So recently The Machine and I took The Little Machines away for a week. I had a few little niggling injuries that I decided would benefit from a week off from the gym. My Osteopath had also told me that my on again off again hip injury needed serious attention to stretching, and so I decided to commit to practice yoga every day of my holidays. Up until this holiday, I had been a Hatha kind of girls because that was all that had been available to me. The only yoga studio I could find that had a class on every day just so happened to be a Bikram Yoga studio. Why the heck not, I thought, I was trying to escape the Tasmanian winter after all…..
Now I think it is very important to point out that in the weeks leading up to this Northern Escape, the weather in Tasmania had been miserable and I had been going to the gym in the morning with an average temperature of 0 degrees. (BTW, I have discovered that it is possible to do a whole workout with frozen extremeties….I even took to doing my sessions in tights, a singlet and The Machine's big blue snow gloves…much to the mirth of Humungousaur who told me I looked like I had muppet hands. Anyway I digress….just let it be known that when it is zero degrees, handling the metal of a weight bar or a kettle bell is really unpleasant).
Needless to say the prospect of a jump in temperature from 0 to 40 degrees made me a little apprehensive and I was very concerned that I would pass out in a pool of my own sweat. Or worse….puke and pass out in a pool of my own….well you get the picture (dizziness and nausea are commonly experienced by beginners).
I was pleasantly surprised to discover that everyone at the studio was really, really friendly….even at 5:45am in the morning. This made stripping off in front of them a little more comfortable. For the uninitiated, you don't wear much to Bikram Yoga as it is, obviously, freaking hot. Most people wore the yoga equivalent to a two piece swimsuit (for women) or a pair of swimming trunks (for men). Initially, I found being surrounded by so many mirrors while wearing my underwear and actually having to move into unflattering poses really confronting. But I would also have to say that it was extremely liberating to wear no makeup, pull my hair back in a ponytail, strip off and let it all hang out in a room full of sweaty strangers. And sweat we did….sometimes in droplets... sometimes in small dribbles... and sometimes in cascades literally running from the tips of fingers onto the floor. I found myself being selfishly glad that I had hired my mat and I didn't have to take it home and wash it.
|Check out those mats…see what I'm saying??? (Image credit)|
Now I have always thought that my flexibility was pretty good but as it turns out, it is actually pretty sh*thouse. There were some seriously bendy older people in the room who put me to shame and were a fabulous walking advertisement for Bikram Yoga.
I am pleased to announce that 'Hot Body' yoga has just hit my home town so that in a few weeks I will be able to build on my holiday yoga experience. I'm not sure that I would become a daily yoga devotee as with a blog, a business and 3 small children I am time-poor and it will always be my personal preference to prioritise strength and cardio training over daily yoga. However, I do intend to continue Bikram yoga down here when I can get there….even if it is just so that I can shed my muppet hand gloves and pretend that it is summer for an hour.
Do you do yoga? What sort of yoga do you practice?