Workout Wednesday 6 – Bikram Yoga
I am currently typing out this post with socks stuffed with ice wrapped around my head. Although it is a fantastic look, I am not doing it for the fashion but rather to heal up my face as soon as possible. I had my wisdom teeth removed on Monday and although everything went smoothly, the healing process is never fun. I am getting a little tired of drinking juices and smoothies and can’t wait to get back to my sweet potato, avocado and chicken meals that I eat almost every day.
Another thing I have been doing quite often lately is hot yoga, specifically bikram yoga. I love to do this in the winter months for a number of reasons, including heat adaptation, stretching sore muscles and working on breathing deeply. This past weekend, I put it to the test. I had just done my largest ironman training weekend to date – a 28 km long run followed by a 2:15 hr bike ride and 20 min brick run. Although I still felt good, my legs felt a little heavy.
I went to a hot yoga class the Sunday following all of this and later that day, I went on an easy 8 KM run. There was no heaviness left in my legs, I felt stretched out and healthy and quite frankly, felt like a million bucks! I will be keeping hot yoga into the rotation as I continue to build in my training.
So what is Bikram Yoga vs Hot Yoga?
Hot yoga is any yoga practiced in a hot room.
Bikram yoga is is a twenty-six posture series designed to scientifically warm and stretch muscles, ligaments and tendons, in the order in which they should be stretched.
In a nutshell? All Bikram yoga is hot, but not all hot yoga is Bikram.
Why Do I Do Bikram Yoga?
- Social. I meet up with a good friend once a week and we get our yoga on.
- Flexibility. I find that I do not stretch enough of my own accord during the week and this is a great way to ensure I keep my muscles healthy.
- Breath. There are a few series of breath practices and I find that it is helpful to train me to breathe deeply. This helps me be a less stressed person and a healthier athlete.
- Focus. Some of the poses require laser focus. I find that by practising this intense focus helps to translate to better focus in training.
- Single leg strength. I have some imbalances between my left and right side. There are a lot of single leg poses in the practice and it helps me to even out.
- Heat training. Sometimes the room gets HOT. I find that I am able to hop back into summer training much faster if I have done hot yoga all winter long.
Helpful Tips for Hot Yoga
- Make sure to drink plenty of water before, during, and after class so you don’t get dehydrated. It is not advisable to eat during the two hours before you take a class.
- Bring your own mat. You sweat more than you want to admit at these classes and being on a used mat, even clean, doesn’t sit well with me.
- If you are brand new and all you achieve in the first class is sitting through the class, you are good.
- Don’t overextend your muscles. The heat will make them more flexible than if you were in a cool room. Make sure to listen to your body.
Do you do yoga? If so, how often?