It’s cold and rainy outside, my workout schedule says yoga so what better than hot yoga. There are a number of hot yoga classes around, but since I have a 40 class pass at the local Bikram Yoga studio, that’s where I went. I haven’t done it in a while so I was cautious to drink lots of water before as it gets pretty challenging if you go in there dehydrated.
If you’d like an explanation of the class, go to my Bikram yoga page describing the fun that you can expect during each posture.
Today’s class went better than I expected. I thought my legs would be tired but they weren’t. I was able to do all the postures, some better than I could usually do. It’s clear that I’m starting to benefit from the workouts. As my body gets stronger, I’m able to hold myself for longer and I’m able to go deeper in each posture. I was also not sweating as much as I expected…the class must have been cooler than the usual 40 degrees because usually in hot yoga I’m barely able to keep my eyes open as the sweat drips down my face and I can’t hold on to anything as my body is too slippery!
That said, my flexibility has taken 2 steps back. I wasn’t able to pull my toes towards my face as my achilles and calves are tight, I was struggling to keep my quads engaged for the whole posture and my arms did not want to stay over my head the whole time. Instead of concentrating on the parts of my body that hurt, I kept staring at myself in the mirror and focused on breathing through it.
I keep saying that yoga isn’t a competitive sport, but it’s hard for me not to look around and compare myself to what others are doing. The instructor keeps telling us to keep our gaze focused on ourselves to make sure our postures are correct and to help our balance, but my eyes wander. My mind wanders…even as the instructor is speaking a mile a minute, telling me to keep my leg straight, like a lamppost, solid, no break…and to SWITCH!!! I always thought yoga was relaxing and serene, but not Bikram…and even with someone practically yelling at me I can’t hold my focus on them. I’ve trained my body to multi-task for so long that it’s hard to teach it to focus on one thing now.
I know that yoga is great for my body but it always amazes me how great it is for my mind. Every now and then, the instructor will say things that hits home…today it was “Learn to be patient with yourself, you have your whole life to practice”. Being patient is not something I’m good at. I’m not patient with those around me and I’m definitely not patient with myself. I want results now and I expect to be able to do it all … so it was good to be reminded to take my time, enjoy the process and relax!
Once the class is done, I’m always glad that I went and can’t wait to go back … I just hope I can remember that feeling the next time I’m lying down in bed not wanting to move from under the covers!
6 down, 174 workouts to go…