For some of you, you are aware that Bikram Yoga Alabang (BYA) is one of my #RoadToSub300 partners. For 5 weeks, I’ve been going through their doors at 8:00 in the morning to attend one (1) of four (4) weekday classes and at 9:00 in the morning to attend one (1) of two (2) weekend classes to complete four (4) classes a week for the past four (4) weeks. This is to comply with one (1) of two (2) challenges BYA has come up with their clients twice a year. The die hard clients would do a 30-day challenge while the not so brave souls could opt for the 4×4 challenge; As long as you complete four (4) sessions a week for four (4) weeks straight, then you are good.
When I approached BYA last June, my initial plan was to do three (3) times a week but they invited me to try their 4×4 challenge out which I immediately accepted. What could go wrong, right?
I — and I guess a lot of first timers — will never forget their first session. Prior to my first session, it has been over a year. Nothing prepared me for my first session back. First off, I thought every yoga studio was the same, and I thought “Bikram Yoga” was just a name and was just the same as the others. Boy, was I wrong. To my understanding, Bikram Yoga is a tad simplified but in a heated room. The other studios I have practiced just didn’t have air-conditioning in their studios. BYA intentionally installed heaters to “up the ante”, so to speak. Making this seemingly easy practice a tad bit difficult.
So, what would you expect going to a heated room unprepared? I almost fainted… 5 times… and also experienced a panic attack. On the 45th minute, I had to storm out of the studio to get some fresh air and had to be “dragged” back in to complete the practice. Of course, I dragged myself into it. There is no backing out now. So by the time the next practice came, I made sure I was prepared. On the second day onwards, I made sure I had, at least, one (1) liter of water on standby to combat the thirst and hilo when it sets in. Except for some poses at the beginning of the practice and a couple towards the end, you are allowed to take sips — but in my case, huge gulps — of water here and there which is good. You need lots and lots of water in weight loss and consuming at least two (2) liters per exercise made me drink a whole lot of water.
Fast forward to two weeks in, and I can say that I’ve improved on some postures. Was able to last a couple of practices without stopping and I would also say that my skin has become much smoother.
What I learned is that Yoga is for everybody and it shows in BYA’s clientele. I met and made friends with different people. From DJ’s, to working moms, to bloggers, to online celebrities. The list goes on and on. There is no physical requirement to do yoga. Simply go and do it.
Even if it is a class practice, just like CrossFit, it is non-discriminatory. Even though you are faced with two huge mirrors, no one is there to judge what you wear and if you are falling off or not. The goal is to improve your own movement and not the movement of others. Sure, you hear people talk about each other’s postures. But it is for their improvement, nothing else. Last week, I was also brave enough to go topless because the shirt gets really heavy from all the sweat it collects and it’s just fine.
CrossFitters in my community who practice Yoga would advice you to do Yoga AFTER CrossFit. I would do Yoga BEFORE CrossFit. The practice drains you, yes. But it still gives you enough to time to rest enough for you to continue your day and in my case, go to CrossFit. What is the best practice? Find it out for yourself.
If you are interested to know more about BYA, go to their studio which can be found in their website. Last Sunday was the last day of our 4×4 challengers and this week ends the 30-day challenge. This week, we will be having a party to celebrate everybody’s — mine included — victory in pushing through and completing their own challenges.
(image courtesy of http://www.teamasia.com/)