That time I tried Bikram Yoga

Holy Cow.
I’ve been feeling a little lopsided in my workouts lately.
Lift. Run. Possible an interval workout on the elliptical. Repeat.
I wasn’t getting bored, I just knew I wasn’t really doing my body any favors by not changing it up.

25$ for an unlimited pass for 2 weeks for Bikram Yoga. I figured I’d give it a try.

Bikram Yoga, according to Wikipedia:

Bikram’s classes run exactly 90 minutes and consist of a set series of 26 postures and 2 breathing exercises. Bikram Yoga is ideally practiced in a room heated to 105°F (≈ 40.6°C) with a humidity of 40%,[citation needed] and is the most popular form of hot yoga (a series of yoga poses done in a heated room).

Nope, you read that right. 105 degrees.
I walked into the studio waiting area thing to register and I was like  “Oh, this isn’t bad at all! I can handle 105 Degrees! I’ve been to Puerto Rico! I’m Mexican! I got this.”

I put my stuff into the locker room thing, notice everyone else has taken their shoes off. I do the same.
I also notice the guys don’t have shirts on, and all of the girls are wearing only sports bras…. I just figure they’re just really intense about it, so I keep my shirt on- mostly because I’ve never been in JUST A SPORTS BRA IN FRONT OF STRANGERS, and go with it.

I walk into the room. Panic immediately sets in.
“Oh my god, I’m going to pass out. OMG I can’t breathe. It’s so hot in here I can’t breathe.”
All of the things I read on the website flooded my mind:
“If you feel nauseous, dizzy, or like you’re going to pass out- just sit down on your mat. It’s cooler on the floor and these feelings are normal and a sign that your body is reaping the benefits of Bikram and detoxing.”
Um? It’s cooler on the floor? I was already sitting on my mat, and it was pretty damn hot- so I feared how much warmer it was going to feel in there once people starting sweating and we were standing up.
“I’m not going to make it…”
“I could totally sneak out now and no one would ever notice.”

The instructor walks in- literally in his underwear. Dear god. What have I gotten myself into?
I was already sweating from odd places- the crook of my arm, my wrists, my actual ears were sweating.

So the teacher looks for me- “Christina?”
I raise my hand “here.”
He gives me the shpeal  about how if I’m dizzy, nauseous, etc, to sit down and let it pass- it’s totally normal.
I smile, nod and think “I am so fucked.”

Class begins. We stand. I was so focused on the heat and waiting to pass out that I forget what pose/posture we started with.

At first, his words seemed fast, confusing, and foreign. Like was he actually speaking english? I understand most of the poses and what their names are- the poses and postures are the same as “Regular” yoga poses so that’s not what was confusing me, but rather, his queues were odd to me.

I watched everyone else around me to try and figure out where to put my hands, etc.

And you know what?
I loved it.

I was dripping with sweat- but got over the constant need to want to chug my water.
You really do have to meditate- concentrate on what you are doing and not the fact that you can’t really see because sweat is dripping into your eyes. I kept holding on to his voice to make sure if I was going to pass out or not- if his words become fuzzy or seem far- I’m a goner.

Halfway through the class, the teacher, Carrie, tells me that I’m doing great. I had told him before class that I had never done Bikram before, and he announced to the class that I must have lied because I’m doing so great. I smiled and the lady in front of me must have caught my pride because she smiled at me in the mirror.
At one point, I was lost and didn’t know where to put my hands- she caught my confusion in the mirror and so she took the time to sit up off of her ankles and show me how her hands were- I loved that it was such a non-competitve, non-judgemental place.
When Carrie announced that I was new, no one scowled at me like how I can see it perhaps happening at CrossFit (which I have never tried, so this is just my perception. I would LOVE to try CF but would be absolutely intimidated by being called out as the new kid.)

I held my own in Bikram. I concentrated and struggled, but always got back up.
People who had been there multiple times struggled just like I did- falling out of poses, losing their balance and concentration, sitting down, regrouping, and getting back up and trying it again. No one cared. IT WAS GREAT!
When the lady in front of me kept falling out of her poses- no one looked at her- everyone was just concentrating on their own pose. I mean, that’s how you’d expect it to be- or how it should be- like I’m not there to judge anyone, but you know it happens. It was great to know that in order to excel in yoga- any type- it’s really all about your meditation and concentration so there’s no room to focus on anyone else.

At the end of class in the reception area (that is set to a normal temperature) I thanked Carrie for a great class.
And not to brag or anything, but this is what he told me:
“I have never seen anyone with such natural, raw talent. You really did great today, Christina. Come back tomorrow.”
I smiled from ear to ear and thanked him again.

I was so nervous before class.
I thought I was going to pass out and HATE it.
Being told by the instructor that I did great was so nice to hear- mostly because I stepped out of my comfort zone and did not die- both metaphorically and physically.

Today, I’m not sore like Carrie told me I would be. Usually I’d be bummed- because I LOVE a good burn and love being sore, but rather- I am mentally refreshed and that for me is enough. I feel accomplished and ready to hit up Bikram Yoga again. 🙂

Have you tried Bikram? What’s your favorite kind of yoga? 



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