I've been meaning to write this post for a while now, but I wanted to make sure I had 3 months of classes completed, before rambling on like I know something.
Near the end of July, I decided it was time to make some changes in my life. We had recently moved into a condo in a great location, with a Bikram Yoga studio right across the street. With my self confidence and energy levels dwindling, I decided to give it a try.
Now as a side note, I tried a Bikram Hot Yoga class once before, about 4 1/2 years ago because I had a free class card. I spent 50% of the class on the floor, wondering if I was going to throw up or not, and I swore that I would never put myself through that 90 minutes of hell again. I even went as far as to judge everyone else in the room, wondering how they could voluntarily put themselves through that everyday - were they crazy?
For a little background on Bikram Yoga, this is the basic class set up: The room is heated to 41 degrees celsius, and is 90 minutes in duration. There's 1 instructor who does not do the postures with you, but guides you through the class. They say the only thing your supposed to do is breathe, and listen to their voice guiding you. (A sort of 90 minute active meditation). Throughout the class you do 26 postures, two times each, and begin and end the class with a breathing exercise. It is extremely difficult, with frequent dizzy spells, and the sweat rolls into your eyes and burns like hell. Not to mention the difficulty of the postures; every single one is meant to be uncomfortable, and every muscle in your body is being used, locked and contracted.
Now onto the benefits! (And there are many!) It's unbelievable the changes I've noticed in myself. First of all, the most common goal of exercise, the changes in my body. I have muscles that I didn't even know existed, and have noticed toning that I've never achieved in any other workout regime. My cardio has also improved, and I've never been this flexible. Next, my lifestyle; Adding 90 minutes of yoga to an already jam-packed day IS tough, but my newfound energy levels make it all worth it. Also, I sleep like a little baby at night, and that's not an exaggeration. My sleep just feels so much deeper, and I wake up feeling fully rested. My appetite has also changed, I go longer between meals, and don't crave things that are bad for me. And finally, I've noticed that I'm just much more calm in life; I worry less and go with the flow more. It really has just been a life changing decision, and I plan to stick with it. I call it my "new leaf", but it truly has been.
For anyone that has been interested in or has tried it in the past and gave it up, I strongly urge you to give it a shot! Don't judge it based on the first few classes, as they will feel impossible, but the progress you watch your body go through is amazing!