Thursday, November 1, 2012

Bikram Yoga - Before My First Class

I bought one of these Aurorae Yoga Synergy mats
It took some courage to go to my first Bikram yoga class. I feel like I need a challenge and I'd attended a Bikram class a couple of years ago. I liked it but I was already going to a much less expensive yoga class at the local Y, plus I attended other classes at the Y too, which I enjoyed.

The Bikram class stayed in the back of my mind though and when Groupon came up recently, I decided to try again. What takes courage is that I've been skipping out on my other yoga class since last May so I'm out of shape and I'm also a couple years older now. At the Y, most of the people in my classes are my age (over 50) so keeping up is no problem. Can I keep up in a Bikram class full of 20-somethings?

Before I went to my first class, I read up on Bikram. There is a great website with lots of articles and free info about Bikram called Hot Yoga Doctor which I highly recommend. There are free downloads to help you get the most from the practice, plus free videos and a forum.

One thing I learned is not all hot yoga classes are the same. Some instructors just stand up in front and recite the script and some will give tips and help with corrections. I remember thinking when I went to class the last time that it would be easy to hurt yourself if you hadn't ever taken yoga before because at least one of the instructors I had didn't really give any direction. Yoga is a practice that must be done in proper alignment to get the most out of it and avoid injury.

Bikram yoga is a series of 26 yoga postures and 2 breathing exercises, each one done twice. I remembered from my previous class that you do get to rest between poses and you can also drink lots of water.

To inspire myself, I also ordered a new yoga mat with a built in towel. I remembered from my last attempt at a Bikram class that you definitely need a big towel to absorb the sweat as it pours off your body.

So, I had done my research, ordered a new mat (they let you borrow one on your first class if you need to) and I was ready to go.

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