Monday, June 29, 2009

Bikram Yoga kicked my A@#$!!!!

I drove to Seattle last weekend for a family BBQ. I had been looking forward to Friday evening because I planned to attend my first Bikram Yoga class. I have been intimidated by 'Hot Yoga' and so when my sister Carrie said she had started the classes, I thought this was the perfect opportunity to be gently introduced to this type of yoga. I started practicing yoga about 4 years ago when my friend Erica invited me to a class in Corvallis. The Yogi who taught the class had studied Iyengar Yoga in India and I was floored by how wonderful Yoga made me feel both physically and spiritually. It was actually those first yoga classes that made me wonder how I could provide that same feeling of centered freeness for people with dementia. It was life changing really. Thanks Erica!

Iyengar is my favorite type of yoga, but any combination of Hatha yoga moves and meditation work for me. I think hands down that meditation is the hardest thing I have ever tried. Even harder than Golf! We just aren't programmed to let go of our heads and concentrate only on our breathing sounds. It is tough!

Bikram Yoga is comprised of the following 26 poses. Pretty much you go through two sets of each of these poses in a really hot room-- 105 degrees hot-- over the course of 90 minutes.
So here is my opinion about Bikram Yoga: I was very happy to have some familiarity with some of the poses. It definitely helped increase my comfort level in a very physically uncomfortable environment. For about the first 30 minutes, I felt pretty good about the class. I was sweating, but not feeling bad and excited about how the heat was positively influencing my flexibility. Minutes 30 through 60 I was starting to feel like my insides were dangerously hot. I was focusing on my poses and in the meantime didn't realize how lousy I was starting to feel. The last 30 minutes were Hell! I was feeling dizzy, woozy, and remember looking over at my sister wondering how much longer we had left? I remember thinking, "Geez, this pose is much more enjoyable when I don't feel like I need to vomit"!   After taking a long break from practicing yoga, I always feel crappy after my first few times back, but the feeling I had from Bikram Yoga was about 100 times worse! Good thing my sister drove, because I had to go back to her house and lay on the couch for approximately 60 minutes before I could get my butt off her couch! 

Here is the funny thing-- the next morning I was SO SORE in such a wonderful way and I felt fantastic. I think I did sweat all those toxins out of my system and despite the extreme lousiness I felt the night before, I wanted more. There is a Hot yoga place in Sellwood and I think I might have to go soon!

Thanks Carrie for going with me (I'm a big wuss), paying for my session as a b-day present, and driving my sick butt home! I hope to go again with you soon!

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