Today I had my first Bikram yoga experience. And let me just say – It was HOT in there!
Bikram yoga classes run exactly 90 minutes and consist of a set series of 26 postures and 2 breathing exercises. Bikram Yoga is ideally practiced in a room heated to 105°F with a humidity of 40%, causing it to be categorized as a form of hot yoga.
And HOT Yoga it was!
When I first heard about Bikram, I heard a variety of things about the practice – some good, some bad – but I knew I had to try it out for myself. This morning I was super nervous before setting foot in the hot room. I didn’t know what to expect, or how my body would react. I got my hydration on starting about 2 hours before class – I juiced fresh fruits and veggies and drank lots of water.
After the trek out to Bikram Hot Yoga in Voorhees, NJ I was both anxious and excited! I couldn’t wait to break through the “unknown” barrier and allow Bikram yoga to be known to me!
When I first set foot in the hot room – it literally took my breath away! It was so hot, it was hard to breathe. I knew ahead of time that while you are practicing Bikram yoga, the teachers ask you not to leave the hot room until the full 90 minutes is up.
Knowing that, as soon as the door closed, I felt a little claustrophobic! After a few deep breaths and some kind words from my fellow classmates, I felt more comfortable.
Did I mention 105* is effffffin’ hot?! Because it seriously is! I don’t think I had ever experienced that temperature before, but you combine that heat with 40% humidity and it is even hotter than hot! I spent the first few minutes lying down on my mat, adjusting my body to the temperature and I was literally dripping in sweat – just laying there, doing absolutely nothing! I knew right then and there I was going to be in for a wild yoga ride!
The practice itself wasn’t too different from what I am used to in my vinyasa yoga practice – it even featured a few of my favorite yoga poses – but there were also a few new (to me) poses I learned today, which is always fun! But the heat was definitely a killer – it made the slightest movement 100 times harder!
My favorite part of the practice was when we would do any sort of twist, the sweat would just literally fall off me, like I was ringing out my insides – does that make sense? Is that weird?
A few times during class I got a little lightheaded and towards the end of practice I felt a ping of nausea, but I powered through it – it was important for me to stay mentally strong through the class!
Before I knew it 90 minutes had literally flow by – we had done breathing exercises, standing postures, balance poses and more – and I had survived my first Bikram yoga experience!
When all was said and done I was a hot, sweaty mess!
I felt pretty good post-Bikram, a little dehydrated, but I have spent the entire day drinking H20 so I think I have that in check. It was a really rejuvenating experience for me – I can’t wait to go back for more!
Have you ever been to practice Bikram yoga before? What do you think about it? Does the heat scare you?
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