June 13, 2011

Bikram Yoga Survival Guide

I made it through alive.  I made it through alive and didn't pass out once.  I'm talking about surviving a month of Bikram Yoga or known to some as Sweaty-Hot-Mess Yoga. 

When I first moved to South Salt Lake 1 1/2 years ago I had to see what all this hot yoga fuss was about.  Bikram Yoga Salt Lake offers a 2 week unlimited pass for super cheap, so I tried it out and fell in love with it.  Problem though, it's terribly expensive.  Think $15 per class normally.  Even if you buy a pass it's like $120 for a ten class pass. UGH.  So when CityDeals offered one month unlimited for $40 I snagged it up without hesitation.  I started my one month journey on May 14.  And now my one month is over.  And I'm sad.  I tried to go as often as I could and usually ended up going three to four times a week.  90 minutes of pure dedication in a room that is 105 degrees and 40% humidity.  I started craving my yoga sessions.  I started dropping weight.  At first I thought it was water weight, but after four weeks I am down 7 pounds.  That is huge for me!  My weight normally only changes by a decimal point.  Maybe this is just the detox my body needed. And this funny little scoliosis back I have started feeling better.  It's amazing. So after 4 weeks of Bikram Yoga here is my survival guide for all of you who might be considering it.

Bikram Survival Guide 101
  • WATER, WATER, WATER. I found that if I had at least 60 ounces of water before my session I was good.  Otherwise I got dizzy and naseous and had to lay down for half of class.  I did that once and learned my lesson.
  • FOOD. Stop eating three hours before your session.  Food in your tummy can make you get naseous and feel crappy.
  • CLOTHING (or the lack there of).  First, go with dark colors on the bottom because nobody likes to see where or how much your bum sweats.  Gals, shorty shorts and a sports bra is where it's at.  You are going to start sweating within the first five minutes so the more clothes you have the heavier they get and more uncomfortable you get.  And trust me, we come in all shapes and sizes.  No need to be self-conscious of what you look like half-neked.  Dudes, shorts only.  And yes, many guys like to just wear spandex.  It's probably the best thing, but it's kind of yucky to look you in your tighties.
  • WATER for CLASS.  You will be able to drink water in class when you need to, but it's so hot that water gets warm really fast.  Bring a half frozen water bottle or fill your bottle with just ice.  Trust me, it will melt.
  • TOWELS: you will have a towel on your mat to catch your sweat and so that you don't slip, but if you are a heavy sweater, bring two.  One you can wipe the sweat off your face with.  Trust me, you can't wipe the sweat out of your eyes with a sweaty arm. Doesn't work.
  • FOCUS:  Arrive at least 5 minutes early to secure yourself a place in the studio and familiarize your breath with the hot air.  Tune out what's been happening during the day and focus on the work you are about to do.
  • MOST COOL SPOT.  Okay, when I say "cool" I mean in relative temperature terms.  There is no "not incredibly hot" spot in the room. It's all hot, but I found the "coolest" temperature spot to be by the door.

I also discovered many yogi's aren't familiar with Bikram Etiquette.  Just to help you out so you don't feel like a dumb dumb...

Bikram Etiquette 101
  • QUIET: Please don't even whisper to your neighbor. ANNOYING.
  • POSITION IN CLASS: The front row up by the instructor is for experts.  The instructor will expect you to stand the entire time.  If you have no idea what you are doing don't go up there.  Your wobblieness and crap attitude is a real concentration breaker.
  • HYGEINE:  Seriously, at least use deodurant.  And don't fart. 
  • CLOTHING:  Ladies, white tank tops are see through.  If you do not wear a sports bra under them it's your own fault.  Dudes, really, must you wear light spandex pants. Come on now.  Oh, and don't wear your socks.  I know, hygeine, blah, blah, blah, but don't. Trust me.
  • ARRIVAL TIME: Please arrive early.  When you arrive late and walk in during our breathing excercise and expect me to stop what I'm doing so you can squeeze in that disrupts my mojo.
  • STOMACH SAVASNAS: When we are all instructed to turn our heads to a certain direction when lying on our stomachs do it.  I don't want to stare at you because you are hard of hearing.
  • LEAVE YOUR EGO AT THE DOOR: We are all at different levels.  Some progress faster than others.  Go at your own pace.  Trust me, I still suck at Camel Pose.  I can't even lean back. Oh well. But I'm really awesome at Spine Twisting Pose.
  • ENJOY:  Most importantly, focus on yourself and enjoy the 90 minutes you have to clear you mind.
I know this is kind of long and without pictures, but it's my two cents. 

And my final thought I would like to throw out in to the universe~ Dear Bikram, please become cheaper so that I can continue with my practice of you.  Thank you, amen.

P.S. Sorry so long between posts.  My computer died and I haven't bought a new one yet, so I only have the Mister's.  And he doesn't have any photo-editing software and what's the fun without pictures?  Guess you are going to just start getting SOC photo's. Be warned.

1 comment:

Tarika said...

So cool! Congrats on the detox and thanks for the killer tips.

FYI, there was a deal for Bikram yoga in Sandy this weekend. I haven't been there, but seemed like a good deal. :)