Hey! How are you guys? Today I thought I’d tell you a little bit about Bikram yoga or Hot Yoga, something I’ve tried and has become part of my routine. OK, so let me tell you that regular yoga is something I’ve never done before (nope not even the downward dog posture!) so I didn’t have any idea of the yoga postures. So, instead of trying basic yoga first I jumped into hot yoga – a form of yoga which is 26 yoga poses in 42 degrees heat.
Hot yoga is designed to give your heart, lungs and muscles a more intense workout.
Night before the Hot Yoga class
I watched a few videos of hot yoga practices and it seemed normal and not too extensive. Although I still didn’t know what to expect so I packed my gym bag with two towels (large towel and face towel), yoga clothes (sports leggings, tank top and a sports bra), toiletries and a yoga mat. I had booked the class for a Sunday morning from 9.30 till 11am, knowing fully well that I have trouble waking up early on a Sunday morning. I thought I’ll make my first experience even more challenging!
Day of the Hot Yoga class
Surprisingly, I woke up before my alarm and felt mentally ready and excited for the hot yoga class. I got to the class and the lovely lady at the main reception walked me round the studio where she showed me the changing rooms, showers etc.
I was about 15 minutes early, so I changed and went straight into the hot yoga studios. I’ll tell you I’ve experienced 42 degrees heat before, but this had been like I just stepped into the Sahara Desert as it the heat doesn’t gradually raise to 42 degrees, it’s already set at that! I quickly found a spot at the back of the hot room to lay my mat and get going! I think I took the last spot as there wasn’t more space for another person, the studio was that full. Most of the class consisted of females and only a few males – although I am aware of ladies’ only classes too. The instructor came in and did all sorts of talented poses and advised us of three different choices; 1. For beginners, 2. The regular students, 3. The experts. No doubt I had been at the beginner’s stage – and I was still struggling! I did, however attempt the expert poses but I would fail miserably (aka fall miserably). The first 45 mins of the class had standing poses and the last part of the class had poses requiring us to be either sitting or lying down – throughout the class we were asked to focus on breathing exercises. In the last 5 mins of the class we were asked to lay on our back, close our eyes and listen to the soothing music played in the background – trust me I could have fallen asleep within seconds…
When I came out of the studio to the changing room, I looked at my bright red, sweaty face and actually felt much more relaxed then I did when I started the class! Hot yoga benefits the body in so many different ways but one thing I felt straight away is how it helps you feel relaxed and mindful as soon as your leaving the class.
The After Effects (the next day)
I woke up before my alarm again but felt a tight stretch at the back of my arms and legs – I take those as signs that the yoga poses did more than make me sweat!
Overall my verdict is that as much as we all know yoga is an absolutely brilliant form of exercise for anyone and everyone, however hot yoga isn’t for everyone, especially for the people that cannot handle the heat as it doesn’t gradually build up to 42 degrees, it is already at that temperature as soon as you enter. I do, however think that everyone should give hot yoga a try as it cannot be denied that there are many health benefits in yoga alone, so adding the heat just makes it that bit more challenging. Plus, a lot of places do introductory offers like Yoga Haven (£20 for 20 days).
Have you ever tried hot yoga? Would love to hear about your experiences!