Surviving Bikram yoga: Day 10

I did it!  I’ve hit the recommended 10 days in the first month of practice.  In fact, I went back and counted and I did it in 14 days.  I’m really proud of myself.

Class was interesting last night.  It had been raining all day and as soon as I entered the studio, it was HOT.  Like humid hot.  I thought, oh jeez, Pong has gone off the deep end and put it up to 150 degrees and we are all going to boil.  I’m not even kidding!

There was a handful of new people, including a woman I recognized from my old studio.  She came in with full length yoga pants and I knew she was going to roast.

A few poses in, she leaves the room.  Why this only happens in Pong’s classes, I do not know!  So Pong goes out, has her come back in and just sit.  About 15 minutes later, the woman starts beating her chest with her hand and runs out again with Pong following her.  Thank goodness my beloved Aimee was in the room practicing, so she takes over while the woman is experiencing some sort of emergency for the rest of class.

This woman’s experience, along with others, reaffirms everything I’ve read about the importance of coming to class prepared.  You have to drink your 64 ounces of water before class and be doing that for several days before class if it’s your first time.  You have to stop eating three hours before class, but make sure that the last thing you eat is substantial and not fatty.  You have to wear clothing that is as skimpy as possible without sacrificing your own modesty levels.  You have to not be a hero because you are a superstar at the gym- sit down if things get intense.  These are the things I would pound into anyone who wants to try this out.  It doesn’t matter if you’ve done yoga before, hot or not.  Bikram is different.

After 10 classes, I can tell that my body is different.  The practice of Bikram makes it different.  As I’m going through class, I’m trying to become more aware of what is happening to my body, by my body, and in my body.  Since I have quasi-neuromuscular issues, this helps me to really make the connection in postures and get a deeper appreciation for what I’m being asked to do in class.

I hunted around and this is what I found Bikram yoga does for your body after you’ve been going for at least 10 classes:

  • Muscles are contracted and stretched at a cellular, biochemical level. Lipids and proteins reorganize optimally in such stretching, allowing for better circulation. Joint mobility and range of motion is increased, and strength is built by the use of gravity. Muscles and joints are balanced.  I’ve read that flexibility increases about 30% or more for most people.
  • Blood and calcium are brought to the bones. Working against gravity strengthens the bones. The organs of the immune system within the bones (red marrow) are boosted.
  • The lymph nodes are massaged, lymph is pumped throughout the body, and white blood cells are distributed throughout the body as the lymphatic system works more efficiently.
  • There is compression and extension to the thymus, spleen, appendix and intestines; lungs are stretched and flushed out by increased blood circulation. The endocrine glands are encouraged to secrete appropriate hormones, and the communication between hormones and various glands and systems of the body is perfected. Toxins and waste are eliminated through the organs of elimination.
  • The nerves are stimulated by compression and extension, improving communication within the systems of the body and supplying fresh blood, oxygen and nutrients throughout. The brain is stimulated by improved circulation and by varying blood pressure.

I can’t believe I feel so great after two weeks.  Don’t get me wrong, I curse the day every time I get into certain postures because my legs are so weak but it’s a great mental challenge.

I ordered my headbands!  I chose the tie dye four pack, which was $14.  This is a great deal, since it also was with free shipping.  Normally, these things are $5 a piece in the store. I can’t wait to wear them!


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