Posted on June 1, 2011
One thing I have struggled with over time is gaining flexibility and managing stress. Joining the gym, walking and running are all great ways to relieve stress, and stretching helps keep us flexible. I have always wanted to try Yoga, but never wanted to take that first step and walk into a class. I had no idea if I could handle the poses, and nobody wants to feel like everyone is watching you, especially when you are not familiar with Yoga.
I was speaking with a co-worker one day, and she mentioned that a Bikram Yoga studio in town was giving a discount to employees, in our office, who wanted to try Yoga. This was my opportunity to go with someone who was familiar with Yoga – so we picked a day and went after work. When we got to the studio, we immediately took our shoes off. Bikram is done in bare feet! I registered, grabbed a complimentary mat, and changed into running shorts and a tank top. It is a good idea to spend five or ten minutes just laying in the room before class too…Oh yes, I forgot to mention that Bikram Yoga classes are done in heated rooms at 105 degrees fahrenheit. Now, if you don’t like the heat that is OK! Fortunately, the Bikram studio is a dry 105 degrees….but it is hot!
So if your still with me, and the temperature doesn’t bother you then we will keep going! Studios and class sizes differ and I would guess there were roughly 20 people in class. Mirrors positioned at the front of the room are extremely important because you need to concentrate hard on yourself and the postures. It should be mentioned that not one person is going to look at you, and think your new! Everyone is looking at themselves, so if your shy and you think Bikram isn’t for you…don’t be! Each class begins with a set of breathing exercises which is nice, and then we begin the 26 postures.
I had no idea how to perform the postures, but the instructor is very informative and you can observe others if you need to. I should mention that you will sweat the ENTIRE TIME. It is a good idea to bring at least two bottles of cold water, and it is also important to go at your own pace. If you need to lay down at anytime during the class you should. I have spent half an hour just laying on the mat before, and concentrating on my breathing. I have noticed lower stress levels and I am definitely more flexible after going to a handful of classes. I encourage anyone who has ever wanted to try Yoga to check out a Bikram Studio. I am very glad I did!