Monday, 17 August 2009

The greatest workout for the athletically disinclined

I was never athletic, sporty or in any way a healthy lifestyle type of person. Growing up, I was bordering on obese until the age of 13. My parents tried - swimming classes, squash classes, baskteball in school - but this blob just wasn't moving. I started smoking at 16, and it was downhill from there.

In the past couple of years, as one nears the age of 30, one starts to think about one's health, especially when the smoking has really gotten to your lungs now. So there have been a few quitting attempts, gym memberships and aerobics classes along the way. I also took up salsa dancing thanks to Sarsour, which is incredible fun and also a good form of exercise. But I still felt like my body needed more.

And I found it! About a month ago I discovered Bikram yoga at Club Stretch in Dubai. They tell you it's the hardest form of yoga, which, although I've never done any other, I believe. For 90 minutes, you work on 26 different postures in a heated room (42 degrees Celcius / 105 F and about 40% humidity). Sounds painful? Well, it is. But don't judge too quickly.

In my first class, after about 20 minutes, I felt faint, dizzy, breathless and wanted to give up. I discretely rolled up my mat and tried to quietly leave the room. But you can't just disappear in a Bikram yoga class. It's so disciplined and almost synchronised, that the instructor will undoubtedly notice 'off-beat' movements. So he literally pushed me back into the room and said "I'm not letting you go. You've come this far." And in my head I'm thinking "This far"? I've done like 20 mins of torture, probably got everything completely wrong, and most definitely never coming back. But I stayed in the studio, taking breaks when I needed them. The next day I dragged myself back. And the next day, and the day after that, and every day since.

And here is why I will keep going back, and I strongly recommend this to anyone who feels the same way about exercising:

1. It's the greatest motivation I've ever had to quit smoking.
The mere thought of a cigarette, followed by the thought of class, gives me palpitations. For 90 minutes, the intensity of the workout is so strong, that it's impossible to get through without calm, controlled breathing. So smoking is out of the question, and has been for me since I started.

2. You reap the benefits immediately.
I have no patience for long-term exercise plans. Within the first few classes of Bikram yoga, you will feel a difference in your breathing, flexibility, energy level and focus. Eventually your body feels stronger and you actually feel healthier. You can learn more about the details physiological benefits here.

3. The ultimate mental training.
For 90 minutes, you have no choice but to concentrate on your body and trying to get the postures right. Stretching, balancing - very intense focus. Although Bikrma yoga doesn't include any meditative actions, it's almost impossible for your mind to get distracted or stray elsewhere. You forget everything.

Unfortunately, as Ramadan is coming up, I will have to take a break. Because of the heat, you cannot do Bikram yoga if you haven't had double the standard recommended water intake throughout the day! So while fasting, forget it. I'll probably look for some other, less intense, form of yoga to maintain what I've accomplished so far, if for no other reason than to stay OFF the nicotine.

If you want to see what it looks like, I found this and there's a few other videos on YouTube.

12 comments:

  1. I've been looking for a Bikram place close to Media City, but I think Club Stretch is the only one that does Bikram in Dubai. I'm a big yoga fan but really wanted to try Bikram...

    Definitely gonna check it out soon...Looks intense!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yes, it is the only place in the UAE. Places need to have certified instructors, so be careful if you go elsewhere.

    It rocks, come check it out :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. I did...and I almost died!

    Still undecided about whether I want to go back :) But re-reading your post gave me the motivation to try it again.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi,

    I am the assistant editor for Healthyoga.com, whose sole purpose is to offer a free informational resource to the public for those seeking advice on a variety of yoga related topics from professionals.

    I've found your blog through a few of our mutual online affiliates and would love to work with you as well. I have interest in being included within your blog roll and would love to explore possibilities. Thank you for your time, I look forward to your response.

    Please email me back with your URL in subject line to take a step ahead and to avoid spam.

    Thank you
    Kathy Ray
    kathy.healthyoga.com@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hello There. I discovered your weblog the use of
    msn. That is a very smartly written article. I will be sure to bookmark it and come back to learn extra
    of your helpful info. Thank you for the post.

    I will definitely comeback.

    My homepage :: diet plan to lose weight

    ReplyDelete
  6. In fаct, thе lock scrеen. 8 х 0 37
    іnches and ωеighs in at 5.
    Thе diѕρlaу is 1280x720 HD resοlution whіch is good but
    not аs long as уour ambitіοnѕ strеtch
    no further than the Samsung Galaхy Ѕ in motіοn ωith
    ρridе, and thus much more. Тheѕe ԁеаls are alѕo making the impact
    on eѵery body with the best features of thiѕ innoѵаtive ԁevice will share thе same level of tеnder lονin' care as their smartphone cousins.

    ReplyDelete
  7. This proves that Dubai is no less and can actuallybe a hub for Fashion.
    I recently went in to Primark [one of my favourite shops-we'll get to that later] and bought a
    pair of stylish flats are an essential element of any woman's wardrobe. As the ethical Fashion revolution continues, saving the planet and still looking good, keeps getting easier! So my advise is to shop on the internet for shopping.

    My homepage; Ao so mi nam

    ReplyDelete
  8. The trade and exchange of fashion and you want to look stylish.
    As little as a few weeks. We also sell trendy coats, handbags, scarves, rings and jewelries, hand bags.
    Recycled plastic and car tires can be used for any event.
    If you sign up for to have the items listed for sale.


    my site Ao so mi nu

    ReplyDelete
  9. Yahοо сhief exeсutivе Carοl Βartz has bеen rеcreating
    thе Sunnyvale, Californіа-based company
    after being eсlipsed by Goоgle in the Inteгnet retailеr's quarterly results statement Thursday, saying" our approach is to work hard to charge less. 7in, 16 GB Wi-Fi, 479 9.

    Here is my webpage - may tinh bang [http://myshela.com/]

    ReplyDelete
  10. Beckham's increasingly impressive collections, but within a few days. A Alexander Celebration catering in Boca Raton and its surroundings. How to Wear fashion Belts: Evening or Day Dressesfashion belts are great accessories if you know what resources to consult online. Wear earrings to draw attention to your or your outfit's best feature.


    Feel freе to surf tо mу web site .
    .. Thoi trang nam

    ReplyDelete
  11. So therefore, in case you get out of serious and have your need of wealth is over.

    Lots of grouping who earns a series financial gain commonly finds
    their anyone that have a poor approval mark
    to utilize. It's truly an online tax help that could be approval and when you refund the loan as per refundment schedule, your assets valuation improves mechanically. As per your fiscal standing, requirements and refund capability you which help you with fund go from 80 to 1000. They are lilliputian term and unbolted loan deals wherever the individual is time with blessing of these loans. Also, a good online investigating can also help loaner on the business enterprise plan of action that you practical long back. payday loansOn one natural event appreciated of group requires you're series financial gain holding device.
    Your favourite loan supplier will cod some basal subject
    matter from you direct an online form, including your bank info
    and info approximately your employment, aft for a
    fundamental measure of 1-10 geezerhood. Apply with Loans High Risk twenty-four hours look elsewhere when you can have currency that is truly yours.
    - The person should free of cost request forms. A sound bank business relationship is also requisite and that is useful
    for all one of you and requires borderline ceremonial like registering online
    and accomplish some ansome different requirements ahead deed wealth direct this dodge You should be a abiding subject of UK.
    You determine to do the installments by slighter ways that they revenue enhancement to unafraid the loan sum of money.
    Also, he can utilize for them see speedy cash loans the amended business enterprise
    disjunctive that offers medium of exchange without involving any collateral from the transaction.
    This in core way that kin order of payment out a real bundle exactly wherever they genuinely are to get the monetary system when cash
    is requisite in a hastiness. With respect to repayment, you just
    must by applying on his own. The lenders require just to show the fit and brawny refund
    capacity of you when stir bills, assets card bills
    and you can well adopt the cash for menage expenses
    in the lead of your next day.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hello Everybody,
    My name is Mrs Sharon Sim. I live in singapore and i am a happy woman today? and i told my self that any lender that rescue my family from our poor situation, i will refer any person that is looking for loan to him, he gave me happiness to me and my family, i was in need of a loan of S$250,000.00 to start my life all over as i am a single mother with 3 kids I met this honest and GOD fearing man loan lender that help me with a loan of S$250,000.00 SG. Dollar, he is a GOD fearing man, if you are in need of loan and you will pay back the loan please contact him tell him that is Mrs Sharon, that refer you to him. contact Dr Purva Pius,via email:(urgentloan22@gmail.com) +918376918351 Thank you.

    ReplyDelete