For my second post in the yoga series, I thought it only right to dig into Bikram Yoga. This is the style of yoga that initially got me addicted to the benefits of hot yoga, and still sits very near and dear to my heart today. When we first moved away from Nebraska to Phoenix, working out wasn’t a regular part of either of our days. We were both working more than 10 hour days, we were fully immersed in our new “big city life” which included eating at ALL of the restaurants, and drinking all of the wine. We were really enjoying our new life, but there was something missing. My energy levels simply felt low, which initially I chalked up to working long hours, my commute, and “getting older.” After several weeks of feeling “blah” I decided to look into this new thing called “Groupon” (HA) to see if there was a workout near us that I may be interested in! I found a Groupon for Bikram Yoga, a WHOLE MONTH unlimited for $20. This was a great deal, so I went for it.
Walking into my first class was intimidating. From the toned instructor, to the fit students, to the intense heat you feel right when walking in the door, I was instantly nervous. I took my rented mat, towel, and water (which I had initially passed on, until the teacher assured me I would probably want it…) laid down and waited for the torture to begin. I will admit, the first three classes were very hard. Not just physically, but mentally to stay focused is very tough when you are so consumed with the 105 degree heat for 90 minutes. On the afternoon of my fourth class, I remember dreading going, but dragged myself out the door and down the street. As soon as I got into the heat that afternoon, I felt a surge of energy. Not only did I make it through the class, I ENJOYED it! Instead of saying “it’s so hot” in my head over and over, I was watching myself in the mirror, slowly adjusting my body, trying to perfect the poses, I was breathing deeply, I was having fun! Therefore, I am a strong believer that getting through those first 3 classes (preferably in one week,) will have you hooked.
I have put together a list of what to do before your first Bikram class below:
1. Eat before class. Try to eat 1-2 hours before your class, and make sure it’s a light snack, not a heavy meal. RX bars are one of my favorites.
2. Tell your instructor this is your first class. This will ensure she goes over all of the highlights and can assist you throughout the class if needed as well.
3. Electrolytes. I hadn’t tried this until moving to New York City where my Bikram instructor suggested it. These give an additional boost of hydration, and I usually like to enjoy this quick shot of electrolytes after finishing my class. You can find my go-to electrolyte shot here.
4. Bring along a towel. Preferably one with traction. This will help soak up the sweat as well as keep your towel stuck to the mat to prevent any slipping.
5. Be patient! It is always an adjustment getting yourself into a hot yoga practice. I promise you will be so thankful you were patient when you start to experience the newfound energy and clarity following each practice! (Not to mention the weight loss benefits that naturally follow.)
Please reach out with ANY and ALL questions you may have regarding Bikram Yoga, or any other types of practice. I would be happy to assist!