Acceptance: My First Bikram Yoga Session

I did my first ever Bikram yoga session this Friday gone. What an amazing yet hellish idea. I choose my words carefully.

Bikram yoga is a series of 26 yoga postures and 2 breathing exercises done in a room heated up to 105 degrees F (40 C). Prepare to sweat buckets and to see people of all shapes and sizes in very little clothing.

Your yoga mat is covered with a large towel which is dripping wet by the end. The postures themselves are not out of the yoga-ordinary nor are the breathing exercises. The major thing that strikes you from the moment you check out the website until the moment you say good bye to the smiley-faced staff behind the reception is the ultra professionalism at hand. From the expert headset-lead tuition to water bottles to the rentals (mats and towels) to the beautiful shower facilities. This is definitely Yoga for the 21st century.

Now to the session itself. The first hurdle is the heat. It is overwhelming. But thankfully, that's also the biggest hurdle. Once you are past the first 10 minutes or so (there's no direct way of knowing as there were no clocks on the walls!) you adjust a little to it. The exercises are challenging but not too challenging and, thankfully, the toughest ones come with levels and versions (if you've been here less than 9-10 times do this, but we are aiming to, over time, do that). It really was a hell of a session (all pun intended) and I warmly (last one I promise) recommend it to everyone.

One a personal note, as some of you who kindly follow this blog will know, I went there to:
  1. Experience it first hand*
  2. Pick up some notes on posture and positions for my own lunch-time practice sessions**
As I sat there in one of the postions, I looked in the mirror. I was covered in sweat. My arms and legs pretzeled in a crap rendition of Rickson and my belly was hanging out and I was happy. I accpeted myself.


*so many people were offering their own personal views on why I should or shouldn't go. Many of whom had actually never been themselves. Experience is king!

**I also wanted to check this as a potential weekly activity for Sharon and I to do together but unfortunately due to last minute shift changes she couldn't make it. Next time hopefully.

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Meerkatsu said...

Was it expensive?
I'm in two minds about yoga. I'm put off by all the bleeding lovey types I meet at work who bang on about it all the flipping time, but I also recognise it as a very good complement to jiu jitsu.

The Part Time Grappler said...


I didn't really think of it in terms of expensive or not. Don't laugh. I'm not rich. I didn't go there thinking how much it'd cost in the long run or anything like that. I seldom think like that nowadays anyways. The class was 90 minutes and they charged me £10 for it and I've spent soooo much more on so much less. You can rent a yoga mat and a towel (£1 each) and you could buy water bottles but I had my own stuff. To be fair, their website tells you exactly what you need and it's only those who don't WANT to bring their own kit who need to rent.

With regards to the lovey types...just don't tell them :) at least not that you're off to try yoga. Who knows? Keep it on the down low and see if you like it. Maybe you'll LOVE IT. Maybe you'll turn into one yourself :)