Monday, February 28, 2011
10 days ago, a friend of mine suggested that we try a Bikram Yoga class. I had never heard of this type of yoga before (what planet have I been on..?) and after she explained that it's a 90 minute session of yoga in a room heated to 39 degrees, my curiosity and intrigue got the better of me and I decided I was up for the challenge!
As we entered the building a strange odour greeted us. It was not unlike cheesy crusty sweaty feet and under arm BO of a hundred men that have never washed. Strangely enough you get accustomed to the smell quit quickly, and as we take off our shoe's and purchase our yoga mats, we now have to enter the 'heated chamber of sweat'!!
As you open the door the heat of the room nearly knocks you off your 'clean smelling feet'!! ITS A SAUNA and we have been told by the instructor that we are now, NOT to leave the room during the class, and if we feel dizzy or faint we should just 'push through it and lay down'. What the h###??? Now Im scared!!! The only thing I could think of, was that I was going to die and it was going to take 90minutes for someone to realise it!!!
Bikram Yoga or 'Hot Yoga' is a series of 26 postures and two breathing exercises. Every class is the same, so you can be a beginner or advanced at the postures.
Since I haven't done an ounce of stretching or for that matter, any exercise in 2 years, it was no wonder I felt faint 20 minutes into it. As I lay down I have never felt and seen so much sweat come out of my body in all my life!! Everyone in the room look's like they have a water fall coming out of them, and they to are starting to drop with me.
The reason it's done in a heated room is so your muscles are warm, which prevents injury and allows a deeper workout, which in turn cleanses the body by flushing toxins.
In addition, the series of postures combine skills of concentration, patience, determination and self -control which lead to increased mental clarity and reduced stress.
This is all true. You can lose up to a litre and a half of fluid (I have no doubt I lost 3) during a class.
You need concentration and determination not to RUN out of the room, and the only mental clarity you have is that you were insane at the time, to have gone through with this in the first place!
The first class is the hardest, and YES I did go back for more. The feeling you have when you come out of the room and for the rest of the day is revitalising and energising. It's addictive and I have persisted for the past 10 mornings in a row.
Within a week you can stretch parts of your body that you thought weren't possible, and I can already notice the toning in other places. The classes are becoming easier and you start to block out the heat and just concentrate on the postures.
I'm hooked and have never felt better. Its a great workout & detox and you have a sense of well being after a class. I highly recommend you at least have a try and see if it's for you :)
For more info go to the BIKRAM YOGA Glen Waverley Website