My thoughts on turning a Bikram yogi
So those who know me well enough would know that I’ve been practising kryoga for the past 3 years. But as luck would have it, my favorite instructor switched schools and geographically it just didn’t seem possible or practical that I continue her classes even though they were great for rapid body toning. PS: I had really toned arms all thanks to kryoga.
It took me 6 months to finally settle on a decent yoga school because where I practise at is a serious commitment for me; I must love the people managing the school, the students there, the lockers, shower facilities, class schedule, and right down to whether they provide mats or fluffy towels, and how convenient it is from my office. Finally settled down on one in August this year and I’ve been loving it so far.
Namaste Bikram is 4 bus stops away from the place where I’m currently putting up even though it’s not a stone throw away from my office. Place is new, provide nice fluffy teal-colored towels, has a tap card sign-in system, provide organic shampoos & body wash, and friendly owners / instructors. Although I wished the water could be hotter, and that I didn’t have to struggle with the pump nozzle sometimes, the place is almost like a dream school for me fulfilling 90% of my criteria.
And this is coming from someone who had nothing good to say about Bikram yoga after my trial lesson a few years back. I hated the heat and how I couldn’t breathe inside, hated how the instructors stand on the podium giving instructions like robots reading off a well-rehearsed script and I swore that I would never return. My first class with Namaste Bikram proved to change my mind and made me eat my words. Heat was bearable (was I hallucinating a few years back then?), and the instructors were warm and occasionally walked around correcting students. I felt giddy and light-headed initially considering my 6 months lapse from last yoga class; at times I had to sit down and just tell my body to stop. But from the 5th lesson onwards, I was all confident and knew how to work my body to prevent those giddy spells i.e. keep breathing through my nose, ensuring I get enough sleep the night before, hydrate thoroughly, and a light snack before class helps!
I took on a 100 class card (with A taking 20 out of it) after that as I was convinced this was it for me. It’s been about more than 10 classes now and I’m still lovin’ every minute of it. I love how I sweat puddles out of places I didn’t know sweat glands existed, I love how my spine feels new and shiny after that, I love how I can look at myself in the mirror and see how my body changes with each class, I love how I have this energy that translates into a bounce in each step (honestly), and I love how I feel like my mind can do anything after that 90 minutes in the 40 degrees-heated studio contorting my body and joints into seemingly impossible postures. I love how I start to eat better and unconsciously am choosing the stuff that goes inside my body e.g. I used to crave strangely for sweetened drinks like Coke during the 6 months I’ve stopped yoga but this has gone down ever since I started practising. During the 6 months when I’d stopped practising, I gained some weight and clothes became tighter, I felt sluggish and was always craving sugary stuff even though I don’t have a sweet tooth. Now that I’ve found yoga again, clothes fit better and I start to feel more energized.
People always ask me if yoga is good, I can’t find enough words in my dictionary to say that it’s been the best thing I’ve ever done for myself. That is the same reason why I turn to yoga time after time. I’ve been doing competitive netball throughout my school days and have always been athletic, dabbling in all kinds of team games and used to run / do beach volleyball regularly. But all of them has never been able to give me that amount of serenity and kills all of my mind chatter that have not always been constructive.
Yoga is not a fad, it is here to stay if you would let it. I’ve met many people who do yoga but they never stick with it and it becomes a thing they do and not part of their lives. I love reading over and over again the websites of yoga schools, follow Bikram schools on Twitter, and search for yoga apparel and tips online. Call me a fanatic but it’s definitely made me a better person than I was, namaste.