We’ve all heard about it, we all know someone who does it, however there’s something so terrifying about doing yoga in a 40 degree room that you fail to ever make it to a class yourself. Sound like you?
So I took the plunge to let you all know the skinny on Bikram, or should I say how quickly you can get skinny!
I decided to take a midday class, not too early so I could at least feel good about going. Waking up at 10am starving hungry I already regret the idea of going as it’s recommended not to eat two hours before the class. So I quickly get dressed, drink a pint of water to take my mind of my stomach and decide to pick up a Starbucks latte on my way to wake up. I arrive at the west London location about 30 minutes before the start of the class, I take my time to fill out the necessary forms to sign up, change and grab a rented matt and towels. Taking note from all the pro’s I go inside the sweltering studio, try to relax and stretch a little bit before the class starts.
Initially when stepping inside the studio I felt like I had been magically transported to Dubai in the middle of July, they definitely don’t exaggerate when they say it’s over 40 degrees in there. I quickly take a spot by the window, with the logic that there must be some sort of draft coming in from the outside to help me cope with the heat. I guess I should have know better, as I soon realised that not only is there no draft, but I also picked a spot right underneath the heater vent. (God help me!)
Right on time the instructor marches in and orders everyone to “stand up, feet together, hands by the sides.” Here we go. We start of the hour and half class with a breathing exercise that apparently stretches out the lungs, but much represents the actions and sounds of a cobra, and when demonstrated is honestly a little frightening. After about two minutes of this we move onto the first of the 26 poses, at which point it hits me that this is not just your regular light stretching yoga class, this is a real workout! Each pose is done twice, the second set always held for a shorter period of time than the first you’ll be glad to know. The first hour of the class is a standing series of postures, which stretches and twists your body in ways that you will not experience else where. The last thirty minutes of the class are floor postures, which I must say agree with my body a lot more than the first lot.
After the initial dizziness and wanting to be sick, which you soon get used to, you realise that the class, although very challenging is also very enjoyable. There is an amazing feeling that rushes through you as you are able to conduct the postures, not always with great control but there’s something that keeps you trying again, pushing harder and fighting the urge to throw something at the instructor for doing this to you.
After the class is over, dripping with sweat i take a quick shower and wow! I have truly never felt better. Feeling light as air and full of energy I almost skip back to my car, I definitely put my introductory thirty days for £30 pass to good use and the change in my body was unbelievable, I watched myself become more toned and trim with every class. No more excuses!