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Motivation, Musings, Training

Sweaty Workouts: Bikram

I’m a big proponent of sweaty workouts. Boot camp, for example. I like to feel like I did something, and being sweaty and/or sore definitely contributes to that. Granted, when you’re in the pool or running in the cold you often don’t know that you’re sweating, but it’s more gratifying — for me — than yoga or walking or low-intensity sessions. This means I tend toward intense cardio/tri training or the kind of workout you can only get with an instructor yelling in your ear about pushups and lunges.

Enter Bikram Yoga.

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Bikram is something I hear a lot about but never took the time to investigate. All I knew — until today — was that it takes place in a room heated to over 100 degrees. And it seemed to be the latest fad (like cupcakes) that is super cool right now but will disappear once people get bored with it. Not so, it appears.

I read two posts today about a first Bikram yoga encounter from Erin at Travel Eat Repeat and Jess at Run Girl Run. It took me a minute to realize they went to class together and were writing about the same experience. Anyway, they described the class in such a way that made me very curious, and now I’m considering an intro pass at Bikram Yoga Dupont. Extra points if LivingSocial or Groupon come up with a discount in the next few weeks because it ain’t cheap.

Anyway, both girls made the point that you sweat. A lot. And there’s no relief from it because there’s no breeze or air conditioning or stopping to soak it up with a towel. You just drip for 90 minutes straight. My kind of class.

I really enjoyed Erin’s post because she broke down everything a first-time Bikram student might need to know. A student like me. For example, it’s a series of 26 poses repeated twice. Drink A LOT of water and wear minimal clothing are good tips. Bring a friend and a towel or mat cover — which I have because I tend to slip around on my mat during yoga — also is great advice.

So, have you tried Bikram yoga? If you’re a runner/cyclist/triathlete, does it benefit your training? What are your tips for first-timers?

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Discussion

2 thoughts on “Sweaty Workouts: Bikram

  1. I’m a huge Bikram fanatic. It is an acquired taste of course, but once you’ve experienced that bliss of final savasana (and the best sleep you’ve ever had the night after you go to class), there’s no going back! Bikram is a wonderful way to complement other forms of exercise, especially rigorous ones like running or biking. It’s wonderful for the joints (esp. poses like Eagle and Fixed Firm) and can really help you build better strength and flexibility (think all of all the backbends and Triangle and Balancing Stick). Plus I tend to find that a lot of athletes need help improving their balance and spinal core strength, which two parts of the Bikram series targets directly.

    Check out my beginners page on my blog for more tips and ideas, and happy yoga-ing!

    http://aliveinthefire.blogspot.com/p/beginners.html

    Namaste,
    Rachel

    Posted by Rachel (Alive in the Fire) | February 1, 2011, 3:53 PM

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