My experience with Bikram Yoga
The first time I did Bikram Yoga, was when I lived on the Gold Coast in Queensland Australia, in the middle of summer. Being the middle of summer in Queensland, it was around 35” outside and very humid…. So it was hot and humid outside…and inside!
For those of you who don’t know what that is …Bikram yoga is a form or yoga that has been modified from Hatha yoga, runs for around 90 minutes. Each class has the same 26 poses each time, and is performed in an enclosed room at a temperature of around 35-42’ AND 40% humidity.
It is designed to push you out of your comfort zone, push you past your so called physical and mental limits and the high heat and humidity is present so that you take focus off everything else going on in your mind and all you can think about is getting through the next 90 minutes, stretching further than your body has ever stretched before….both physically and mentally.
So as you can possibly imagine, that first time I did Bikram in the Queensland heat, was very off putting and I never went back. Wrong timing, I guess.
Fast forward 6 or 7 years, and now, my reason for trying this hot yoga, or Bikram yoga was for that very reason. It was now time to get out of my comfort zone, move away from the things I knew how to do and felt comfortable doing, and branch into a whole new environment.
Time to train myself to relax, to breathe, to allow some flow. instead of feeling constant resistance and pressure.
Just a little about me at this very point in time….
Over the last few months, I have realised that there are many things I have needed to change within my fitness regime, lifestyle and relaxation techniques. I have gone “flat out” for years, taught far too many group fitness classes a week, over trained with too much cardio and not given any time to relaxing, stretching or trained my parasympathetic nervous system.
I didn’t even know what the “parasympathetic” nervous system was or what it did until a few years ago.
This high paced, hard out training regime, along with a relationship rollercoaster resulted in me crumbling. I crashed and burned. I was physically, and emotionally I was drained and at an all time low. My body was injured, my soul was hurting and I had to stop.
I’m pretty sure it all started from the end of a very destructive 10 year relationship that almost destroyed me, and I was just running.
Running from everything. I made SO many mistakes and kept punishing myself and my body with more exercise.
I think it became my escape.
But I always had big dreams… big dreams to be happy, be in a happy relationship, be successful in business, create my own empire and abundant in all ways possible.
Man have I made some f**k-ups! All this did was make me run more, become more stressed, crumble with the effects of adrenal fatigue and end up with more injuries to the point that I HAD to back off from all the exercise that I was doing. I had to face myself.
Do you ever feel like you are running? It’s not that pleasant right. I just want to stop, breathe and feel at peace with myself and where I am at in this world.
Now, I am embracing the changes I make making, and I am feeling a calmness come over me, not all the time as I still freak out, but it’s coming.
As far as Bikram and me go…. the jury is out. I’m not really sure whether it’s the form of yoga I wish to continue with, it’s not what I need, but I will persist a little longer.
I’m undecided whether this form of yoga is my preferred means of relaxing. I know it is good for me, but my biggest question would be around the heat.
If we are meant to be training our parasympathetic nervous system, with relaxing the body in mind, placing to yourself in a hot humid environment we may actually increase physical stress by trying to cope with the intense heat.
I’m curious to know what others opinions and findings are on this point…
Over and out