Home > Uncategorized > 30/30 – Day 4 – Bikram Yoga

30/30 – Day 4 – Bikram Yoga

As a part of my training, I am incorporating different disciplines other than just swimming, biking and running.  Yoga was the first addition to my repertoire.  I added it after seeking the advice of fellow triathletes and coaches.  The consensus was that yoga added emphasis on flexibility and injury prevention make it a worthwhile addition to any training plan.

After deciding that I wanted to add yoga, I had to decide what type of yoga to practice.  In my case, the criteria was simple, it had to work with my schedule.  Between work, class, and regular training hours, there aren’t many times that will work for me to fit in yoga, so a simple google search for yoga studios coupled with a comparison of their class times left me with one choice, Bikram yoga.

I didn’t know much about this particular brand of yoga, so I had to do some research.  What I found out was this yoga is past hot yoga and is practiced in rooms heated to 105 degrees with 60-80% humidity for 90 minutes.  For a hot natured guy like me, even reading that gave me pause.

I sucked it up and went in, though, and barely made it through my first class.  I kept thinking, “This must be what food feels like when it’s being cooked!”  The instructor was very gracious and there was no expectation that I would be able to even attempt all the postures (26 in total) during the first class.  The school recommends that you come back within 24 hours (and that you do 10 classes in 10 days), but with my schedule, I get 2 or 3 classes in a week.

Bikram Yoga in Dallas is a great studio.  At this point I have had classes with all the instructors except two, and they are great.  While I chuckle at the “script” (they all say almost the exact same things at the same times in the class), they really are invested in seeing you improve.  I had noticed an amazing increase in my flexibility and I feel looser in general.  I have been going to yoga for a month now, and I feel much more comfortable both in the class (have finally got used to the heat) and on the bike (especially in aero).  Another benefit I’ve noticed is that I am able to control my breathing much better now.  In class, they tell us to breathe through our nose and work on keeping our heart rate down as much as possible.  I’ve found myself using the same technique at times on my runs and bikes to bring my heart rate down.  I never would have though that would be a side effect of my training, but I’ve found it very helpful.  An added bonus is that I am racing the Ironman Louisville and it is reputed to be hot and humid there every year, so this can only help my endurance level in those sorts of conditions.  I keep thinking that one day I might ask to bring my bike and trainer up there for an hour or two between classes and ride to get used to it (not that we will be lacking in 100+ degree days with our fair share of humidity).

I am very pleased that I listened to the recommendations to add yoga to the routine.  I honestly wish I had more time so I could practice daily.  While it is still a struggle to perform many of the postures, and I’m not able to block out what’s going on outside the studio in my life, I have found that it does give me a chance to breathe and, in a very palpable way, sweat out what’s going on in my life.

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