDS a hearty breakfast as soon as I wake up, and I found myself getting hungry in the middle of the class.
  • the studio: I did like this particular studio.  they made a point of remembering that it was my first time doing Bikram and constantly commented on how I was doing and if I needed to make any adjustments.  the 8 am Saturday morning class was pretty popular, too, and I’m not sure if it would’ve been any better with a little more room to move around.
  • the heat:  I actually found the heat really manageable.  maybe it has something to do with the fact that I am the coldest person alive with really bad circulation, but other than all of the sweat, I liked being in such a hot and humid room.  plus, going outside into the 20* morning felt AMAZING.
  • the poses:  while Bikram is very similar to other types of yoga, it has 26 postures and 2 breathing exercises.  I’m not sure if I like this.  I could see it becoming really routine and boring after a few classes.  or maybe not.  maybe you’d just get really good at the poses and move to a higher state of mental being.  or something.
  • the mental bit:  in my yoga practice, I have really started to appreciate the mental break and inspirational thinking that often takes place during a class.  I love it when a teacher starts class with a meditation on some wonderful topic and it really takes my yoga high to another level.  this was completely lacking in Bikram, and while we all gave a big fat Namaste at the end, I found all I was thinking about was how slippery my feet were.  maybe that’s a good thing, but I didn’t leave feeling like my soul was any more nourished than it had been when I arrived.
  • overall:  I liked it.  it was a good phyiscal workout without feeling too intense.  I was starving by the time I got home, too, and not eating a normal breakfast really threw off my whole day.  I feel like I ate 6 meals, but I was probably more dehydrated than starving.  sweating that much felt wonderful, and I feel like I’ve gotten all of the beer and cheap wine from the last month completely out of my system.

would I go back?

absolutely.

have you ever tried Bikram yoga?  what are your thoughts on the matter?

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. December 5, 2010 8:22 pm

    hm so interesting!
    i’ve always kind of wanted to try bikram cause i feel like it would be more of a real “workout” than my regular yoga but i’m a little intimidated and dont want to go because i feeel like i would freak out having to be in a hot room for that long and do yoga at the same time- plus i kind of love my relaxing yoga where i take long savasanas and i HATE being sweaty. i’m glad you tried it and reported back though :)

  2. ways permalink
    December 7, 2010 9:56 am

    I go to Bikram a lot and love it! The heat and sweat becomes no big deal after a while – you just keep going because it feels so good. Your body and mind are tuned up. You feel so good afterwards. The postures don’t get boring because there is so much room for improvement within each one. Even master yogis have room for improvement within each posture.

    Cheers! Congrats for going.

  3. December 7, 2010 1:22 pm

    I LOVE bikram yoga, but need to find a way to get more of it in my life. That’s one of my goals for winter break!

  4. December 7, 2010 10:07 pm

    Never tried bikram, but I do want to! Maybe over xmas break…

    Glad you had a little bite before the class, i’m definitely the same way and can’t function without a hearty bfast in my system first thing….but i guess going into the class feeling a little less full may be better when you’re in an insanely hot room! ha!

    Loved the review…hope finals are going well! Mine start this next week, eeek! Catch up soon, xoxox

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