Bikram Yoga: Pt. I

After yesterday I decided to make this a 3 parter.  I’ll never find the time to sit and type it all out in one sitting again.  So here goes.

If you live near me you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about when I talk about that weird little door nestled in the heart of downtown that you’re not quite sure leads to anywhere!  Unfortunately for so long it sat beside Tim Felger’s ‘store’ of sorts and I don’t think this helped people’s first impression of Bikram here in Abbotsford.

For years I’ve watched with awe as many a lululemon clad individual embarks upon that stairway.  Why were they so much braver than I?  No longer, I tell you!

Now the thing about the little door and the slightly creepy staircase is that it seems very daunting to a newcomer.  So I think first off, in order to really be fair, the whole experience needs to be “undaunted”.  As I told my friends about my going I got such comments as, “Did anyone barf?  I hear people throw up in there.” “Can you leave the room?  I hear they don’t let anyone out once it starts.”   So to dispel any fears you may have about Bikram I’m going to lay out what to expect.

What you need:  3 simple things

  1. yoga mat
  2. water bottle
  3. towel  (I bring my crazy hawaiian print one, just for fun!)

That’s it.  That’s what you need.  The wal-mart variety of yoga mat is just fine.  I can’t tell the difference between anyone’s mat in the room so don’t spend a fortune for fear of standing out as the cheap one.  Nobody knows or cares.

What to wear:  Another reason I had put off bikram is because I don’t own any insanely short shorts.  In fact, I don’t own any shorts at all!  I have issue with people seeing my upper thigh.  Anyone else with me on that one?  So I figured without the right gear I would look like a loser in the class.  Wrong!  I would look like a loser even if I had the right gear!!  So I got over myself and embarked anyways.

Thing is, you know those muscle bound monkeys at the gym who are busting out of their wife beaters?  Well, they’re the minority.  At any gym I’ve ever been to the majority of people are in sweats and a grubby old tee.  Same with yoga.  While of course there are hard cores in the short shorts and teeny tops, they are the minority.  People are in an array of workout gear and noone would really stand out as not fitting in.

I’ve worn the same thing for all 4 sessions that I’ve been.  Yes, I did wash it in between.  After 4 sessions if I hadn’t I’m assuming the gear could, quite literally, stand up on it’s own!  So I’ve been sporting my capri yoga pants from superstore.  I’m pretty sure they cost me about $8.97.  I know, classy, right?  I do have a Lululemon running tank that I got as a gift from a friend so I wore that but seriously, any tank top would do.  Or just a sports bra if you’re brave like that.  I am not.

How to not look like a loser:

  1. Yoga is practiced bare foot.  I know you may all go, “duh” to that but I showed up in my athletic footwear and then felt like a bit of a doofus untying them and tucking my socks in them when I arrived.  To avoid the doofus-like feeling simply wear flip flops.  It makes for easy on and off and no toe jam upon removing your socks.
  2. Leave your cell phone in the car.  You really don’t want to be that person whose phone starts ringing in the middle of the peace of the class.
  3. Don’t eat breakfast.  Yoga should be practiced on an empty stomach for maximum benefit.  (and to avoid the barfing, I imagine.)  Each time I’ve gone I’ve had a cup of coffee and water in the morning and I’ve been totally fine.

That’s all the time I have for today.  Catch Part II tomorrow…

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