Yes, a day after Christmas. Just when I am filled to the brim with guilt on how much cake and carbs I had over the course of the holidays (which is not yet done since we still have New Year's).
I dragged my lazy butt out of my really tempting bed to attend the 9am class.
Of course I was there 40 minutes early, just the right time to get my head around the
My body is screaming for some cardio so "some" cardio I'll surely give it.
Bikram yoga is basically exercising yoga-style in a room heated to a temperature similar to those in saunas. The posts are relatively easy and more of weight lifting your own body weight. What makes it difficult is the heat. It's terribly hot in there. Imagine 90 minutes in a sauna. In the start, it's just warm and you'll probably like it. After 30-40 minutes, you'll feel the exhaustion and dehydration setting in and you'll slowly become weak.
So to Bikram yoga virgins out there, let me share my own way of preparing for that 90-minute torture chamber (which will end with a very self-fulfilling and restful shavasana or the "corpse" pose, where you really just have to lie down the floor like a corpse. It helps the body cope up with the strenuous activity.)
1. Drink LOTS of water the night before.
It pays to be hydrated even before going inside the heated room. I never experienced thirst since I'm too busy focusing on my postures to feel dehydration.
But whenever I feel like I've reached my limit and I cannot take anymore "Up! Up! Up!" (The teacher usually motivates us in one syllable words repeated three times in a row. Another example will be "Pull! Pull! Pull". It depends on the kind of posture, really.), that's when I feel like I need a drink. NOT because I'm thirsty, but because I'm tired.
After two years in Bikram, I was able to compare the difference between drinking water and not drinking enough the night before. The extra water actually helps in giving me the endurance I need and the control to fight off the temptation to release my pose just to take a sip (an unacceptable act).
2. Eat something light (e.g. banana, apple, some oatmeal) OR NOT AT ALL an hour or two before the workout.
Back when I was starting, I usually attend morning classes because I'm not a huge breakfast person back then. I was still in college and really, I have more important exams and reports to hand in other than having my first meal of the day. I attend 6:30am classes for two years. Not everyday, but 95% of the time. See, I really have self-discipline. THAT is too early for breakfast so I just don't eat. I load up with water and I'm ready to go. The postures will be harder when you're full and you did Bikram. You'll feel like vomiting and you won't like the bloatedness you see in the mirror.
3. Prepare your bag the night before.
My trips to my now very occasional Bikram class takes a lot of preparation, you see. This one is the one I dislike the most. I have to prepare toiletries (shampoo, body soap, facial wash), two towels (because renting two towels in the studio is a hassle. A towel is Php50.), exercise gear (workout bra, skimpy swimsuit shorts, and undies), and a bottle of water. For me, this takes a lot more of getting ready so I usually cancel my workouts due to unpreparedness.
4. Sleep early.
Believe me, you'll never want to be that person who sleeps on the second part of the workout. The more you get tired, the more you get sleepy especially during a morning class. So sleep well the night before, if you don't think you can force yourself to stay awake, save yourself from the embarrassment and just do your workout at home.
5. Look pretty.
The Bikram class will be in a room wherein 3/4s of the walls are covered with mirrors. Good thing almost everyone does not care how other people look (I know there are still some who cannot help but glimpse a sweaty version of their friend while holding a pose.) but that does not mean that you should not put an effort in how pretty you look while sweating all your fats out. Right? You'll thank me when you realized you decided to wear something colorful and "you" while working out. Every little bit helps. :)
This is all for today, folks! My current read "The Fault in our Stars" is calling me back to bed.