Lyssa challenged me to try Bikram Yoga (otherwise known as hot yoga) in 2017. She tried it once and because of the heated aspect of the practice, she thought I might enjoy the class. And of course, one of my goals this year is to practice yoga with regularity, so I was up to the challenge. One of my favorites things to do at the gym is to get into a really hot sauna, so I thought I could handle this heat with no problem.
A little background before I get into this goal. I have zero flexibility. None. I can’t touch my toes without bending my knees when standing. It’s bad and I want to work on this given its importance as we age.
I attended my first class at Bikram Yoga Centreville. All the reviews I read online were great and it seemed like a very nice and clean place.
I bought a one-time pass for $20. I would like to attend more classes, but one thing that turns me off of designated gyms (like spin studios, boxing, or yoga studios) is that the cost is really high. I already have a gym membership that has diverse offerings and I don’t want to spend three times as much a month for a studio that only focuses on one type of workout.
I walked in and was immediately greeted by instructor. She gave me the rundown on what to expect. She told me that her goal for me was that I stay the full 90 minutes. It’s not encouraged that you take any breaks from the room during this particular type of yoga practice.
I walked in the room and it was really quiet. The class was about to start and I decided to go shirtless, which is standard based on what I’ve read. It’s 100 degrees in that room so the fewer clothes you have on, the better. The only time I felt out-of-place was in comparison to the other attendees. It’s easy to tell I don’t have a “yoga” body and it was clearly my first time. However, I didn’t feel I was being judged, which was good.
You’re not supposed to drink water for the first 20 minutes or so (don’t really understand that), but once that period was over, it is okay to drink when you want. I love to sweat and pushing my body to extremes, so I was good with that. We started to go deeper into our positions and that’s when shit got real. I didn’t know I had that much body fluid to sweat. I was dripping. We were encouraged to refrain from wiping off the sweat.
The first 60 minutes wasn’t that bad. I actually really liked it. But the last 30 minutes of the 90 minutes was brutal. I felt like I was going to faint.
Fifteen minutes to go and I felt like I was moving around like the dead dude from “Weekend at Bernie’s.” Right when I thought I would drown in my sweat puddle on my yoga mat, the class was done. I put on a brave face like, “that wasn’t that bad,” but it was really difficult at the end.
I have plenty of good things to say about it (the heat, the people, the place, the positions) and only a couple of negatives (the length [+ no clocks], the drinking/sweating rules of Bikram yoga).
I would challenge any of my male friends who regularly visit the gym to try this version of yoga. See if it brings you to your knees… and I’m not referring to the stretching.