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5 Ways to Overcome Your Bikram Yoga Fears

5 Ways to Overcome Your Bikram Yoga Fears

Written By Marina Daniell

Anyone (unless medically advised not to) can practice Bikram Yoga; I’ve had pregnant women, recovering drug addicts, injured athletes and obese men and women practice beside me.

The most common fear people have of Bikram Yoga is the heat; “I would love to do a class but I can’t handle the heat!” is what I often hear.

For the majority of people, regular practice of Bikram Yoga will mentally take them to a place they have never been before (I mean you don’t regularly spend 90 minutes of your life in a room heated to 104 degrees with around 40 percent humidity, let alone performing 26 edge-pushing postures). So I’ve come to the conclusion that people’s biggest fear is not the heat, but rather the unknown.

As a beginner I was also concerned about the heat; I spent my first class with a towel in one hand wiping away the sweat. I felt nauseous and dizzy and I couldn’t wait to get out of there.

Why did I go back? And why am I now a regular Bikram Yogi who practices 5 times a week? The main reason is that with just a few weeks of practice, Bikram Yoga completely transformed my body and mind.

Bikram Yoga teaches you how to step outside your comfort zone. It forces you to challenge yourself, face your fears and overcome them.

When I was first introduced to Bikram Yoga I was working a high-pressure corporate job and often had trouble falling asleep. To my amazement after my very first Bikram Yoga class, I slept like a baby. The next morning my body felt stiff but I felt fresh and revived – I wanted more!

Here are 5 ways to overcome your Bikram Yoga fears:

1.    Embrace The Heat

Studios open 30 minutes before class so get there early to lie down and acclimatize to the heat. Place yourself near a window, even if the teacher doesn’t open the window during class it’s much cooler there than in the center of the room. Still challenged by the heat? No biggie! Just sit out a few of the postures – what matters most is that you had the courage to attend class.

2.    Believe In Yourself

The mind is powerful; what you think, you become. Bikram Yoga won’t only transform your body, it will transform your mind – but you need to enter into it with the strong mindset that you can do it.

3.    Strengthen Your Focus 

Don’t take your thoughts into class. Thinking about work or those errands you have to do isn’t going to contribute anything positive to your practice – the 90 minutes is all about YOU.

4.    Own Your Breath

In all forms of Yoga, emphasis is placed more on the breath than on the postures. It’s important to remember to maintain a slow and steady breath through your nose. Mastering your breath is what’s going to make your practice all the more rewarding and enjoyable.

5. Prepare Your Body

What you do before and after class affects your overall Bikram Yoga experience:

The benefits of Bikram Yoga are many and endless. In the short term you will sleep better, feel happier and have a more energetic and toned body. And in the long term, you will have overall improved physical and mental health.

Many Bikram Yogis will tell you that they have found a greater sense of contentment, self-awareness and gratitude both on the mat and off. If you have told yourself that you “can’t handle the heat”, I hope I’ve inspired you to strengthen your mind, overcome your fears and give it a try. And if you do, let me know how it goes.

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