I love yoga and wanted to add it to my fitness routine because I wanted to become more flexible and work on my breathing. One day while I was scrolling through Groupon, I came upon this hot Bikram yoga package where you can go unlimited times for a month. It was pretty affordable and I had nothing to lose, so I purchased it.
I walked into the building and headed for the front desk. The lady–who I later found out was the instructor–asked me to put my belongings in the front, grab a mat and head inside the room. As soon as I opened the door, I was hit with blankets of heat. I thought a sauna was intense, but this made a sauna feel like it was room temperature. This was a sauna on steroids. Still, I was intrigued and wanted to know what Bikram was and how it could help me.
By the time the instructor begins the class, I was already sweating. We started off light with a few poses and then before I knew it, it got more intense. We were doing poses I had never heard of and getting into positions that my body just was not capable of getting in. Even though I looked like a hot mess, the instructor was patient with me and never made me feel out of place or like an outcast. She would help me find ways to get in certain positions and if I couldn’t she would offer moderations. By this time, I was dripping sweat.
Then the nausea set in. I felt like I was going to throw up, but I wasn’t sure if it would happen. I didn’t want to risk it and excused myself to the bathroom. As soon as I hit the toilet, I threw up. I have been an athlete and have trained immensely for meets and during practices, but I never threw up. This was something new for me. I did feel a 100% better after. I went back in the room and drank some water. The instructor had me lie down and collect myself. I realized at that moment that this was going to be an intense month for me.
Even after the class, when I was completely exhausted, I still wanted to come back. I wanted to see if I would feel better the next day.
THE NEXT DAY
So, I went back. I did like I had done the day before. I took off my shoes and placed my belongings in the front. I grabbed my yeti–the only thing that kept my water cool–and a mat and went inside the fire breathing dragon. This time I felt better. While I still struggled with some of the poses, I no longer felt like I needed to throw up. In fact, the heat started feeling kind of soothing. I focused on my breathing and I made sure to stay hydrated. I didn’t even need to lie down once. By the time the class was over, I felt SO much better. I honestly had a high of some sort.
By this point, I was a complete pro…jk! I wasn’t even close, but I was breathing better and able to get into certain poses a lot easier. It sort of became addicting. It brought me back to the present moment and helped with my anxiety. I would leave class feeling rejuvenated and ready to start my day. It helped me to become more confident in myself and with the way my body moves. It brought me back to myself. It is a form of yoga that has resonated with me the most and one I plan on sticking with.
Even though you might think you are sweating out toxins, it’s actually just water and other minerals in your body. It’s best for you to bring a big jug of water and keep drinking that throughout the class. I would also maybe pack a gatorade or a drink that contains electrolytes. That way you can replenish those lost electrolytes. Eat a balanced meal before going, but not right before.
It is best to wear fitted clothes that are breathable. The best is a sports bra and yoga pants that fit your body well. Don’t wear anything that you constantly have to tug at or rearrange. If you need to step into the AC, then do so. Don’t overexert yourself or push the limits because this can cause overheating or other issues. If you need to lie down, then lie down. This yoga practice is about progression. It is improving your body over time, so take your time and let your body adjust.