6 Lessons I Learned From Bikram Yoga

I’ve taken a few yoga classes throughout these past five years, I’ve tried a little bit of gym-yoga, DVD yoga, Youtube Yoga -  but it wasn’t until this past January when I decided to give Bikram Yoga a shot. After a few conversations with some yogi friends and a powerful spark of inspiration that had been growing inside me, I decided to check it out for myself.

Here’s what I learned:

1. Arrive 15 minutes early

I arrived 5 minutes before class started. NO BUENO. There are a lot of little things you have to do before entering the hot room, and such include: signing a waiver, talking to the instructor, signing your name on the attendance sheet and finding your spot in the hot room. And believe me, you will want a good spot, preferably next to the instructor. I highly recommend arriving 15 minutes early, that way you can talk to the yoga teacher beforehand and find a perfect place for your mat.

Note: Don’t forget to take two towels and a big - 2 liter - water bottle! Also, wear comfy clothes that will allow you to stretch and perform your best....and invest in a good yoga mat!

2. IT IS HOT HOT HOT

Ladies and Gents, yoga is a full-on workout. Put 30 people into a hot, humid room for 90 minutes and bam: Pools of SWEAT EVERYWHERE. The good news, you’ll be going at your own pace. The teachers are amazing and let you know that it’s perfectly normal to take a break. The yoga instructor and yogis create a very welcoming environment.

3. It’s ok not to know every pose.

As a new yoga student, you may not know all the poses, and you might find yourself looking around the room to see what other people are doing -- and that’s fine! The 26-pose series is very beginner friendly. While more advanced versions of each pose are introduced, all are possible for true beginners to take on, even those who aren’t very flexible. You might find yourself getting frustrated when you fall out of a posture, but falling is what you make it. Try your best to be present and breathe.

4. Breathe into the discomfort

There will be a few uncomfortable poses, and you may not like them (at first!). However, it is essential to breathe into the discomfort and learn to embrace it. Just remember it’s not forever, it’s just for now and this too shall pass.

5. You may not be into it immediately.

For the first few days, you may not be a fan of Bikram or hot yoga in general, but it’s vital that you give it a fair shot. You’ll be burning close to 800 calories in a 105F room. That said, when you leave the studio you will feel both tired and invigorated and perhaps ready for more!

6. Hot yoga benefits your skin.

Think about it, 15 minutes in a steam room stimulates circulation, increases perspiration and eliminates toxins. So yes, the hot room acts as a steam room and gives your skin a glow from within. It is vital that you wear a natural cleanser to help you neutralize and clean your skin… also, use a good exfoliator to ensure your pores are clear of sweat and dirt buildup… ahem, our incredible- all natural soaps.

If you are in the Maryland-DC area and interested in attending a Bikram yoga class, check out this fantastic studio (click here) located in Gaithersburg, MD. Take advantage of their unlimited $35 offer and start your practice today! 

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