7 Days Of Bikram Yoga: Take your time, not your life


There are many ways I could have named this blog post, believe me. I was even thinking about a title while sweating pretty profusely for 90 minutes.

I know you supposed to meditate while performing all 26 postures twice in the hot room. But still. My mind wanders. A lot.

Let´s start at the beginning, shall we. I first tried Bikram Yoga around 10 years ago. Well, I am 30 now I can say stuff like “10 years ago” without someone thinking I was a kid back then. This makes me think about that post I read recently which claimed that as soon as you enter the 30´s you´re officially a MILF. Oh, don´t even let me get into that. 

As I said. My mind wanders a lot.

Anyways. This experience wasn´t pleasant. Not at all. I remember it was a pretty dull studio, the first one of its kind in Vienna and it was late in the afternoon. I felt dizzy all the time and even though I had a card for 10 days straight, I never came back.

Power Yoga was the next one I got introduced to. During my stay in Brooklyn, NY like 7 years ago, my host mom and friend Kirsten who´s an avid yogi and fan of Bryan Kest showed me a few poses. I even went to Laughing Lotus in Manhattan to take classes.

I really liked it. Loved it even!

Still, there was just something about Bikram Yoga that was always spinning in the back of my mind. The heat, the detox, the health benefits. I just couldn´t believe that this one terrible class was all I would ever experience when it comes to Hot Yoga.

Even so, I didn´t try it again for a long time.

Right now Bikram Yoga is huge everywhere. There are 5 studios in Vienna and I figured there is a really nice looking one in my immediate neighborhood. So I checked their website and found their latest offer for a special membership all Summer long for newbies.

7 days of Bikram Yoga for 7 Euros. This is really a deal.
One class usually costs 15 Euros (around 19 USD).

This week at home seemed to be perfect. Monday was the day and I went to the studio for the 9 am class.

To be perfectly honest I wanted to start last Sunday but I couldn´t find the studio. Yes. Weird. I am bad with maps, too.
I got there like 5 minutes prior to class and this was to stressful, so I decided to start on Monday.

I liked the class first thing in the morning. So I could sleep in a bit, had half a banana, drank a lot of water and walked 10 minutes to the studio. Perfect. Of course it was new and I was shy and terrified of making a fool of myself but I think I did pretty good.

I did not pass out.

I felt dizzy a few times and just took a deep breath and took a break sitting on my mat, having water, but as soon as my heart rate normalized, I was good to go and got into the next pose.

The trainer even claimed that I am a natural. I couldn´t remember any of the postures from the experience years ago and I didn´t check on them before online. I didn´t want to freak out. Looking back I am happy I didn´t.

I guess this is the right time to ´fess up and tell you that I didn´t make it through the whole 7 day challenge. SHOCKER. After 2 days in, I really felt like I could need a rest day.

My whole body felt sore and my right hip felt kind of funny. Don´t know how to explain this feeling but I could literally feel every pull and every stretch while moving and sometimes it hurt.

I got back on the mat right after that rest day though and I felt good. It was the right thing to do for myself. There is currently a 30 Day Challenge going on in the studio. There are crazy people dedicated folks there and they do have a sweat EVERY DAY for 30 days in a row.

I am in awe. I really am. Maybe I am one of them next year? Who knows!

After this week (okay, just 6 days for the Sheldon Cooper´s outthere) I actually learned a few things:

x Stay on your own mat. Don´t stress yourself out about how much the girl on the next mat can stretch her body or how lean she looks.

x Breathe. To breathe the right way and breathe through obstacles, hard postures, dizziness, etc. makes everything MUCH easier.

x Pulling is the object of stretching. I heard that in every class and it´s true. If you learn to pull and stretch the right way it helps you so much with balance and holding a certain pose much longer (I am looking at you Balancing Stick Pose!).

x Take your time, not your life. I am not lying. Of course I was frustrated that sometimes I did so well and other times I wasn´t my best.
So when the teacher reminded us that “this is just yoga guys, smiley happy faces”, I had to smile instantly and I relaxed and gently stopped the little over-achiever inside.

x Trust your body more. A lot of times it´s the head, not the body who wants to talk you into quitting. I had good and bad days but when I was angry at myself, I just wanted to leave the hot room. This is all your mind, not your body. I never thought I´ll make it through those 90 minutes at first and in the end it was such an easy thing to do.

What I love right after class is that we get fresh tea and fresh fruit. A big bowl full of fresh and crisp pears and peaches. This is the greatest feeling after your hard work.

Needless to say I got a 5 class ticket for this month. I didn´t want to go for the month membership straight as I have to work it out with my working hours. I plan to take the morning classes on weekends though.

Little Miss Martie turned Little Miss Yogi, kind of :)

Did you ever try Bikram Yoga? Do you want to? Please share.

(Images via Bikram Yoga, MindBodyGreen and Google)


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One Comment

  1. Martie, that’s fantastic. I am so glad you enjoyed it. I have been using that saying, stay on your own may a lot since you’d first posted it. It applies to everything in life.
    Yoga rocks and it sounds like you rocked it!