Bikram Yoga

One of my Chanukah presents from David was two yoga sessions at the yoga studios that are right around the corner from us, Schoolhouse Yoga and Bikram Yoga Squirrel Hill.

On Tuesday, I went to a Chakra Flow class at Schoolhouse Yoga.  This Yoga class focused on the immune system and the digestive system, in order to prevent us from getting sick during flu season.  Just that morning, I had a slight feeling that something was coming on, so this was perfect.  This was a very good yoga class, and the type of class that I am used to, and prefer.  I will definitely be back there to test out their other instructors.

Schoolhouse Yoga had no special offers for newbies.  On the other hand, when I walked into the Bikram Yoga studio, I was offered 10 days of yoga for $20.  How could I pass that up if the first day was $16 alone?  So, on Wednesday evening at 8pm, I began my 10 days of Bikram Yoga.  Bikram Yoga follows a sequences of poses, each done twice.  The catch? The room is 105 degrees Fahrenheit (40.5 C).  It really is amazing how much further you can get into a pose the second time around.  So, on day 1, I managed to follow the whole class.  In between poses, when everyone else was in a restful state, I was using my hand towel to dry my hands and shake my arms and legs.  I realized that this class incorporates BOTH of my least favorite yoga poses: the half moon and the camel.  (don’t these poses just look uncomfortable?)

On the second day, I went at 9:30 a.m.  Since they suggested not eating within 2 hours of starting, I skipped breakfast that morning.  I believe that was a bad decision.  The class was pretty packed, which made it much more humid than the day before.  In addition, I really pushed myself on the first half of the class during the standing poses.  By the time we got to the floor poses, I was exhausted.  I could barely get into poses that I normally have no problem with.  When the instructor began the camel pose, I panicked.  I needed to get out of the room.  I was too hot, and beginning to see stars.  So, I got up and started walking out.  The instructor told me to lie down.  For the rest of the class, I tried lying down.  I tossed and turned, never feeling restful in any position that I got into (even the corpse pose).  Finally, there was only one exercise left: the final breathing exercise.  I decided I was really done.  I needed air.  So, I tried to get up again.  And, again, the instructor told me that if I did this breathing exercise, I would feel better.  I listened to her and survived the breathing exercise, then began the final relaxation.  Finally, I was restful.  The heat and humidifier were turned off and my body was slowly allowing me to just lie there.  After the class, everyone told me that they’ve had days like this too.  After the class, I wasn’t quite sure if Bikram yoga was for me, but I still have another 8 days on my introductory pass …

On the third day, I convinced David to come with me!  (How, I am not sure … he knew what it did to me the day before). David did awesome!  He had some difficulty understanding the poses, and for some of them, I saw looks of terror on his face.  At one point during this class, I was scalded by the instructor for trying to help Dave.  But, I made it through this class with no incident.  I think today (day 4) will be a rest day for me.

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3 Responses to “Bikram Yoga”

  1. DrLaura Says:

    Bikram is pretty great, and everyone DOES have those days. But don’t push yourself too far in the poses, it’s more important to get your body used to the heat first and it will get better, easier to push yourself in the poses/exercises.

    • bfasy Says:

      I know. I was just getting into it, but now take it slower. For example, I am currently refusing to do the camel pose. That pose really gets the best of me each time.

  2. Dallas Yogi Says:

    You can take a rest. Find a class that is not that crowded.

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