Benefits of Bikram Yoga

Happy Friday lovelies! I hope everybody had an exciting week :) My week was spent doing pretty much what I have been doing all summer: work, summer school and taking care of my knee. Fun stuff! Ha. Although in broader terms, I am feeling I little bit better and I think it’s partly due to yoga. I’ve been stretching out my muscles and limbs, increasing my circulation, flexibility and core strength. It’s pretty much the only form of exercise my knee can handle right now. But yoga gives me so much energy! I love how I feel renewed and refreshed after a hot yoga class. The 90 minute sweat is very cleansing. There are so many benefits with bikram yoga!

However, I’ve noticed a few things about my body after taking such a long break from fitness. Due to my joint condition acting up recently, I’ve done scarcely more than walk for the past month. It’s been torturous! Not only has it affected me physically, but I was starting to feel the mental effects as well. I was getting a bit depressed to be honest. It’s amazing what endorphins can really do for you. And I definitely lost some of my muscular strength during my break. I’ve been back to yoga for a week now, and I’m struggling in triangle pose and even in awkward posture. I just don’t have the stamina that I did last time I practiced. Bikram triangle pose trikanasana looks like this:

This pose uses nearly every muscle in your body if done correctly. It’s also held for one minute for the first set (on each side) and 30 seconds for the second sets. It’s super intense. Over the past 3 years I nearly perfected my triangle and was able to hold it at a flawless 90 degrees for the full minute with my hips in the right direction and muscles fully flexed. But I definitely worked up to that! Now, after being away from yoga for over 2 months and fitness in general for the past 30 days, my triangle has flopped! I barely made it to 110 degree triangle. WOW I had no idea my muscles would do that to me!! I was shocked! But I’m hanging in there and determined as ever to get back my flawless 90 degree triangle. I just know it will take a little time. The benefits of bikram yoga are numerous, and I’ve noticed that my body is adapting to the changes!

Right now I am sore in all the right places. But a good kind of sore. Tummy muscles, back muscles, thighs, triceps, glutes… all are a bit tender at the moment. I know that my body has been missing this and I am feeling confident that I made the right decision to ease back into fitness with yoga. Thank you all for your kind comments and support. I appreciate it more than you know!

The benefits I receive from my bikram yoga practice are numerous. I know for sure I’ll easily shed those pesky few pounds I put on after my finals. The sweat alone is a huge calorie burner. My goal is to hit 4 classes a week for the next month and I expect my weight to be back to normal. Easy breezy :) Of course I’m also eating super healthy like usual. Interestingly enough, one of the “side effects” I guess you could say is that I dream more. Have any of you ever had this experience? I have 2 or 3 very vivid dreams a night when I’m active in my practice, but maybe 1 or 2 dreams a week when I’m not. I first noticed this when I started bikram yoga nearly 3 years ago. It’s crazy how our bodies respond to things. I can’t exactly put my finger on why this occurs but I’m utterly fascinated by it.

I’m interested to know, what are your experiences when you take a break from working out? Is it easy for you to get back into the swing of things? Any tips or advice for me?

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