Health & Well-Being

Why I Love Bikram\’s Yoga

Why I Love Bikram\’s Yoga

Bikram\’s and other forms of hot yoga are highly controversial, but so are lot of other fitness activities such as Crossfit, long distance running and body building. True, you can really injure yourself from inexperience, bad advice and trainers, which is why they are all controversial in the first place. It\’s unfortunate that the world of fitness is full of haters and those who think their way is the only right way —but that\’s not true! The right way is the way you LOVE because it keeps you moving.

Isn\’t that the whole point?

I was really fit when I tried Bikram\’s for the first time but if I wasn\’t, I\’m quite sure I would have hated it because intolerable thoughts of insane heat and how hard holding the poses were, would be rooted into my mind …and I would\’ve never gone back. You really need a bit of mental toughness to overcome the feeling of suffocation in the smothering heat of a Bikram\’s class. Yes, you develop mental toughness if you manage to persevere through multiple classes but it\’s much easier when you already have previous experience dealing with this kind of torment, so you won\’t be turned off on your first try. But as someone who really fucking loves fitness, I now see it as a relaxing practice to compliment my other workouts, thus my body can feel balanced and rejuvenated.

I still haven\’t acquired the discipline to sit through an hour of the other types of yoga (one day…) but I\’m a huge fan of Bikram\’s because it\’s a mix of everything I love when it comes to fitness put in a yoga class: sweat, intensity, difficulty and surprisingly, the heat. When I took my first class, the heat was the monster I was most afraid of— I couldn\’t even sit in a bathtub full of hot water because I felt trapped by the steam so I was pleasantly at surprised myself. These days I long to be in a heated room doing yoga.

No, I don\’t believe you literally get detoxified and sweat out a significant amount of toxins during hot yoga because that job goes to your hardworking kidneys. No, I don\’t believe you can burn fat. When you sweat during hot yoga, you are mainly sweating out water… and losing a lot of water weight (a.k.a. not actually burning \”fat\”) but that\’s not why I\’m there. I\’m there because:

It makes me feel amazing!

And I want to get a reallyyyy good stretch and to \”FEEL\” detoxified because you always feel rejuvenated after a Bikram\’s class. Did I also forget to mention the challenge? Every class, albeit the same 26 poses, will be hard because you are challenging yourself to stretch deeper and hold it for longer. Like all things fitness, it relaxes your mind, body and soul and is simply a perfect getaway from the stresses of everyday life. I would rather be stressed and pumping out cortisol from trying to hold a Standing Head-to-Knee Pose than stressed out from my day job.

Perhaps one day I will make the time to practice other forms of yoga regularly, but we all have to start somewhere.

Have you tried Bikram\’s or another form of hot yoga? Do you love it?


    Lessons I Learned from Fitness

    Lessons I Learned from Fitness

    1. Working out is 80% mental.
    2. Workout harder. Not longer.
    3. Skipping makes you want to pee.
    4. Foam-roll your shins!!
    5. There is more to life than working out. Missing one workout isn\’t going to affect you.
    6. Although not doing any high intensity interval training for 3+ weeks and trying to get back into it will make you feel like a weakling. So train consistently!
    7. High intensity is the best way to burn fat. Although that\’s not to say you can\’t do steady-state cardio if you truly enjoy it. The only \”right way\” is the way that works for you and the way that keeps you moving.
    8. You don\’t need to do crunches to work your core. Lift heavy things. Walk around with heavy things. It will stabilize and strengthen your core.
    9. Just because you look fit doesn\’t mean you are healthy.
    10. If you do a lot of endurance activities, you need carbs. A lot of carbs.
    11. Sugar is more harmful to your health than fat.
    12. The best \”pre-workout\” for me is a cup of coffee. Plus coffee is a super-food loaded with antioxidants. A cup a day (or two), sans sugar, is healthy and beneficial for your health.
    13. It\’s okay to skip breakfast. It\’s NOT the important meal of the day.
    14. There is no such thing as perfection.
    15. Mantras work.
    16. Ride and run without music— immerse yourself into nature or get lost in your thoughts and do some self-reflection.
    17. You are better than no one at the gym. No one is better than you.
    18. Good job, you lost the weight. Now how are you going to keep it off? HABITS. It\’s not about dieting. It\’s about changing your lifestyle.
    19. Train to add value to your life. Not to turn yourself into a miserable and antisocial human-being.
    20. Everyone\’s bodies are different. What works for me may not work for you.
    21. It\’s okay to eat crap… if you eat healthy 80% of the time. The whole point of living is to enjoy life and we all need our treats! We are ALL human.
    22. Working out too much = diminishing returns.
    23. Stretch, foam-roll, get massages, do yoga, take ice baths, use epsom salts… or you will regret it once all that lack of recovery hits you with painful knees, back problems, constant soreness and other fitness-related injuries.
    24. Work with what you have and be proud of it. To some people, abs come naturally. Unfortunately, that\’s not me because I cannot commit to a 6-pack since I refuse to give up my favorite foods. I know I have great arms and shoulders so I can work with that instead! What about you? Don\’t ever fret about what comes difficult and make the most out of what comes naturally.
    25. It\’s not about how many reps or how much weight you can lift or how fast you can go, but it\’s about pushing and challenging yourself every time you train to make yourself better— physically, aesthetically and most importantly, mentally. Is health and fitness making you happier and feeling more confident?


      Ways To Be Flawless

      Ways To Be Flawless

      I was reading 100 Ways To Be Flawless on Thought Catalog and wanted to point out my favorites and comment on others:

      4. Learn to tolerate people. You won’t like everyone, and that’s okay. But that’s no reason to be rude.
      Life is too short so you should only surround yourself with people you genuinely love and care about. But not to say you shouldn\’t be civilized to everyone else.

      7. Don’t do things with the expectation of a reward. You deserve a “thank you,” but that’s not a reason to help someone either. Do it just to do it.

      20. Find a favorite place. Where you can escape the world when the world gets too much.
      My \”favorite place\” is a bike route from downtown to Horseshoe Bay and Whiteclyff Park in West Vancouver. The narrow, hilly winding road is my favorite place to ride to when I want to escape.

      28. Get lost somewhere. It may be dangerous at times but it’s worth roaming the streets of a pretty city for a while.
      I will be getting lost in Europe for seven weeks in 37 days. I can\’t wait!

      34. Don’t believe everything on the Internet. Obviously.
      Especially when it\’s fitness-related.

      37. Take everything with a grain of salt. And don’t sweat the small stuff.

      41. Always be on the pursuit of knowledge. Never allow yourself to stop learning, or stop wanting to learn.

      57. Think of the one thing you could do every day for the rest of your life. And do it. Even if you can’t make it your living, even if you can only do it once in a while; find something that you love to do.

      65. Own as many comfortable clothes as possible. Because rainy days need comfort.
      Yay for workout gear!

      70. Remember that you don’t have to look skinny to look good. Because some types of clothing don’t even look good on skinny girls, and you should not think you have to be tiny to be pretty.
      Embrace your curves, ladies!

      87. Respect your friends’ decisions. You don’t have to agree with them. It’s their life. But love them anyway.

      92. Always try. Don’t accept defeat if you haven’t truly tried.

      Click here to read the full list.

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