We all have classes that stand out as being exceptional. Transformative, physically as well as emotionally. I'd go so far as to say that some Bikram classes have been life-changing for me, in that I've had an epiphany leading to dramatic consequences in the way I go about my business or personal life.
Of course on a spiritual level we really can't control what happens in the hot room! I know you will relate when I say that some of my best classes have been ones I was expecting nothing from, and some of the toughest ones have been ones I thought I'd coast through.
Perhaps the tough ones are the best ones? :)
Whilst you may not be able to control what emotions or feelings bubble up throughout your practice, there is a lot you can do before and after class to ensure you get the most out of your precious time and benefit from your yoga for hours after you've left the room.
10 Ways To Have A Great Yoga Class
1. Hydrate in advance. Filling your stomach with water 10 or even 60 minutes before class will not hydrate you, and will only make you more likely to feel ill during class. Hydrate early in the day, or the day before if you're coming first thing. Better still - aim to always be hydrated!
2. Protein and a little carbohydrate will fuel you through. See what to eat before class over here.
3. Show up with enough time. Be organised. It just takes practice, and there's nothing better than starting class after having at least 5-10 minutes to lie and be still in the room.
4. Let go. Of your thoughts, of the aches and pains, and definitely of any irritation towards others in the room. Welcome distraction as it helps you to be more focused on your own practice. Learn to just let go of everything except watching your eyes and listening to the words to guide you.
5. Give yourself the gift of 5 minutes after class. I used to be first out of the room after every class. My whole life was rushed, busy, urgent. It still is a lot. But I tell you - I feel so amazing when I do take 5 minutes to truly wind down before leaving the room. Aren't you worth that time?
6. Replenish your electrolytes! You sweat it out, you have to put it back in! Get some electrolytes before class or add a pinch of real (pink or grey) salt to your yoga water.
7. Re-fuel with proper post yoga nutrition and you'll feel great! See what to eat after class over here.
8. Yoga for your mind. Yoga is body, mind, spirit and emotions. Carry it out of the class with you. Let go. And take 5 minutes each day to think of things you're grateful for. This stuff can make a huge difference in all aspects of your life and what you perceive you get.
9. 'Do' yoga even when you can't do yoga. Learn to be gracious, compassionate. Aim to do one kind thing for
someone every day and notice one kind thing someone does for you. Learn something new each day.
10. Plan when you'll be back! Goes without saying! Fix a goal as to when you'll return and carry the thought of it through your busy life and day.
Not just Food for Yoga. Food for Life.
Kat is a Bikram yoga Fitzroy student of close to 6 years. She would never consider giving yoga up! Kat has a background in personal training and nutrition and runs a blog at www.womanincredible.com. Come and visit for regular free articles on nutrition, exercise and motivation. Just for registering for free updates you'll also receive a free copy of Kat's latest book!