Today I discovered a new love, and I feel like I want to share.
I’ve enjoyed doing online yoga for a little while now. For me it hits all the right buttons in terms of how it makes me feel in my body and my mind. It’s helped me to reconnect with some long lost childhood pastimes like standing on my head, and doing bend backs. I’ve always needed intense outdoor exercise like running, and I think yoga compliments and balances running perfectly.
I have gone to the occasional ‘real’ yoga class, but today I did my first Bikram yoga class and it was amazing. Essentially it’s yoga in a 40 degree C room, otherwise known as a sauna!
The advice I got before I started the class (from the lovely girl at reception, who turned out to be the yoga teacher) was that if I started feeling overwhelmed, and I would, just to sit down. There was also a space for emergency contact on the registration form…I was a bit worried.
I walked into the hot box (yoga studio) initially just to feel the heat, and see what it did to me. The class hadn’t started so it was OK to leave the room again, thank goodness. I quickly downed an extra litre of water and then re-entered. Once the class starts you can’t leave (or speak) for 90 minutes. After a while I became relatively accustomed to the heat. Sweat was just pouring off me, and my clothes looked like I’d been standing in a shower!
I know that yoga has numerous positive effects on my body and mind, and with hot yoga it felt like everything was just taken to a whole new level. The breath felt deeper, stretches more intense and obviously the challenge of working drippy is both a mental and physical one. Huge amounts of sweating equals serious detoxification through your skin which is what makes Bikram yoga so unique.
My energy levels afterwards were highhhh, and stayed high until late afternoon when I started to really flag. I felt like I’d done some pretty big exercise. That’s a feeling I haven’t had for a very long time (a past life perhaps, back in my triathlon days) and it felt unreal. I love discovering new and interesting things in life, especially when they have such a positive impact on me.