Thursday, September 13, 2012

Namaste

Last weekend, I took my 2nd ever Bikram (hot) yoga class. The first time I went was exactly a year ago (how funny is that?!), and it was an Intro class. This time it was the real deal. I was nervous!

I sort of knew what to expect and came prepared to rent both a towel and a mat (at least this time I knew that I needed a full size towel instead of a hand towel) and that the towel goes on TOP of the mat. What I didn't expect, however, was for the instructor to walk around class the whole time instead of actually doing the poses at the front of the room. I was thankful there were seasoned yoga veterans in the room who knew how to do the poses.

Mental Strength
I discovered that I wanted to leave about halfway through class because I was getting a bit light-headed. But I'd seen someone else attempt to leave and then be shamed into staying in the room, so I reminded myself to take deep breaths and to move slowly. When I moved at my own pace, I felt better.

I didn't realize that part of the challenge of Bikram yoga is mentally dealing with the hot temperature in the room. It takes mental strength and focus to overcome the body's natural instincts of escaping from uncomfortable situations. I knew my body could handle it as long as I stayed focused on relaxing instead of on panicking.

I felt completely wiped out after class, and proud of myself for not only surviving the class, but for actually being able to do nearly all of the poses (my quads and hamstrings get in the way of a cross-leg squatting-type pose).

Eagle Pose (Garurasana) - Pretty much impossible to do with big quads and hamstrings!
New Experiences
I'm still intrigued by Bikram yoga, and am going again with a friend on Saturday morning.

I'm also going to go to a free traditional yoga class at a Lululemon store on Sunday morning! I wanted to go last weekend, but the instructions said to "be sure to bring your own mat!" That presented a problem, since I didn't own a yoga mat until yesterday.

Yep! I bought a yoga mat! I have no idea what the differences are between the cheap and expensive mats; they all look and feel the same to me. I decided to start out with the cheap one and see if I actually even like yoga and plan to take more classes.

My new yoga mat! Target special!
I love all kinds of fitness activities, and I'm looking forward to my next yoga classes!

Do you do yoga? Which method do you prefer? Do you have your own mat? What's the difference between the cheap and expensive ones?

3 comments:

  1. I've been to india and back doing ashtanga vinyasa and I know the value of a good mat!! lol Two things.... traction and fiber strength.

    With bikram, because you use a towel and you are so sweaty, traction might not be an issue, but if you do a vinyasa based or flow class, you'll notice your hands will slide all over the place in downward dog. It's awkward.

    Also, after a while a cheap mat will start to disintegrate, but that depends on how often you're doing it.

    I would certainly start off with a cheap mat tho. Manduka's are around $100 a pop, but last a lifetime.

    I'd be more worried about the $$ you'll probably drop in Lululemon buying yoga clothes!! That place can be dangerous :)

    Enjoy yoga! It's life changing!

    Xo

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  2. I like yoga a lot. I am shocked to hear someone in class was shamed into staying when they wanted to leave! That's sooooo... un yoga like. lol. I hope you enjoy it and do it often. I miss being in a class. Doing it on my own is good and all, but just not as powerful for me. I used to go to jivamukti. LOVED it.

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    1. Apparently, the only task of 1st timers is to stay in the room the whole time. They don't have to do any of the poses if they don't want to, but they need to stay in the room. I was shocked the first time I heard an instructor tell someone to stay in the room and then block the door!

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