Written By Marina Daniell
Anyone (unless medically advised not to) can practice Bikram Yoga; I’ve had pregnant women, recovering drug addicts, injured athletes and obese men and women practice beside me.
The most common fear people have of Bikram Yoga is the heat; “I would love to do a class but I can’t handle the heat!” is what I often hear.
For the majority of people, regular practice of Bikram Yoga will mentally take them to a place they have never been before (I mean you don’t regularly spend 90 minutes of your life in a room heated to 104 degrees with around 40 percent humidity, let alone performing 26 edge-pushing postures). So I’ve come to the conclusion that people’s biggest fear is not the heat, but rather the unknown.
As a beginner I was also concerned about the heat; I spent my first class with a towel in one hand wiping away the sweat. I felt nauseous and dizzy and I couldn’t wait to get out of there.
Why did I go back? And why am I now a regular Bikram Yogi who practices 5 times a week? The main reason is that with just a few weeks of practice, Bikram Yoga completely transformed my body and mind.
Bikram Yoga teaches you how to step outside your comfort zone. It forces you to challenge yourself, face your fears and overcome them.
When I was first introduced to Bikram Yoga I was working a high-pressure corporate job and often had trouble falling asleep. To my amazement after my very first Bikram Yoga class, I slept like a baby. The next morning my body felt stiff but I felt fresh and revived – I wanted more!
Here are 5 ways to overcome your Bikram Yoga fears:
1. Embrace The Heat
Studios open 30 minutes before class so get there early to lie down and acclimatize to the heat. Place yourself near a window, even if the teacher doesn’t open the window during class it’s much cooler there than in the center of the room. Still challenged by the heat? No biggie! Just sit out a few of the postures – what matters most is that you had the courage to attend class.
2. Believe In Yourself
The mind is powerful; what you think, you become. Bikram Yoga won’t only transform your body, it will transform your mind – but you need to enter into it with the strong mindset that you can do it.
3. Strengthen Your Focus
Don’t take your thoughts into class. Thinking about work or those errands you have to do isn’t going to contribute anything positive to your practice – the 90 minutes is all about YOU.
4. Own Your Breath
In all forms of Yoga, emphasis is placed more on the breath than on the postures. It’s important to remember to maintain a slow and steady breath through your nose. Mastering your breath is what’s going to make your practice all the more rewarding and enjoyable.
5. Prepare Your Body
What you do before and after class affects your overall Bikram Yoga experience:
- Don’t eat 2-3 hours before class, it will come back to haunt you.
You’re going to sweat a lot so make sure you prepare yourself by drinking plenty of water in the days leading up to your first class. And after class, rehydrate yourself with water and electrolytes (coconut water is an excellent source of natural electrolytes).
When class is over don’t immediately pick up your mat and bolt for the door. Lie still for a few minutes to allow your body to cool.
Don’t jump into a cold shower straight after class; it’s important that your body cools itself down naturally.
The benefits of Bikram Yoga are many and endless. In the short term you will sleep better, feel happier and have a more energetic and toned body. And in the long term, you will have overall improved physical and mental health.
Many Bikram Yogis will tell you that they have found a greater sense of contentment, self-awareness and gratitude both on the mat and off. If you have told yourself that you “can’t handle the heat”, I hope I’ve inspired you to strengthen your mind, overcome your fears and give it a try. And if you do, let me know how it goes.
About the Author
Marina Daniell is the founder of staple life, an inspiring blog for women about simple living (doing less, so you can live more). A dedicated Bikram Yogi, lover of fashion, beauty and food. When she isn’t in the hot yoga room she can be found rolling fresh gnocchi or pasta for her family, or whipping up beauty products with items from her fridge.
You can follow Marina on Facebook[https://www.facebook.com/staplelife], Twitter [https://twitter.com/staplelife] and Google+ [https://plus.google.com/u/0/100339707975549497897/posts] or check out her blog www.staplelife.com
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Disclaimer: The techniques, strategies, and suggestions expressed here are intended to be used for educational purposes only. The author, Drew Canole, and the associated www.fitlife.tv are not rendering medical advice, nor to diagnose, prescribe, or treat any disease, condition, illness, or injury.
It is imperative that before beginning any nutrition or exercise program you receive full medical clearance from a licensed physician.
Drew Canole and Fitlife.tv claim no responsibility to any person or entity for any liability, loss, or damage caused or alleged to be caused directly or indirectly as a result of the use, application, or interpretation of the material presented here.