I’ve been practicing yoga for about 10 years now. In my 10 years as a yogi, I’ve tried many different styles of yoga with a wide variety of teachers.
From Ashtanga, to Hatha and even Kundalini, I have found that even when I would go to a Vinyasa class, it would vary ever so slightly according to who was teaching the class.
I guess this is natural, considering the fact that all the wonderful yoga instructors I have had the pleasure of having over the years all have formed their own unique yoga journeys.
Well, yesterday I furthered my yoga journey by attending my very first Bikram yoga class and I couldn’t help but chronicle my thoughts:
1. Am I wearing the wrong thing?
I went to Bikram wearing what I usually wear to yoga, 3/4 yoga pants and a top. Right away I saw all types and shapes of people wearing all kinds of clothes. From the first timers in their fitness gear to the girls in little shorts, a sports bra and not much more.
2. I wish I was wearing THAT
Speaking of the girls in the little shorts and a sports bra – more power to them! I’m wayyyy too self-conscious to ever wear that little clothing anywhere other than the beach, but I wish I wasn’t! Maybe next time?
3. Oh, it kinda smells in here
In a room that has continuous Bikram throughout the day, it’s bound to smell! It smells very much like humans, but one minute in and you forget what it smelt like in the first place.
4. Why didn’t I bring a towel?
Okay, maybe this was just my blonde moment, but I didn’t bring a towel! Everyone else had one and I felt incredibly silly for not having thought of bringing one.
5. Are you or are you not supposed to bring water?
I’ve had some people tell me to bring water and some people who say it’s actually not good for you. My lovely instructor had water in tow, which I guess settles the debate: always bring water.
6. Okay, it’s not so bad
When I first got in the room, I actually didn’t think it was that hot. Then I realised the heat lamps weren’t on yet. Silly me.
7. Don’t forget to breathe, don’t forget to breathe
Once the heat lamps were on all I tried to focus on was my breath. Not the guy who was next to me and hit me on the head in transition, not about how beads of sweat were rolling down my everything – I just focused on my Ujjayi breathing and tried not to think of anything else.
8. I feel amazing!
Last night I held crow pose for longer than I ever had before! I must have been there for about six or seven breaths before I freaked out and realised that for once I wasn’t falling out of my pose after two or three breaths. I think it definitely had to do with the heat, my body felt amazing!
9. Okay, now it’s really HOT
There was one point in the class when I was like, okay, you can turn off the lamps now. I mean, I felt like I was doing yoga on the surface of the sun. Of course they didn’t turn them off, especially the one that was right in front of me. There was a moment when I almost moved away from it, but I’m so glad I didn’t!
10. It’s over?
Probably one of the fastest classes I’ve ever attended. It felt like it was over in a minute! I checked my phone just to make sure and it was definitely an hour, but one of the best yoga hours I’ve ever had.
For those of you that have yet to try Bikram, don’t delay! I wouldn’t recommend it as a first yoga experience, just because not breathing during Bikram seems like the worst thing you can do, and let’s be honest – when you start a yoga practice, breathing is the hardest, but most important lesson! However, for seasoned practitioners: you have nothing to fear.