Two things about me:
1. I HATE to work out. Hate it. No matter how much of a routine it becomes, I still hate it. No matter how fun or how easy (only to hurt later) and no matter who I go with I still hate working out. Unfortunately, I've hit a point in my life though where I HAVE to do something no matter how much I hate it.
2. What do I hate even more than working out? Sweating. Ugh. I hate to sweat. Yes, I live in a ridiculously hot state. We believe in a good AC. One that requires you to cover up sometimes it's so cold. The only kind of workouts I tend to do are ones where it feels like I'm getting a nice good stretch in and feel like crap the next day. The least amount of effort for the best result is my kind of thing.
So why the hell would I take a hot yoga class? Well I do like those nice stretchy kind of workouts and I've always heard great things about it. So about a month ago I purchased a Groupon for Bikram Yoga and finally used it this weekend.
A few things to know about Bikram:
Be sure to hydrate well the day before. Clear pee is what you want.
It's 90 minutes long. It will seem like FOREVER the first time.
Wear form fitting clothes that are comfortable and let you move. You don't want to wear pants. Find some running shorts. You probably want to stay away from cotton. Both times I've worn a small form fitting t-shirt. I have a tank but for me I need something to wipe my hands and face on. I haven't worn a tank yet, but I have one. A lot of people will wear next to nothing. There are a lot of bathing suit like clothes in that room. Just don't wear anything baggy. It'll weigh you down.
There's a lot of water rules. You can't drink until after the fourth pose, when your instructor tells you it's ok. It's about 20 mintues into the class. After that you can only drink between poses. I recommend not drinking towards the end when you're doing a lot of bending a curling type poses. Both times it's made me want to throw up.
Take a full bottle with you and another for after class. Keep that one in the cubby you'll want it after class. Your water will also start to get warm as you drink more and the class goes on.
The instructor doesn't do the moves with you. She or he just walks you through them. As a beginner you'll be in the back of the class and can see what the others are doing. I've taken a few Body Flow classes and none of the moves were new to me. You can see all the moves here. There are 24 total moves and two breathing exercises. You do each move twice.
You'll have to take a yoga mat and a towel. You put the towel on your mat and you'll need it. You're so dang sweaty you will sweat through that towel. I also take a large rag to wipe my face on. It also comes in handy to lay your face on if you're tall like me and your towel isn't long enough. You may also want to bring a change of clothes or something to sit on in the car.
You can't leave the room. If you feel like dying you just lay down. Everyone does it. Don't feel like you can't or that you're cheating if you do.
So how did my first class go? I'm not going to lie - I walked into the room and almost walked right back out. It was HOT. (I think it's supposed to be 105). I didn't think I'd be able to make it.
In fact, I wasn't sure that I'd make it through the first breathing exercise. My arms STILL hurt from it.
I think I had to lay down about 4 times my first time. I made it to the 6th move before I felt like I was going to throw up. I never felt dizzy during the class or like I would faint, it was just this naseous feeling and I really did only get that feeling when I would drink and we were about to curl up or something.
I took my 2nd class the very next day. This is actually recommended. I did really well the 2nd class. I felt great and I didn't have to lay down once.
I can pretty much do all the moves. They're actually very easy and made for beginners. I've picked them up in other classes I've done, but you really don't need to know them before you go.
After my first class I came home and ate lunch and then took about a two hour nap. After my second I was still exhausted, but not quite like I had been the day before.
I sweated like I've NEVER sweat before. I sweat through every piece of clothing and both towels. I was DISGUSTING. After the 2nd class it was kind of refreshing. I never thought I'd actually LIKE to sweat like that.
In fact here I am in all my sweaty glory.
I admit to fixing my hair before. It was one hot mess during class, but honestly you just don't care. You really don't care what you look like or what the others look like. You really are just pushing yourself to get through the class and to get through each move one at a time.
I think that's what I like about the class. It's nice to kind of sweat it out and to push yourself. Once you've done one of the classes it's this great sense of accomplishment. You lasted 90 minutes of intense heat while working out and lived to tell the tale.