TitTat’s Kim tries out hot yoga after promises it will change her life…
Bikram Yoga is a set of 26 yoga positions (some of which you’ll recognise from other forms, some you might not) in 38°C heat. Invented by American Bikram Choudhury, it’s been big in Hollywood for years, with plenty of famous aficionados. Simon Pegg goes to the North London one, which may have affected my decision on where to practice….
The positions are supposed to work every part of the body. It builds your strength, muscles and flexibility and most fans claim it keeps them trim. The heat warms your muscles which reduces the likelihood of you getting hurt by overdoing it.
I tried it because my friend said, “you notice the change in your body after the first class”. A fan of the quick (and so far illusive) fix, I headed straight to the studio and signed up for my 30 day trial – the only affordable thing on the menu.
And I did my first class.
And OMG it hurt. It was hot, I got a headache, I felt sick and I was absolutely sopping wet when I left. But I felt amazing. I walked out on air (possibly delirious), supped a coconut water and drifted home.
I was very good and continued the trial for the 30 days, attending as many days a week as I could manage, to the detriment of my social life.
If I could afford to continue, maybe if I had a huge event like a wedding to get in shape for or if I didn’t have a full time job, I would totally sign up. But as I don’t, and I do, it’s not a practical option for me. Bikram yoga may not be for you either, so to help you make the decision, here are my Bikram pros and cons
- You feel pretty good about yourself
- It addresses your whole body
- Flexibility improves in a way you don’t get from even normal yoga
- Slow, manageable weight loss
- Muscle definition (though that takes a while)
- Stamina improves
- Good for stress relief
- Recommended for those with injuries
- Boosts your concentration (if only to take your mind off the pain)
- You leave soaking wet – travelling home is an embarrassment
- Time. You need to dedicate at least three sessions a week to it and classes are 90 minutes (plus travel and drying out time)
- If you did the same about of exercise at the gym, you’d lose weight faster
- It takes a long time to feel results
- It’s well expensive
- It gets quite repetitive
Who should do it?
If you like routine, yoga, want to be flexible, improve your strength and stamina and aren’t too fussed about aerobic exercise, this could be your ideal workout. It’s also fairly sociable and combined with diet and meditation could be a beautiful alternative lifestyle. As long as you can afford to pay for it and have the time to do it.
Either way, I’d definitely recommend going for a trial. They’re well priced and long enough to discover whether it’ll make a difference to your life, and definitely a funny thing to do for a bit of change.