A month ago I wrote about how I was giving bikram yoga a shot. I got intimate with all the poses in photos below. My thoughts on how it went follow.
My Ten Thoughts on Bikram Yoga
- My spine has never felt so healthy. I didn’t really give it much thought before, but I now realize that spine health is everything. Without it your body doesn’t have the foundation it needs to build strength everywhere else, to stand well, sit well, sleep well, etc., etc.
- Overall, my core, lower back, and legs feel much stronger than ever before. I only lost 2-3 pounds, but my body feels more toned than before I started.
- I did miss arm work-outs like chataranga. My triceps didn’t get as much work as they did in vinyasa yoga or my total body fitness classes at the gym.
- Being committed to bikram yoga made me think twice before having that 2nd or 3rd glass of wine because I knew it’d hurt the next day in class. It also made me drink more water and watch what I was eating. So it was really a more holistic health experience.
- Locking your knees isn’t as easy as it sounds. But it gets better with practice.
- This was a huge time commitment. I tried to go at least 3-4 times a week. And each class would take about 3 hours out of my day (half an hour to commute and set up, 90 minute class, 20 minute cool-down, half hour commute back home). But as one of my instructors pointed out, being healthy will allow you to prosper in all other areas of your life, so why wouldn’t you make the time?
- Men with back and shoulder issues like my husband could really use this. I took Russell on the “man-pass” that the studio offered- first class free for men. He loved it.
- Just breathing can be a powerful ab work-out
- Corpse pose, or shavasana is my favorite pose. Ultimate relaxation. I have the most trouble/work to do on the standing separate leg head to knee pose, toe stand, and locust pose.
- I enjoyed my time, but I’m not completely converted as a Bikram purist. I’ve signed up for a 3-month pass at New York Yoga which offers vinyasa classes as well as hot yoga classes. I’m really glad I devoted myself to a full month of intensive Bikram practice, but I’m still experimenting and trying to find what’s best for my long-term fitness plan.
If you want to learn more about bikram yoga, check out this book written by the founder himself: