You know when I told you about Hot (sweaty back breaking) Yoga? Well. I'm sorry. I have to take it all back. Hot Yoga is lovely, it really is. It made me sweat, it toned me up, helped me shed pounds and all in all was great fun. It was with this in mind that I signed up to another 30 day pass, this time at another place for Bikram Yoga in Liverpool.
And oh my sweet Jesus. Hot Yoga was nothing.
I couldn't do it. Honestly, after 30 days of pushing it in Hot Yoga I could barely stay in the room. When you pass reception on the way to the class they calmly say "the aim of your first class is just to stay in the room". Well, i suppose I should have known then.
Bikram is traditional Hatha Yoga, 26 poses of it conducted in a precise order along with two breathing exercises for 90 minutes. In a room heated to 46 degrees. Just take a moment to think about how hot that is, that's like India hot everybody.
Anyway, entering the class was like walking on the sun. So flipping hot. I was sweating just from unrolling my mat. I quickly gulped down lots of water, starting to regret those two lattes I'd had an hour before. The class began and after the first breathing exercise I had to sit down. And sat down is how I remained for most of the class. Every time I tried to get up I felt sick and starting seeing spots on the floor. So i sat and sweated and watched as my determined housemate struggled through, stripping off layers as she went. When the class ended it took me minutes to even get up and leave the room.
I left the class feeling defeated, distinctly unwell and rather annoyed I had paid for 30 days. How on earth was I going to do this?
I am now nearing the end of my 30 day pass and preparing to splurge on a membership. It is still very difficult, the heat is still oppressive but more manageable and I don't feel like I'm going to die anymore, which is progress. It's also making a big difference to my body, I'm slimmer and leaner, I can't remember the last time I was in this good shape. Also, as you sweat literal bucket fulls of sweat you have to drink at least 2 litres of water before a class and even more after, this means my skin is in superb condition and while I now spend a lot of time visiting the bathroom I feel as if I'm detoxing slightly. It's difficult to fully explain the benefits of Bikram Yoga as they are so extensive, it transforms your body but that's the very least of it. It's a tool to hold onto every day, something to keep you calm and take you away from every day stresses.
Bikram Yoga is the most physically challenging thing I have ever done. Run a half Marathon? Pah. Come and do a Bikram Class with me after drinking two lattes and no water and I shall take my hat off to you, my very sweaty hat.