4 Tips for Surviving Your First Bikram Class Safely
Recently, tabloids broke the news that Britain's Prince Harry was a recent convert to Bikram yoga -- which isn't surprising, since news of new yoga-loving celebrities is as common as hand-to-hand combat on a Real Housewives TV episode.
While the sweltering heat and high humidity of a Bikram yoga session has numerous medical benefits, such as increased calorie-burning and improved flexibility, it’s also not the easiest form of yoga to jump into. If you’re interested in taking Bikram yoga like Prince Harry, several beginner-friendly health tips can help you to safely enjoy your first session without experiencing royal pains.
1. Drink a lot of water. The “eight glasses a day” recommendation is for sedentary people. Athletes and other fitness enthusiasts have higher hydration needs. Many Bikram teachers advocate drinking a minimum of three liters of water per day.
2. Chow down some electrolytes. You’ll lose a lot of salt and electrolytes as you sweat in your Bikram class – some estimate that people lose approximately a liter of sweat per class – and failure to replenish your electrolytes can lead to dizziness, nausea and other nasty feelings. There are many sport hydrator products on the market – try to stay away from those that come boosted with sugars and carbohydrates – while whole-food options, such as potassium-rich bananas, also do the job.
3. Move slowly and carefully. Don’t be intimidated by the guy in front of you who can stretch into a pretzel. In the heat, it’s often easy to go past your “edge” and move into an area that can lead to injury and tissue strains. While a sense of being uncomfortable is okay, sharp pains mean you’re pushing yourself too far.
4. Stay present. During the Bikram class, you’ll likely feel a wave of emotions ranging from desperation to anxiety. Acknowledge those feelings, then let them pass over you in release. Your mind is often the most self-defeating element of any intense workout, including Bikram yoga. Focus on your breath and stay in the room – both physically and mentally.
Photo credit: Shutterstock
To learn more about yoga, check out our video course The Complete Guide To Yoga.
About the Author
13 hours, 16 minutes ago
20 hours, 44 minutes ago
20 hours, 49 minutes ago
21 hours, 13 minutes ago
one day, 17 hours ago