Oh man, did I love my workout today! This morning, after I published my blog post recapping last night’s broadway show, I headed out to do some serious stretching and sweating bikram yoga style.
I used to do bikram at least once a week, but the studio I frequent recently closed because they were moving locations. After being closed for a little over 2 months, they finally opened back up this week. Hooray! The new studio is beautiful and has a spa like atmosphere, which I find so soothing and relaxing.
They keep the lights dimmed to go with the tranquil mood of the yoga practice, so it may be hard to see in the above photo but the studio is very cool and earthy.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with bikram yoga, it is 26 poses (including 2 breathing exercises) done twice for a total of 90 minutes. Oh, & did I mention that the room you practice in is set to approximately 105° with 50% humidity? The room is often referred to as the ‘torture chamber.’ The heat has a purpose though. A warm body is a flexible body, so you’re able to really deepen your stretches in those high temperatures.
Before I go any further, I should confess that I am not a yogi. Not even close. I’m a goober in the class, so if you’re thinking about trying bikram and you’re intimidated, don’t be! If I can do it, I promise you can do it!
Just dress appropriately! I wear yoga shorts (a lot of people wear yoga pants) and a dry-fit tank top. Some ladies just wear sports bras, but I prefer to cover my mid section. Ain’t nobody need to see me stretchin’ all that. I wouldn’t recommend wearing a cotton shirt because you will sweat. I sweat more in 90 minutes of bikram than I do running a half marathon. You will also need to bring a full towel (to keep you from slipping on your mat) and at least 1 full water bottle. If you don’t have a yoga mat, I’m sure you can rent one at the studio you attend.
One of my favorite things about yoga is the non-competitive nature of the practice. During the class today, the instructor reminded us that yoga is an individual practice and you shouldn’t compare yourself to others while doing the poses. He encouraged us not to watch the other participants, but rather focus on our own body and abilities and the benefits we are receiving. I personally love this, because I am usually the least flexible person in the room but I never feel like I ‘don’t belong.’ Okay – maybe sometimes I feel a little out of place…when everyone else has their foot pulled up over their head and I’m struggling to just not fall over…
The above is a great example of what a runner looks like in a yoga class. Standing bow pose is no joke.
I absolutely love running & I am addicted to the runner’s high that comes after completing a long run, but I will say this for yoga: I feel significantly better after 90 minutes of bikram than I do after 90 minutes of running. I feel cleansed, rejuvenated and stretched after yoga, whereas after a long run my joints ache and my muscles are exhausted. Each of the bikram postures are designed to move fresh, oxygenated blood to your entire body, which not only helps your muscles, ligaments and joints but also your internal organs. It is an excellent form of exercise and if you have a studio nearby, I recommend you try it!
Okay, I’ll get off my bikram soapbox now. I just missed that class so much, guys!
After yoga, I went to get a pedicure with my mom.
Sorry for the foot picture – it just seemed appropriate…but honestly, when is a foot picture ever appropriate? Especially on a blog where I so frequently talk about food…but now I’m committed to it since it is already in the post.
I spent the rest of the afternoon grocery shopping, walking the dogs with Dave and doing laundry. Fun stuff! Now it is time to eat some dinner and chill on the couch!
Ob & Marley are already cuddled up and waiting for me & Dave to do the same! 🙂
Are you a fan of yoga? Have you ever done bikram yoga? What’s your favorite pose?
I love tree pose…I really have no clue why…I just like it.