Hot Stinking Yoga

FlamesI am going to veer from my main subject this week into what to do to keep yourself occupied during these dreary months.  Now I know when I say hot yoga or Bikram yoga most of you will cringe at the thought.  I completely understand. I have to say Bikram is a testament to your mental and physical abilities.  I have a serious love hate relationship with this form of torture.  I have Practiced, taught and owned a studio for a about 10 years and I will tell you at times it was amazing, and at times it was the worst of the worst.   I have taken a yearlong break from it all, and am returning as just a student.  It is the hardest hour and half I have experienced, exept childbirth.

If you have tight hamstrings God Bless you.  But that is why you are there remember?   If you don’t like to sweat better go play checkers.  But these are all really just excuses, there are many more, I have heard them all.  When I was teaching, students would see me in the grocery store and I swear they would run the other way so I would not corner them in the bakery having them feel the need to explain  their delinquent yoga attendance.

Here are the top 10 excuses why not to do yoga

  • I hate the heat
  • I am so inflexible
  • It’s so long
  • I don’t like to sweat
  • I am to fat. (What better way to drop a few pounds )
  • I am not in shape enough to do a class like that
  • I just wouldn’t like it
  • I don’t have time
  • I hate yoga (a valid one but I bet they have never done any yoga)
  • I can’t wear those tight little clothes

I myself have used all of these excuses.  But these reasons are all the reasons you might want to go.

As a teacher and student I sympathize with everyone in that room.  It is not easy, everyone is different in his or her bodies and minds. So if you have thought about going into that room but are scared guess what you are not alone.

bikram yoga postures

Dont worry you will not even come close to looking like this…..

bikram yoga poses

This might be a little closer to reality…

Here are a few things I think people should keep in mind when attempting this as a newbie or coming back from the abyss of no exercise.

  • No one cares what you look like in or out of the postures.
  • No one cares how good you are at yoga
  • No one cares what you are wearing unless you coming in flannel pj’s ( I have seen this)
  • Do not judge yourself it’s not everyday we stare at ourselves in a full length mirror (unless  you have some weird habit )
  • Don’t come in with the idea that you will be doing every posture and rocking out an hour and half, you will blow up in the first 3 postures……
  • Think less is more.
  • Thinking you can Cirque du Soleil yourself into the postures is not going to work.
  • Only do what your body can handle no matter what is coming out of the teachers mouth.  Remember they are teaching to many and not every word they say will apply to you.
  • Our egos will tell us go go go…..  people are watching.  When really no one cares but you. They have their own set of problems on their own mats.
  • In the end, some classes are going to suck & some classes are going to be great
  • Go slow build up and don’t let YOU be your worst critic.
  • Come back the next day even if you can’t sit down
  • Ask your teacher questions after class they love it and will help you that’s what they are there for.
  • Most of all give it an honest try!

Let’s sum it up:  Go slow.  Do the minimum and build up. Sometimes class will suck for a host of reasons, the heat or lack there off,  the teacher,  your mental state, or the crippling pain your body is in.  That is okay, come back tomorrow.  Tomorrow will be a dreamy class that will take you to another planet!  You will forget about everything outside of that room, when its over you will get in the car, and may forget where you are going… BLISS!

Generally in life the things that are the hardest are sometimes the things that are the most fulfilling.   They last forever.  I always said in class “if this was easy you would not come back.”

I look at yoga like a relationship with a spouse, child, friend, boyfriend, or job.  It’s not a free ride you have to put the work in for it to work.  That is what the good stuff in life is made of.

Peace love and Hot Yoga.

Ps.. If you think its for you find a great studio in your area here Bikram Yoga Finder

If you live in Vermont the studios in the state are a great representation of what the Bikram series should be  Burlington  Stowe   Mendon  White River Jct.   Montpelier



6 responses to “Hot Stinking Yoga

  1. I entered a Bikram Challenge in June 2013, but I could not complete it. I developed a sweat rash that would not go away & actually damaged my sweat glands (I still have some patches of it left) The doctor recommended 6 month to allow my system to heal complete before going back…Believe me I was not looking for an excuse to quit.
    I was entering wk 5 out of 8 wk challenge (6x /wk) and absolutely in awe with what the yoga was doing to my mind- sprit & body,(besides the painful rash). SO, whatever happens to me in the future, I still recommend Bikram yoga to anyone who likes a challenge and I am grateful for what I’ve learned. .

    • I do believe that Bikram Yoga is not for everyone… I commend you for your great effort that is all that is expected in anything we try in life. I just wanted to share my experiences in that room. I spent a lot!
      There are many other yogas out there. Hope you find something that suits you more.

  2. Great Blog Steph . I love how you took a year off. I think it takes stepping away to really appreciate and benefit from things you do so much. I’ve had to do the same with running for a few weeks , sometimes months at a time. Your column has reinspired me to find my way back to yoga and why I love and need it so much. And to make it all my own humble journey! Xo

  3. I was always wary of yoga for a long time, until a friend of mine got into this yoga craze and would could four days a week, sometimes more than once a day. Finally, she convinced us to go with her one time, and I have to admit, I was surprised by how relaxing it made me feel! So now I try to join her at least once a week, and now she thinks I should try Bikram with her…We’ll see!

    • You should go it is a great experience and give it an honest try I always said at least 5 clases try to do at least 2 classes a week for a period of time and see how it goes. You may love it you may hate it but at least your tried it. Go slow!!! Good luck let me know how it went.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s