We’ve all heard about it at some point, whether from some trendy Instagram vlogger, or even your mom’s old college roommate. Bikram hot yoga is a combination of exercise, meditation, and a little heat. For an athlete like myself I thought it couldn’t be too difficult, but I was so wrong.
I decided to try hot bikram for the first time this past week, and it was an experience. I walked into the studio room not knowing what to expect. Though, I was grateful I had prepared myself enough by bringing a sweat towel, because it was necessary: not even five minutes into the class, not even past the breathing exercises, I was profusely sweating.
That was the easiest part of the class.
After we moved on from getting our breathing together, we started to engage in some poses. We started off at a nice consistent rhythm, not too slow, but nowhere near fast. After the fourth time through, the pace sped up a lot, a whole lot. I thought I was sweating before, but now my body was draining itself of all liquids; I was drenched. Even though I stripped down to only a sports bra and leggings, while sweating bullets, completely drained of energy, my body was feeling alive and great. I felt healthy. I focused on my breathing the whole time, and I was really feeling the benefits.
The teacher managed to slip in a few little secret ab workouts, but I won’t hold it against her, because it made me feel great. Bikram yoga is intended to increase balance and mobility, while strengthening the skeletal system, as the heat allows the muscles to loosen up and increase blood flood in the body.
After class my back felt better, not even a little sore. I could spin and twist with no pain at all. I also noticed a change in my attitude. I felt more happy and positive. I felt awake, which was strange because I had only gotten 2 hours of sleep the night before. Maybe it was the energetic music playing during the class, or maybe it was the movements of the body that woke me up, but either way I felt great for the rest of the day.
Bikram yoga is a fun way to burn some calories and much different than just the average gym trip or run. I would suggest that if anyone had the opportunity to try it, do try it, and see if you actually enjoy the class and its benefits.