So, I’ve just come out of our first Bikram/Hot Yoga class & OMG I just have to pen this down, RIGHT NOW!! It’s a moment of achievement! As soon as I entered the studio, I knew we won’t last long in there – 90 minutes of this torture was unimaginable but but but.. We did it!!!
The heat, the smell, the sweat, the poses…!! Been there… done that!
Where do I begin?
If you don’t know what Bikram Yoga is…please Google!! It’s basically surviving in 40°C (38 to be precise) of heat- exercising, stretching n sweating!!
The heat…As soon as you enter it’s the first thing you feel & then comes the smell…the yucky sweaty smell. Now I know why you are not supposed to eat a good while before the class. Because if you do, there is a good chance you’ll puke.
We (Me & Sunshine) reached the class about 20 minutes before time (Yes! Indian & not fashionably late… Take that!!) and they escorted us to the studio. There were changing rooms and showers too but who cares…! I’ve problem sweating so assumed I should be sweet. Sunshine (let’s keep him anonymous for another month or two please!) sweats like anything but even he wasn’t prepared for the streams of sweat that were to flow on every part of his body in a wee while.
The heat was killing and suffocating. The smell made it worse. Introductory price was $20.00 for unlimited classes for a week but I was sure we were not to come back after this. I dragged Sunshine along so his interest in yet another smelly class was highly questionable. We glanced at each other in those dim lights… not sure what was coming and then it started, the poses… 26 in total… always even & repeated!!
I SWEAT!! Yes… it’s a big deal… & this is to whoever thinks I have a skin disorder. It was the first time in my 20 something (?) life, I felt it trickling down my spine!! A moment of elation… Yes… I can sweat! It soon turned into a mess though… Trickling from every pore on my body… My legs, arms, everything slippery, wet!! It was bledy raining on my mat.
I have done the normal (Hatha) yoga before & was pretty good with the poses there. There was definitely some overlap with the poses but Bikram was like next difficulty level. You do 26 poses in the same order every day, so am hoping I’ll get better at remembering them. Some of them were pretty hard & I did give-up on one or two. Let’s talk about fatty Sunshine now ;) He tried following everything for the first 30 minutes & then just gave-up. His turquoise T-shirt all soaked; he was dizzy, flat out, all red, struggling to breath & giving me that ‘Can I please leave’ look!! He lay down & refused to get going until the trainer announced that it was the second last pose next. His clothes weren’t helping him either.
Now you ask!! Will I go back? Yes !! We have a week’s pass & I plan to make good use of the money spent. I was pretty certain, Sunshine wouldn’t tag along (the look on his face, I tell you!) but he said yes!! Unbelievable, I still doubt his intentions though. Yes! It was hard. I always wanted to do hot yoga but this was a lot more than I had imagined. Think Indian summer’s; mid-July; standing out in the sun for 90 minutes (minus the tan). It was exactly that! The sweaty smell was bad when we entered but it was beyond unbearable as the class progressed. Each of those 25 odd people were dripping like anything. The stench made it hard to breath. It was a terrible execution today but we are hoping we’ll get used to it. I am yet to sleep so will know the after effects tomorrow morning. Don’t need no cramps!! My top tips if you are prepared to go through this:
- Need a mat (coz carpet is most likely drenched with years’ worth of sweat)
- Need a towel on your mat (coz you’ll be dripping like crazy)
- Carry a face towel (coz your face, legs everything will be drenched in sweet, will get slippery & it’ll be hard to execute the poses)
- Water bottle is must (coz that’ll be your only ‘take a break’ moment)
- Clothes – the lesser the better. I had shorts on & they should’ve been shorter. Tank tops/sports bra only. I loved how the trainer said it’s a “no-judging others” place. Honestly, who the hell would check out others (read flirt) in such an environment, sexy sweaty, smelly body… hell NO!! Sunshine had board shorts on & they are a big NO NO. He could hardly manage any of the leg poses.
- Hydration – know the day you’ll be attending the class. Stay hydrated all day… not just before the class if you sweat a lot. You can lose upto 1 litre of water in those 90 minutes.
- No solid food for 2-3 hours before class, no water 45 minutes before class
We made sure we were fully hydrated all day (love my coconut water) but both of us felt dizzy after the class.
To wrap it up, it was a unique experience. I’m hoping I’ll get over the heat & stench and definitely plan to do this a few times this week. It’s a whole new-concept to working out & is pretty extreme too. Hats off to those who can do it alone!! Joining a class is the best motivator with hot yoga. Also it helps to be open-minded & take it as it comes. Spending 90 minutes in your own sweat.. Priceless!
Have you ever practiced hot yoga? Do you plan to? Your thoughts?