Thinspiration: Bikram Yoga

I haven’t been as actively posting entries as of late (and as you can see, I posted 11 days worth of photos a day) and this can the reason why I’ve not been posting.

Starting last June 5, I finally got the courage to try out the toughest yoga class – Bikram Yoga.

Bikram Yoga is is a system of yoga founded by Bikram Choudhury, and is synthesized from traditional hatha yoga techniques. Bikram 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 (≈ 40.6°C) with a humidity of 40% and is the most popular form of hot yoga (a series of yoga poses done in a heated room).

I used to avoid Bikram yoga like plague due to the fact I was terrified it was held in a heated room. I just didn’t trust myself when it came to heat and I was so afraid I will collapse or can’t survive the heat.

I attended my first Bikram class at Yoga Plus‘ newly opened studio in Ortigas since it was the only available class at that time. Since it was my first time, the teacher, Ryan, set me aside 15 minutes early to do an orientation on the class, what to expect, and taught me the first breathing exercise called the Pranayama.

I actually enjoyed my Bikram class. To be honest, this is my 2nd hot yoga class so I was better prepared physically and mentally, and what a difference this makes.

The poses, though it looks hard, is very beginner-friendly and has options for beginners and more advanced practitioners. I found sweating my ass off very invigorating and refreshing. And I found it more relaxed that my regular vinyasa classes because it was just a repetition of the 26 poses and there are more resting times, or savasana (corpse pose), as opposed to vinyasa or flow where its poses done in series.

I am on my second week now of practicing bikram and it gets better every time. I had a one week coupon at 50% off at another studio, Sundar Bikram Yoga studio in Greenhills, and managed to go to the studio 4 times in one week.

I found my body getting more toned and my flexibility greater. I noticed my tummy tighten and I actually feel a lot lighter. I now go do Anti-Gravity Yoga once a week and bikram for more regular workouts.

Some tips for first timers:

  • Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Drink up at least two hours before class. I learned this the hard way in my first hot yoga class at Yoga Plus where I was dehydrated and suffered from migraine and vertigo after class and even the days after. Since then, it is my practice to drink up, before and after class.
  • Come on an empty stomach. Eat light meals 2-3 hours before class.
  • Come in comfortable clothes. The lesser the better (bra tops and shorts are great stuff to wear. Never mind your tummies!). It is because you will just sweat and sweat and sweat!
  • Bring extra towels and change of clothes for showering.
  • The instructors will ask you to stay inside the room for the whole 90 minutes. If you cannot keep up with the poses or the heat is getting to you, just lie in savasana and its okay.
  • Don’t worry if you can’t do all poses perfectly! I, for one, am not so flexible, and still have trouble doing the Dandayamana – JanuShirasana (the standing one leg with your other leg straight out) or the half tortoise poise because my knees really hurt when I do that. All it takes is practice, practice, practice. One of my instructors told me, if you can do all poses perfectly at the first try, why bother doing it?
  • Have fun!


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