Okay, I’m about to do something rather brave and post silly pictures of myself on my blog. Who knew that talking about THIS stuff would be harder than What I Wore Wednesday posts? Seriously! If you are a professional yogi, please, save your eyes and stop reading now (I am a complete newbie, and up until 2 weeks ago had never even attempted a yoga pose, much less gone to a class).
But I just have to tell you all that Bikram Yoga is FANTASTIC. I’ve now gone for 2 weeks, 7 times, and I’ve already seen such a crazy amount of improvement.
Exhibit #1: Standing bow pose above (sometimes called The Dancer, I think?) is one of my favorites, and I cannot believe that I can not only hold this for nearly a minute without wavering, but that when I’m warmed up (aka, in a 105 degree studio, not my air conditioned living room), I can pull my leg high enough that I see my entire foot over my head in the mirror! The eventual goal is to have a completely straight upper leg that runs in one straight line with the bottom one (yeah, we’ll see about that…) You can see what it’s supposed to look like here.
Exhibit #2: I tell you the truth that just TWO WEEKS ago I could not even touch my feet or ankles, I was so inflexible. Now? It’s a complete cinch to touch my flat palms onto the floor. I don’t know about you, but for me, that’s a crazy amount of flexibility gained in just 7 classes!
Exhibit #4: Okay, I was close to deleting this one, just because the perfectionist in me is mad that my standing knee wavered slightly right when the camera took, causing it to bend slightly and shoot my other leg up at too high of an angle. UGH, there’s my perfectionism, rearing it’s ugly head. But on the first class, I couldn’t even get close to straightening my leg, much less lift it up. The goal is to have one’s head touching the knee and then hold for about a minute (seems like eternity at the time though). You can see here what it’s supposed to look like.
Exhibit #5: Did I mention flexibility? The first class, I couldn’t reach my toes or bend at all. Hard to believe that was just 2 weeks ago.This one’s tough because it looks completely ridiculous from the outside, until one realizes how relaxing it is. Eventually my knees will be flexible enough for me to lay my entire back on the floor, arms folded over my head. Eventually. Haha. We’ll see.
I hope my testimony here inspires all of you to go out and try Bikram! I’ve already noticed so many of the benefits, including the fact that my back hardly hurts at all anymore (I used to wake up in pain several times a night), and my digestion issues have improved a TON (several of these poses are supposed to help with indigestion).
Most studios offer completely cheap trial months (mine was $25 for a month of unlimited), and it would give you an idea for whether this is something you like. I never would’ve known how much progress someone like me with zero flexibility could make in just half a month. If I can do it, so can you! Now go get em’, Tiger! 😉