On Saturday night, I attended and helped out at an event in the Hamptons for work. I live a rough life, I know.
Naturally, I wanted to do something on Sunday morning to cleanse my body (NOT a juice cleanse) of the treats that I would be eating at the event. I also wanted to try something new before I went back to school. YOLO, right? Sure.
Background info: When I go to the gym, I like to sweat. A lot. I am usually either killing it in a spin class (and by killing it I mean wanting to kill myself), being the master of stairs (seriously, I always set records on the machine…not to toot my own horn. But TOOT.), or am in the group workout room doing my own combination of boot camp moves. Box jumps, squats, burpees, you know. I love to finish a workout feeling exhausted and like I really gave it my all. Nothing makes me happier than looking a sweaty mess. Is that weird? I think I’d actually rather be drenched in sweat than in a dress. So ladylike of me. Whatever, it’s the 21st century. Get with it, people.
As you could have guessed, I am NOT a yoga person. I actually despise it. I feel like I waste an hour of my life stretching when I could be running or spinning or doing anything that takes serious effort. Not to say that yoga doesn’t take effort. I respect it, I just don’t like it. And I know how good it is for your mind and body and spirit and so on. But I think my spirit is doing just fine without yoga.
Because I do such intense workouts all the time, my muscles are pretty tight. I know that I should stretch more and try a yoga or pilates class every once in a while, but I am stubborn and I like what I like. SUE ME.
But when I heard about a Bikram Yoga studio near my house, I actually wanted to try it out. I would get the benefits of yoga but also sweat and feel like I got a great workout. It pretty much sounded perfect.
Bikram yoga, otherwise known as hot yoga, is held in a studio at 105 degrees with 40% humidity for 90 minutes. It involves a series of 26 poses. What’s the benefit of doing yoga in what many would consider a steam room? The heat loosens up your muscles, making it easier for you to try poses and aiding your flexibility. Because you sweat so much, (my towel was soaked) your body releases toxins that it would not normally release in a classic yoga class. The heat also increases your metabolism. ALSO someone told me that my skin was glowing today. So basically I am going to do hot yoga for the rest of my life.
My experience? For the first 10 minutes, I thought I was going to pass out. But my body eventually adjusted to the heat and I felt very comfortable. It took no time at all for me to start sweating, and I didn’t stop until I walked out of the room after 90 minutes. Was I challenged during the class? Yes, 100%. I am pretty athletic, so I could try more of the advanced poses. But that’s not to say that they were easy. The combination of my unfamiliarity with yoga and my perspiring body challenged me to work harder and push myself, which I felt very comfortable doing with the knowledgeable instructor. After 90 minutes, I felt rejuvenated, energized, and relaxed. I don’t think I’ve ever felt like that in my life. During the class, I blocked out thoughts of my job and personal life, which allowed me to focus on the physical challenge that I faced.
All in all, I loved Bikram Yoga and will definitely be doing it again. I highly suggest it for those who, like myself, don’t partake in yoga because they would rather get a good sweat doing something else. For those who treat yoga as a supplement or an “off day,” Bikram yoga is the ideal way to feel like you got in a tough workout without exhausting your body. And lets be honest, we all want to be told that we’re glowing.