I’m going to be honest. In the 10 years I’ve been practicing yoga, I’ve never had the courage to try Bikram. Why? Simply put, the idea scared the heck out of me.
Fear #1: Practicing in 105 degree heat. Why would I want to sweat out a gallon of liquid from my pores? I understand the idea of cleansing and detox, but sweating buckets, huffing and puffing as I struggle through is going way past my limit.
Fear #2: Practicing in a stinky, uncomfortable space alongside 30 other sweaty bodies. Admittedly, this fear is based upon a story a friend told me: when she practiced Bikram yoga for the first time, there was a man next to her who farted a lot and his unkempt feet and dirty toenails were in her face (bless his poor heart). Sorry for the dirty details, but that image in my mind was a huge turnoff.
Fear #3: It will hurt or I’ll pass out. Yoga should push me gently to the edge, but I want to remain comfortable and not in pain. In my mind, I imagined Bikram would overwhelm my body with all the heat and movement and that my eyes would suddenly see black and I would pass out.
Now, I’ll be the first to tell you to not avoid something out of fear. But here I was, scared for a decade even thinking about powering through an hour and half of repeating 26 hot yoga poses. It took the rugged encouragement of another friend (who loves it) to convince me to try. Her favorite Bikram studio, Fluid Yoga, is only four blocks away from my house and offered a new student special. Now what’s my excuse? Begrudgingly and nervously, I drank as much water as possible the day before, the morning of and finally gave it a try. (more…)