Bikram / Hot Yoga Part IV: Losing Weight

I had a thought while in class today (one of many)… “Bikram would be a great way for wrestlers to lose a couple of pounds of water weight in a short period of time.” I’ll bet that method has been explored. If you or someone you know has taken Bikram to shed water weight please leave a comment below. I’d love to hear about your experience. Now the more important question is…can you lose pounds of fat?

Yes! You will sweat! Photo: Life

This is a question I get on a weekly basis…CAN I LOSE WEIGHT DOING YOGA? Of course, like any form of exercise, any yoga class you do is going to help your metabolism by strengthening the muscles of the body. If you eat to FUEL the body in a healthy way your body will respond by shedding unwanted pounds. Your body wants to be in homeostasis (a state of dynamic balance). What you eat and think greatly determines how that equilibrium plays out. The focus and mind set in yoga is on the beauty and movement of the physical body, the connection you have with self and God, and your mental and emotional clarity. Love yourself as you are and the weight will take care of itself. That is a whole other subject I’m not going to tackle here. Let’s just say that if weight loss is your goal you can achieve it with Bikram as well as with other types of yoga and metabolism boosting exercise. Consult a personal trainer or yoga professional for a program that’s right for you.

I’m not into yoga for the weight loss – I’m in it for the health benefits, strengthening affects, toning, flexibility, and emotional well being. It is a way of life. You will benefit in many other ways doing yoga as well as reaching and maintaining a healthy weight.

Back to class –

I slipped in today just in time for the Pranayama demo. I’m up close in front of the mirrors again. Five minutes into class and I find myself looking around to see where all the heat is coming from – this is going to be a long class. Just concentrate on your breathing. Yes, good.EXCEPT THAT I CAN’T BREATHE IN THIS GOD FORSAKEN 110° sauna environment! Maybe I could move my mat away from the heat source. I look around and heaters are everywhere! They are grinning at me – baring their heater vent teeth, raining down sheets of thick invisible heat over my skin. There’s no escape!

It’s been 10 minutes.

Survive the Heat

I feel like I’m on one of those reality TV Survivor shows. My brain is trying to find a way out. It’s hard to concentrate– to stay present and focused. The mirrors are very distracting today and I can’t help making comparisons between myself and other participants…a BIG YOGA NO NO. HELP! Back to the breath – in and out through the nose, even, rhythmic. Just breathe. I know if I can make it through the balancing postures and standing sequence I’ll be rewarded with a 2 minute Savasana prior to the floor work and another 14 shorter Savasanas during the floor sequence + 8 forward facing Savasanas while in the back bending series. I focus all my attention on the Savasana prize.

I sweat more today than last time. Is that possible? Can you measure sweat?

Several students are taking a break sitting quietly on their mats with their head between the knees. Trying not to pass out, I’m guessing. Some are standing but not doing the pose. It’s all OK too. Everyone takes a break when necessary. And it IS necessary.

Class goes well. I’m not as tired today and recovery does not take long.

Hydration is key. And once again I’ve downed nearly 2 quarts of water before noon.

What effects have you noticed in your yoga practice? Weight loss? Muscle toning? Better sleep? Please leave a comment – I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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