Saturday, May 3, 2014

May Bikram Yoga

For the month of May I am recommitting myself to my fitness/food plan to both get back into my routine and as a final push before Summer 2014. Bikram yoga is something I've been looking into since I lived in Richmond,VA over a year ago (purchased a living social and never used it), and finally tried one class here in Newark, DE a few weeks ago. My interest in it peaked again because of one particular pose I saw and thought was gorgeous and am now determined to be able do

Bird of Paradise Pose

My immediate thoughts about the class were:

  1. I was disappointed the room didn't (to me) feel as hot as they claimed (I love heat, sue me)
  2. I was little surprised how challenging some of the asanas (postures) were. Definitely were more challenging than they looked.
  3. I was very surprised at how sore I was for 3-5 days AFTER the class I took
  4. I was very weirded out by the two breathing exercises at the end, where the class was also encouraged to chant if interested. I felt like I was on the episode of Martin where he joined the cult. No shade at all. It was more funny than anything because of the Martin episode.
Any who, as a part of my rededication, I will be doing 4 days of Bikram yoga a week for the month of May in addition to my normal gym routine. Some of you may be wondering what the heck Bikram yoga is...well I'm glad you asked!

Bikram Yoga or Hot Yoga, is derived from traditional Hatha Yoga techniques by Bikram Choudhury that became popular in the 1970s. It is practiced in a room heated to 104 degrees F with 40% humidity and classes run for 90 minutes covering the same 26 asanas or postures, (which you can see here) and two breathing exercises.

  1. Flexibility
  2. Strength: Low impact, uses a range of muscles and there is a focus on spinal strength
  3. Breath: As with all yoga, proper breathing is essential for detoxifying, circulation, and mental focus
  4. Cardio: 90 min class can burn up to 1,000 calories. The heart can work the same way doing hot yoga as it would when running a mile
  5. Detox: Promotes sweat. The asanas (postures) are detoxifying for muscles, organs, and glands due to sweating
  6. Focus: Advance practice through repetition
  7. Healing: Said to reduce symptoms of conditions and illnesses such as diabetes, asthma, high blood pressure, depression, arthritis and obesity
  8. Balance
As someone who has never regained the range of motion and flexibility lost after two hamstring injuries, I am excited and hopeful to see what 30 days of Bikram practice can do for me physically.

Famous Practicers:

Sir Charles Barkley                Lady Gaga                    Kobe Bryant
David Beckham                     Madonna                       Ashton Kutcher
Sarah Palin                             Pippa Middleton            Brooke Shields
Beyonce                                 George Clooney            Jennifer Aniston

I will say what I have noticed is that Bikram is pretty expensive to just be an empty room that is set to 104 degrees. That being said, if it is something you'd like to try I'd encourage you to check living social or groupon in your area. Many studios offer great packages for new students to try. I managed to come across a 30-day unlimited living social for $40 for the studio in my area this week, a package which regularly costs $170 dollars. WINNING. **hits NAE NAE #hua

Have you tried Bikram Yoga? What did you think? What changes did you experience? Comment below!

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