Heyyoooo! I just went to my very first yoga class (this still counts for my summer bucket list, right?). Bikram Yoga in Athens was offering free classes all day this Sunday, so my bloggin friend Haley and I decided to be brave and sign up for the 4:00 class with Natalie. Bikram Yoga is a form of hot yoga that lasts an hour and a half and progresses through 26 poses, both sitting and standing, as well as two breathing exercises. Here’s a little recap of my experience!
Lezzzbehonest: spending an hour and a half in a 105 degree room looking like you just got out of a pool while stretching your body in weird, impossible ways is not an experience that most would use the word “fun” to describe, and I would probs agree with you. However, there are a few things that made this experience worthwhile and a yoga practice that I would consider doing again.
1.) The atmosphere of the studio. Wow! This place is beautiful! It has a very industrial but cozy feel, and the apparel and mats for sale were amazing (oh hey, lululemon). Not only were the aesthetics amazing, both the space and the staff were unbelievably kind and welcoming. As a first-timer, I was nervous about my level of flexibility and if I gave off the appropriate amount of “I look like I know what I’m doing when I really don’t” vibe, but I was so encouraged when the first words out of a staff member’s mouth were, “Sit down on your mat if you have to, and just have fun.”
2.) No judgement; all freedom. Despite the varying experience levels, there was never a sense of superiority in the studio. If you’re like me, you want to go to the gym or a group fitness class kinda knowing what you’re doing because you don’t want to be the one at the back of the class with no clue what’s going on. Before going into Bikram Athens, I was pretty paranoid about this, but I quickly learned that yoga (or this particular class at least) was not in the least bit competitive. The purpose was solely to leave the room better than you were when you walked in. For some that meant with more flexibility, others with less stress, and even others with more focus.
3.) No time for mind wandering or worry. For me, this was quite possibly the best benefit. That was an hour and a half of my day that I had zero focus, time, or energy to put toward any other uncertainty or worry surrounding me. No chance to think about school, no chance to think about a schedule, no chance to think about the future. Free your mind; be in this moment only.
Photo courtesy of Etsy
4.) The post yoga physical feeling (and especially the watermelon at the end of class). I’ll be completely candid and say that as I walked out of the building, the thought in my head was, “Never again in my life.” However, now I feel sooooo good. It’s hard to give specific feelings but definitely lighter, looser, more energized, and like I could take on the world. One hour later and heck yeah, let’s do it again!
I would highly recommend taking some sort of yoga class at least once. Next I want to try some sort of Vinyasa flow class just to see the vibes of a different practice!
What’s your favorite yoga or group fitness practice? I’d love to hear some new ideas and opinions!