I have been a little missing in action this week as I head into my third week of radiation because I have a new obsession.
Bikram Yoga or Hot Yoga.
I have been doing a zumba class at gym a few days a week and the other day as we headed out into the space it was sooo muggy I jokingly said oh this must be what hot yoga is like. My trainer Kate said You know I have always wanted to try that it's supposed to be really good.
I went home and googled - I liked what I read - found a studio and on Monday I started. I have completed three classes now so clearly I am an expert - not.
I have dabbled in yoga before - like maybe taken half a dozen classes at gym in years gone by. And I was really really really bad at it. Like really bad. I spent the whole time forgetting to breathe and falling over.
I didn't have high hopes that this would be any different but I loved the idea of it and the benefits I had read.
I was scared of the heat aspect because I don't like heat but I honestly love it. You feel so refreshed and energised afterwards. You do however get very hot and sweat alot. Like a real lot - so much lol.
Bikram Yoga is a system of yoga that Bikram Choudhury synthesized from traditional hatha yoga techniques and popularized beginning in the early 1970s. 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 40.6°C with a humidity of 40%, and is the most popular form of hot yoga (a series of yoga poses done in a heated room)
I really liked the idea that there were only 26 poses and they are repeated - so it's not up to the teacher to set up a routine. The routine is the same each time no matter where you go. I wondered how many of the poses I could actually do - because for me yoga has always been put your right leg behind you left ear and breathe- and just quietly I am not good at that. But when I looked at them all I thought hmmm I could do most of them.
And now that I have done three classes I can tell you I can't do 4 of them.
Classes run for 90 minutes and the first half is completed standing. The second half is all on the ground.
There are three places I found on the coast that offer Bikram and the pricing is all about the same. They seem to offer an intro for a week and you can attend as many classes as you like to see whether you like it. So I paid $25 for the intro. After that you can pay casually $20 ish (eeek each session ) or there are class passes of ten or a whole month, three months a year etc which are much better value.
You need to take a yoga mat if you have one or you can hire one there, a towel, a big bottle of water. Wear clothes that are well fitted - because once they start to sweat if they are loose they get heavy and its hard to do the moves. I just wear my 3/4 pants from kmart and a crop top with a singlet over the top. Some people wear alot less - just warning you.
I have attended the 9.30am, 4.30pm and 6.30pm timeslot so far and each session has a real mix of people -some super fit who can do everything seemingly easily to some super unfit who can't do many at all. I read somewhere that for your first class you should just stay in the room the whole time.
If you know you are going to attend you should refrain from eating two to three hours beforehand - so don't gobble dinner and dash to a class. Also up your water intake through the day and try and steer clear of coffee.
While I am not quite up to doing a 30 day Bikram challenge (where you attend every day for 30 days- one day maybe) I am certainly aiming to do the recommended 3 a week.
If you are looking for something to go a little out of your comfort zone then this could be the thing for you :) Or If you have always wanted to try it then I highly recommend that you take the plunge and do it. I attend at this studio so locals if you do decide to rock up look for me I'm the one at the back falling over and sweating up a storm.