Sunday, June 6, 2010

Bikram, In a Nutshell..

Weight: 131 lbs! Woot woot! 10 lbs to go!!!

Last year, right after I was divorced, I met a good friend who introduced me to Bikram Yoga. When I went, I was a bit scared about doing yoga in the heat... Yoga can be hard enough, and not only that but I was 40 lbs overweight. I took a break over the winter and lost 30 lbs by doing cardio and weight training. But as I have my last 10 lbs to lose, I have been thinking extensively of where I want to go from here and how I want to continue my exercise regimen.

I have found that I truly do love Bikram. It's difficult. But it's absolutely rejuvenating!

In a nutshell!
Bikram Yoga is a 90 minute yoga session in a room at about 105F with the humidity at about 40% (Bikram calls these "torture chambers "but I swear the heat and humidity does everything for your body) developed by a man named Bikram Choudhury. Its a set of 26 postures aimed at "compression" and "extension" of all organs, muscles, and joints of the body. The idea is that these two dynamics are to work together to deliver fresh oxygen every inch of the human body. While performing a posture, the body is stretching or compressing a certain part, thus cutting off circulation temporarily. This restriction of circulation causes the heart to pump more blood in reaction to the shortage, the pumping itself of fresh blood is called extension. Once the posture is complete and the person comes out of the posture, new oxygenated blood is able to rejuventate the arteries that were being compressed.
It is said that because of the volume change and influx of fresh blood that infection, bacteria, and toxins can be released and flushed out into blood and filtered through the kidneys in this process.
For those interested in spine strengthening also, this process is said to flush the cerebro-spinal fluid, which brings immunological protection (your immune system) to your brain and spinal cord!

My current troubles that I am working through are mostly due to getting dizzy and sick feeling during yoga. Although I am able to do more, I feel like a beginner again. Just wanting to gorge on water and wipe the sweat from my face (which they say not to do during class)! My whole last class I spent in large part lying down trying to calm the nausea. After class I spoke with Beth (the owner and instructor). Explained that I had made sure to hydrate enough and eat enough during the day, and couldn't figure out why I was so dizzy during class. She suggested that I pay attention to my body, what I crave, and possibly what could be causing the change. Also, I have been having muscle spasms in my right side (even though the scar tissue from my surgery is on my left...?), Beth also said it could be that my body is fighting a breakthrough. After losing so much weight and really working on my postures, the spine bending could be wanting to go farther to continue to be strengthened.

So! In effort to restore my stamina to Bikram, today I have tried just drinking water over electrolyte filled drinks (I was thinking that the sodium in the drinks might have something to do with the nausea). Also, I had a protein shake after lunch and quit eating at that point, and lunch was mostly vegetables. Normally, I would have had a protein shake around 230 and stop eating around then. My other idea was to not have coffee on days I have yoga, as coffee is a diuretic and might be dehydrating me. I love coffee, so it might be fair to say that I love Bikram more if I even THOUGHT about giving it up for yoga days! However! Last resort! :)

Awesome. I went to class having made up my mind that I was going to have an amazing class and go farther than I ever have. And not only that, but I felt amazing when I got home. My back didn't even hurt as much as it normally does after yoga. I would enjoy trying to go up to 3 classes a week, I'd love to see how that would work for my body, well-being, and exercise regimen. We'll see how next week goes. :)

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