By: Tracey Ferdinand
If you’re looking for a new activity to add to your cross-training workout give Bikram yoga a try. It’s a style of yoga practiced in a room heated to about 105 degrees for 90 minutes while moving in and out of 26 poses. Okay ladies before you pass on the idea of pretzel twisting your body in a room full of sweaty people hear me out. I’ve been practicing it for over four years and each pose offers a great way to develop strength and flexibility. You can also practice Bikram yoga on your rest days to help keep your muscles and joints lubricated while flushing out toxins from your body.
Yoga in general is a great cross-training choice for three reasons. During a typical class you’re encouraged to keep your focus on deep breathing while moving in and out of various poses. These deep breaths help increase your oxygen levels. In addition, a regular practice develops core muscles in your hips, stomach, and back. These key areas are extremely important for developing good running form, which helps reduce your risk of injury. Finally, the reduced stress levels that a regular yoga practice encourages can also be good for helping your body recover faster from injuries.
Okay so you’ll give it a try but you don’t know where to begin? Here are a few tips to make your first class easier.
Tracey Ferdinand is a self-love disciple. Her writing encourages women of color to cultivate bold and vibrant lives by prioritizing self-care. Stop by her website at www.ALifeWellMade.com and follow her on instagram @ALifeWellMade.
- Check with your doctor first. The room temperature and postures will cause you to sweat A LOT! If you have circulatory issues or you’re on certain medication you’ll want to make sure that the class is safe for your particular health needs.
- Wear something comfortable, breathable, and close fitted. The poses will require you to transition into several poses while maintaining your concentration. The last thing you need is a hoodie flapping around and distracting you.
- Drink lots of water the day before and the day of. Also, incorporate salt and potassium into your pre-yoga meal but do not eat anything 3 hours before your class. Most of the discomfort that people describe after taking a class is from dehydration.
- Check out the poses online before attending a class so that you’re comfortable. Make sure not to set up your mat at the front of the class so that you can easily see and follow along with other students.
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