About 5 years ago, I was introduced to the world of Yoga & it was the Hot Yoga experience. I was subscribed to Groupon emails at the time & a local Bikram Yoga studio had a deal pop into my inbox one day. The Groupon deal was very good, like 10 classes for $20, so I thought why not? Without knowing what Bikram Yoga was, I already purchased the deal and headed to the yoga studio for my first class.
When I walked into the studio, the 2 things I noticed first was the heat & the smell. The lobby/reception area felt like above 80’s degrees, while the smell was a lingering muggy fragrance (smell was not bad, it was just different). At the reception, the friendly lady could just tell I was a newbie by my looks and unpreparedness! She asked, “did you bring towels, a mat, WATER bottle???” Me: No, No, & No! Luckily, she was very nice and let me rent the equipment and offered drinks as well. She also mentioned that I “should stay in the back, away from the heaters.”
HEATERS!?!? What did I get myself into. Well, if you have never heard or Bikram Yoga, it is a 90-minute yoga class with always the same 26 postures. The kicker is the Yoga room always maintains a consistent 105 degrees! About 60 minutes will be standing, while the last 30 minutes on the ground with the remaining postures.
Even though the postures are always the same, each yoga session is always different for the individual. Some classes will be very good & other classes where it is more difficult to hold the postures. Bikram takes lots of discipline and practice to get comfortable in the entire experience, yet the controlling the mind is the hardest part. Between the heat, postures, & everybody in the room, the mind is highly stimulated. By being focused, centered, & controlling the breathing, it makes the class time more fluid and enjoyable.
I have been doing Bikram on and off since then & can say it has helped me be more relaxed and focused outside the class. It is worth the time to try out a class if available in your area. If not, ask your local yoga studio if the offer other types of hot yoga. Namaste
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