Bikram Yoga: How to Prepare for a Yoga Class

I was introduced to Bikram Yoga by a friend about 2 years ago and at that time, I wasn’t participating in any fitness programs. Her mentioning about the yoga classes made me realize how much I’ve been neglecting taking care of my body and yoga was one thing that I’ve been wanting to try. She gave me a quick overview of what to expect in the class. When in Manila and you’ve heard about Bikram Yoga, read on before signing up for a session.

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My friend showed me pictures of the yoga postures we’ll get to try in class. I felt an immediate excitement at the prospect of trying them all out. Flexibility won’t be an issue because I had a dance background but I had to admit that those positions looked hard. The heated studio was something else too. This was what BIkram Yoga is known for and for a first-timer then, I didn’t know really how hot the studio could get during the entire 90 minutes of the class.

My experience

I was both excited and scared at the same time. The heat was bearable but it does get a bit overwhelming for a beginner. I’m not going to kid around here, it was really hot. I was able to keep up with the poses and the whole time, I couldn’t help but admire how my classmates were doing the poses gracefully. I wished I could do them just as good. Halfway through the session though, I had a dizzy spell. The heat and me being anemic was just too much for me. I had to take a long water break before I could resume with the class. This was the challenge for me. I wanted to strengthen my endurance and be able to get through an entire session with very minimal water breaks and without getting dizzy! It took several sessions before I achieved that.

 

Doing yoga at Bikram is indeed a challenge but it is very rewarding especially to your body. If you’re willing to try it, here are some ways to prepare:

Bring thick terry cloth towels.

As you may have guessed, the heated studio WILL make you sweat a lot. You’ll be surprised at how much you’ll be soaking that towel you’ll bring. I was surprised myself because I don’t usually sweat that much. In my opinion, it’s best to bring 3 at least.

Don’t forget your water bottle.

Don’t get shy on bringing a big one. Since you’ll be sweating a lot, you’ll get thirsty more than a few times during the session. Oh and just bring water mind you. Don’t bring sugar-flavored juices or energy drinks even, they’ll just make you more thirsty. The water clears your head when it becomes too stuffy and hot aside from the fact that it will re-hydrate you.

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Dress accordingly.

Come in something where you can move around freely. It’s best to wear cycling shorts, a tank top, a sports bra or any fitted top. Don’t come in sweats, jogging pants or big loose t-shirts because they’ll just be drenched in sweat. It’s best to just naturally let the sweat drip from your skin onto the towel that’s draped over your yoga mat instead of letting the sweat soak your clothes.

Bring a yoga mat.

Don’t worry about not owning one yourself because you can rent them for the entire class but if you’re beginning to get serious about practicing yoga for a long time then you may buy your own yoga mat.

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Bring a change of clothes.

Taking a bath after a yoga class is for me one of the best pleasures life has to offer. Haha, I know that’s a bit melodramatic but you’ll get what I mean when you’ve attended one session at Bikram Yoga. Don’t worry, they have a locker where you can keep your things while you’re in class.

Have an open and determined mindset.

I think this is the most important one. Yoga is not just a physical fitness exercise but also of the mind as well. Come in a state of mind where you’re doing yoga not just because it’s a trend but because you know that it will be very beneficial to your health. Remember that you’re doing this for yourself. While a session at Bikram yoga may be hard work because of the heat, it can be fun as well.

This summer might be the perfect time for you to start engaging in Bikram Yoga classes. Visit any of the Bikram Yoga studios to give it a try. Who knows? You might be a yogini/yogi in no time.

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Photo Credits: BikramYogaManila, Corbis.com






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