My First Time Trying Bikram Yoga
I have never been that interested in yoga. Trying to turn off your brain and enter a zen-like state while stretching isn’t quite up my alley. Not only am I much too fidgety, I’m also usually always fretting over my memorized “to do” list. I had heard of Bikram Yoga, “aka hot yoga” when I was living in Ann Arbor, but it wasn’t until I moved to NYC when I learned more about it. For those who don’t know, Bikram yoga is a practice of yoga with 26 postures; the catch—you do the postures in a 105° studio.
New Yorkers seem to love their Bikram. I’ve grown up playing sports, so cardio has always been my thing, and I didn’t think yoga would benefit me in any way. But after my gym membership expired mid-July and I didn’t feel like shelling out a few hundred dollars to renew it yet, I started looking into other options. I was originally trying to find a cheaper gym close to work or my apartment when I came across a Bikram yoga deal at BikramYogaNYC on Bloomspot.
I was really nervous going into my first class. I went alone and I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. I’ve only done yoga a handful of times let alone yoga in extreme heat. The only advice I was given by a co-worker who had done Bikram before was to drink a lot of water beforehand. I ended up doing fairly well my first session even though I was extremely tired afterward, and low and behold, I became kind of hooked. The deal I purchased was for a month membership, so over the course of a month I averaged about three sessions a week which isn’t too bad considering it’s pretty time consuming at 90 minutes per class.
Some days were good and others were bad during Bikram. One instructor told the class during a session that even though he has been practicing Bikram for several years, it’s often the days he goes into class overly confident that he feels poorly and the days he arrives not feeling it that he leaves feeling good, and I found the same to be true with me. One thing that is vital in Bikram is making sure you drink even more water than you normally would before going to class. For those who have never done Bikram, you cannot take a sip of water for the first 25 minutes. The first week or two, I couldn’t wait to guzzle water at the 25 minute mark, but as I became more familiar with the routine I learned to pace myself and I could go longer without drinking as much.
Overall, I’m glad I tried out Bikram. Classes are normally pretty expensive (about $25 for a single walk-in visit at BikramYogaNYC), but the deal I bought on Bloomspot was for an entire unlimited month for $50. It was definitely a steal of a deal. Every instructor I had at the Flatiron BikramYogaNYC location was very nice and encouraging too which provided an unintimidating, welcoming atmosphere. The only downside to Bikram is that it can be time consuming as I mentioned before, especially if you go regularly which is highly encouraged by the instructors. Since you sweat profusely throughout the entire class, I often left dehydrated and tired. I didn’t have energy to do much after finishing a Bikram class. The perks are that there are supposed health benefits, you work on your balance and flexibility, and you test your mind. The days I felt strong in class and was able to complete all the postures, I left feeling very satisfied and happy with myself.
All in all, I am very glad I tried Bikram Yoga, and I foresee myself continuing to practice. I’m just looking out for another great deal! For anyone curious to try it, I suggest you do. It is definitely a work out, but if you push yourself and stick through the entire class you will leave feeling proud of yourself and feeling good about your body. It can also be a good weight loss method because after working your butt off for 90 minutes, you want to keep the rhythm going and replenish your body with healthy, nutritious foods.