If you haven't heard of Bikram Yoga (or 'hot yoga'), then the rock you're living under must be pretty huge. This interesting craze has been growing since the 1970s - recently spiking in popularity in Adelaide. The practice involves meditating, stretching, and strengthening ... All whilst being in a 40-degree room.
Yes, at first it might sound a bit insane. The yoga room is constantly heated during each session to maintain the 40-degree temperature, and also 40% humidity. But, despite the concerns that are probably beginning to loom in your mind, there are proven health benefits to Bikram Yoga.
Studies have shown that regular practice can: regulate cholesterol in the blood, burn fat, regulate hormones, supply oxygen and nutrients to all parts of the body, eliminate toxins, flush the lymphatic system, improve spinal flexibility and strength, balance the endocrine glands, expand lung capacity, strengthen the heart, lubricate joints, strengthen bones and tone muscles. Phew - I'm out of breath. (Maybe I need to do another hot yoga session!)
The yoga sessions run for a total of 90 minutes each. All classes have the same series of 26 different postures and two different breathing exercises. The teacher positions him/herself at the front centre of the room and verbally instructs the class. The more confident you are, the closer you position yourself to the front of the room. The beginners start towards the back wall, so they can copy and follow the more skilled yogis in front of them.
In South Australia, hot yoga can be performed at a Bikram Yoga studio in either Modbury, Adelaide city, or Glenelg.
And I'm still yet to highlight the most important part. Currently, all three of the Bikram Yoga locations around Adelaide are holding a 10 day beginner special. If you have not ever attended Bikram Yoga before, you can grab yourself a 10 day pass for only $25! This means you can attend the classes as many times as you like within 10 days and only pay a single upfront fee of $25.
When I went for my first hot yoga class at Modbury, I wasn't quite sure what to expect. I am not an incredibly fit person in any regard, and am not particularly advanced with my flexibility or strength. However, it was pleasantly surprising to realise how welcomed beginners are.
The first session was a shock to the system. During some poses, I did begin to feel dizzy. The instruction ensured me that such a feeling is normal. After sitting down for 10 seconds, my body would regulate and I would feel normal again.
Using my 10-day pass, I went back another four times (five sessions in total). Every class I could lift my legs higher, stretch further and focus easier. My body become accustomed to the heat and I would feel more and more refreshed upon leaving the class.
All you have to do to get your beginner's pass is head to your nearest Bikram Yoga location 15 minutes before a session. The super friendly staff will sign you up quickly, and you'll be in the heated room in no time.
Don't forget to take a large towel (beach towels are a good size), a large drink bottle (approximately one litre) and an open attitude. The Bikram Yoga website has all the details you need on who, what, when, where and why.
Along with your $25 pass, you can also gain an exclusive monthly discount if you wish to continue practising after the 10 days. A normal casual pass at Bikram Yoga usually costs $22. So, the beginner deal really is a bargain.