So, Bikram yoga.
It’s something I’ve wanted to try for ages, but with our hot and humid summers (like, over 90% humidity some days) I’ve been putting it off. It’s FINALLY starting to cool down (days are still shorts and tshirt weather but nights are colder), so I thought this was the perfect time to try.
Not so perfect? Racing a 10km the day after your first class.
The studio that I went to offers your first 7 days for $20, which is the price of a casual class as well. This is a good week for me to start, because I can go a few times and get my money’s worth! After this, I think I’ll aim to go once per week or per fortnight.
There were 3 new people in the class, and the instructor made sure to know our names before the class started. She was very encouraging throughout the class!
From what I had read online, I knew there were 26 poses and that they were repeated twice. I was expecting us to do the sequence once, then repeat from the start. Instead we repeated each move immediately. I really liked this – I used the first time to try and make sure I was doing it right, and the second time I could reach further and challenge myself more.
The instructor told me that the most important aspect of your first class is to adapt to the heat. She asked us to stay in the room for the whole 90 minutes, but that we could either stand still or kneel if we needed to. I got through the whole class without needing to break! I have to admit that at the start of the class I had a couple moments when my vision went blank – but that happens when I stand up to quickly so I wasn’t concerned.
The only other yoga that I’ve done before has been beginners yoga, and one thing I loved about those classes was they were all about technique. We’d spend some classes just working on one or 2 poses for the whole class, and I liked how strict they were about doing things properly.
I didn’t find that as much with Bikram – she’d occasionally mention about alignment, but not as specific. I was also amazed at how many people (even the really flexi ones) fell out of poses. I guess the heat would contribute a lot?
I look forward to learning the sequence, so that I don’t need to spend the whole class looking around the room!
I weighed myself before I left home, and then drank 1L of water (only a few small sips during class, then the rest of it on the walk home). I weighed the same when I got home, so I guess I sweated about a litre? That’s actually not that much more than when I run on a hot summers day, but it felt like a lot more at the time!
If I continue to practice I hope it makes my body more balanced (some things were much easier on one side), plus I want to increase my flexibility. Staying heat adapted through winter will hopefully make running next summer easier, too!