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Friday, January 12, 2007

Bend, Stretch, Sweat, and Glow


Yesterday I participated in my very first Bikram Yoga class.

My friend had recently become a certified Bikram instructor and invited me to come and find out what it's all about. So off I went with my newly purchased yoga mat, a towel, and a couple of bottles of water (as instructed by my friend).

Once there I stripped down to a pair of shorts and tentatively entered the yoga room not really knowing what to expect. The room is heated (okay, it's hot) to help warm the muscles which allows for deeper and safer stretching. It also increases the heart rate for a better cardiovascular workout. And what about the heat and sweating? It helps you eliminate toxins from the body.

I personally love the hot weather so yoga in a hot room was just up my alley. It's the bending and stretching that took me by surprise. I workout at the gym five times a week and erroneously thought I'd slide through the exercises with hardly any effort, like a flexible pretzel. I was wrong, wrong, wrong!

Bikram Yoga uses twenty-six postures and breathing exercises to work the body inside and out. These poses were created to help maintain excellent health and fitness, reduce stress, lose weight, limit the effects of aging, and avert illness and injury.

Well… I quickly learned that my body doesn't like being put into foreign positions. I thought my legs were going to snap like twigs! My left side was much more flexible than my right side. And my lower back was as stiff as stiff can be. Not being one to quit I persevered and made it through the ninety minute routine.

After it was all over I was overcome with this wonderful feeling, both inside and out. I glowed.

I'm definitely going back.

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