Saturday afternoon, my best friend Courtney and I decided we would try out Bikram or “hot” yoga for the very first time. We are both fans of yoga and have driven past the building several times in the past few months wondering what it is all about. Finally, we looked it up online and chose a day and time to go.
Let me just say, hot yoga is not for the weak! Imagine getting into a giant sauna with 30 other people and then doing some very challenging Bikram yoga moves. I don’t know the exact temperature, but if I had to guess, I’d say the room was kept somewhere around 100 degrees fahrenheit. It wasn’t steamy, it was more of a dry heat. At first, it didn’t seem so bad. We worked on deep breathing, which sort of put me off at first because they encourage making “noises” when you breathe in and out which really distracts me.
We started with a half-moon pose on each side and did two “sets” of each pose that we went through. About 15 minutes into the class, I took off my shirt (I had a tank top on underneath) and noticed my heart beating pretty fast. At one point, the teacher said “You are going to feel like you are having a heart attack, but you’re not.” WHAT?! Haha. Other poses I actually remember doing were chair pose, tree pose (differently than I’m used to though — instead of your foot being place on your inner thigh, you hold it with the opposite hand), and some of the warrior poses. The Bikram link above actually has a pretty good list of what we did.
Throughout the class, we had frequent water breaks. I think I had a total of 60 ounces of water, just in a 90 minute period. We also had towels over our yoga mats and I brought a hand towel to wipe my face off with. By the time we left, everything, including me, was completely drenched! I have never sweat that much in my life, not even when I ran the mini-marathon last year. At certain times, sweat was running in my eyes, mouth, nose, etc. It was kind of gross, but also kind of neat because I knew my body was working hard.
That being said, I don’t think I will be doing hot yoga again for a while. I find it to be a very interesting concept and I really did feel good afterwards (released some toxins perhaps?) but it was just a little much for me. I do think if I go back again, I will try a different class — I think I prefer hatha and vinyasa styles of yoga better. It’s not something I could do long term because the intense heat does take it’s toll on your body. But maybe once a month or something, just to sweat it out.
Afterwards, we treated ourselves to Whole Foods for dinner and laughed about the crazy things we get into sometimes. Hope you all had great weekends too!