Hello everyone and happy Wednesday! For the month of March I am going to be featuring a guest post a week from bloggers I’ve met along the way. The first to kick off the this fun series is Tajuana Paige from Heathy and Fit a blog about healthy recipes. Tajuana is was born and raised in New Jersey but currently lives in Maryland. She is a dog and cat lover, with two furry cat babies. On a Friday night you can find her watching Netflix and drinking wine… sounds perfect right! She is a history buff, loves reading, and yoga. Which lead her to writing this post for me, about her journey through Bikram yoga. You all know my love for yoga so what a perfect fit! Without further ado…
I first discovered that I needed yoga in my life about 6 years ago. I just graduated college and had plans of going straight to law school but life had other plans. I ended up right where I started before going to college…my parents house. I worked for a year and during that year I found out what I wanted to do with my life (at least up until that point). I applied to multiple Graduate Schools and I was accepted! I packed my stuff and moved out of my parents house and headed on to Graduate School. I was lucky enough to find an amazing roommate who I am still very close friends with to this day. But I felt like I was missing something. I was in a new city, new people and new routines. I was working full time and going to Graduate School at night. I wanted an outlet, a release. It was then that I discovered a yoga studio right around the corner from my apartment. I was so chic, an apartment in the city and walking to yoga classes. I was on Cloud 9. I instantly fell in love. Over the past 6 years, I have gone to hundreds of yoga classes at the studio where I found my passion. Thankfully they have multiple studios around the area so I have been able to attend different classes with different instructors. I have even reconnected with an old friend from home through yoga. Yoga changed me and I didn’t know that 6 years ago I would come to find how much I needed yoga.
During these past 6 years I have discovered that there are many different yoga practices. I have been lucky enough to try a handful of them. My favorite is Vinyasa Yoga; incorporated with heat at times! The room is usually heated to 78 to 95 degrees. I will refer to Vinyasa Yoga with heat added as heated Vinyasa Yoga. Yes you read that correctly, heated yoga! One who has not done yoga before is probably thinking “Okay yoga looks hard enough by itself now you want to add heat?! No I’m good, thanks!” But it’s amazing what the heat does to your body, it loosens your muscles; it’s an all-around amazing experience. I felt like I was on top of the world taking heated yoga classes…until I was introduced to a new yoga practice.
Bikram Yoga, the original Hot Yoga (I like to say hot because heated refers to Vinyasa)! And by hot I mean the room is heated to a cute 100 degrees or above. Scary?! I've taken heated yoga classes before, that's what I mainly practice; heated Vinyasa yoga. In Vinyasa yoga your main goal is to make all of the poses flow together. Some poses flow better together than other poses. The poses vary from class to class. One class the instructor may be feeling handstands, another instructor may be feeling planks. It all depends on the instructor and the day honestly. But Bikram Yoga is...different.
Bikram Yoga uses the same 26 poses every.single.class. Say what now?! Every single class? Every single time?! Yes, you read that correctly -- the same exact 26 poses every single class. That's helpful because that allows you to track your progress on every single pose.
Shavasana or Corpse Pose is by far the hardest pose for me and I just found this out recently. This pose occurs at the end of each class. Corpse Pose is present in Vinyasa AND Bikram (one of the few similarities with these two very different practices of yoga). In Corpse Pose you lay on your mat. The key is to stay perfectly still, ignore all distractions around you and focus on your internal self and your breath. I am distracted easily, I still have that childlike personality trait ;)...if sweat is dripping down my face, I want to take care of it ASAP but the point is to ignore all outside forces trying to throw you off of your game. Wow that is hard for me but that is why they call yoga a PRACTICE. I am constantly evolving, each and every time I step on my mat, I am evolving into a better and more experienced yogi.
Although, I enjoyed Bikram, my heart will always be with Vinyasa Yoga. I love variation in my yoga practice, I thrive on it. I had to try Bikram Yoga for myself to say that I’ve done it. I think it’s important for us yogis to try different types of yoga in order for us to know what practice fits us best. I love going into yoga class and not knowing what to expect, I thrive on adventure and surprise. Weird that I actually just typed that because I am the ultimate planner and I cannot do anything without first having a plan. Interesting? Yes, maybe yoga is my escape from my crazy planning mind.
I see Bikram as a challenge for me. I do not enjoy doing the same pose over and over again (this goes for situations in life as well). I am, by nature, easily distracted. Libras become bored very easily with routine and always need to switch it up. That trait is so evident in my yoga practice and that’s why I was so drawn to Vinyasa Yoga. But Bikram was good for me too. It helped me to understand that the repetition of the 26 poses was to allow you to track your progress and at the same time to be patient with yourself.
Bikram Yoga is also great not only for patience and compassion towards yourself and others but great for weight loss. I think I lost 5 pounds in that 90 minute class, I have never sweat so much in my ENTIRE life. It felt so good to try something new and to know that I have Bikram Yoga now in my books of "Things Tried". It is no longer a mystery to me, I have ventured over into a different box in the yoga world and it's not too bad.