Friday, August 10, 2012

Bikram Yoga: A Beginner's Perspective

It's true: I've always wanted to like Yoga. I even incorporated it in my weekly workout regimen. However every time I would drag myself to a Hatha class, I remembered WHY I couldn't.

First of all, the downward dog is a nightmare - especially for those of us with poor upper body strength. Secondly, there is something mildy intimidating about seeing those flexible bodies near me. (How on EARTH do they do that?)

My resolve: Yoga  and I weren't going to see eye to eye. Well, that was until March-- when I purchased a 30 day unlimted GroupOn for Bikram Yoga. Many in my running group raved about the class and its' benefits so why not? At the time, it seemed like the right thing to do.

July 22nd was my day of first class. I was nervous as hell and determined to "make it do what it do". Lol. For the next 90 minutes it was me, the heat, and the mirror. At the end, I was drained, but left feeling like Bikram and I were going to be BFFs.

I'm in my third week, and so far I've discovered that 1.) Standing head to knee pose is my absolute favorite. 2.) I am more flexible and 3.) My running (and pace) has improved.

If you've ever considered Bikram, here are a few tips that I find helpful:

1) Stay hydrated. Water is your friend, and it's paramount that you start drinking at least a day or two before you take class. Coconut water is also a huge hit. For post Bikram, Gatorade is my go-to drink.

2.) Stay in the room.  For the first few classes, you should focus on not leaving the room. If for some reason, you feel lightheaded (and you will) just take a knee. It's okay. We all do it.  (confession: This was the main reason why I put off going to Bikram for sooo long. I constantly worried if  my body could withstand a 105 degree room)

3) Listen to the Instructor. It makes ALL the difference.

4) BREATHE. As you enter each posture, breathe in and out through your nose. Breathe through the discomfort. Just breathe!

5.) Dress light. Sports Bras, tanks, yoga/running shorts, bikini bottoms, swim trunks - you name it I've seen it. By the end of class your body will be soaked, so make sure to bring an extra set of clothing to change into.

6.) FOCUS. You may start to think of all the things on your to-do list, events that happened during the day, or even how badly you want a sip of water. Just hold tight. It'll be over before you know it.

7.) Go often, challenge yourself and have fun! Your body will thank you.

There are a lot of studios that offer guest passes or new student specials, so keep your eyes peeled for offers. Oh, and don't forget about LivingSocial and GroupOn.

As a bonus, I wanted to share a couple photos.

Here's Gail demonstrating two poses after birthday drinks with Su. This woman is the TRUTH!

Prepping for Standing Head to Knee Pose

Standing Head to Knee Pose - My FAVE!

Standing Bow Pulling Pose
Here's Iwona. I was telling her about my new found love for Bikram and the  Standing Head to Knee  pose. This chick managed to nail it on her first try. I think she'd be a rockSTAR in Bikram.

If you decide to take a class let me know! I'd love to hear all about it.


  1. I'm beyond proud of you for trying the class and kicking major butt in it. You can do anything you put your mind to. And, if you can run in 90+ degree heat, you can do Bikram Yoga!

    1. True nuggets of wisdom, BlackBetty! Let's continue to make it happen in 2012. xoxo