Sunday, July 11, 2010

Bikram and Bachelorettes!

Morning! Hope you are all having a relaxing weekend. I've had a very eventful couple of days, so I have to recap for you.  
You know I am on a quest to try as many exercise classes as I can over the summer, right? So Friday I continued with that. I have been wanting to try Bikram yoga and when Jess and Beth said they would come with me, I knew I would try it. The three of us went to the Bikram yoga in Rockville Centre, NY. They were having a new comer special of $25 for 15 consecutive days of classes. I figured, since one class is $20, if I went 2x the deal would pay for itself. I have to admit I was nervous for the heat, so I reached out to twitter for some help. I got tips from Erica, Christie, Joanna, Ashley, Kim and Theresa.
They suggested I drink lots of water before, during and after, bring my own mat and 2 towels (one big,one small), no food an hour before, and my two favorite tips: don't get freaked out (from the heat) and run out of the room, don't be weirded out by the loud breathing sounds coming from people. All of the tips made it so much easier for me (than it would have been without them!) So thank you so much for all of the tips! 

I had done no reading on bikram before. I just knew it was going to be very hot in the room. After we got there a half hour early and signed in we went up to the room to get situated in the "newbie" spots. The newbie spots were close to the door and the fans they occasionally open and turn on. I was happy to be deemed a "newbie" if I got to be closer to escaping. When we walked in the heat kind of hits you like a slap in the face. It was obviously very dry heat, but it was about 105 degrees. I was surprised there was carpeting on the floor and that kind of grossed me out. Beth, Jess and I set up our stuff and walked out of the room. Some guy was there that saw us sitting outside and suggested we go in and get acclimated to the room, so we listened to him. I went in a just laid down on my mat/towel for the ten minutes before class. 

The bikram instructor (is that what you call her, instructor??) explained that bikram is a series of 26 poses done 2x and started and ends with breathing exercises to open up the lungs. I have to admit I wasn't a huge fan of these, but obviously I participated in them. I felt pretty good throughout the 26 poses, I just moved slowly through them. I felt the most dizzy (which wasn't bad) in the first breathing exercise. After that I felt okay. I drank plenty of water and was SOOOOO very thankful for that 2nd towel. When class was over I laid in savasana for a couple of minutes before slowly getting up. I think my body handled the heat pretty well for the first time, I think it had a lot to do with properly fueling and hydrating beforehand.  

The benefits of bikram yoga are huge. 

  • Reshapes your body
  • Restores flexibility
  • Tones, strengthens, and lengthens your muscles
  • Strengthens your spine
  • Improves circulation
  • Reduces risk of sports injury
  • Achieves relief from pain
  • Reduces your weight – lose pounds by balancing your metabolism
  • Raises energy level
  • Diminishes the effects of stress
  • Increases balance, coordination, focus and discipline
  • Clears your mind
  • Calms your soul
  • Ensures healthy and balanced functioning of the skeletal, muscular, circulatory, nervous, digestive, elimination, respiratory, endocrine, and mental systems of the body
  • Warms the muscles for greater flexibility
  • Helps achieve a deeper stretch 
  • Flushes toxins from the body
  • Improves efficiency of the immune system
  • Creates a cardiovascular workout
  • Burns calories
  • Builds endurance
Overall I liked bikram. I didn't love it, which I expected to. I definitely prefer vinyasa yoga over these poses. I didn't realize there would be no flow between the poses. I have to ask, doesn't doing the same 26 poses in the same sequence get boring time after time? I think I will go back a couple of times throughout my 15 days, so I get the most for my money. I have to give it a second (and third) chance. I did walk out feeling very open and like I did get a workout, but I was hoping for more challenging poses. Does that make sense? I would love to find a hot vinyasa class now, but one thing at a time!

On another note, Friday night I had a bachelorette party for my beautiful friend Meg. We went to her Maid of Honor's apartment in Astoria, where she made us an amazing dinner, then we went to Beauty Bar for Martini's and Manicures (all for $10!!), then went to a karaoke bar called Iggy's (76th between 2nd and 3rd).

Saturday I had bachelorette party numero deux. We wanted to take my mom out for a special day before she got married. There is only 3 weeks before her wedding and every other weekend was booked so unfortunately I had to miss out on going to Atlantic City for the rest of Meg's bachelorette party. I was bummed they both ended up being the same weekend, but we needed some girl time with my mom too. 
sweet pic

We got manicures/pedicures, went to lunch and did some shopping. We went to Wild Ginger in RVC, which my family goes to multiple times a week loves. We split a brown rice sushi platter and I also got a lunch serving of steamed tofu and veggies. I forgot to take pics, sorry!

It's been an eventful weekend so far! Now we are off to go for a run on the boardwalk and then to another barbeque. Happy Birthday Tony, by the way!

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Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen said...

You had a fun weekend! Love the manicure martini thing. That seems like fun! I haven't gone to any yoga classes, I do it at home, but I have always wanted to try the hot bikram class. I think it would be interesting. I will have to look into some different stuff soon just to keep things interesting. Have a great Sunday!

Abby said...

Sounds like fun! I really want to try Bikram!

Simply Life said...

what a fun weekend!

Fit Chick in the City said...

I've actually never been to a Bikram yoga class, because after reading about it I didn't think I would like it so much. I think you may have just confirmed my suspicions.

pegasuslegend said...

you sure like your having a great time! hope you have a fabulous rest of your summer as well!

Melissa @ For the Love of Health said...

I love the idea of a beauty place mixed with a bar! Not a bad price either!!
Looks like you had an exciting weekend for sure!

Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) said...

I think bikram is totally boring too!! after being a yoga teacher for the past 10+ yrs, it's the one type of yoga i dont "Get" the hype. Yes, it's hot, yes you will sweat, but I personally dont get a workout from it, I just sweat. If i was doing the same poses in my kitchen, I wouldnt consider them a "workout". Just some yoga poses. I MUCH prefer flow based yoga such as ashtanga (my true love) and vinyasa or anything that flows.. im with ya!

Kelly @ Healthy Living With Kelly said...

Looks like a fun weekend!

Robyn @ WannabeWriterRunner said...

I tried Bikram once. I liked that I sweat a lot and felt flexible from the heat, but I haven't been back. I used to live right near Iggy's btw!

Lele said...

I read about Beauty Bar in the Times and have desperately wanted to go ever since! I need to get up to NYC ! Well I mean plus I love everything else there too :D

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