I arrived 25 minutes early (as my groupon directed) and got a brief explanation from the woman with the accent at the front desk. "Have you ever done hot yoga before?" - "No" - "Ok, your whole goal today is to make it through the entire class." I wanted to ignore her from that moment on... of course I would make it through the class. She then went on to explain dizziness is normal for first timers and to sit down as much as I needed to. I felt a little insulted until about 25 minutes into the class when I felt like I would pass out. I had a little pride check, I have a lot to learn! My respect for those who do yoga grew ten fold yesterday, and I have since done research and decided to take all 10 of my hot yoga classes in the coming weeks very seriously and get the most out of them I can! If nothing else, I will definitely be sweating out all my toxins and getting the full health benefits of the program (which I will explain in one moment)...
First of all, if you think yoga is a joke and for those spiritual types trying to center their chi, you would be in for a rude awakening in a hot yoga class. The room is 105-110 degrees and 40% humidity. Each class burns from 300-1000 calories (depending on your body type and level and obvious other factors). The heat loosens your muscles which enables you to stretch far beyond your normal capacity. In contrast to the other types of yoga classes, the heat of hot yoga loosens muscles and increases the amount of calories burned during other types of yoga session of the same length. Practitioners of hot yoga claim that regular practice will normalize weight, improve muscle tone, and help you enjoy vibrant good health and well-being.
The benefits of Bikram yoga can be summarized in:
- improving of muscle strength
- better cardiovascular workout
- protecting the muscles allowing for deeper stretching
- encouraging detoxification through open pores
- encouraging better circulation
- making fats in the body more fluid and more easily cleared from the body
Learning about the benefits of this type of exercise only motivated me more (I was pretty awful!), but my goal will be to make it through every exercise and be unbelievably hydrated before my next class. I am excited to have a new exercise in front of me and to have something that challenges me in a physical way. Not to mention, I felt like a new person when I walked out of the studio. There is something motivating in being awful at something, but the release of toxins and cleansing of the pores is no joke! 1 class down, 10 to go. Here's to hoping it gets easier and eaasier for me and I feel better and better over the coming month.