Day 2: Not for Beginners

Margaret Kruszewska

MS_Bikram_day2.jpgAlthough the flyer says, “beginners welcome” I would not recommend stepping into a Bikram class if you’ve never done yoga before. The instructions are never modified, so although the teacher knew it was my first time in a Bikram studio, there was no attempt at a more detailed explanation or suggestion for a modified pose.

And then there’s the heat. I can’t imagine someone with blood pressure or heart issues being able to go through the rigor of a 90 minute session in 105 degrees and not collapsing.

I actually have low blood pressure and several times coming in and out of postures I felt that mini black-out feeling that happens when you get up too fast. I purposely slowed myself down but the instructor kept remarking that we should be moving into the 20 second relaxation pose faster!“Because you only have 20 seconds so the faster you come up and down the more time you have in relaxation.” Huh?

A major focus in this routine is to work the internal organs which include not only the digestive tract but also the glandular system. Many good things from this cleansing effect: I notice that I’m drinking more water during the day, sleeping well and not eating sweets as much. Supposedly the routine is great for losing weight. The flyer explains the heat helps to “speed up the breakdown of glucose and fatty acids (helping with weight loss). Not having a scale I don’t know if this is true but if so it could also be due to the amount of water you’re losing through perspiration.

However, the one thing I don’t notice is any change in my upper body muscle tone. Usually after intense yoga sessions I notice my upper arms becoming more defined quickly. The Bikram sequence doesn’t emphasize upper arm postures, but I do notice almost immediate difference in my leg muscles. Most of the class is focused on strengthening the legs.

A refreshing change from almost all other yoga classes I’ve attended–no downward dog! Those of you familiar with my previous rant about the current obsession with downward dog will realize the humor in this — I actually missed it in this routine, maybe just one in there? But then we might just slide away in that puddle of sweat!

10 Days with Bikram Yoga

[tags] Bikram yoga, yoga poses, Bikram studio, yoga practice[/tags]

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