If you are unfamiliar with Bikram Yoga, let me give you a quick explanation.
It all started with Bikram Choudhury who is the founder of the Bikram Yoga system and the Yoga College of India.
Bikram began practicing yoga at the age of four. He practiced 4-6 hours every day. At age thirteen he won the National India Yoga Championship.
He later created Bikram Yoga. A system of yoga where he used 26 postures from the traditional Hatha Yoga and revised it in a certain order. All Bikram Yoga classes consist of 26 postures in a heated room of 104°F (40°C) with a humidity of 40% for 90 minutes.
Bikram Choudhury has at least 1,650 yoga studios around the world.
Years ago I attended a week worth of Bikram Yoga classes at the Bikram Yoga NYC studio on 72nd Street on Broadway. I remember being sooo excited about it and feeling so great after each class.
However, years later of course you forget certain things, like how hot it is inside that room!!!
So when I suggested to Louise that we start Bikram Yoga, she was delighted especially because this was completely new to her.
We signed up for the 30 Day Challenge on the Upper East Side on 83rd Street; and then my life changed!
When you first walk into the Bikram Yoga NYC studio, you quickly take off your shoes and sign in at the front desk and then head over to the dressing room where you change and leave your belongings in the locker room.
I was sooo excited my first day, I couldn't even handle it! However when you walk into the room you feel the heat so strongly but since I love the heat this was great for me especially with the crazy brutal winter in NYC.
I placed my mat and towel on the floor and class began. After a while I was ready to pass out but realized this wasn't too bad since class was ending! Ummm correction! When I checked the clock, we were only 20 minutes in!!!!!! I almost cried my eyes out! I couldn't believe we still had 70 minutes more to go!!! WHY WHY WHY did I sign up for this??? I quickly started thinking how I was going to cancel my membership ASAP and that would be the end of it. I mean this was insane! 20 mins and I felt a whole hour had already passed by! GRRRR!
But once we got to the Shavasana pose I was in heaven. You are basically laying on the floor looking dead. My favorite part on my first day!
After we left the studio I realized it wasn't sooo bad after all. The bliss feeling I felt was incredible!
90 minutes all to myself where I love and honor my body. What a feeling that was! All your problems, emotions or whatever challenge you have stays outside the room. Amazing feeling :)
On my second day I met a great teacher, Regina, who was so encouraging and just what I needed to keep me going and inspired in the teachings of Bikram Yoga!
By the fifth day I had already fell in love with certain poses and felt my body reaching a new point.
I was thinking clearer and was just in a state of bliss!
If you are thinking of taking a Bikram Yoga class in your town I highly recommend it.
And here are a few tips I picked up my first week:
- Always bring a 20oz bottle of water inside the class.
- You can add electrolytes to your water. Because you sweat so much in class you are losing electrically charged alkaline minerals, such as Sodium, Potassium, Calcium and Magnesium. If you are feeling dizzy, nauseous and even numbness in your body this is a sign you are low in sodium.
- Adding fresh organic lemons to your water also helps keep you hydrated.
- Organic coconut water is also ideal to add electrolytes to your body.
- Change your diet to where you add more foods with Potassium and Magnesium: Beans, Sweet Potato, Banana, Tomato, Spinach, Beets, Peanut Butter, Chickpeas, Broccoli, Swiss Chard, Beet Greens, Pumpkin Seeds, Almonds, Cashews, Avocado, Quinoa and any leafy green vegetable.
- You can also purchase a vegan Calcium, Magnesium & Zinc Supplement and make sure the intake is at least 400mg a day in Magnesium. That's what your body needs in order to stay hydrated during Bikram Yoga class. Trader Joe's sells a all-in-one vegan Magnesium supplement that also has Zinc and Calcium.
- Always stare at the mirror and keep your focus on yourself during class. Focus is key to really pushing your self past your comfort zone.
By day 7 I felt like a pro and could feel my body completely different. I felt different over all! What a great feeling that is!!! I encourage everyone to take a step towards a healthier lifestyle and truly honor yourself by loving yourself.
We have four bodies that make us who we are: Emotional, Spiritual, Mental and Physical.
Just like with energy healing, with Bikram Yoga you truly use all four bodies!
GirlieVegans Do It Better!!!
Love and light,
Photo Courtesy: Bikramyogacapalaba.com.au