Return to Bikram Yoga: the things I’ve noticed

Going to Bikram occasionally with huge amounts of time (months or years) between classes definitely doesn’t work!  Although you remember the postures, you feel the pain, every time!  During AND after class!

I don’t know if it’s because I’m older, because I practice so irregularly or because I’m in London and the temperature in the room is drastically different to the temperature outside but whatever it is, I’m feeling a lot more post-class ailments now whereas before I never had any.

For instance, last year, I went to my first class in ages and spent the entire day with a headache.  No matter how much water I drank, I couldn’t rid myself of the heat in my head… my face was HOT, my cheeks were flushed and I felt like I had a fever for the entire day.  The headache felt so bad, I didn’t feel like eating so I drank heaps of water instead.  It didn’t work – it wasn’t until I ate dinner that the headache disappeared!!  It turns out when you sweat.. you’re not just supposed to replace just the water but also the SALT that you lose as well!!

These days, I still feel flushed and hot faced all day but there’s no more headaches because I make sure I eat salt!

I’ve noticed differences between practicing in Australia vs practicing in London.

In Oz, they encourage zero water breaks throughout class because it wasn’t good to “cool down” your body in the middle of practice when you’d worked so hard to warm it up from the inside out – so you drink only before and after class.  In London you get lots of “party time” which is when you’re allowed to drink water in between postures.

In Oz the studio showers are cubicles with doors whereas in London they are communal.   Yeah, I’m just not used to so many naked, sweaty bodies walking around me and I don’t think I ever will get used to such a thing.  So now I just go home sweaty and smelly feeling sorry for anyone who walks down wind of me.

In Oz, I went to yoga a lot by myself but here in London, I’ve introduced Tony to it and he loves it and attends classes with me 🙂  I like having company, it’s more fun, like having a gym buddy.

Other things I’ve noticed is that doing Bikram yoga is the only thing that allows me to tell how certain foods affect my body.  For instance, when I’ve eaten wheat, my practice is weaker than if I hadn’t.  When I’ve eaten sugar I am in serious pain throughout the entire practice and always fall asleep in savasana.  When I’ve eaten meat, my sweat stinks and I can smell myself during the compression poses!  If I haven’t had enough water, I get dizzy and feel like blacking out.  So really, if I have an awesome practice and feel fantastic afterwards then I know I’ve eaten well and drank enough water… it’s a great way to tell if I’ve been good to myself!

Side effects?  I’ve gotten very crackly.  After yoga, there isn’t one joint on me that doesn’t snap, crackle and pop when I move, I’m like the walking rice bubbles.  It doesn’t hurt but I’ve never known of popping air between any joints to be a good thing.  Anyone know what I need to do to alleviate this?

Usually Bikram yoga  makes my skin awesome but recently my face has become constantly oily and I’ve come up with more pimples and blackheads than I had as a teenager!  Obviously, I’m releasing toxins through my skin and hopefully this will go away soon.  It’s already been a couple of weeks so I can’t wait for my skin to settle down again!

How about you?  If you practice Bikram – do you get the same things happening and how do you go about resolving / dealing with them?


4 thoughts on “Return to Bikram Yoga: the things I’ve noticed”

  1. The first Bikram studio here in Melbourne with communal showers has just opened (Bikram Yoga Preston). Oh, the drama on their facebook page when they announced THAT! I actually love the idea – it cuts down the turnaround time so there’s less of a line 🙂
    And yeah, I’m halfway through my first challenge (after ~10 months of practice) and I’m totally rocking the teenager skin at the moment!

    1. Ha ha! Turn around time is probably faster in a communal shower because people like me go home to have one! 😉

      I just saw your blog – you’re on day 36?? That’s brilliant! Is this a self-inflicted challenge and for how long will it be? I’ve only ever seen 30 day challenge boards, never done one myself though, haven’t practiced frequently enough.

      1. Thanks for the props! It’s an officially sanctioned challenge, but the rules are slightly different from a 30 day challenge – it’s six classes a week for 60 days, rather than classes every day (and it HAS to be six each week; I can’t do five classes one week and seven the next). With that one day off, I’m actually finding it’s easier to arrange my life around than a 30 day challenge! It’s a bit easier mentally as well – rather than thinking OH GOD I STILL HAVE 20 DAYS LEFT, I can just concentrate on making it to Sunday each week 🙂

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