The Internet Kitchen: Bikram

About a month ago, I started doing Bikram yoga once a week.

If you aren’t familiar with Bikram, it’s a system of yoga that works through 26 set postures and 2 breathing exercises over about 90 minutes. The trick is that the class is held in a sweltering 104 degree F. room that has 40% humidity. (Hint: You sweat. A LOT.)

The environment, possibly more than the postures, make the class incredibly difficult. In my first class, the instructor told me to take it easy (good advice) and just make it through the whole class without leaving the room.

I’ve been about five times now and am starting to really look forward to my weekly classes. I’m far from good and struggle with even the most basic poses, but I feel great when I’m done and I can tell it’s really good for me.

A few things I’ve noticed since I started:

  • I’ve lost weight! Not much, but a pound or two for sure.
  • Dry skin improved! I’ve had terribly dry skin most of my life. Weirdly, I noticed that it’s a lot better now (especially the dreaded dandruff). I have no explanation for this.
  • Running! My running has improved drastically even after just a few classes. I’ve cut about 30 seconds off my mile split and am running 1-2 miles further, on average, than I was running two months ago.
  • Knee! I’ve had lingering knee problems for the last two years and I was worried that some of the intense yoga postures would hurt or be impossible. There are a few postures that I have to go very slow, but in general my knee is feeling the best it has felt in years.

Mostly though, I like the mental challenge of making it through the class. I really don’t like hot places. I prefer the crisp, cool mountains to sweltering beaches. Making it through 90 minutes in a super-uncomfortable room is a great willpower test.

The Poll

In honor of my new yoga hobby…

The Links

Viet Fajitas – Asian and Tex-Mex flavors were made to be smashed together. This recipe does just that and with complete success. (@ Love and Olive Oil)

Raw Chocolate Brownies – My number one issue with brownies is if they are over-cooked. I would rather just eat the batter with a spoon than have an overcooked brownie. The best way to solve that is maybe to just not cook them at all! (@ Oh She Glows)

Mediterranean Udon Salad – I had a great bowl of ramen last week and it reminded me how much I love thick udon noodles. I’ve never seen them used like this before in a chilled salad. Looks like the perfect summer side dish. (@ No Recipes)

Understanding Vermouth – This poor under-respected bottle of delicious is almost always overlooked in home bar set-ups. Never again! Learn more about vermouth and also check out The Kitchn’s new website! (@ The Kitchn)

Cool yoga photo by Jessica Palopoli.

4 comments on “The Internet Kitchen: Bikram

  1. I keep meaning to try Bikram myself! Well, the generic alternative, anyway. Glad you’re liking it. I’ll use this as evidence of why my bf should accompany me to the class.

  2. Wow – good for you for sticking with Bikram! I went to one class and had to leave midway through because I was about to pass out. I haven’t gone back because I didn’t like that there wasn’t any “flow” from pose to pose, just the “instructor” barking out poses. I didn’t find it relaxing at all!
    And then a coworker sent me this article ( – so I don’t feel comfortable feeding into this guy’s ego and demigod status. (Hope that doesn’t put a damper on your practice – I do “regular” hot yoga at 90* F and LOVE IT! I really do think everyone could benefit from a mindful practice every now and then :) )

  3. Thanks for the comments! I have lingering knee problems, too, and it is good to hear that the yoga isn’t a problem.

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