I attended my first Bikram or "Hot" Yoga class yesterday.
I've been practicing Yoga (with a big emphasis on the practice part..hehe) for maybe 9 months or a year now, maybe even longer, and I've never had an experience like this before.
The room was very large and open with mirrors all across the front and a small platform or stage for the instructor. I thought it was strange that the room was carpeted but came to understand why as the class progressed.
I forgot my yoga mat at home, so they let me borrow one. It was different than any other yoga mat I had seen.. it was basically a large towel with some kind of backing.
The receptionist and the instructor kept telling me before the class started that my goal was to remain in the room. I thought that was strange, I told them I had done some yoga, but never Bikram. They just smiled and repeated my goal.
The room was heated to at least 80 degrees. It felt good to me as these days I'm almost always cold. It was mainly women, but there was one male in the class I attended. Most were dressed in shorts or capri's and either tanktops or sports bras. I had on capri's and ended up rolling them up to above the knee height. If I didn't have such saggy, baggy elephant looking legs, I would've done shorts. Maybe another time. :)
The instructor (Yogi??) stood on the platform and wearing a headset, talked us through the poses. She did not demonstrate, but described them. She was encouraging and if she noticed us having difficulty suggested some modifications. Told us that even if we couldn't do something now, with practice it would come.
The positions were somewhat familiar, but done in different orders than what I'm used to, and called different names. I made it about 1/2 way through the routine (with modifications for my body's abilities) before I had to start skipping some of the poses because I was wiped out by the heat. My mat was soaking wet by the time class was over and sweat was literally dropping off of me like rain. And it wasn't just me, others were that wet too. There were short breaks to drink water and the instructor didn't stop people from drinking at other times.
At the end of class, I was dizzy and had to stop and squat and put my head between my knees for a bit.
Will I do this class again? I'd love to, even though my husband says it sounds to him a bit on the verge of dangerous. I probably won't be able to do it often as this studio is a 45 minute drive from my home.
Would I recommend it for everyone? No, I think the individual should check with their physician to make sure that they can tolerate exercise for 90 minutes in a heated room. While there were no locks on the door, they don't want people to leave before class is over if it can be helped. To tell the truth, I was beginning to consider breaking etiquette towards the end of the class.
I felt completely drained at the end of class and had a headache from the dehydration. I had eaten at noonish, and by the time I got out of Yoga and we had picked up our daughter, it was 5:30ish and I felt like I really needed some protein. I talked my DH & DD into buying me supper. It was either that or I was going to eat my emergency Ostrim stick. ::grin:: I much preferred where we went.. and I got blackened catfish. yummy.
For the curious, this is the order of poses we went through:
detailed description of the poses @ http://bikramyogatyler.com/postures/
but no pictures. For that I suggest googling the Hindu name of the pose. That's how I found out that Awkward Pose is the same as Chair Pose. :)
Standing Deep Breathing
Half Moon Pose
Hands To Feet Pose
Standing Head to Knee Pose
Standing Bow Pulling Pose
Standing Separate Leg Stretching Pose
Standing Separate Leg Head to Knee Pose
Toe Stand Pose
Dead Body Pose
Wind Removing Pose
Full Locust Pose
Fixed Firm Pose
Half Tortoise Pose
Head to Knee Pose
Spine Twisting Pose
Kapalbhati in Vajrasana
Blowing in Firm Pose