Friday, January 29, 2010

The Sweaty Crack (aka Bikram) Experience

Anytime I want to try something new, I do tons of research beforehand because I don't want to appear stupid or vulnerable. The ironic thing is despite any research I always look stupid and vulnerable.

I told you I was trying Bikram (hot) yoga this week. I did some research and took into account what you all told me about it. This is what I learned:


  • Don't eat within two hours of starting class. So, I ate an energy bar five minutes before class. I like to push the envelope. What was the worst that could happen? Would my beads of sweat resemble energy bars? Would I poop myself? Would my sweat smell like an energy bar? Would I puke on my mat? Let's test it.
  • Bring a towel to mop up the wet that continually drips off of our body. Check.
  • Expect that you might get nauseous or dizzy. Sweet.
  • Bring water. But don't drink it unless you are between postures (thanks for the tip, Ulyana) or you will be called a name and maybe kicked out
  • Wear limited, tight fitting clothing. I wore my speedo. I mean my banana holder. Just kidding, I don't have a banana. What to wear was really on my mind. I didn't want to stand out as the new girl. So I googled pictures, hoping to see what the cool kids wear, and found this:
  • This picture alone made me almost not go. What pose is this exactly? Scarymaninspeedoonwoman'sback-asana?

The actual experience:

On Tuesday I went to the Hot Flow class at Solar Yoga. This is supposedly a mixture of Bikram and Vinyasa yoga styles. 90 minutes. 100 degrees. It was fine. Everyone was very serious, so much so that I wanted to start laughing hysterically or let out a giant, juicy, sweat induced fart. I sweated a lot, but didn't feel I was quite at my edge. The instructor did this real cool chant thing at the beginning. Her voice was so earthy and smooth. It gave me goosebumps.

Today I went to the HOT class, which is the traditional Bikram yoga. 26 poses, each done twice. 90 minutes. The thermostat said 107.4 degrees.

Again, everyone was very serious. I had a few moments of feeling pushed to my edge, but never wanted to quit or lay down and cry. I did see stars once when we were in this pose, which was kind of cool:

(Dandayamana-Bibhaktapada-Paschimotthanasana - Standing Separate Leg Stretching Pose)

My spell check does not know what to do with that posture name. Who makes this stuff up anyway?

Here is an observation:

The bathrooms are really nice at this place. Mouthwash, q-tips, tampons. I guess that is why it costs $16 a class. Ouch. I guess sweating your ass off is only for the rich.

You may be asking why would anyone do this kind of thing? First of all, does burning almost 800 calories in 90 minutes catch your attention? Here are some additional benefits from this site:

Reshapes your body
Restores flexibility
Tones, strengthens, and lengthens your muscles
Strengthens your spine
Improves circulation
Reduces risk of sports injury
Achieves relief from pain
Reduces your weight – lose pounds by balancing your metabolism
Raises energy level
Diminishes the effects of stress
Increases balance, coordination, focus and discipline
Clears your mind
Calms your soul
Ensures healthy and balanced functioning of the skeletal, muscular, circulatory, nervous, digestive, elimination, respiratory, endocrine, and mental systems of the body

Warms the muscles for greater flexibility
Helps achieve a deeper stretch
Flushes toxins from the body
Improves efficiency of the immune system
Creates a cardiovascular workout
Burns calories
Builds endurance

Need I say more?

Overall, I'm all over this experience. I LOVE to push myself to my limits and I love to be well-rounded in the types of exercise I do. More than anything, I want to get old(er) being limber, cleansed and strong. So, I guess I'm going back.

When is the last time you tried something new or took a risk? I'd really like to hear from each of you. I think we can inspire each other to not be afraid.

Drinking: Vic's Coffee


  1. I have never tried Yoga, but most of my friends love Bikram. They LOVE it, but then again, they are not really into "difficult" workouts. I'll need to give it a try before I really judge it :)

    Did you feel that it was as good of a workout as running?

    Have a great weekend!

  2. I want to try Bikram really bad but am holding off until after Gasparilla because I figure I am over exerting myself daily at the moment. My roommate is ADDICTED to it though and goes a few times a week. Rock on for trying it out girl! Can't wait for juicy stories about it in the future! :)


  3. So glad you did this reveiw! I have been wanting to try it but holding out because I didn't want to feel like a newbe! The other thing that holds me back is yes, the $$. It is an expensive "sport."
    Can't say I have tried anything new lately...except I am doing a trail race tomorrow, haven't done one in a year and I am excited! Happy Friday!

  4. I'm actually going out of my comfort zone and trying yoga next week. I'll be on vacation with my mom and her friend and it'd be nice for my first yoga class to be with people I know.

    In my current situation I'm the "healthy nutcase" so no one wants to workout with me...

  5. I went to a regular Yoga class with my wife one time and I had no idea what to expect. I turned to her in the middle of it and asked "when we were going to start working out, I wasn't even sweating yet!"

    This type of Yoga sounds like pure torture!

  6. I tried hot yoga for the first time fairly recently... I dont handle the heat well, but it was still a positive experience.

    Glad you liked it!

  7. that picture! :) I have never tried is it expensive!! Sounds like a great workout though.

  8. That sounds awesome!! I am going to look for a class around here!

    I started running barefoot in June and that was really hard to let go of the things I thought I knew . Its hard to go against the status quo even when it works.

  9. I haven't tried hot yoga yet-- I don't usually feel well in the heat so I've assumed I wouldn't like it. Maybe I should just give it a try and find out. Last time I did something that scared me was apply for grad school..I have plans to take another risk in the upcoming week though :)

  10. fortunately, I don't have to go anywhere but outside to experience "HOT" yoga. :) I do "hot" hanging up the laundry, "hot" sweeping the floors and "hot" washing the dishes.

    Today was quite cool (I'm in long pants but short sleeves) at 84F with 62% humidity (that is like desert humidity to us).

  11. Yay - glad you like it!

    "The Sweaty Crack" = best description of Bikram ever!!!

    The price sucks, and as a young poor person, I can't really afford my new "habit." BUT I just signed on for my studio's "karma yogi" program. I don't know if this is a common thing, but how it works is that once a week I clean the studio (with someone else). It takes about an hour...and in exchange I get 2 free classes a week!

  12. I feel like I take a risk whenever I walk into a client's home...but that is just work.

    I would love to do a Bikram class. Closest place is 30 miles away. $16 + mileage and another lost hour...

  13. I don't take risks. It's not in my DNA.

    Just kidding; I just can't think of anything that rivals hot yoga. Guess you need my yoga bag!

  14. I'm glad you liked yoga! I used to do Bikram once a week before I had kids and had more flexibility with my time. I really enjoyed it and I actually miss doing yoga. I have a video I do every once in awhile, but it's not the same thing. There's a place close to me called Core Yoga that has great classes that are reasonably priced that I just might have to look into again.

    The last time I tried something new was last year when my family and I became semi-vegan vegetarians (I don't know what else to call ourselves!). We made the change for health reasons and really haven't looked back!

  15. I have heard of this class, but haven't tried it yet. I'll just stick to P90X's Yoga DVD for now.

    That pic is hilarious.

    I think the day I ran 15 miles... having never run more than 8 before was a recent risk!

  16. Sounds awesome! but only if scary speedo man is not in the room!!

  17. I would love to try Bikram (Hot) Yoga! Rural living is not always the best. Maybe I should go back to instructing?!

  18. I think that guy standing on the woman' s back might actually be Bikram himself -- he's a bit of a creepy looking dude.

    Continue with your classes long enough and I'll gaurantee you there'll be some big sweat induced farting going on, either yours or someone else's. Let's just say I've been on both sides of THAT pose!

  19. That picture is hilarious!

    We don't have true Bikram where I live, though one studio gets it to 80-90 degrees. I fell in love with Yoga my very first night. I need to get back to it!


  20. There's no hot yoga in my neck of the woods. But damn for $16 a class I think I'll crank the heat and hang out my shingle!

  21. I fail at yoga. However, this sounds interesting! :)

  22. Wow. I think this is the only review of hot yoga that has ever made me want to try it! I tried a new yoga DVD today. Ha. That was a big step for me.

    Some yoga moves just make me feel like I have to fart. What is up with that?

  23. Fascinating... man, I must live a sheltered life. Although the px90 yoga kicked my butt when i borrowed the dvd from a co worker!

  24. What the funk is up with that picture? Do you not appreciate your readers? I will now stay at least fify feet from the entrance to any yoga studio.

  25. I don't know which creeps me out more: the fact that that guy's in a perfect crucifixion pose or that he's shaved his entire body.

    If you gotta shave for your sport, it ain't for me. Unless it's speed-shaving. That'd be a cool bloodsport.

  26. so, I am really wondering if it gets stinky in there? because I have been around some pretty ripe individuals during spin class and the room is relatively cool.

  27. yep...this is on my to do list :)

  28. I love to do Yoga but have not done hot yoga. I have read that the loose muscles from the warmth tend to make people push themselves too far. I'm fairly flexible normally, so that might not be a problem for me, but I don't want to tempt fate and pull a muscle if I am already happy with the yoga that I do.

    The Athletes Pocket Guide to Yoga by Sage Rountree is a ood way to learn which poses help with which muscles after running, cycling, softball, etc.

  29. This product has been a HUGE HIT for marathon runners-thought I'd share!

    I'd love to get your thoughts!

  30. Have never tried it, but would like to! Thanks for telling us about it!

  31. Never tried Bikram Yoga.... or Hot Yoga... or whatever... just regular... it kills me.
    That picture is hilarious... the one of the speedo man. ick

  32. I enjoyed reading all the comments.

    Thanks for the shout out! I'm glad you'll be going back. And I must say - you were well prepared.

  33. I laughed so hard at he yoga man on the woman's back and your caption. My brother heard me and wanted to know what was going on and he thought it was great, too. You're HILARIOUS!

  34. I'm down for nearly anything that involves THAT guy standing on my back.

    Funny, laughing hysterically often times leads to letting out a giant, juicy, sweat induced fart. I don't even need yoga!

    Gosh, it is like I am fit already.

  35. I just started a week and a half ago and I am already much more flexible than when I started - and oddly enough the bathrooms are REALLY nice there too LOL

  36. I need to try Bikram again. I tried it once and got sicker than I have been in a long time in the days following. I'm pretty sure it was toxins being released, but yuck...awful. I need to try again when I'm feeling brave.

  37. I enjoy the health benefits of Bikram Yoga - improved respiration, flexibility, and an internal body cleanse.

    The man on the woman's back is Bikram; I also wear a speedo while practicing just like many women wear form fitting clothing while practicing.

  38. I LOVE IT..i went once with a friend of mine and outside of feeling like i stood in the shower fully clothed I felt GREAT!! I would definitely recommend calling a few places to see if they have a free pass and giving it a try!! it was the best money I have ever spent

  39. This is very interesting ideal and really helpful information. Thanks!