Stanley Moreria, a fitness enthusiast and fellow blogger shares with us his recent experience in the yoga room. Whether an avid athlete or a newbie to the fitness world, Bikram Yoga proves to be just right for everyone!
“Those new to yoga may not consider Bikram as an introductory class. Conversely, some fitness enthusiast may turn away from Bikram because they fail to see how 26 poses can raise the heart and challenge their fitness. I think there is a happy medium between the two.
Bikram accommodates both the yoga beginner and the athlete. Although I often participate in Group X classes, I don’t have much experience with Mind and Body; I’m new to yoga, but not new to fitness. So, in the midst of the Bikram 30 day challenge, I’m learning a lot. Here are just a few things I’ve learned to help you get the most out of your class:
1. Breathe. You’d think that breathing comes natural, but I often found myself holding my breath during an intense pose. You’ll find out during the class that concentration of breath becomes a common theme. You start with standing deep breathing – Pranayama. Remember this, it’ll save your life 60 minutes into the class.
2. Learn to appreciate Party Time. It’s your first break and opportunity to drink water. This comes after a few initial poses that I like to refer to as the warm-up. No, walking into a room 105 degrees does not count as an auto warm-up of your body.
3. Shavasana with intent. This posture is intended to rejuvenate the body, mind and spirit. You’ll often times hear the instructor talk about allowing blood to flow into the joints to renew and refresh. Shavasana translates to corpse pose. I say Shavasana with intent, because it’s more about reducing your stress and breathing than it is about playing dead. Trust me, if you relax and breathe, you’ll recover and your endurance will increase.
4. Use your options. If you’re just starting, listen for queues from the instructor. Beginners are ask to take a place in the back; use the placement to your advantage and notice the varying degrees of postures.
5. Give 100%. If you can bend back and kick back more, push yourself. An instructor mentioned that if you give 100% you will receive 100% of the benefits. Raise your heart rate by challenging your flexibility and your strength.
I’ve learned all of the above in just a few classes. I’ve gone from sitting out a few poses to being able to complete the class. I enjoy the poses I’ve mastered and focus on the ones that present difficulties. In the end I’ve achieved an amazing workout. Bikram makes me sweat – 105 degrees not considered.”