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Bikram Yoga question

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Old 07-27-2007, 10:54 AM   #1
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Has anyone practiced Bikram Yoga? I'm going to be honest, I'm 50 lbs overweight and losing slowly. I walk 4 times a day, and wanted to add 1 day of yoga to work other parts of my body without vigorous aerobics (which I can't do).

It seems that this type of Yoga is intense. I'm wondering it is is just too much at my present weight.

Anyone been down this road???
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Old 07-27-2007, 03:19 PM   #2
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I've not done this type of yoga, I don't think it's really intended for beginners? In any case, I have no desire to put myself into a sweaty hot room for exersize. I think the theory is the heat loosens up the muscles and allows you do deepen the posutures and realease more toxins through sweat and whatnot, but I prefer to do my yoga at a more comfortable room temperature. But if there's a studio near you and you're interested I don't see any reason not to give it a try. If you don't care for it just try something else.
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Old 07-27-2007, 04:25 PM   #3
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I've done it even when I was more than 50 pounds overweight. Of all the forms of yoga I've had limited experience with, Bikram was the easiest for me to adapt to and like. go for it! The heat is intense but the postures aren't (for the most part). Many places offer 10 sessions at a discounted rate if you take them 10 days in a row. IMO, this is necessary to get used to the heat - and you do get used to it.
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Old 07-27-2007, 05:36 PM   #4
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it really depends on your heat tolerance.

Power yoga is an intense exercise in a normal temp room.

Bikram yoga is in a heated room. Personally I find it uncomfortable and it makes me queasy.

For all yoga its best to start with beginner classes. Weight (or fitness or flexiblility) has nothing to do with your yoga level.
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Old 07-27-2007, 05:58 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by ennay View Post
For all yoga its best to start with beginner classes. Weight (or fitness or flexiblility) has nothing to do with your yoga level.
With Bikram yoga, there is no 'beginner' class. It's always the same series of 26 poses.

Beginners should get there early, take a place near the rear of the room, and let the instructor know you're a beginner when they ask (and they will). They'll give you directions on what to do if the heat gets to be too much during the first few sessions.

I'm fairly heat intolerant, but by the 4th session, I was fine...by the 8 session, I was shocked at how much better and more flexible I was.
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Old 05-08-2008, 09:05 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Cubalibre7 View Post
Has anyone practiced Bikram Yoga? I'm going to be honest, I'm 50 lbs overweight and losing slowly. I walk 4 times a day, and wanted to add 1 day of yoga to work other parts of my body without vigorous aerobics (which I can't do).

It seems that this type of Yoga is intense. I'm wondering it is is just too much at my present weight.

Anyone been down this road???
Well, I started 60 lbs overweight when I began my Bikram practice mid January this year. I weighed 193 lbs and wore a size 18. I am on my 57th class and I have lost 2 dress sizes, 15 lbs of body fat, and gained 7 lbs of muscle. My blood pressure was 140/85 and 6 weeks later it was 100/68. I also have asthma. It is the only exercise I can do without taking my medication prior to class.

Although my "weight" has remained relatively steady this past month my size continues to diminish. So I have stopped even checking the scale. It's irrelevant at this point.

Bikram IS intense. However, it doesn't matter how old, sick, out of shape, what past injuries you have .... you CAN do it!

I was SOOOOO out of shape when I took my first class. I could not even do many of the poses, or so I thought. My full expression of a pose was perfect for me, for where I was at that present moment. Each class I got a little bit better and each class I got a bit thinner, noticeably. Not to mention I got stronger and more flexible. At the beginning I would not have dared move out of the back row (reserved for beginners.) One day the owner of the studio (who when she began weighed 215 lbs but is now a very svelt 130 lbs) asked me to be in the front row (reserved for advanced students) so new students could see proper technique. I scoffed, but she insisted and stated that my practice was beautiful. I have had many students comment on how "good" I have become.

This is a perfect exercise for someone who is heavy because there is no impact on your body like with running, walking, jogging, or just about any other aerobic activity. It works every single muscle, tendon, joint, organ and part of your body. I lose body fat even on the days I do not go to class.

I average 3 days a week, but I try to go 4 or more whenever I can. I day a week will not make any sort of dramatic impact on your weight loss.

We have several female instructors who have lost significant amounts of weight through Bikram yoga. One instructor started at 180 lbs and is now 120 lbs. Another followed Bikrams advice for beginners and came everyday for 2 months. After two months she had dropped 60 lbs. Did I mention none of them, nor I have dramatically changed our diets?

I cannot recommend it more highly.

You must hydrate yourself very well prior to class. Drink more water than you think you need. Drink water throughout class and especially after class. Do not eat 2-3 hours prior to class or drink any sort of caffeinated beverage. The class will increase the caffeine's effect - made that mistake once (drinking coffee on the way to class), not to mention the caffeine will dehydrate you. Take 5 classes (as close together as possible) before deciding if Bikram is for you or not.

Here are the positive effects I have had:

My skin is radiant.
I have stopped losing clumps of hair
Dramatic blood pressure change without medication(doc said WOW - don't stop this yoga)
Cut use of asthma medication by 50%
Continuous body fat loss
Muscle gain
Improved peak flow (asthma doc is quite happy as well)
Period volume has been cut in half as well as having little or no period pain, bloat or overwhelming cravings (which is a HUGE improvement for me)
Improved sleep (suffer from insomnia, but rarely have a problem sleeping anymore)
Much improved sex drive (which had plummeted to nearly nothing)
Haven't been to the chiropractor in months and at my last visit he commented on how "lose" my muscles were and asked what I was doing (again a don't stop doing this yoga comment)
Improved self-esteem.
Started at a size 18 and now I am a 14. I plan on being a size 10 by mid summer.

I FINALLY feel like I can see the light at the end of the weight loss tunnel! I have tried Atkins, South Beach, NutriSystem and just about everything else you can think of to lose weight - I would lose about 10 lbs and then suffer setbacks. I USE to be in phenomenal shape. I taught fitness and was a personal trainer for years. I was also an avid martial artist and kickboxing instructor up until about the middle of my pregnancy with my daughter (she is now 3.) A C-Section and severe post partum depression kicked my butt and left my body just totally out-of-whack.

Birkam yoga has changed my life and my health in ways that I would not have believed 6 months ago. I have even been hit on by men other than my husband as of late I still have more weight to go, but dang does it feel good to keep buying smaller pants and yet not worry about that piece of chocolate cake I had the other night!

Go, run to the nearest studio. Don't give up because it will be hard and it won't really ever get easy. It's not suppose to, but you will find people who are very non-judgmental and supportive of your journey because they have been there too.

Good luck,
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Old 05-08-2008, 09:14 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by ennay View Post
it really depends on your heat tolerance.

Power yoga is an intense exercise in a normal temp room.

Bikram yoga is in a heated room. Personally I find it uncomfortable and it makes me queasy.

For all yoga its best to start with beginner classes. Weight (or fitness or flexiblility) has nothing to do with your yoga level.
If it makes you a bit queasy then you are doing it right, or so they say!

It still, at times, makes me queasy or a bit dizzy. I simply focus on my breathing or lay down for a bit (which is both acceptable and normal, even for very advanced students.)

I have done power yoga and found that I needed to be "warm" (either through a prior cardio class or running), very warm in fact to feel like I was getting a good stretch. It's one of the things that attracted me to Bikram yoga.

And as someone else said ALL Bikram classes are Beginner Classes. There are "advanced" classes, but very few studios offer them because it takes a long time to get to that level for most people.

Bikram instructors, in my experience, are very aware of their new students and the daily, changing needs of their regular students. Some days I totally rock in that class. Other days I have to lay down a lot. Every day, every one is different. And everyone who takes Bikram Yoga experiences the humbling nature of their own body as it changes.

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Old 05-21-2008, 10:29 PM   #8
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hi everyone,

i just want to add my experience with bikram. Three years ago after the birth of my second child, i found myself weighing an extra 20kgs... it took me three months of bikram to get back to my prebaby weight, the following year i fell pregnant again and it was pretty much the same scenario... 20kgs gone after 3months of bikram... i went no less than 5 times a week for this.... since then ive moved to another state and not exercised and eaten what ever i want these last 4 months and ive gained 8kgs....!!! shock horror.... well, im back into my bikram routine and even though ive practiced for years now its like im a beginner all over again. i do enjoy that challenge and find it makes for a better practice... combined with eating well and a couple of runs ive already lost 2kgs this week...!! i love bikram!
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Old 05-22-2008, 12:39 AM   #9
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Okay, you guys have raised my interest.

I used to do Hatha Yoga several times a week, so I'm already sold on the benefits of yoga.

My question is this: Don't you slide all over your mat? Even in regular yoga, I was always sliding around. I checked my local bikram studio's website and they sell Yogitoes, which makes me think there must be a reason they offer those.

Do you do your practice in bare feet or socks?
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Old 05-22-2008, 12:58 AM   #10
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I tried Bikram yoga once, and I nearly died. Wasn't over weight. Was very flexible. Was raised in the south, so I was moderately used to hot temperatures. But still, for some reason, it was a miserably uncomfortable experience, and I usually tell everyone I know to steer very clear. The room was sooo stuffy and humid and hard to breathe in. It wasn't enjoyable for me, personally, at all.

But half of the class were 'regulars' there, and absolutely loved it. The other part of us, as far as I know, had no intentions of ever returning. To each her own!
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Old 05-22-2008, 05:21 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by yoyomadness View Post
Okay, you guys have raised my interest.

I used to do Hatha Yoga several times a week, so I'm already sold on the benefits of yoga.

My question is this: Don't you slide all over your mat? Even in regular yoga, I was always sliding around. I checked my local bikram studio's website and they sell Yogitoes, which makes me think there must be a reason they offer those.

Do you do your practice in bare feet or socks?

You actually cover your mat with a towel for the entire session...You might slide occasionally..I used to for the warrior pose and maybe one other..but it was more from my own muscular weakness I think....

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Old 06-21-2008, 12:02 PM   #12
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I think it would be an interesting thing to do..
When I first heard of it, I had an idea about doing it at home first, just to try it.. like, in the bathroom, turn the water on to a hot temperature, hotter than what you would normally use, and just let it stem the bathroom and make it hot, and then try it.
I didn't do it, but I just thought maybe it would be kind of a way to get used to the heat and everything that you would get from doing the whole group thing.
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Old 09-20-2008, 12:39 PM   #13
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I just finished my 6th class in a row, I had my first class ever last week. I LOVE IT. I'm completely hooked. I'm down 8 pounds, because my appetite is down, I drink water all day now, and am only eating non-processed foods. I come from an athletic background but I have ~30ibs to lose from knee surgery weight gain. If you can make it through the first 2-3 classes its all down hill from there. Its sooooooooooooooooo good for you, and feels so amazing. My skin is clear, I've lost inches in days, and I feel amazing.

I wish I had discovered bikrams earlier. I always thought yoga was for hippies but its actually amazing for strenthening and balance, and weight loss at 550-1300kcal per 90 minute class.
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Old 09-20-2008, 08:02 PM   #14
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i went once with a friend and LOVED it. unfortunately I just can't afford to go regularly. but it's great because you can take a break and lay down and like with other types of yoga, you only do what your body is capable of, so beginners through advanced can practice together.
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