This year I made a promise to myself to live outside of my comfort zone, try new things and begin doing more activities and hobbies that make me happy. Too often I find myself stuck in my regular routine because, well, I’m comfortable. That word; comfortable, is something that scares me. I don’t want to live a comfortable life, I want an AMAZING life. What better way to live an amazing life than to test myself mentally, physically and emotionally!
My first adventure was to try a month of Hot Yoga. Luckily for me, my girlfriend, Kayla wanted to join me. We found a Groupon deal for Bikram Yoga in Livermore, CA and decided to try it out. I’m also on a mission to lose 16 pounds before my wedding date, January 5th 2018. I figured testing out new and fun workout routines would be a great place to start. Getting a workout in a room that is kept anywhere from 90 – 104 degrees and 40% humidity would be a good place to begin my weight loss journey.
To be perfectly honest I was a bit hesitant to begin this journey. I’ve taken about 15-20 yoga classes in my lifetime so I would definitely consider myself a beginner. I honestly didn’t know what to expect when I walked into my first Bikram Hot Yoga class and boy was I in for a surprise. The women at the front desk who greeted Kayla and I was very friendly. She asked if I have taken Bikram Hot Yoga before and let me know to go at my own pace and to try to stay in the room no matter how hard or hot it may get.
The class was about to begin and I realized I stuck out like a sore thumb. I was dressed in long, black Lululemon yoga pants, a sports bra and t-shirt while everyone else around me was in shorts and a sports bra. I didn’t realize at the time that the less clothes you were wearing the better. The room was filled with men and women of all ages and ethnicities. I laid down my yoga mat and towel and began to do some stretching before the instructor walked in. She had a great body and a voice that could collect the entire room’s attention. She was very vocal and asked if anyone was taking the class for the first time. I instantly raised my hand to show I was a “virgin” to Bikram Hot Yoga and noticed my hand was the only one up in the room. She asked for my name and I knew then she was going to be keeping an eye on me during the class.
To get started you do a breathing exercise to open up your lungs and fill them with oxygen. Everyone is the class knew what they were doing besides me. You are supposed to grip your fingers together under your chin and begin lifting your arms while inhaling. Then as you exhale you push your head back and push out all the oxygen you had just sucked in. At this point the room is already very hot and I was beginning to sweat after the very first pose. The other people participating in the class knew the positions before the instructor would tell us what to do and then I realized that Bikram Yoga has the same structure and there are the same series of 26 poses in each 90 minute class.
We went through poses like Half Moon, Eagle, Standing Bow and Triangle. I watched the other people in awe as they bended, flexed and moved through each pose so effortlessly. The flexibility in that classroom was outstanding and made me realize why I was putting myself in this position in the first place. It was a chance to test myself and try out something new. I knew I wasn’t going to get the hang of it after just one class but I knew I had to try. I was trying my hardest to remain in each pose and give this first class my undivided attention. The instructor was very loud and demanding, quite different from any other yoga class I have been to. She walked around the room and spoke with such power. If she told you to go deeper, you were going to go deeper into that pose. “Let it go, let it flow” is what she said throughout the class. I considered that my mantra for the night!
We moved through all the poses quite fast and my heart was beating out of the chest. I was dripping in sweat and dying for water. The class is supposed to move as a whole and break together for water at the same time. I tried my hardest to keep my composure and not pass out even though I felt like I was going to about 3-4 times different times in class. I continued to remind myself to breath and that I was going to make it through. That class was like nothing I have ever experienced before but was very refreshing. We ended with another breathing exercise and then I laid on my yoga mat thinking I was dying. The employees brought in cold, Eucalyptus towels and I put it over my face and began coming back to life. I walked out of that class with an experience that I will never forget. Once I walked outside and had the wind hit my body I had a surge of energy run through my body. I left with a sense of accomplishment and ended the night on a great, positive note!
#bikram #hotyoga #newexperiences #challenges #workout