When I think back to when I took my very first Bikram Yoga class back in 2010, I remember practicing in an uncomfortably crowded, carpeted studio in San Francisco as I sweated my way through class wearing cotton tank tops and cotton running shorts, all the way in the back row, in the far corner. I also remember quite vividly the constant battle during the floor series where either my head or feet would dangle onto the damp carpet underneath because my yoga mat and bath towel never seemed to be long enough.
So many things have changed within my own yoga practice over the last six years. I’m no longer living or practicing in San Francisco. My current home studio doesn’t have carpet and isn’t overcrowded. I have more pairs of yoga pants and yoga bootie shorts than there are days of the week. I still love practicing in the corner, but only if it’s in the first row. Nowadays, the whole back of my car is always loaded with a variety of yoga mats designed specifically for hot yoga.
When you practice any form of yoga over a number of years, you tend to learn a few things along the way – the postures, your favorite teacher’s cues, what clothes you feel comfortable practicing in, the spot you like to set up in for class and even the type of mat you prefer to use. Over the last six years of practicing Bikram Yoga off and on, I’ve learned how to make a tough activity like this enjoyable for myself. Let’s face it – sweating uncontrollably for 90 minutes in a room heated to 105 degrees with 40% humidity is no easy feat. Here are some things I’ve learned that have helped make any Bikram Yoga class enjoyable for myself: