Wednesday, October 14, 2009
My week with Bikram...yoga, that is!
My adventures with Bikram yoga started very unexpectedly, I was at Ralph's. Lately, I try to keep an open mind to any and everything around me. Whenever I am somewhere with a message board, I have a tendency to check it out. I'm talking restaurants, coffee shops, the cleaners, grocery stores, anywhere really! So I was at Ralph's downtown and saw this message board near the elevator. Usually there isn't anything interesting there but alas I saw a flyer for 'hot yoga' (better known as Bikram Yoga).
So they have this deal going on at the Downtown location that is $20 for unilimited hot yoga for a week. That's a pretty incredible deal given that I think just one class is pretty pricey. I'm not that into yoga, but I thought since this is a great deal, maybe I should try it out. I've always been pretty curious about the hot yoga, stemming from when I saw it up in SF a while back.
This was my chance to have my own personal hot yoga experience. So I woke up in the wee hours of the morning for the 6 am class. I get there a little early as the lady asks me too, since this is my first time and to my surprise find out the class is 90 mins long. WOW, I feel like i'm getting more of a deal now. I get in the class and damn it's really warm in there. Not enough for you to say hell no and get out of the class, but just enough where you're a bit uncomfortable.
We start the class and for the simple moves that are happening the whole thing becomes unbelievably hard. I tried to focus on my breathing and not pay attention to the heat but its not the easiest thing to do. I realize that my body is NOT flexible and the heat makes it even worse. After being extremely tight and sweaty after an hour, I had to leave because I had to do some work. So no, I didn't make the whole first class but I was determined to get a bang for my buck!
I go back for my second class, not the next day but two afternoons later. I went for the afternoon class so that I would have time to do the whole 90 mins. All I have to say about that is geezus christ. 90 minutes in the heat with constant movement is a lot of work. Can this really be good for you? Surprising enough, I didn't really feel that great after these classes. I felt sore and tight, but I don't normally feel that bad. It can't possibly be healthy to sit in a stuff class dripping sweat and tricking your muscles into thinking that they are warmed up.
I went for a third class to see if it was just me or this hot yoga really blows. I was really determined to like the yoga to reap the positive benefits of it. No dice, I felt even more uncomfortable and tight the more time I spent in that yucky hot room.
1) Hot Yoga is bogus and uncomfortable and you have to wash a lot of clothes.
2) I think yoga is a great way to stretch and I will start going to regular yoga more often
3) Bikram is really cleaning up on you suckus....
4) Maybe I will sit in the sauna every once in a while to get that same hot effect
So, in conclusion, I'm not a big hot yoga believer but I definitely need too stretch and become more flexible. I have taken a break from my kamikaze working out and it's now time to get back on track. Anyone wanna make a fitness bet? I love a good challenge.