Bikram Yoga is an enjoyable and challenging style of yoga. However, if you’re trying it for the first time, there are a number of things you can do to enhance your experience. Read on for our list 10 Bikram Yoga Tips for beginners.
1. Drink Lots Of Water
With the high levels of heat and humidity, staying hydrated is extremely important when practicing Bikram Yoga. Failing to take on adequate fluids before, after and during the class can lead to dehydration, hyperthermia (overheating of the body) and various other complications.
To avoid these complications, follow the suggestions below:
- Before The Class:Make sure you’re drinking lots of water throughout the day that your class takes place and then stop drinking a couple of hours before the class begins. By doing this, you’ll have plenty of fluid in your body but also ensure that you won’t need to use the bathroom during the class.
- During The Class:Drink plenty of water but don’t gulp down large amounts. Instead, take small sips at regular intervals.
- After The Class:Drink something that contains electrolytes (coconut water, fruit juice, a smoothie or a sports drink) immediately after the class and then follow this up with regular glasses of water for the remainder of the day.
2. Arrive Early
If you’ve never tried Bikram Yoga or other types of Hot Yoga before, the heat will be a shock to your system. By arriving 10-15 minutes early, you can acclimatize to the heat without any distractions and allow your body to adapt before the main Bikram Yoga class begins.
3. Eat A Light Meal 2 Hours Before The Class Starts
Bikram Yoga is physically demanding and if you haven’t eaten enough before the class begins, you’ll find that you quickly run out of energy. On the flip side, if you eat too much before the class starts, you’ll feel sluggish and lethargic as you exercise.
To strike the right balance, eat a light meal a couple of hours before your Bikram Yoga class is due to start. A healthy salad, a wholegrain sandwich, a smoothie or a portion of yogurt and nuts are all great pre-class meal options.
4. Don’t Leave The Room
As mentioned above, the heat and humidity of a Bikram Yoga class can feel overwhelming. When this happens, many beginners are tempted to leave the room to escape the heat and let their bodies cool down. However, leaving the room is not helpful and actually increases your chances of passing out.
So even if you have to sit or lie down on your mat, stay in the room and focus. By doing this, you’ll allow your body to get used to spending a full 90 minutes in the hot environment of a Bikram Yoga class. After a few sessions, you’ll fully adjust to the heat and get used to performing the various poses in this environment.
5. Focus On Your Breathing
Proper breathing is one of the most important aspects of Bikram Yoga and something that is emphasized throughout the 26 poses. However, when we start to struggle, we often forget about the importance of controlled breathing.
To remedy this, actively focus on your breathing above anything else for the first few classes. Once you’ve done this a few times, it will become second nature and you’ll be able to consistently control your breaths without even thinking.
6. Let The Instructor Know You’re A Beginner
Many beginners don’t feel the need to let the instructor know that it’s their first time practicing Bikram Yoga but this is a big mistake. By telling the instructor you’re a beginner, they’ll be able to give you extra attention, help you with any poses that you aren’t familiar with and most importantly, keep an eye out in case the heat gets too much for you.
7. Rest If You Need To
If you’re new to Bikram Yoga, there’s no shame in taking plenty breaks. Taking it easy and slowly adjusting to the heat is much better for your body and your progression than doing too much and passing out. So pay close attention to how your body feels throughout the class and if you need a rest, simply sit or lie down.
8. Shower Before The Class
Lotions, oils, makeup and perfumes can make your skin more slippery when you start to sweat and also diffuse into the air. Not only can this make it more difficult for you to hold poses during the class but it can also be distracting for other students. To avoid these potential problems, have a shower before the class begins and wash away any lotion, oils, makeup or perfume that you may be wearing.
9. Wear The Right Clothing
For the best experience during a Bikram Yoga class, you should wear as little clothing as possible. If you’re female, tiny shorts and a tank top or even a bikini are ideal. If you’re male, go for small shorts or swimming trunks.
10. Cool Down Slowly After Class
After 90 minutes in the heat, it can be very tempting to leave the room quickly and jump in the cold shower. However, cooling down too quickly is not good for your body. So take your time leaving the hot room and once you’ve left, sit in the locker room for a few minutes and relax before you hit the shower.
By following these 10 tips, you can ensure that your very first Bikram Yoga class goes smoothly. Now all that’s left to do is give it a try. So get signed up for a class and put these beginner Bikram Yoga tips into action.