If you’ve ever done a Bikram class you should have experienced the incredible peace you get after the class that usually lasts quite a while. The body can even tingle all over for hours and you can sleep like a log! However what about when you are in the class itself? Is it possible to feel that peace when you are challenging yourself in so many ways? When you first start it may not feel like it as the mind often wanders, you’re busy checking out the other students’ postures, often comparing yourself and all sorts of other distractions (such as the heat) can manage to get your attention.
However there are a couple of simple pointers that can be put into action straight away that I personally have found to really have a beneficial effect not only on my postures but also my whole class experience.
Drink lots of water before you come to class
Now I know this one is obvious and you should have heard it many times but make sure you drink lots of water before you come to class. You do sweat a lot in a Bikram class so obviously you need to be hydrated before class and also after class to replenish what you have lost.
However, I was always a bit concerned that if I drank too much water I would need to go to the loo mid-class so I would not drink as much as I should! It was a belief that I used to limit myself with and I can so see that now. I finally got over myself and started to drink a lot more than I used to and that addition alone made such a difference to my strength. The difference in how I felt, how much stronger and calm I was in the postures, was like night and day. I know it is such a simple thing but when you’ve been stuck with a limiting belief for many years and finally kick it – it is a great feeling.
Breathe through your nose (not your mouth)
A lot of energy can be wasted by huffing and puffing through the mouth during and in between postures. Again I was guilty of that for a long time and more recently another teacher just happened to mention to breathe through the nose instead of the mouth particularly when standing in between postures. The room I was practicing in at the time was incredibly hot and humid even for me, and it really helped me stay calm and bring back my attention and focus rather than letting the mind go all over the place and allowing the internal chatter to have a negative effect. Again it was an instant realisation that something so simple could have such a beneficial effect.
Those are the things I love – small adjustments but with big results. I hope they help!