Back to the Basics: Bikram Yoga Hot Start


I haven’t attended the hot room for quite a while but have been meaning to but due to the work load which lasts me up until wee hours of the night; attending the practice would cause a self-inflicted injury.

I started doing Bikram Yoga back in 2005 when Tristan Choa first opened Bikram Yoga Manila in Salcedo Makati. It was an inspiring practice especially after knowing that he lost tons of poundage, saved his life from health issues and that he was also inspired by yogi’s who has been practicing up until old age (Yes, I remember flipping through clear books wherein there were photos of this old lady posing the infamous pretzel) from then on, I have been in and out of practice and have tried different kinds of yoga not until one day, I just found myself not practicing anymore.

Years gone by, I got back into running. I have found the solace that I needed. I was struggling fighting the steroids I induced for my allergies, the poundage I gained and the self-esteem which had to be a work-in-progress.

Along the way, after how many marathons, fun runs and mileage. The poundage just won’t go and I’ve been getting more migraines, back aches and all these other unbearable conditions. A visit with my OBGYNE gave me the answer; I have PCOS (Polycystic ovaries). I was asked to lessen the amount of exhaustion, fatigue and stress that I put into my body even though running, of course, is a great way to lose weight and strengthen the immune system.

Running back then was my life. I couldn’t imagine a day without logging at least 3km or 5kms, Sunday’s has been a ritual of waking up early and crossing that finish line. A tough decision that I had to take.

I got myself into swimming and surfing (that was an indescribable stoke every each time!) but further on, I was also asked to opt for another sport as swimming or surfing may cause delay on my red letter days. What else am I going to do?

I remembered, Yoga.

It was quite timely when my editor-in-chief asked me to cover a Bikram Yoga challenge which was just few kilometers away from my home. Of course, as the opportunity presented itself, I took the assignment.

Read about my BIKRAM YOGA Challenge HERE

Months after, I got addicted to other group classes and wasn’t able to head back to Bikram Yoga not until last Saturday when I got back to the hot room for Bikram Yoga Alabang’s Hot Start, an introductory class to those who are clueless about the practice.

Practicing yoga at home after my Kids Yoga Certification training, I fell in love back to the practice but this time, not am I only committing to change but also to progression.

Why attend an introductory class?

BIkram Yoga Hot Start truly is a good way to review your poses and get yourself re-acquainted (especially knowing my last practice got me passed out from having to much caffeine and lack of sleep), to those who have yet to experience the practice, the introductory class would make you realize all sorts of things, not just about the practice but also about your body and condition.

You’ll get to know that..

  • It’s done in a 40 C (105F) room with 40% humidity.
  • It consists of 26 “asanas” or postures and two breathing exercises that are done twice in a row.
  • It’s 90 minutes long.
  • The combination of heat and postures are supposed to be good for blood circulation, delivering more oxygen to joints, muscles and organs.
  • Sweating is supposed to be detoxifying.
  • It’ll help you breathe better which helps you recuperate from certain illness (colds,sinusitis, asthma etc)
  • Benefits are far more than what you see

Bikram yoga Back bend

During the HOT START, I paid attention to every word Betty was going to say and was teaching. I have been trying to decode about my heart rate and why I passed out (aside from the caffein and lack of sleep) but apparently, albeit it may seem that my breathing was correct all throughout those days of my practice — it wasn’t.

Here are few things which I learned:

  • Breathe through your nose and never ever open that mouth (challenged myself not to, not a single chance)
  • As you breathe, dont’ feel awkward about making that sound as the air pass/go through the lungs
  • Only take a sip of water, yes, be strict at it.
  • Yoga is NEVER a competition (reminded by this, as I was getting a little impatient on few poses)
  • Never ever eat anything solid or heavy 2 hours prior the practice (I only had Soy Milk instead, an hour before)
  • Have COLD WATER that’ll last up until the end of the practice. It’ll help balance the heat on your body.
  • Tuck those ribs in, pelvic bone out and be mindful to square those hips.
  • Proven equation: Hydrate a day or two prior (hydrate more than you used to in a day, actually)
  • Sleep earlier than early. Complete the 8 hours cycle.

Yoga is a progressive practice and every session feels like as if it were your first time.

Know more about Bikram Yoga Alabang HERE

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8 thoughts on “Back to the Basics: Bikram Yoga Hot Start

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