The Do’s and Don’ts of Bikram Yoga
Bikram yoga, also known as hot yoga is an extraordinary type of yoga where participants push themselves to greater heights than they are used to. The yoga sessions, in this case, are conducted in rooms heated up to 40 degrees centigrade. It’s pretty much like doing exercise in a metallic room under the hot summer sun. Unlike ordinary yoga where only a few predictable yoga poses are done, Bikram hot yoga includes 29 yoga poses. It may sound like a lot but once you get the hang of it, you’ll always look forward to the next session.
What fun is there in the ordinary? If you fancy the extreme, then you’ll definitely enjoy these classes. Think of it as a survival technique class. Although challenging, Bikram hot yoga has a lot of benefits. It is best that you learn the Do’s and Don’ts of hot yoga for your sake and of those in the studio with you as well.
1. The Do’s of Bikram Hot Yoga
You will not be the first person to forget a yoga mat, towel or a bottle of water. This is why hot yoga studios stock on these items for hire. However, wouldn’t it be nice to sweat on your own yoga towel or better still, wearing your own spandex? The secret to staying comfortable in yoga classes is in investing in high-quality equipment. Get yourself the best yoga mat or the best meditation cushion in the market. This will create a soft and comfortable padding for your knees, hands, elbows and even back. This way, your mind will solely be on the teacher’s instructions and not on the rock hard surface aggressively bruising your knees. Bring a bottle of water and a face towel as well.
Hot yoga studios are not the place for your heavy cotton track pants and the baggy t-shirt your spouse hasn’t worn in years. You will definitely sweat a small ocean this way not forgetting the level of discomfort you’ll experience. In these classes, you’re better off wearing very light yet absorbent spandex pants and a sports bra.
Everyone has their own way of dealing with difficult situations. Stepping into a hot yoga class will feel like setting foot in the legendary hot Sahara desert. Some people prefer to chat away and pretend like the heat isn’t existent while others prefer to sit quietly in their spot and get their OM on. Some people prefer to have as little clothing on them as possible so don’t be alarmed when a half naked man wearing bike shorts or spandex briefs walks on by.
Do Breathe in Through The Nose
Ignore the drops of sweat around your nostrils and only let air go in through your nose. Breathing through the mouth will trigger the fight or flight response and may send you into fear, stress or anxiety.
2. The Don’ts of Bikram Hot Yoga
Do Not Overeat
One of the biggest mistakes that you could ever do in any yoga class is eating to satisfaction. The poses that you will be required to pull are not possible with a stomach bulging with food. The less you eat before class, the better it is for you. Do not drink a lot of water during class as well. You’ll have ample time to hydrate after class.
Don’t Get Distracted
It is normal to feel the need to wipe the sweat off your face all the time, take a sip of water or even adjust your towel every 5 minutes. These are all forms of distraction and will reduce your productivity. Fact, you will sweat in places that you never even knew existed. However, you’re not the only one. Your fellow yogists will be dying to jump into a pull of ice cubes right after the class. Allow the yoga towel to catch the dripping sweat and only wipe when the sweat threatens to get into your eyes. Do not be tempted to have a look around the class to see how everyone else is doing. Make every second in the class count and that is only by doing your poses.
Don’t Sit At the Front
Hot yoga classes are conducted via dialogue. The teacher will not demonstrate the poses. Woe unto a beginner if they sit at the front as they will be clueless the entire time. Find a spot somewhere at the back and let the other students guide you into how to perform the different poses.
Don’t Push Too Hard
Some yogis around you may be pros in yoga postures so don’t let them intimidate you into going over the limit. Stretch only as far as you are able to. Too hard and you may be setting yourself up for injury.
Bikram hot yoga, just like any other form of exercise is beneficial to your health. Some existing aches and cramps might get better or completely go away through hot yoga. The more you attend your classes, the more benefits you stand to gain. The fact that this is an extreme type of yoga means that you should see to it that you stay safe. If you suffer from conditions such as heart problems, breathing problems, joint pains or even suspected pregnancy, consult your physician before signing up. Check online or sports equipment stores for your hot yoga necessities and for the best meditation pillow.
Emily is founder of BodyShape101.com, a blog where she and her associates talk about exercise, fitness, and yoga. Their aim is to help people like you to achieve perfect body. BodyShape101 is concentrated on exercise, fitness tips, and making the most out of it. She is also a mother of one and she tries to find balance between her passion and her biggest joy in life.