Thursday, November 1, 2012

Birkam Yoga - Got Past the First Class

Happy Halloween
So, today I gathered up my courage and my water bottle and headed off to a Bikram yoga class. It's been a couple of years since I tried it but this time I really wanted a challenge so I am going to stick with it for at least the month of my Groupon and perhaps continue after that.

I drank my morning smoothie early because I try not to eat for 2 hours before a yoga class and I didn't want to throw up during my first class and I was out the door at 830.

Ok, so I'm nearly 62 years old. One of my hesitations is that everybody in the class will be much younger than I am and I won't be able to keep up. My fears were somewhat alleviated when the guy at the check in desk looked older than me!

I got there early so I could register and go sit in the hot room for a while to get used to the heat before class. I wanted to take some time before class too, to mediate a bit on my intentions for class. One intention, of course, was just to get through it!

I vaguely remembered some of the poses from my last attempt. The first breathing exercise went well so on I went.

As it turned out, in this class I was the only newby but I was glad to see at least one gray-haired woman in the class. Of course, it didn't help that she looked like an advertisement in Yoga Journal for seniors doing yoga. I could tell she'd been at it a while.

However, there were others in the class that looked like other Groupon people, probably fairly new to Bikram. Even if they did have a 30 year advantage, I figured I could keep up with them at least. Of course, I tell myself, yoga is not about competition! Still, nobody wants to look like the gawkiest person in the room.

Several of the postures I did OK on. My balance is pretty good from my daily tai chi practice, although I couldn't get my leg straight in Standing Head to Knee Pose and I definitely can't get my one leg hooked around the other in Eagle pose.

My knees gave out in the various poses done Japanese style and my back isn't very flexible in the bow pose.

This instructor turned out to be a good one. She acknowledged me at the beginning of class and gave me some tips throughout so help me get into better alignment.

I did sweat gallons, that's for sure and I stayed in the room! I have to say too, I certainly did take full advantage of all the rests between poses. My heart was pounding quite a bit during some of the postures so I wanted a chance to relax and settle it down. I know I am in great physical condition for "someone my age" but I also know I probably don't get enough real aerobic exercise as a rule.

I felt great after class when one girl gave me the thumbs up and told me I did great for a first timer.

Aftermath of the first class? I felt wiped out all day, probably from the detoxing. I did drink plenty of water afterward though and that helped.

Thought I should note too that one the first day of class, I weighed 140. I want to see if consistent practice helps me to tone up and lose a few pounds. I've already lost 15 pounds this year, mostly from switching to a more vegetarian diet but I'd like to lose a few more.

So how did my first Bikram yoga class go overall? I'm tired but I'm ready for more.

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