So I am going to be honest with everyone here – working out for me really means working it:
- I admit to be a spin class nut tracking every heart beat and calorie torched with my pulse watch.
- I prefer running on the treadmill, as I have complete control of how long/ how far/ at which speed I am in for.
- Zumba is the only workout I do 100% just for the fun of shaking it up.
- Yoga. Bores. Me. Like. Hell.
- Yoga. BORED. me.
I tried it a couple of times and due to a certain level of natural flexibility, I never really got much out of the yoga classes I attended – I couldn’t switch of my mind to truely relax and the poses somehow never actually challenged me physically. Basically I was over it, before even starting it properly – wondering what the hype was all about.
So it was high time that my friend Jasmina kind of pushed a button, when I visited her in Mallorca end of July 2015. A now devoted yoga girl herself, practicing every day and spontaously talking me through a quite demanding yoga routine, I was left sweaty, breathless and quite sore. And who doesn’t love sore abs, eh?
So back in Munich I was suddenly determined to pick up yoga again, trying to find a style to fit my workout preferences and goals. And somehow – in the middle of the epic summer 2015 heatwave with almost 40° – I found myself chosing BIKRAM YOGA. Because whilst I am at it, I might as well go for one of the most intense styles around, right? 🙂
“All Bikram Yoga Beginning Series classes run for 90 minutes and consist of the same series of 26 postures, including two breathing exercises. Bikram Yoga is ideally practiced in a room heated to 40 °C (104 °F) with a humidity of 40%.[” Wikipedia/ Bikram Yoga]
This appealed to me strangely enough and somehow – on a Friday night – I found myself with my unused yoga mat at a nice calm studio in Munich-Schwabing: BikramYoga Schwabing.
A bit nervous, but termined to at least not pass out, I purchased a 10-day trial pass for 20€ and thought I might use it 2-3 times and then take it from there. Boy was I wrong 🙂
I think it is time to admit that I am in love – because bikram yoga seems to be exactly the workout I have been waiting for and kinda compliments all the hiit work I put in in my regular gym. The instructors were all amazing and biligually talked us through the session, providing both a calm atmosphere, advise and really good guidance. The official benefits are endless, but I can definitely testify those:
the humid heat: 40/ 100 degrees and 15+ sweating hot yogis
Practicing yoga in a heated room increases your pulse rate and metabolism, allowing your blood vessels to become more flexible and making your bod burn some major calories. This in turn makes circulation easier and increases blood flow to the limbs. And I do not even sweat this much when I am in an actual sauna. Melting like a glacier, but in an amazing way.
90 minutes me and the mirror
Bikram goes above and beyond when it comes to relieving stress and building inner confidence, at least for me based on a 10 day trial now. This practice is the true definition of “mind over matter.” The endorphin rush you receive after completing 90-minute sweat session will leave you feeling like there’s nothing you can’t accomplish. Plus the high level of concentration on the postures and yourself in the mirror, relaxes me after a while and I get so comfortable in my own skin bending into the most awkward poses – I never thought I would feel this way in just booty shorts and a bra.
It’s really for people who want a more intense workout—those who want to develop strength, flexibility and tone along with a cardiovascular workout. I now finished my 10 day trial period, I managed to go 8 times out of 10 and especially after going consecutively for 5 days I can feel and see an increase in muscle definition: abs, tights, bum and arms.
So yes, I caved. I am literally going downward-dog on bikram yoga, as it seems to be a style where I can challenge myself and at the same time relax. I am determined to reach a certain level of perfection, but just for me and not to be faster/stronger than anybody else. Because just because my yogi neighbour manages the “one-legged head-totoe” asana, does not really help me out when I am stumpling and try to keep balance.
Meaning I got my first monthly pass at the studio and will try to incorporate it into my workout routine 1-2 a week, maybe 3 times. It is a splurge, but sooo worth it – only for the amazing feeling to go into your last savasana alone. Sweaty, sticky heaven.
So, if you are looking for a challenge at another level, go give it a go at BikramYoga Schwabing, if you are in Munich (the 10 day trial is available anytime), or visit another bikram studio in your area.
It worth it. Worth the time. Worth the sweat. Worth the extra loads of washing you have to do after each class.
the former exclusive cardio nut.