Why I love Bikram!

(source)

Disclaimer: I am not a yoga instructor and I am still relatively new to the Bikram Yoga practice.  Everything I’m writing for this post is expressly my opinion from my experiences so far.  If you have questions about Bikram Yoga and how it can help you, please contact your local Bikram Studio and speak with a dedicated instructor.

Hey Everyone!

How were your Tuesday’s?  My week is just getting busier and busier and that means the stress levels are getting to a bit of a high, I’m afraid.  I’m even sadder to report that due to my busy workload, I don’t even have anything fun food-wise to report to you all. I promise to make it up to you tomorrow night!

Normally, I deal pretty well with stressful situations; I just set my teeth and plow through it- and try not to think about how stressed I am.  I’m kind of in the mindset where, if you think about your stress it only gets worse, but if you just ignore the stress and focus on the task at hand- you’re far more productive.

However, I this is the first time I’ve been stressed since starting my new job and I think it’s caught me off guard since it’s been a few months since I’ve been STRESSED! And since my ankle is still on the mend, I’m not really able to run, so I went to the next best activity: Bikram Yoga!

I’ve mentioned this li’l activity before in the past and I am shamelessly addicted.  I’ve been practicing various forms of Yoga on and off for the past couple of years but never before had I ventured into Bikram. When I sprained my ankle back in June, I decided that once I was “healed” enough, I would give it a shot.

To those of you who haven’t tried it yet- you better hop on this bandwagon fast because you will be kicking yourself for not having tried it sooner- this I promise you! If you’re not really sure what Bikram Yoga is, check out this site for a full description.  But essentially Bikram is a form of Hot Yoga, where you are practicing 26 poses of the Asansa series in a 40 degree (Celcius) room.

Yoga, among other things, really focuses on breathing and controlling your body, Bikram is no different.  The whole class is essentially one, big, elaborate, and extremely hard, breathing exercise, and to do it properly, you need to focus, focus, focus.

This is why I love Bikram so much, the practice really challenges me to forget everything else- work, stress, fights, bad days, whatever- you just forget about it and let it all out on the mat.  It is truly an enlightening experience.

Another reason why I love Bikram so is that it really demands that I take care of my body.  In preparation for class you will perform so much better if you follow these simple rules:

–         Get plenty of rest the night before

–         Drink plenty of water

–         Don’t eat anything at least 3 hours before

–         Drink plenty of water

–         Come with a positive attitude

–         Drink plenty of water

In case you didn’t notice, you best be sure you are hydrated my friends before coming to class. If you aren’t, you will feel dizzy, nauseous and will find yourself sitting out of a lot of poses that you really want to be doing.

As for the abstaining from eating 3 hours beforehand (which is recommended by my studio), I find this is good practice as it allows your body to digest and absorb the nutrients of your meal before practicing. Otherwise, again you will feel nauseous and may need to sit out for some poses.

Because I enjoy practicing Bikram on a regular basis (I am for 3 times a week) I find myself paying more attention to how I fuel and hydrate my body during the day.  I will make smarter choices that create a well-rounded diet and include protein, carbs, and fats and consequently, my attitude throughout the day improves because of this as well.  My only complaint is the all-too frequent trips to the bathroom that only a few litres of water will bring you.

Also, one word to the wise if you for any reason stop going on a regular basis, you need to start all over again and it will be 10 times  harder after a 1-2 week “break” to get back into Bikram.

All in all, Bikram has helped me manage my stress, keep up my healthy living practices and made me a more happy and centered person.  If you haven’t tried it yet, give it a shot- you’ll never know what it could do for you!

Question: Have you ever tried Bikram Yoga or other forms of Hot Yoga? Do you like it better or less than other forms of Yoga?

I promise to be back with a beautiful recipe for tomorrow, until then, have a wonderful evening mes amis 🙂

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About Jess @ MTL Veggie

Jess, the face behind The MTL Veggie is a vegetarian, athlete, marketer and Torontonian turned Montrealer. In her spare time she enjoys cooking, photography, running, yoga, skiing, and of course blogging. The MTL Veggie recaps her recipes, restaurant reviews, and what it's like to be a Leafs fan living in Montreal (hint: scary at times).
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One Response to Why I love Bikram!

  1. I have tried yoga, and when I do it, I love it.. but I just haven’t been able to fully get into it.

    Keep reading my post over and over and over again on stress. 🙂 Glad you have an outlet!

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