Wednesday 5 October 2011

New to Bikram yoga?

In next two months we are expecting many new people in our studio. Here are some tips for you :)

Bikram Yoga Tips for Beginners:

1. Arrive early to your first few classes. The first time you go, you will have paper work to fill out. The next few times after, you want to get there about 15 minutes before class starts (at least) to acclimate to the heat in the room. Be careful though, it easy to doze off if you lay down on your back.

2. Where as little clothing as possible, but still be appropriate. A lot of girls tend to wear long yoga pants. I did that for over two years. I should have switched to shorts a lot sooner. I recommend yoga shorts for girls, and a yoga tank top or sports bra. Guys seem to be a little shy in their first few classes and don't want to take off their shirts. Big mistake. A loose t-shirt gets in the way. And to be quite honest, even if you are the hottest guy we've ever seen, chances are, the other people around you probably won't be checking you out during class. You get so focused on your practice that you don't often see the details on another person.

3. Remember to drink water; but only between postures. My sister (Red) and I had a similar experience in our first classes. We both felt so nauseated that we were afraid to drink water. We thought if we did, we would puke. But you need to sip water during the class. But sip it. Don't chug it. And remember to drink only between postures, as it is less distracting to other people around you.

4. If you feel like you are going to pass out, sit down on your knees. I've been so tired lately, I have had to sit down during a few poses myself yesterday. We almost had a girl faint in class a few Fridays back. The teacher gave her some coconut water. She was back in action a few minutes later. (Coconut water helps!)

5. Try not to talk during class. If you come with a friend or spouse its tempting to talk a little but try not to. It is very distracting for other people in the class who are trying to meditate . Thank you :)

6. Don't leave the classroom. It would be so easy to just leave when you feel very hot. But please don´t. You are doing yourself a favor by staying in the room and adapting. Soon your body will get used to the heat and make it more manageable!

7. Accept that even if you have done a different kind of yoga for years, Bikram yoga will still be hard the first time.  Bikram is a "hard-core" but "beginner-friendly" yoga. .

8. Don't eat three hours (at least) before class. Sometimes, I don't eat for for or five hours before class. If you have a heavy meal that you don't digest before class, you will regret it when you bend forward and feel like you're going to puke. And I have heard tales (recent ones) of people puking in class.

9. REST after final breathing. There are so many people I see (both new and experienced) that hop up after class as soon as the final breathing exercise is done. This is bad. You need to plan for time to rest on your back after class. Getting up too quickly just to get out of the hot room (or catch your train) means you're not taking advantage of all the hard work you just spent 90 minutes doing. Your body needs to rest. For at least two minutes. I prefer five minutes myself.

10. Don't be ashamed to cry. Bikram yoga can be very emotional. All that backwards bending opens up the heart chakra. Some people see "green stars" the first few times they do camel pose. That means their heart chakra is beginning to open. I tell them, "That's awesome! Good for you! You are making progress!" But some people cry when they open that heart chakra. I cried a little one time during locust pose. I don't why I cried, but it was just so emotional for me.

11. Come back to practice again soon. My first class was Monday, October 11, 2004. I came back the very next day for a second class. And for the past four, almost five, years I am glad to see my interest in practicing Bikram has stuck. If you come back the next day for your second class, maybe it will be the same for you?

(Modified Tips from

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