Survivng Your First Bikram Session

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When I suggest coming to Bikram to some people, I get this response:

what are you, crazy?

Others, however, often want to try it, and ask many questions about what to expect.

So, here are a few tips (they are actually tips, only a sprinkle of sarcasm here and there) for anyone who is going to try Bikram Yoga.

First, you kick ass. Bikram yoga is for badasses.

Obviously, I mean, I do it. Duh.

Second, HYDRATE HYDRATE HYDRATE.

I bet that was coconut water in the Boot...

I can’t emphasize that enough. If you go into your first (or any) Bikram class and you haven’t drank A LOT of water, well you are going to hate your life. And want to die.

 

It's a little warm in here, no?

You are sweating profusely for 90 minutes, make sure your body is equipped to do that without passing out. I drink water and put a little bit of Mio (yeah yeah artificial sweeteners are the devil, blah blah), all day long. A lot of people drink Coconut water or electrolyte infused drinks to get more electrolytes/salt/etc. Whatever you need to do to get yourself hydrated, just do it. Trust me, you’ll thank me later.

Third, do NOT compare yourself to others. On any level.

 

Do.Not.Do.It.

Let me elaborate. People of EVERY size do bikram yoga. I kid you not. There is a woman in my class who must be 250+ pounds. And she kicks butt. There is also a man in there who I am convinced has an ED because I can count every single one of his ribs and vertebrae and fit my fist in between each. Poor guy. Some people wear pants and shirts, some people wear bathing suits, some people wear shorts only. You will see a lot of skin. Some “hot” bodies (whatever that means) and some “not so hot” bodies. Who cares. Don’t go in there self conscious and worried about someone seeing your fat roll or cellulite or stretch marks or whatever else society has told you to be ashamed of. I assure you, once you get into the flow of class you won’t care that you have a dimple in your thigh.

omg EVERYONE is looking at me. No. They're not.

Also, do not compare you practice to the people around you. Everyone’s body is built differently, joints/muscles/etc. Some people are naturally flexible, others are not. Some have sustained serious injuries (a lot of people with back problems turn to Bikram for healing purposes), and some people have been practicing yoga for decades. You will only mind fuck yourself if you start thinking shit like “oh, but look at that old lady hitting standing head to knee. Why can’t I do that, if some old lady can, I must suck if I can’t!” Shutup. Stop. You will get there eventually with regular practice, and if you don’t…who cares. As long as you commit to the pose and try 100%, you get 100% benefit. I assure you your life will not change if you can hold in a Bikram posture.

Fourth, don’t think. Seriously, go brain dead.

No thinking?! DONE.

Do not let any thoughts other than “breath” into your head. Need to go grocery shopping after class? Who cares. Trying to count how many calories you’ve eaten today? OMG, Punch yourself in the face. And then get back to your breath.

Yeah, that'll teach ya.

All you need to do is:

A) Breath

B) Follow the teachers instructions.

End of story.

If you commit to the breath, postures will be 100% easier, you will leave with total mental clarity, and you will get so much more out of the class. We worry about dumb shit ALL DAY LONG. Bikram is a 90 minute escape from the bs of the world. Take advantage of that. Plus, try doing bow pose and thinking about other things.

why yes that IS me. well, no.

Good luck. (but don’t really, that isn’t a challenge. Just be brain dead!)

Fifth, Stay in the room. You may get a sudden urge to run out of the room screaming, huffing for air, flailing your arms around. Or maybe you go a little nuts and want to run out, stop drop and roll.

Muahaha. <-- what?!

Don’t. I assure you that you CAN stay in the room for 90 minutes and you will be ok. You will not ignite into flames. You’ll in fact, probably feel a lot better. It is a mental challenge more than anything else. Telling your mind to stop freaking out, and as I mentioned BREATH. Lay down, breath, regroup, and rejoin the postures. You can do it. I promise.

And finally, COME BACK ASAP.

You may have spent 99% of the class in dead body pose (<–hehe yeah thats the legit name of the pose), but you came, you stayed in the room, and you ARE a badass. To really understand and experience the benefits. Go back the next day. You’ll thank me for this.

Have you tried Bikram or hot yoga before?

To all the runners, do you find that yoga helps with your training? Or are you skeptical of its benefits? 

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