Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Beginner's Tips for Bikram Yoga

It's nearly a month since my last fitness update, as part of Get The Label's #StayFitDontQuit campaign to celebrate their new fitness range. I've been making a conscious effort this month to improve my fitness levels, though sadly it has coincided with the naughtiest month ever (think 16 course meals and my boyfriend's birthday weekend...) so I haven't been anywhere near as good as I'd like to be! But, I did try deadlifting for the very first time so that's an achievement in itself.

After a weekend of indulgence, I headed to Bikram Yoga in Manchester (wearing my new sportswear from Get The Label of course) to try and detoxify my body and mind with Sarah in tow for moral support. Now, if you don't know what Bikram Yoga is, it's very similar to the yoga you will undoubtedly be familiar with, but it takes place in a VERY hot room. But hot, I mean sauna hot, it's insane. Because of the heat, it means that the positions and movements are quite slow and controlled, with plenty of rests and breathing exercises.   

It isn't an exercise class for the faint hearted, pretty much everyone in the class of about 30 people had to sit down to catch their breath at least once, even the ones who looked like fitness models. But if you want to try it out, take a look at my beginner's tips:
  • Drink plenty of water beforehand so you're completely hydrated, they recommend that you don't drink too much during the class and are quite strict on when you're allowed to drink (only between poses) so prepare in advance. Make sure to hydrate fully after the class too.
  • Don't eat for around 2-3 hours before, this will keep you nice and light for the poses. 
  • Make sure you do eat plenty throughout the day before the class though, you'll be burning around 500-700 calories so you'll need the energy! Make sure your blood sugar levels aren't too low afterwards, a coconut water will sort you right out!
  • Wear something you don't mind getting soaked. I opted for three quarter length leggings, a soft, light top and a structured bikini top instead of a sports bra. I took Sarah's advice of wearing an easy to remove outfit due to extreme sweating, lovely. Take dry clothes to get changed into afterwards too.
  • Take two towels, one big enough to cover your mat to practice on and one to dry off after the class, you'll definitely need it! You need to take your own mat too, but you can always rent these from reception.
  • Lying down on your back practicing breathing is quite a big part of the class so make sure you don't have a pony tail that will cause you discomfort, opt for a top knot or a french plait to make sure you're nice and comfy. 
  • Take as many breaks as you need to, as the instructor said, part of the battle is staying in the room for the full 90 minutes. Just sit down cross legged and breathe steadily through your nose to regulate your breathing. 
  • If it's your first time, make sure you position yourself in the middle or towards the back of the class, this way you can learn from everyone around you. The class is dictated rather than demonstrated so sometimes you will need to see what other people are doing.
  • Don't feel silly, just enjoy it and immerse yourself in it!
To find out more about Bikram Yoga in Manchester take a look at their website here, if you want to burn a hell of a lot of calories and don't mind the heat, I'd so recommend it.

I'll definitely be carrying on with my fitness kick, hopefully with a little less food in October, though it is my birthday in a few weeks...The perfect excuse to invest in a few more pieces from Get The Label, tee hee!

1 comment

  1. I did Bikram Yoga for the first time last year and I had a love/hate relationship with it. I felt amazing afterwards, but during the actual class I thought I was going to die haha! Everyone was telling me all of these tips before hand and I thought they were just exaggerating, but it's all so true! I had to sit down a good 5-10 times throughout the class. I would definitely do it again, but not all the time.


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