Friday, December 07, 2012

What does Bikram Yoga feel like? @ Bikram RVC

A very long time ago, I wrote about wanting to try Bikram Yoga and I finally did a few weeks ago. In case you haven't heard of it, Bikram Yoga is basically a 90 minute yoga class performed in a room that is heated to about 104 degrees. Every class does the same 26 poses, in the same order for the entire 90 minutes.

It feels:

Warm: At first I felt that the room was the equivalent of being on the beach on a very warm day in the carribbean. Nothing more, nothing less.

Clean: Since the room is heated and everyone is sweating, the studio felt super clean to me. This was a HUGE plus. I don't think I would have been able to go through the whole class in a room that I felt wasn't cleaned properly after each class.

Regimented: If you are trying Bikram for the first time, the person at the front desk of the studio normally introduces you to the instructor and sets up your mat in a place close to the door and/or fans so if you get too hot, you can get a breeze. However, they highly recommend to not leave the class no matter how bad you are feeling. If you get nausea, they ask you to lie down until  you feel better.

The class also begins with some breathing exercises that I felt were a bit chant like, but calming in a strange type of way. I felt like I was channeling the ashram in Eat, Pray, Love (affiliate link for one of my favorite books ever!)

Nauseating: There are a few poses that definitely can make your stomach turn. The instructor normally says something before asking the class to move into the next pose, so you will be forewarned. 

Wet: So remember how I said that it was just warm at first.... well after about 30-45 minutes you will be drenched in sweat. I recall doing poses and literally watching the sweat drip off of my body onto my towel and mat. 

Liberating: For lack of a better way to say it.... it is too darn hot to be concerned with anyone else in the class. I didn't find myself getting distracted by anyone in the entire room for 90 minutes. I didn't even get distracted trying to find a clock when I was sweating profusely. I followed the directions of the instructor and focused on my breathing and deepening each pose. That's it. It felt amazing to let me mind go blank and decompress.

Overall, I really enjoyed the class at Bikram RVC. I got a Groupon deal for 5 classes, and have only used 3 so far, so once I get rid of this cold, I think I may try to go back again. 

Also, about what to wear... if you Google images of Bikram Yoga you will see people in sports bras, shorts, speedos, ect. I wore a sports bra and high waisted biker shorts. I personally don't  like the feel of having too much fabric on my skin when I know I will be sweating a lot. I rarely even wear t-shirts to the gym; I prefer racer back shirts. I would never where shorts for a regular workout, but for Bikram, they really worked for me. My co-worker who used to do Bikram on the regular prefers a sports bra and leggings or yoga pants so she has something to grip onto when doing poses. It is really up to you, but please don't worry about what other people will say when you take off your shirt and a little roll or cellulite is showing. I noticed that people of all sizes, races, and fitness levels were in class AND everyone wore what they felt comfortable in. 


  1. Great post!! Bikram is really great. I went for a bit before I became pregnant again and it can become addictive! Although I am not the best at yoga (read highly inflexible) the moment at the end where you get to lay there and just not think for a few minutes after that intense workout, totally made it all worth it!

    1. That was obviously the best part! I was so exhausted from the intense workout that I almost fell asleep.


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