I’ve come to accept that I may never run like I used to, which means that I desperately need a new and hopefully, constant fitness regimen. If you’ve been following my blog, you will know that I’ve tried other things to stay fit, but have failed at sticking with one program. I recently tried out a class at Bikram Yoga Manila and discovered that my body is agreeing to it. It wasn’t love at first backbend. In fact, on my first day, I thought I would suffocate and die. But three weeks since that seemingly life-threatening experience, I’ve gone to class at least three times a week and am starting to really love the discipline.
So for newbie yogis like myself, here are some tips on what to avoid when attending a Bikram yoga class.
1. Avoid eating a big meal, at least 2 hours before class. Stay away from food that will cause offensive burps (or gas), like a Filipino breakfast sausage called longganisa, or our famous Jollibee hamburger. Please, for the sake of all the people around you, stick to a fruit and a bottle of Gatorade if you really must eat.
2. Dont’ drink alcohol. The yoga studio that I go to has an 8pm class. If you think you can grab a few happy hour pints before that slot, think again. The website advises people to hydrate with WATER, not beer.
1. Don’t wear anything made of cotton. Bikram yoga is a 90 minute class of 26 postures, executed in a 38˚C room. You will sweat profusely. Cotton pants or shirts will weigh you down and will make you feel more stifled, therefore causing you to pant and make uncomfortable sounds. These sounds can distract the person beside you and can cause them to break their pose. Wear the appropriate attire, which means light (and minimal) clothing. Stick to dri-fit material or simply wear a bathing suit. Believe me, when you’re sweating liters of water, you’ll want as little clothes as possible.
2. Don’t panic. My yoga instructor always tells her first timers that they will never forget their first Bikram yoga class. This is true because it really feels like you’re going to die amongst a class of 25 fit people. Breathing will be very difficult, but you will not die, so just focus on your breath and take it slow on your first day. Don’t attempt to do all the postures because you’re afraid that people will judge you and think you’re weak. Yes, I am projecting my first Bikram experience. Allow your body to acclimatize to the heat and you will eventually learn to embrace it.
3. Don’t make too much noise. Everyone grunts and sighs during a class, especially with the difficult poses, but learn to take control of your breathing. Panting and gasping for air is only going to make it even more difficult for you to breathe. Inhale and exhale through your nose, slowly.
4. Don’t laugh. It’s normal for people to pass gas during the 90 minute session, and when someone beside you let’s one rip, just ignore it and concentrate on your pose. You also don’t want to waste your breath, especially on your first time.
5. Don’t be conscious of your body. Again, another projection of my first experience. Who cares what you look like, what matters is that you are off the couch and exercising. So embrace and celebrate your body, in and out of the studio, and watch it transform for the better.
Namaste.————————— Bikram Yoga Manila Locations MAKATI Address: 15/F 88 Corporate Center, Valero St. cor. Sedeño St., Salcedo Village, Makati Telephone Numbers:
(+63 2) 889 0126 / 576 8391 QUEZON CITY Address: 5/F CKB Centre, Tomas Morato Ave. cor. Scout Rallos St., Quezon City Telephone Numbers: (+63 2) 376 4632 / 494 8471