Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Bikram Yoga: A novice's tale

A few years back, I enrolled myself in Bikram Yoga. Primarily to lose weight. Secondarily, to stretch my sleeping muscles trapped in mounds of fat. 

Back story: I didn't just wake up one day and saw that I have gained almost twice my original weight. I saw myself progressing, pound per pound. Blame it on the job and the place where I got assigned to for work. Being in field sales didn't do any good to my already wobbly will to engage in active lifestyle. 

From that day on, I spiraled and bloated. I had my failed attempts at losing the extra pounds -- gym, diet pills, running/jogging, die-eating, and then, yoga. And not just any yoga, I chose Bikram Yoga. 

Bikram yoga is practiced in a hot room. The heated room is set at 38 degrees Celsius. Hot, hot, hot! It's meant to allow the muscles to stretch by warming them and the sweat generated by the heat detoxifies the body, thereby, flushing out toxins. 

It is composed of 26 poses, repeated twice. One session is a good 90 minute practice. 

The first time I practiced, everyone around me was sweating buckets but me. Not a drop. The succeeding days saw me experiencing dampness on my face and my limbs. Then, over a month of regular sessions, I started to experience what sweating really meant. 

And that's when I started feeling the looseness of my tighter clothes. And I felt more limber. So, I should have continued, right?

Wrong. I got sidelined. I started taking the easy route. Going to the mall, hanging out, dining out. Then, I kept gaining and retaining all the fats I've ingested. But I was unfazed. 

What was I thinking? Nothing. I wasn't thinking. For a long time. Brisk walking for two hours helped but the rain gets in the way. Hihihi. 

So, last night I went back to the studio. Enrolled myself. And practiced my first session together with good friend, Cathy. Ah, the first few minutes spending in the dark heated room meant for practitioners to relax already made us sweat!

I was nervous. The heat can induce nausea and vomiting. Mid-way to the session, I felt dizzy. So, I had to sit down. Otherwise, I feel that I'll throw up. 

And then, the poses were just so hard to follow? From the outset, it looks easy enough. Bending here, stretching there. But doing it right is a different story. And holding it in for a few more seconds and defying your limits (gravity) is another twist to the story. 

This morning, I woke up with aching limbs. It feels like I've been in a fight the night before. I was tempted not to go to work. Ha! Sleeping in would have made me feel better. 

But no, I moved along at a snail's pace. The first thing I did? Fix my yoga mat, yoga towel, my clothes for the hot room, my small travel essentials (for shower afterwards) and change of clothes. 

Am I going back tonight? Yes, definitely. I want to make my muscles remember the poses and learn to enjoy the heat and the practice. Hopefully, in the process I would lose a few inches. And my money gains mileage. Bikram Yoga is expensive. Sigh.

Why do I keep on trying? One person inspires me the most. She used to be my yoga teacher. She's become a good friend. And whichever part of the world she goes, she teaches and practices bikram yoga. 
Joyce, send me some good vibes from miles away.
Someday, I'd like to practice with you again. Hopefully, I'd be able to be at least half-decently able to do the poses, right. 


Should you want to check out Bikram Yoga Manila's studio, click this link


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