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Bikram Yoga in the city!

Posted Feb 09 2010 12:00am
I try to do Bikram yoga once a week. I go to a studio on Chicago and Franklin (219 W. Chicago 6th floor). I started doing bikram yoga this summer when I was getting bored of the gym and wanted to try something new. I did yoga in college but I never tried Bikram before. I have learned to really enjoy it. Each time I attend a class I find myself getting better at each pose and finding myself getting more focused with each position. I have always had terrible posture my entire life-- Bikram yoga has really helped with that!

So here is the run down on bikram yoga and what it entails...

Bikram yoga is 26 poses, done in a 90 minute class. These poses are designed to work every organ and mucle in your body. When you are actually in the class, you don't feel that the poses are working every organ in your body until after the class is over. The second you walk into the studio, you feel the heat right away. The class begins with a breathing exercise followed by 1 hour of standing poses, and 30 minutes of the laying down floor poses. The class ends with a final breathing exercise. We do each posture and breathing exercise twice.

At first I was a little nervous- would I actually make it through this class without dying of heat exhaustion?! Like so many people, I HATE sweating. It is just nasty and uncomfortable! The past few times I have gone to class, the instructor had said not to wipe the sweat off your face because it is your body's natural way of cooling itself off and also, the sweat is just going to come back anyways! You really feel like your body is detoxing all of the toxins. I enjoy going to this class on Sundays- after a weekend of boozing. I always feel so much better and it's a great start to my week!
Another key point about bikram yoga is water intake. Yes, it is hard being in a 90 degree room for 90 minutes and all you want to do is drink water BUT the instructor told me that chugging water during the cla ss can actually increase nausea. She told me I should take small sips of water throughout the class instead. After the class is over, you are supposed to drink lots of water to keep your body hydrated- obviously, you were just in a 90 degree room for 90 minutes shvitzing your face off!
There are so many aspects of bikram yoga that are important in order to do the postures correctly. One main aspect is locking your knees. Many of the standing poses require you to lock your knees which means keeping your knee as straight as possible and not allowing it to bend of move. When your doing certain postures, locking your knees can be very challenging and uncomfortable. This is definitely something I plan to work on. With each class session I find myself doing the postures better and better each time- wow I can actually do this! Although I can not mold my body into a pretzel quite yet, I am definitely getting better with each session.

My favorite Bikram yoga pose is tree, which is shown in the picture above. I've always liked this pose because it came easy to me and I find it to be fun! When I go to class I wear as little as possible (I know that sounds crazy) but I usually wear shorts and a tank top or a sports bra. I know that sounds crazy but you get REALLY hot! I also bring my yoga mat and a large towel. You can rent these items at the studio but I like to bring my own. For more questions check out Bikram Yoga in the City . Everyone should try Bikram yoga at least once, it is a very cool experience!
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