Bikram Yoga. HOT yoga. Very, very hot yoga. It's a 90 minute class that consists of 26 postures, derived from Hatha Yoga. The temperature is around 40 degrees Celsius, and the humidity about 40%. It was developed by Bikram Choudhury, originally from Indian but now he resides in USA.
"It has been proved and experienced by millions that these 26 postures systematically work every part of the body, to give all the internal organs, all the veins, all the ligaments, and all the muscles everything they need to maintain optimum health and maximum function. Each component takes care of something different in the body, and yet they all work together synergistically, contributing to the success of every other one, and extending its benefits." Taken from The Official Bikram Yoga Site Gaffa and I started in July 2010 and have had a love-hate relationship with Bikram Yoga every since. The very first class Gaffa wanted to throw up because of the heat. I was ok with the heat though. Having to drink at least 2 litres of water a day, makes you go to the toilet at least 10+ times a day! The sweat running down your face and into your ears when you're lying on your mat is so distracting but apparently it's the body's way of cooling itself down. If you think you've had a hard workout, you should try Bikram Yoga. Even my bro who is training for marathons and is a massive gym junkie; can't get through a whole class without struggling. Every class is different, one day you're able to hold triangle pose and get your forehead right down to your knee, but other days you find it hard just to balance. It's yoga practice, not yoga perfect. As one of our favourite instructors say, 'It's a 90 minute date with yourself.' And she's quite right, you spend 90 minute focusing on yourself, being present and listening to your body. There's no point looking at other people in the class (only to see if you're doing the posture correctly) because you're not competing with anyone else, it's just development within yourself.
I started off practicing at the Bondi Junction Studio and was told they would be opening a sister studio at Maroubra Junction. Awesome, closer to home! The studio in Maroubra is newer and bigger. I've become addicted to Bikram Yoga, and have been going religiously atleast 3-4 times a week, more if I'm not diving on the weekends. The instructors are super nice and so are all the fellow yogis that come regularly. The energy that you get from being in the yoga room is amazing. I've even introduced a few friends to yoga, and Ms. Tjark recently admitted to me that she's getting addicted as well!
However, since I've been training and studying for the PADI IDC and PADI IE, I haven't been going to yoga. I've had to sacrifice one thing that I love for another :( My body is sore and my brain is not focused. Yoga gives me relief from sitting in a car for 2 hrs, and at my desk for another 8 hrs each day. I feel like I have more energy whenever I've finished a yoga class and my mind can focus more easily. Also, it has done wonders for diving and my air consumption rate. It's not below 10L/min on most dives, down from 12-14L/min. Lower SAC rate means more bottom time! And I also feel calmer while I'm underwater.
I've read reviews about Bikram Yoga. You either love it or hate it. The haters don't like it mainly because of the heat. But it's great for your muscles and your body because the heat releases all the toxins from your body. Some people also don't like the same 26 postures and the same dialogue over and over again, nor the strict rules of not being able to leave the room, or not being able to drink water until after the warm up exercises. There are reasons for this, not because they want to torture you in class! If you do one class and find you don't like it, you have to come back at least another 2-3 times to make a real decision. Trust me! Then you'll be able to see why people just keep coming back for more. The lovers of Bikram Yoga enjoy it because of the personal challenge it gives, the potential for weight loss, and also the strength building in certain areas that you can't get with other exercises. Or maybe the sweat, heat and humidity are addictive...? LOL!
My name is Winnie Au Yeung and I am a Birakm Yoga addict. It has been 14 days since my last yoga class. Tonight will be my first class since before the IE and I can't wait to walk into that 40 degree room and lie on my purple mat, wearing my Lululemon clothing! =) (another post about Lululemon later.)
My yoga studio: Pure Bikram Hot Yoga, and other studios can be found all around the world here. When we go travelling I plan to visit as many as I can!!