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That time I only just survived my first Bikram yoga class...

Guys I’m about to drop some truth on you, some cold-hard no-BS truth about my first experience with Bikram Yoga.

I’m all for trying new things especially when it comes to exercise. I have the attention span of a goldfish, so doing the same workout routine bores me to tears. In a typical week I try to punch up a boxing class, limber up in a pilates sesh, drown myself in a couple swim laps, and “play” in a basketball team on the weekends. In summer, you cannot keep me off my paddle board (minus the yoga – definitely not that coordinated yet), so I love a little variety in my life. Don’t we all! So, when a Bikram yoga studio opened down the end of my street I obviously couldn’t wait to give it a go.

For those who have not been blessed with the sweat and tears (literally) of a Bikram yoga session, please, let me enlighten you! Bikram is a type of Hatha yoga performed in a room set at a scorching temperature. Now, when I say scorching temperature I mean like, not a visit to the Greek islands in July… I mean like a visit to the sun.

Obviously, I’m a big fan of yoga. After a long day at the office some time on my mat can completely transform my mood from hectic and stressed to breathing again. It has taken some practice to dial that brain activity down a notch but I consider it a life skill – master of your mind.

Given my lack of coordination and fear of hot rooms (I am a winter girl through and through), I’m still unsure as to how I so enthusiastically ended up in this little studio trying Bikram yoga for the first time…

Here’s how it went down…

I nervously walk in and am greeted by the lovely teacher at the entrance. She shows me inside to the cosy room and I think, ‘What a nice ambient temperature… I’ve got this! Oh, you haven’t turned the heat up yet? Right.’ I immediately double-check myself for coming straight from work with a full face of makeup. Lesson # 1, take your makeup off girl. Trust me, you won’t need bronzer for a little glow after this one.

I precariously tip-toe around the others (always late – really got to get that sorted) to the back of the room (of course) and roll my mat out. When the class begins, all is going well. Although, bear in mind all I have done so far is meditate. By the time we start moving, I can already feel the sweat pouring off me because this room is actually like a sauna! Lesson # 2, do not wear grey. Seriously, such a rookie.

We’re twenty minutes in and I’m unsure how everyone else seems so calm. The heaters must actually be malfunctioning, and I’m about to pass out. I stand up to ‘salute the sun’ and slip on my own sweat. ACTUALLY. Where did that come from? Freak out mode now in full swing. Is this meant to be relaxing? I can’t bend my leg that far…

I barely survive the next slippery thirty-five minutes of my Bikram journey when the teacher finally calls for Savasana (the one that looks like you are about to take a nap – and occasionally do) #madeit. As the blissful sense of completion sets in, I wonder if I will ever be able to stand again… the air conditioner blasts to life and a sense of relief rushes over me so urgently, I think I might cry.

As I leave the studio, I inhale the fresh air like it was my last breath and begin my short walk home pondering why anyone would ever willingly commit an hour of their life to a confined, hot space for pleasure?! And then it happens. You know that warm feeling you get after you have done a crazy workout or the sense of calm and balance you feel after a good session on your mat? Well throw them together and you are looking at the happy, happy glow of a hardcore Bikram class. 

Total bliss. I mean, I looked like a wet, long-haired cocker spaniel and my light grey singlet is now three shades darker and sopping wet, but the glow is there for sure. Half an hour later, and those happy endorphins have kicked in hard, and those ‘never again’ earlier thoughts are forgotten…

Second session, here we come!

Molly x