Have you ever gotten an idea in your head that you want to do something, but then spend weeks researching it so you don’t feel like an idiot when you do it? This is exactly what happened to me trying out Bikram Yoga.
Bikram Yoga is a system of yoga that Bikram Choudhury synthesized from traditional yoga techniques and popularized beginning in the early 1970s. Bikram’s 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%, causing it to be categorized as a form of hot yoga. (via Wikipedia)
My ENELL SPORT Bra and I survived Bikram Yoga!
Things to Take to Class:
- Yoga Mat
- Long towel for your mat: You can purchase a special yoga towel that is thin but also the proper dimensions for a yoga mat if you think you’ll make this a habit, but a regular large bath towel works fine also.
- Hand towel for the dripping sweat: You won’t be able to wipe your brow on your shirt as it will be wet. Plus your hands will get slick, so you need to be able to dry them off.
- (optional) a friend – it helped get me in the hot room to know she was there suffering with me at first!
Top 5 Tips:
- Talk to the instructor in advance: As part of my “research,” I spoke to the studio owner and one of the class instructors prior to committing to a class. I worried if I was too out of shape or not flexible enough. They gave me the answers I needed to hear to make myself feel comfortable walking into a super hot room for 90 minutes. The peace of mind was great. If by chance you happen across less kind instructors, save your money and take it elsewhere to a different studio. Yoga is not for the elite – it is for everyone.
- Wear less clothing: This is not for vanity purposes, this is strictly for comfort. You will sweat, a lot. (You’d be just as soaked if you had run through your yard sprinklers for about 5 minutes). If you wear full length pants or a longer sleeved shirt, it will get sticky and heavy fast. I’ve worn both my ENELL SPORT and ENELL LITE to Bikram Yoga and I’d suggest the LITE as it doesn’t come as high up on the neck and allows for better deep breathing as it’s a little more forgiving around the ribcage.
- Stop stressing, no one is looking at you: I am not flexible and my body is quite round and much larger than the other attendees. In order to hold the poses (or get into them in the first place), you have to concentrate wholly on yourself and your body. One side-eye to the gal on your left and you’ll topple. So stop being so self-conscious. (Easier said than done, I understand.)
- It’s okay to sit: My first class, I sat for 50% of it. I was just trying to stand the heat and humidity – forget about moving my body. While sitting, I noticed something: nearly everyone else sat too for a little bit. Even those who looked like they could do the class in their sleep with perfect form sometimes had to take a rest. It is okay! Just focus on breathing and take little sips of water if needed.
- Don’t chug: In a hot, humid environment you will get thirsty. You’re sweating a lot of your hydration away so it’s natural to want to grab your water bottle. Don’t take large gulps of water, otherwise you’ll feel really bloated and nauseated. Tiny sips are much better. You get to wet your mouth and not have your stomach hit with a liter of water.
Do you have questions about Bikram yoga? Experiences you’d like to share? We’d love to chat in the comments!