I went to the above studio with my GF. She has been doing Bikram on and off for a few months and she has recently started to go more often. She feels it gives her alot of benefits especially in the stress and anxiety in her life juggling work and school..and let's give her a break..she is dating ME...so if that isnt stress I dont know what is. Anyways...she has always suggested I take a class with her and try it. She knows some of the crap I deal with, inflexibility, stress from work for sure and detoxing some of the bad stuff I put in my body. I promised her OK..I will go with you. Less about the benefits more because I want to do an activity with her because of LOVE...so yes, if we are sitting on the couch watching tv or sweating in a room, I am very happy to spend time with her. *cue corny romantic music...awwww...
I did my research and had alot of people give me their opinions...both positive and negative. I had to say they are all right. What was my experience? I did OK. I mean I did very well for a first timer. First the room is really hot...I mean really hot. And it is humid in there...all part of the yoga. The studio is the size of a large living room..not too big but it is packed. We had a full class which added to the extra heat in the room..all normal I am told. Now apparently the Bikram style does the same moves everytime. I would say out of all the moves I probably had real trouble with less than 7 and sitting out less than 5. I could do most at least partially. Now I am super inflexible and super tight and probably need a good sweat anyways...so this accomplishes all of that. I was able to hang for a good chunk of time before having to "take a breather" my GF was very impressed I did so well. All part of what people told me about Bikram and what to expect from it.
I think there are several factors into why I did "so well" for my first time.
- I have taken a few Yoga classes before, not a lot but there was a good 3-4 month stretch where I took a 1 hour class every week. I sucked but I went so I was somewhat familiar with the poses and what they are trying to accomplish.
- I have worked out before to the point where my body was drenched. Back when I did FIGHT GONE BAD last year...that was the first time I ever sweated THROUGH a shirt. My CNS (Central Nervous System) was freaking out, my whole body tingled like I was high, it was an amazing and scary feeling putting your body through that..where you sweat in places you never knew could sweat. Bikram mimics that...as your whole body is dripping, I mean dripping with sweat. Because of my previous experience, I was ok doing moves as my whole body dripped.
- I have had group classes before and KNOW to check my ego at the door. I know what I can and cannot do and how much I can push myself, especially when it is something NEW. This was the concern of my coach. He warned me to not push it and hurt myself as I may get TOO WARM and over exert myself and pull something in there. I am happy to say I pushed myself but safely and I did the class perfectly.
- I was psyched up. Several people were warning me and almost scaring me...that I was super prepped mentally..that when I first walked in..I was actually OK. It is exactly like when someone tells you about how funny or scary a movie is...you walk in with expectations...and then the movie doesn't deliver. So after being warned over and over again I was expecting much worst.
Now..what do I have to say to a newb? Like someone that is 100% new to Bikram? I would have to agree with my coach. I would recommend taking "regular" yoga classes first. Bikram is no joke..it is definitely a SHOCK and if you have NEVER done any strenuous exercise at all....and I mean kick ass exercise, I would say PLEASE BE CAREFUL. The heat in that room can knock you out. You can faint and pass out if you dont know what or how to deal with the intense heat and humidity. I truly think the concerns are valid to a total newb. You have to be careful in there and take as many breaks as you want and do not over exert yourself...trying to keep up. You cant...you have not done it long enough..so accept the fact you need to be careful and take it slow and you should be OK.
I will admit the HIGH you feel once you are done is there and you FEEL IT. Again, similar to doing 100 burpees and rowing 5000m whatever...when your whole body is engaged and you are dripping from every part of your skin...that feeling of when you are done and all those chemicals are firing in your body....this mimics it. Again, not exactly the same thing but close enough. I walked out of there in a completely drenched wifebeater, shorts and boxers soaked through...and when the night air hit me...I felt crazy alive. I did feel like I just crushed a WOD and everything was tingling a little. I know I am going to sleep very well tonight...very well. I can see Bikram being excellent 1st thing in the morning and last thing before bed....I can see how it can relax you and just give yourself a reset.
Now..will I do it again? Maybe..and let's be honest if my GF wants us to go again..I will. I think 2xs a week is good...the studio she goes to has a $45 a month intro special..so I may do that so I can go with her for at least a month. We shall see...again, LOVE will make me sweat in a room of strangers and maybe help my flexibility for everything else. Worst case I definitely sweat out A LOT...so toxins and a 'detox' is definitely happening..it has to...when you sweat that much.
Oh yes..coconut water taste sooo good after this...and it did hydrate me quickly. Good suff.
More to come if I do this again....