Bikram Yoga: It’s Getting Hot In Here

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Oh great, just when you think the cold season is over, here comes yet another Nor’easter. However, this time around while people bundle, hustle and bustle through streets heading home to escape the winter giant, why not go rogue and go to Bikram Yoga Union Square? For those not familiar with this variation, it is a mind blowing experience. Bikram aka hot yoga is practiced between 101-105 degrees for ninety minutes.

 Whoa Nelly that is hot indeed!

 The practice of Bikram yoga is composed of twenty six postures. They are broken down to thirteen postures performed while standing and the remainder on the floor. Each pose with the exception of a few on the floor are repeated twice and held between ten to thirty seconds. Additionally, after the warm up participants for the length of the session no longer breath normally through the mouth, but instead through the nose.

 Reset the panic button if you can, but there is nothing to fear. Think about it this way- even if you do not return and decide this variation of Yoga is not for you, then go for the experience. However, if you bravely accept the mission here are a few tips to make your Bikram yoga practice the best yet.

 Proper Clothing

 Would you wear sweaters, long sleeved shirts, excessive makeup and or bling to a sauna? I hope the answer is no, therefore stay neutral with clothing that allows movement instead of restrictions.

 Ladies: Keep it simple; a pair of shorts and a tank top and if you’re confident enough then a sports bra will suffice as well. Additionally, a pair of waterproof active wear pants are a good alternative.

 Gentlemen: You guys are easy, because all you have to do is don on a pair of swim trunks (easy on the speedos) and or a pair of shorts.

Equipment:

 Yoga Mat: All if not some yoga places do supply yoga mats, however, for the sake of personal upkeep, it is recommended to bring your own.

 Towel(s): Things are different for everyone when it comes to how many towels one should bring, however, usually people bring two. One large one to lay on top of the yoga mat, and a face towel so you can keep your perspiration in check and away from your eyes and face. Whatever you decide to do is always your choice.

 Water:

This is probably the most essential item to pack aside from dry clothes. Keep in mind that your body is losing heat and causing you to sweat more than usual, so it’s important to stay hydrated. Usually, the rule of thumb is to drink a couple of hours before and it is super important to drink during the practice. Also, it is recommended to bring either one large or two small bottles and after the practice, drink more water once more.

 The perks:

  • Increased flexibility

  • Decreased Body Weight, High Blood Pressure and Cholestrol

  • Increased state of presence

  • Helps alleviate back pain and much more.

Bikram etiquette:

 Nobody is perfect, but in order to ensure that you get the most of out of your practice, be courteous and leave your cell phone in the locker room.

Additionally, there are no “breaks” or intermissions during the practice so if you feel a little off beat or perhaps the heat is too much to handle, usually some yoga instructors will inform you to quietly get on the floor and lay face up.

The air is much cooler on the floor than standing up. Once you have regained your senses, then feel free to resume where you left off and voila!, you now have bragging rights to say that you conquered Bikram Yoga.

By : Laura M Artis

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