After four months of not attending a Bikram yoga class I decided that it was time to go back and practice again. In early February I was so determined to go to class that I didn’t even have time to think of an excuse, which is rare, because I always come up with a reason to stay home instead.
Although I was already anticipating the fact that I will not be able to perform the 26 yoga postures, I was really determined to survive my very first class of 2017. And I did just that with the help of these handy tips to get through a 90-minute class in the hot room.
Every class starts and ends with a breathing exercise, but these shouldn’t be the only times that you focus on your breathing. All throughout the practice, the teacher will always remind you to breathe in and out through your nose, and that is for a very good reason; breathing doesn’t only oxygenate the blood, it also keeps your mind relaxed and focused.
This is a very crucial part of the entire practice, in my opinion, because many injuries are often a result of not paying close attention to the teacher’s instructions. Additionally, there are instances wherein some “seasoned” students perform poses ahead of everyone else, and this can be very distracting. So please listen and follow instructions at all times.
3. BE STILL.
We all know how difficult it is to stay still especially when you start feeling the beads of sweat trickling down your face, or when your hair starts covering your eyes, or when you badly want to have a sip of water. Being still has so many benefits, it allows you to conserve energy, it helps you practice self-control or discipline, and it relaxes your mind and body.
4. FOCUS ON YOUR REFLECTION.
You are in a very hot and humid room with heaps of people, you are all sweating and panting, you feel like you are about to faint, you are struggling to lock your knees, and the only thing that you’re waiting for is the teacher to turn the fan on. All these things could be zipping through your head, causing distraction, and messing with your balance and concentration. A good way to deal with such a situation is to simply practice focusing on your own image in the mirror. I’ve found that if I concentrate hard enough I tend to forget how hot it is in the room, and the rest of the distractions tend to melt away too.
Do not be afraid to rest, no one is judging you. Every person in the room has his or her own struggles during the class. If you need to sit down and catch your breath then do so. Just remember to keep the breaks short and to get back right into it, the longer the break lasts, the harder it is to carry on again.
The rule is to drink at least 4 litres of water (according to www.bikramyoga.com) if you are practicing Bikram Yoga, that is twice the normal recommended intake if you are not practicing. In addition to that, you should keep yourself hydrated before, during, and after the class. You can also try coconut water or kombucha after every class as an alternative to water.