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Bikram. That word probably makes my boyfriend and friends cringe whenever they hear me say it, knowing the testimonials and lectures and overall gushing praise that follows after it. People often say that bikram is like a cult and there are plenty of parodies that make fun of Bikram yoga. Well, I'm here to tell you that there is truth to all of it. It really is as ridiculous as the parodies make it seem. And I am a proud and occasionally obsessed cult follower.
So seriously guys. Let's talk about Bikram.
Now that the marathon is over, I don't want to lose the momentum that I gained during my training. Weight-wise, I plateaued around Week 9/12 and at this point, running would be maintenance but nothing more. More importantly, it wouldn't do anything (much) for my core, which is the next thing I want to concentrate on. Which is why, a week after crossing the finish line, my summer of Bikram began. I finally signed up for unlimited auto-renewal membership at my studio instead of yoga-ing along sporadically with whatever Groupon and LivingSocial deals were available.
The last time that I went to Bikram regularly (3-4x/week), I lost about 10 lbs and never felt better in my life. If you don't know what Bikram is, let me explain by telling you what it isn't:
- It's not an ancient practice. Bikram is named after the man who created it, Bikram Choudhury, in the 1970s.
- It's not "hot yoga" - yes, the room is heated but this is very different than going to a hot yoga class at your local studio.
- It's not something that just anyone can teach - Bikram studios are franchises that Choudhury gives licenses to and instructors have passed intensive teacher training that he leads for two months each year in Los Angeles.
- It's not something that requires you to be flexible or have any kind of yoga experience. Until Bikram I had never once in my life been able to bend over and touch my toes and I had never taken a proper yoga class or done a single downward dog.
- And it's not something that only young, hot vegans and celebrities do - on any given night in my studio, the age range is from 15-75, the male to female gender ratio is 1:1, and the body type ranges from the giant Chargers players that drop in to the lithe stereotypes you've heard about.
For the next three months, my goal is to get to class a minimum of three times each week. Just like with marathon training, my Motivation Monday posts will now consist of me confessing my successes and obstacles in this new self-imposed fitness challenge. My first two classes back last week were pretty standard for me as far as whenever I start back up again after a long sabbatical: lots of savasana and feeling nauseous. But hopefully, as I keep going, I can share with you just how much of a positive impact Bikram has on my life and my health and all of the positive things that made me fall in love with it! Have you ever tried Bikram?
- went to 2 bikram classes
- lost 1 lb