Published on December 24th, 2011 | by thevyne1
“Head to the Knee, Keesha!”
A friend of mine once told me that she changes her exercise routine every season. Something about her exercise needs feeling different depending on the season. So this season I decided to finally join some friends for a session of Bikram Yoga. For those of you who don’t know, Bikram Yoga is the style of yoga that combines 26 postures from Hatha Yoga into a series and is performed in a room set to 105 degrees. Presumably this series of postures helps promote health and healing in all areas of the body including veins, muscles, joints, organs, skin etc. Also the release of toxins thru sweating like a beast is an added benefit.
I hemmed and hawed about going mainly because yoga never seemed to do it for me. All the breathing and silence only led to me doing a whole lot of thinking and ultimately leaving the class still feeling stressed as opposed to relieved. But everyone, including Kailei (who wrote about this subject before), said I would like Bikram because it’s an active style of yoga with lots of movement and the instructor talks the whole time so it’s not “hear a pin drop” silent.
That said I was finally convinced and ready to take on the challenge. All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed it. Here’s a summary of a few lessons learned in case you too want to brave the challenge:
- “Socks, mat, towel, water…Check!”- this is not one of those classes that you can show up to without all of your accoutrements. Throughout the class you’ll get water breaks but its not recommended that you leave the room so be sure to have a thermos filled with mostly ice so you have semi cool water to drink during breaks. With the insane amount of sweating you’ll be doing, having a full size towel to lay over your mat along with a smaller one for your face is a non-negotiable.
- Slap it in a bun – Your hair that is. If your hair isn’t long enough to get in a bun, that’s fine too just prepare to look like you went through a combination car wash/wind tunnel when class is over. That means no perm before class ladies. Natural hair ladies, you’re all good for this one.
- Steer clear of men! – I always thought I had more sweat glands than the average woman. But whatever I thought I had, paled in comparison to the men in this class. I’ve never seen so much sweat in my life! So when you first walk into the room, find a spot that’s not near a man if you can. Sloshing around in your own sweat is one thing, but sloshing around in someone else’s is a no go.
- Prepare to be called out – I mistakenly thought that since I was new the teacher would go easy on me. Not so. At one point we were in some posture that required everyone to put their head to their knee. I was giving it the ol’ college try but nothing was happening. That is, not until the instructor unabashedly called out “head to your knee Keesha, head to your knee! Come on Keesha! We’re not moving on til you get that head to your knee! Waiting on you Keesha!” Turns out, being called out and hearing everyone groaning waiting on you is just the motivation you need to get your head to your knee…it wasn’t pretty folks, but it was a head on a knee.
- Lay like Brocolli – Sometimes the heat can be a little intense to a beginner so when that happens, just lay there. Don’t worry about anyone looking at you… Frankly it’s too hot for anyone to be concerned about you or for you to be concerned about them. But if you do happen to notice someone looking at you just close your eyes and take some fake deep breathes…makes you look like you’re deep in thought.
- Fruit for later – When we finished and I gathered myself along with my soaked towels to sit outside of the blazing hot room I ended up sitting across from this guy eating a piece of fruit. He was clearly a regular to this class. I watched as he peeled and munched on an orange. Then he peeled and munched on a second one…then a third. The whole time I was thinking, “how many oranges does this dude have?” and “can I chalk it up to ‘Bikram insanity’ if I tackle him for the next orange?” Bottom line…bring your own orange to nosh on immediately after class to help replenish your electrolytes.
Have you taken Bikram Yoga before? If so, tell us your tips!