Does anybody do Bikram yoga? I am a teacher and am hoping to begin over Spring break. I know heat is pumped into the room and that each class is 90 minutes. I have done very little yoga in the past. Any advice/comments are greatly appreciated.
Gina's advice and hints on Bikram Yoga are sooo true! I started doing Bikram four years ago in Vietnam (without artificial heating, it was already hot enough there :-)) and have been doing it here in Munich on a regular basis since then. Last year I did my own 'challenge' and participated in 28 classes over a 31-day stretch. It's amazing how much your body changes when the yoga is practised on a regular basis. Everything becomes more firm and flexible and even the posture of your whole body changes in a positive way. Bikram at first can be very straining, but if you stick with it and fight your way through the first few classes, you will be fine. As Gina said, concentrate on your breathing, find your own pace, and see you much easier it gets with time. You will experience that every time you go is different. Sometimes you will find everything easy and nice, on other days you'll have to fight through class. But that's what makes it special too. I think Bikram yoga is a great way to find out how far you can push yourself and also how quick one can adapt to certain circumstances of exercising. Nowadays I don't even think about the heat (100°F+) in the room anymore. Many Bikram studios have special try-out offers. Here in Munich as a newbie you pay 10â‚¬ and within 10 days you can take part in as many classes as you like. Check out the studios in your area and see if they offer something like that.
Cheers from Munich and enjoy your first Bikram class! Sandra
Thank you so much for all your thoughtful responses. I am totally excited and my first class will be next Friday the 26th of March. I really appreciate all the kind and motivating words and stories. Peace to you all. Heather
I practice regularly as well and actually just finished a 30-day challenge. I encourage everyone to try it. The benefits are incredible and it couples with living a well lifestyle. Gina's tips were right on the money.
The best thing to remember is go in with an open mind and your body will tell you what to do. I agree that the breathe is by far the most important part of your practice. Listen to your teacher and follow all of their suggestions on breathing even if it may seem crazy at the time.
Practicing Bikram has truly changed my life and also the spine injury I sustained 18 months ago. I know have very little chronic pain to deal with and 1 year ago, my mother-in-law was babysitting me while my husband went to work. Miracle cure... it could be!
The heat is overwhelming, I won't lie. But just keep in mind how good it is for you and also keep in mind that no one would put you through anything you can't handle.
Now, I love Bikram. Like, I was obsessed with Bikram for a good six months. 5 days a week, at least one day a week I would do it TWICE, obsessed. However, I would just be very, VERY careful if you're completely vegan and you do Bikram. I felt GREAT when I was doing Bikram, and I was soooo addicted to the high after class when you would leave... but the thing is, I started breaking out a TON. I not only started breaking out on my face, but the skin on my arms and torso began to act like I was having an allergic reaction to like, EVERYTHING. Like, I would sit on a plane and have an allergic reaction type rash on my skin from whatever type of febreze or whatever they use. I went to my Acupuncturist (Which, btw, PLEASE go research chinese medicine to see why it is SO much more trustworthy than Western med) and he told me that Bikram in combination with a Strict Vegan diet is way to stressful on a small thin person such as myself, and that my body was taking out the stress on my skin. I had the choice of either starting to eat eggs or laying off the bikram, and once I quit doing Bikram my problems were solved immediately. I'm only posting this because I was once one of the devotees who got sworn into thinking that Bikram was the answer to EVERYTHING as well. I just want people to be more aware: detox is great, but there is such tihng as too much. Please do Bikram in moderation, because I hear so many people saying, "Bikram solve EVERYTHING, and I haven't lost weight YET, but I know I WILL," or "Bikram solves EVERYTHING, and my skin is breaking out right now because I'm detoxing, and I know it will get better soon, but it hasn't YET." Just please pay attention, and remember everything in moderation. Mix up your workouts, don't depend on Bikram Choudhury.
Bikram is great! Actually, Yoga in general is a good form of exercise. I "grew" by 2 inches after practicing Hatha & Bikram for about 1.5 years! It stretches your muscles, corrects your posture and breathing and you feel great after that!
I did Bikram for a while but had to stop because it was too expensive. I did notice a lot of improvement in my flexibility and strength, but it left me exhausted for the rest of the day and not in a good way. I didn't get the endorphin high I usually get with all of my other exercises and felt too weak to do anything throughout the day. But that was most likely because I have chronic low blood pressure so I'm super super sensitive to heat so you will probably be fine if you don't have that problem! It just wasn't healthy for me to do. The benefits were great though and after I was done I started running and could run with much more ease than before I started Bikram so it definitely improves your cardiovascular strength. Like Heidi said, make sure you do other exercises as well though. A lot of people in my class went everyday, but everyones body needs a break. Many Bikram teachers will encourage you to come as often as possible, but listen to your body. You will burn A LOT of calories in that class, so if you are already at a healthy weight that can be a little too much to do every day. Also, with Bikram the class is the same every time, so your body will get too used to the movements. It's important to mix it up.
Sarah Elizabeth - My problem was low blood pressure as well. Not everyone's body is suited for such a high - intensity thing like Bikram, and my acupuncturist has always said I'm "slightly blood deficient," which the closest western med explanation for would be low blood pressure. If you're generally a weak person (I hate saying that but it's true!) like me, just know that there are some things your body can't handle!
I too was not able to do Bikram. I tried it the first time I ever tried yoga, without knowing what it was, and left with a terrible migraine. I get migraines from heat. Fortunately, I went on to try other types of yoga and found that I loved it.