I can’t quite believe I am typing this particular blog – I am the last person to get all excited about exercise trust me (!) and yet I have signed up for a 30-day Bikram Yoga aka Hot Yoga challenge. I will drop in on here and log my progress but for now just the fact I have committed to it has made me smile as I know the benefits of it will be brilliant!
EDIT: 25/01/12 – well, my 30-day challenge lasted just 4!!! work and play interfered but I AM going to complete a 30-dayer asap! I came across this funny VT and laughed out loud – I have heard myself say some of these! Enjoy – I am still loving my Bikram Yoga (at a pace of every two days av) everything helps x
I tried Bikram for the first time late last year and my first class was something I will NEVER forget!! It was SO challenging and tough that I thought I may need someone to scrape me up off my sweat-soaked towel, carry me out and drive me home after!
I stuck with it though and got knowledgeable about the best way to practice it: ensuring good hydration and getting organised. The class is 90 mins long, so you have to work out how to fit it into your day. Plus, you HAVE to shower directly after class and wash away all those toxins you’ve oozed out (more time). However, while it does take up time and organisation, the buzz, stress release and mental/physical satisfaction you gain from it is like no other exercise practice I’ve ever known.
Now, bear in mind I am no gym or running bunny. Far from it. I have the auto-immune disease RA (Rheumatoid arthritis) and have to be really careful about any impact on my joints. Bikram is ideal for me. The studio is heated to an almost unbearable 105 degrees and this means that your muscles and joints are warm and not at risk of damage. In fact hot yoga is ideal for anyone with injuries or sport induced joint/muscle problems. Likewise, fitness junkies love it too as it is so effective, strengthening, toning and rewarding.
I’ve seen ‘Rambo’ weight trainers and marathon runners who assume they are super-fit flake out in their first class; totally gobsmacked at the way their body has been pushed beyond anything they’ve experienced before. They quickly realise that it’s not all about the physical that gets you through it but ‘tuning’ in to your body and mind that does. Bikram is NOT about pounding away … but breath, stretching, technique and working with your mind to centre yourself during what is essentially a 90-minute silent and physically challenging meditation. ALL ages and shapes take part and trust me, when you are sweating like a loony, no one cares what you look like – the whole group in the studio is in the same boat – we ALL want to make it through the 90 minutes – no one gives a hoot what you look like.
Anyway, do follow this link for the official info on the practice and for now, wish me luck as I get stuck in to my 30-day challenge – thousands of Hot Yoga devotees have done it before and their feedback and stories are truly inspirational.