Well, this was pretty much how my 10 a.m.- 11:30 a.m. valuable morning time was spent. In a 105 degree sauna for a 90 minute, what is called "hot yoga" class.
Today, this "hot yoga" is more commonly known as Bikram and it's really, really intense. This type of yoga is filled with 26 different postures created by Bikram Choudhury from traditional Hatha Yoga techniques in the 1970s.
I tried my first Bikram class maybe five years ago with my aunt and I enjoyed it but agreed it was something I could never commit to on a daily basis. It's definitely a different kind of workout. I'm more of a "stay cool in the air conditioned gym" type of workout junkie.
So, yesterday I guess I agreed to try another Bikram class with my boyfriend's mom because she raved about how much she loves it and got me interested again.
Workout variation is always great for your body, too. Mixing up your workouts means you, nor your body get bored! I'm really happy that I gave Bikram another shot though, because I've been meaning to do so for a long time! I took my class at Bikram Yoga Williamsville and loved the instructor and the facilities, a place I'd highly recommend my friends to try it at.
There were people of all different ages and experience levels in my class and watching other "yogis" in the mirror at the front of the room really helped me stay on track.
I'm sure that this entire time you've been reading this blog, you've been thinking to yourself, "what fun is there in sitting in a super hot room for 90 minutes?" Well, I completely understand your thought and I was thinking the same thing the first time I heard about Bikram. But let me fill you in on the benefits of doing hot yoga before you make a quick decision to forgo this type of exercise:
1) Increases oxygen supply to all parts of your body: At the end of class you practice breathing out quickly and throughout the class the instructor reminds you to breath deeply during certain postures.
2) Release toxins: The more you sweat, the more toxins are though to be released from organs, tissue, and muscles through your skin. Maybe this explains why after a solid workout, where I'm left dripping in sweat, I feel so amazing...
3) Increase flexibility: The warmer your muscles are, the easier they are to stretch, bend and work with. Taking advantage of being stuck in a hot room can increase flexibility of tendons and ligaments in the short and longterm.
My final words of advice for you if you try Bikram for yourself, is to go at your own pace (you can lay on your mat in "dead body pose" if needed to relax), but really push yourself to bend your body in new ways that you may not have thought possible...remember it's a hot room and you're now more flexible.
In my class, sure, there were many people that appeared that they'd been taking years and years of Bikram and could probably bend themselves into a pretzel. But, I just focused on myself and MY body instead of envying THEIR movements and bodies. I look up to these professionals now and in my coming Bikram classes, I know that I will be stronger and more flexible to eventually get to the pretzel point.
Have you ever tried Bikram? Or if you haven't, would you give it a try after hearing about my experience?