Raving About Bikram Yoga

9 Jan

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Have you ever felt like you were swimming, but you weren’t in water? I only really felt that way while in a Bikram yoga class, sweating so profusely that I felt as if I could drown. Initially, this didn’t sound like my cup of tea, especially when I was new to the practice. Bikram yoga is totally different from my other yoga experiences. The amount of sweat flinging around the room, the close proximity to the persons next to me in a packed room, the positions that look almost impossible to get into (or out of), and the instructor pointing out when anyone takes a water break out of turn had me wondering, is this really for me? After completing my first class; however, I felt completely renewed, which led me to keep going back for more. I took a late class tonight with my boyfriend at the Bikram yoga studio in Pasadena on Colorado. This studio is actually undergoing an expansion and face-lift, which I am excited about, but I didn’t want to wait until renovations were complete to attempt to maintain a regular practice there. With a regular practice, I am increasing circulation and flexibility, firming and strengthening muscles, reducing stress, and generally restoring body system to healthy working order. Bikram yoga, also called hot yoga, was founded by Bikram Choudhury and is a system of 26 postures (or asanas) with 2 breathing exercises, one at the beginning and one at the end of class, done in a 105 + degrees room in 90 minutes (Be prepared, my first class I thought was only an hour, and every minute after the 60th was spent staring at the clock, giving it the meanest stink eye). In those 90 minutes; however, I’m not thinking about any of the benefits I mentioned. Actually, I’m not even sure I am thinking about anything at all other than the instructions coming from the yogi telling us to stretch longer, or go deeper, or kick harder. The temperature in the room and intensity of the postures requires complete concentration and focus. My mind is known to wander and think about what’s next on the agenda, but in this class, I am forced to be in the moment and focus on myself. I am not only improving my physical strength, but also my mental strength. This class also makes me appreciative of the smallest things, which could be a gust of air from the door opening. I’m literally praising life itself when the instructor is kind enough to turn on the fan for 2 seconds. It’s a very humbling and amazing experience, one I recommend to every one. As the only way I see fit to properly end this post, I say Namaste.

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