- Exercise & Fitness
Bikram Yoga Review
In the beginning of January, my boyfriend and I, along with hundreds of other New Year’s Resolutioners, purchased the Bikram Yoga Groupon to Bikram Yoga Westboro. We both regularly practice the more traditional Hatha style of yoga, and decided to give the infamous “hot yoga” a try, after hearing both raving and horrific Bikram Yoga reviews from our friends.
Well, what I found out was that Bikram is more than simply practicing yoga in a heated room. Although the poses are similar to traditional yoga postures, Bikram yoga follows a decidedly different ideology.
What is Bikram Yoga?
After taking the class I can tell you that Bikram yoga experience is:
- exerting yourself in borderline unbearable heat and humidity,
- getting cozy with many people of all shapes and sizes (wearing little clothing) crammed into the same hot, sweaty room,
- listening to an instructor spewing drill style instructions,
- standing in a puddle of your own sweat,
- and ultimately satisfying and cathartic.
It seems as though the hour and a half of regimented sweating, balancing and stretching was meant solely to be suffered through, but when we began the final breathing sequence, I experienced a wonderful, completely drained, cathartic feeling. After the instructor turned out the lights and let us cool down in the dark, I truly appreciated the ability to simply lay against my yoga mat and let my body relax.
After drinking some water with electrolytes, which they sold for a dollar at the desk, I got dressed, and walked outside to revel in the cool January air.
Health Benefits of Bikram Yoga
I consider myself a reasonably fit person; a rock climber, yoga student, Pilates student, and a hiker. I did not feel like I got a significant "work out” from the class (though the back of my legs were quite sore), but I did feel like it challenged my flexibility and balance, and of course, I sweated more than I have ever sweated in my life.
The tremendous amount of sweating in Bikram is a good thing-- it lets toxins exit your body, and the heat allows your muscles and tendons to stretch further. So instead of being grossed out by it, drink lots of water and let the sweat pour!
Dangers of Bikram Yoga
The militaristic style of Bikram Yoga can be exactly what some people need, but never stop listening to your own body. The teachers will tell you to push harder and harder, but if you are not performing a pose correctly you can cause serious injury to yourself. I would not suggest practicing Bikram until you have practiced other traditional forms of yoga, and know when to take a break when you need it.
What was your Bikram yoga experience?
In conclusion: Bikram Yoga is not for everyone, and should be practiced with care. I’m not sure that I’m an official convert to the Bikram Yoga religion, but I do think that the practice is worth it and I can even see why some are addicted to it. If you can find a good Bikram Yoga deal, and are reasonably in shape, go ahead and give it a try. You might love it!