I love the Twitter yoga community. Have a question, need advice…? Just put it out there, and the Twitter universe will deliver the answer.
That was the case last week when I posted about how excited I was to be attending my first Bikram yoga class at the new Bikram Yoga Cleveland, which recently opened in Shaker Heights, Ohio (just a few seconds away from the John Carroll University campus).
For those of you who are unfamiliar with Bikram yoga, it is a 90-minute class that consists of 26 yoga postures conducted in 105 degree heat (yeah, you read that right, 105 with the added bonus of 40% humidity!). It has an enthusiastic, if not rabid, group of devotees. I’d heard enough about Bikram from fellow yogis who I respect, including the fact that it leaves you with a killer yoga high, that I had more than a morbid curiosity to try it for myself.
As excited as I was to go for that awesome Bikram high, I’ll go on the record to say that I had more than just a little first-time performance anxiety. So, I put a question out to the Twitter community to ask how exactly one might prepare for their very first Bikram experience. Here are a few of the responses I received:
@Stelc81: …have no expectations just an open heart and open mind… after my first class I knew I wanted to teach. (Wow, that is quite the endorsement.)
@LOiseauLibre: Wear as little as possible. Otherwise you will want to rip all your clothes off!
@shinyyoga: Hydrate BEFORE class and don’t forget yr yogitoes 🙂 have fun
@cathershaffer: Don’t wear long pants and long sleeves. Too many newbies come in way overdressed and then they die.
@ilovesweat.com: drink lots of water and eat healthy today. Forget everything you know about yoga, listen to your teacher, have fun
@calarcoyoga: …listen to yourself, not the teacher 🙂
(Hmmm, what to do? Listen to the teacher, listen to myself….I love it when I get conflicting advice.)
@DharmaBeginner: Drink a bottle of water before class, bring water for during and after, and bring 2 towels: 1 to cover your mat & 1 to dry off
@upsdownyogamom: Be prepared to sweat a lot ….. you will feel amazing afterwards! Enjoy!
I even got advice from some of my followers on Facebook:
Elizabeth Maude Hayes: Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. And think happy thoughts.
Stela Balaban: Most bikram places give beginners special attention by placing them right under the instructor’s eyes. So that’ll help. There’s really nothing that can prepare you for the heat. But you’ll survive and it’ll feel wonderful. The class may even clap for you at the end.
After all the advice, I figured if I drank lots of water and pretty much showed up naked, I would be good to go!
The night before class, all of the Twitter and Facebook conversations must have played in my mind because I had the most hilarious dream about my first Bikram class. After the dream class, I was upset that I had not even broken a sweat. I couldn’t really remember much about the class, but I know I thought it was a piece of cake. Later in the dream, I saw everyone leaving the class all sweaty, and I realized that I had left the class during a prescribed break and didn’t know we were supposed to go back in. Needless to say, I didn’t get a really great night of sleep before my very first Bikram rendezvous.
I woke up the next morning, skipped the coffee, immediately started consuming water and juice, and ate just a small bowl of oatmeal (I was told not to eat, but I need a little fuel in me and made sure it went into my system at least two hours before class started). I made the 45-minute trek to the studio and met up with my good yogini pal Cherie Greenwald, who had invited me to attend the class with her.
Can I just say: Bikram Yoga Cleveland is a beautiful studio! The sleek stylish design, excellent locker room/shower facility, and the funky colorful Warhol-esque paintings of Bikram Choudhury on the walls make this a great new addition to the Cleveland yoga community. If you have always wanted to try Bikram like me, a visit to Bikram Yoga Cleveland should go on your to-do list.
I know you all are anxiously awaiting to hear about my experience. Did my no sweat dream come true, did I get that elusive yoga high and immediately sign up for the next Bikram yoga teacher training? Well, you will have to wait until tomorrow to get the rest of the story, because this is also my very first Daily Downward Dog cliff hanger! Stop by tomorrow for the full review.