Have you ever tried Bikram Yoga? If not then you need to.
I have just started back and I've missed it. It's so hard for me to fit in any time for myself to do anything, especially exercise. I spend most of my time working or on trains travelling up and down the country. The perils of working away from home!
But..... every time I do make time then I choose to go to Bikram.
It's yoga but in 40 degrees heat. This may sound horrendous and to be honest for some people it is. I took a friend once and promised her she'd love it. At the end of the class, which is 90 minutes, she glared at me, half joking but definitely not amused. I asked had she enjoyed it and her response was "I'm not quite ready to speak to you yet!"
Well, needless to say she didn't return.
Another friend I took along however had the opposite experience. She loved it. In fact she started going every day and became hooked. That's the charm with Bikram, it really can hook you.
You start off with an offer of 30 days for £30. It's really clever because it's so addictive that if you do the 30 days you're not going to want to stop so they then have a lifelong customer.
If I didn't have to work away so much I would be there every few days. The timing isn't great for that right now because I have two little ones who come priority to any spare time I haveat the moment. When I do have a week at home and I can squeeze in a few hours for myself then that's where I'm headed.
So they have a series of postures and they are exactly the same every class so you become stronger at them each time you go. Once you get in the class you're advised not to leave which is great because at the end it makes you feel so energised and positive.
I've always struggled with aches and pains from carrying such a heavy kit around and working in awkward positions so for me it's the perfect way to fix myself. It's a series of stretches, balancing and strength of mind. A full hour and a half to focus on nothing but yourself.
If like me you worry about walking into somewhere new and having everyone staring at how much you're getting it wrong then this is the class for you. Quite frankly nobody cares because they are all so focused on their class and getting the best out of it that you only have time to look at yourself.
Improving your own technique is what motivates you and gets you through each session.
Now I know the first question everyone wants to know is how you cope in the heat? Well you just do. Yes it's hot but your mind is taken off the heat by the concentration that goes into getting each posture correct and pushing yourself to be your best. If you feel the heat is getting a bit much you can sit or lie down and take as long as you need. When you come out you are literally soaked. I sweat from places I didn't even know you could sweat from and you'll definitely need to wash your hair after. But it is 100% worth it.
As I'm sitting here, on another train, writing this, it's making me want to go to class. The only problem is they don't do this everywhere. I go to the Manchester Bikram Yoga when I'm working from the academy. They have several in London but they're not available everywhere. There is a similar sounding class called hot yoga but I went to one recently and it was nowhere near as good. In fact it wasn't like Bikram at all, they're both very different I think.
And what about the results?
Well for me it helps with my suppleness. My body is not the most flexible so it stretches everything out and makes me feel lighter. It de-stresses me. It makes me step away from my phone and work for a few hours, and the main part... it strips weight off me.
The amount you sweat means you get rid of so much fluid but the stretching tones up the body and gets rid of cellulite, and I find it stays away.
I'm now itching for my next class and if you can feel my excitement from reading this then maybe I'll see you there!