The million dollar question. How did I do?
Well for those of you just tuning in, I survived my first Bikram Yoga class. I’ve done yoga in the past and could never quite get into it, but I am a lover of Pilates (especially the reformer) and I’m a pretty fit person so I thought how bad could it be? I’ve got this!
Meanwhile I was EXTREMELY nervous, terrified I was going to barf, faint, or do one followed by the other.
Let me start at the beginning of this adventure I took, or CHALLENGE I took on.
My friend Patricia talked me into it. I’ve been wanting to try new things and make some changes so I said I’m in. What I wasn’t expecting: you need to prepare yourself for class. You can’t just say “hey I think I’ll try hot yoga in the next 30 minutes”… Oh no. Patricia sent me a few helpful tips that ended up saving my bum!
- Bring a towel for your mat, because you are going to sweat like crazy
- Wear a headband, again because you are going to sweat like crazy and don’t want hair in your face
- Freeze half of a liter of water overnight then fill it up when you leave. Cold water the entire class 🙂
- Wear a sports bra and little shorts.. MAN you mean I need to shave my legs past my shins?
- Don’t worry no one is looking, everyone is worried about themselves!
I didn’t sleep much the night before, I tossed and turned so I was a little worried about taking the class. I signed up for the 9am, and since it was a good 30 minute drive for me, I had to get up around 7:30 to get rolling. Phoebe did not want to get up.
But I made her, and then she decided she was going to try to sleep in the bathroom… I caught her mid yawn.
I said I was not going to do any coffee, but let’s face it folks you know I had it, and I felt like I needed it. Just a small cup. Looking over a few things, it was suggested for you to not eat 2-3 hours before taking the class, but since it was early I needed something in my stomach. I go into spazzy Katie if I’m hot and my blood sugar plummets. But wouldn’t you know it, I got all dressed, headed to my car and took off without grabbing food. I stopped in Starbucks and they robbed me BLIND for this little thing of fruit. Seriously, this is a crime! Almost 4 bucks. Shame on you Starbucks.
Before getting out the car I thought okay it’s JUST 90 minutes in a little bit of warm weather… I can do that!
When I arrived to class, I met up with Patricia and met the instructor. She was very welcoming. As a former aerobics instructor, teachers make or break a class, so it’s always a good sign when they are friendly from the start. After putting away our things, Patricia told me she set my mat up by the door in case I wanted to bail (true friend there). Now I obviously do not have any pictures of the class because yoga is a peaceful place so there is no talking in the room, let alone me snapping pictures and blogging 😉
But let’s take a journey through my thoughts of this 90 minute adventure:
I walked in the room and said holy moly IT’S HOT! I do not like the heat at all, I prefer it cold, so when I opened the door and it was like a sauna I thought oh my gosh what the heck was I thinking? 105 degrees? C’mon Kate! It also smelled a tad WEIRD. I have no way to explain the smell, but I have a very sensitive nose so for the rest of the day (even after showering) I felt like I smelled like the room.
I take a good look around and it’s dim (thank goodness). Everyone is in TEENY sports bras and little tiny shorts. Apparently Bikram has it’s own type of shorts you wear that do not ride up. To me they look like diapers with strings on the side… not my style, but I get the functionality of them. I had on just spandex shorts, my sports bra, and my heart rate monitor. The men had on either sport shorts or swim trunks. Now I am not a prude, but I am pretty uncomfortable being half naked around a bunch of strangers. Actually I don’t think it was ME being half naked, it was strangers being half naked around me. Hello sir I’ve never seen you before and here you are in front of me doing tree pose in nothing but your underpants…
Now when class started BOOM lights flip on to full brightness. Oh no… and the instructor talks FAST the entire class without music. Bikram yoga has a rhythm to it, but at some points I had NO IDEA what she was saying and she was talking so fast it almost sounded like I was at a car auction. Luckily I am a fit person and very flexible, so I caught on pretty quickly.
Anyway, within the first 5 minutes I thought I was doomed. It was HOT, and there were a lot of deep breathing exercises with our arms and elbows that I thought oh gosh if I have to do this for 90 minutes I am SO going to be in trouble. But after the first 2 rounds of ‘warm up’ exercises were done, we got into the bread and butter of yoga. I was also pleasantly surprised to find out my body adjusted to the heat within the first 5-10 minutes. I thought it was going to be a huge issue for me, but I was fine. Also, as Patricia predicted, no one looks at you, so I was relieved there.
My MAJOR problem was the sweat. I HATE SWEAT. I hate my own sweat, I hate others sweat. The instructor said “sweat is sexy”, but I was thinking ‘no it’s super gross’. I tried my best not to wipe the sweat, but it was really hard. I hate the feeling of it on my body, but the purpose of sweat is to cool the body down, so it is recommended to let it go. I find it an irritation and it almost makes me itch. Don’t even get me started on the people around me… I tried not to look at anyone else because I would’ve freaked out. I know what you’re thinking ‘what did you think was going to happen dummy?’.
The poses itself were typical yoga poses: tree, triangle, bow, awkward, etc. My favorite was probably standing head to knee. I was surprised I could do this right away. I’ve never even tried it before. For those of you unfamiliar, it looks like this:
Now I couldn’t get ALL the way, but with time I know I will. The hardest part was being all slippery! Seriously I sweat in places I didn’t think was possible… But this pose FELT GREAT on my hamstrings. I always complain about how tight they are. I was amazed at how nice and loose they felt after the class.
90 minutes actually went by faster than I expected and at the end my body felt INCREDIBLE. I was almost on this “body high”. I didn’t have a general soreness that I always have after workouts, my knees WEREN’T aching for the first time in AGES, and I had a smile on my face. Plus at the end of the class the instructor announced it was my first class and everyone clapped, kinda cool 😉
I was really worried about my knees going in, and thought if I need to modify things I will, but I didn’t have to at all and my knees felt better than ever walking out. Also, fun fact learned: Bikram used to be a heavy lifter—COOL! but after killing his knees he started this practice of yoga and completely healed his body–I’m sold.
Coming out of the room, Patricia high fived me and we took a few pictures. WARNING I look unrecognizable in these guys, and Patricia looks like a Yoga Bombshell… hey I’m proud of my hot friends!
THUMBS UP! I loved it!
I wasn’t expecting to love it at all, HECK I wasn’t even expecting to like it a little bit! I did though because it was a challenge and my body NEEDED it. Walking out I felt calm, relaxed, and as cliche as it sounds… at peace! I never let my mind go completely, but in class I was so focused that I only thought about class. It was a wonderful change of pace.
I purchased the newbie 30 day unlimited pass. It was only 35 bucks (a steal) and a one time class is 18. So if I go twice in one month I already am getting my bang for my buck. I am definitely going back. The only downside is that it’s a little far and I have to go through the city to get there, but I looked and other Bikram classes closer to me are a little more expensive, so for now I’ll stick with this one!
I’m so happy Patricia talked me into it. I had a blast and I absolutely love trying new things and then sharing it with you guys. Oh and that heart rate monitor?
BOOM! Now don’t pay attention to the time, I accidentally left the clock running after I took off my strap. Not only did I burn 423 calories in the 90 minute class (by the way all Bikram classes are 90 minutes, I looked into this), BUT LOOK AT THE FAT PERCENTAGE! Holy Moly. I thought wait… is this right? 49% of my calories burned were fat calories. That is absolutely unheard of for me. The other day when I lifted and did cardio for a 2 hour session my percentage was only 29. What a huge jump. It’s amazing what different forms of exercise does for our bodies huh?
I was happy with that!
After cleaning up at home, I played with Phoebe. I bought her this lamb chop toy the other day that she loves. Can you find Phoebe?
She’s so small! And the toy takes up half of her… 😉
After a little resting, we went to G-Mama and Pop Pops, I lounged on the couch a little more. I was tired from the lack of sleep. So was Phoebe.. another mid yawn picture.
For dinner I made a healthy shrimp “fried” rice. It turned out great and I will have the recipe posted sometime this week 🙂
I also made enough for some lunches for the work week.
So that was my day and my review of Bikram Yoga. I can’t wait to go back and challenge myself a bit more each time. And YAY I didn’t faint or barf. Although I will confess I felt dizzy during camel pose, but after the instructor said “if you feel dizzy on this one, it’s normal”, I felt better about it.
Have a great Monday. I hope I’ve motivated you and encouraged you to try Bikram! I think everyone should try it at least once.
XOXO With a Cherry On Top,