Bikram Yoga as Training for Tough Mudder


Bikram Yoga and Tough Mudder - Standing Bow Pose

Yoga photographer Ron Sombilon, it turns out, is also an adrenaline junkie – and he credits Bikram Yoga for helping him to experience extreme physical challenges like this year’s Tough Mudder – an obstacle course competition billed as “the toughest one-day event on the planet” – which went down in Whistler last June.

Why did you decide to participate in Tough Mudder?

I love extreme physicality, and doing Tough Mudder in Whistler has got me totally hooked. Seeing your teammates finish a gruelling challenge (a 10-mile run with 22 obstacles) and come out on top is a huge high. I also love the camaraderie of the event; no matter what level of fitness you’re at, every participant is encouraged to conquer each obstacle and succeed.

Bikram Yoga and Tough Mudder - Eagle Pose

How did Bikram Yoga help you prepare for Tough Mudder?

Many of the challenges involved in Tough Mudder are hard on your body and your mind. The hot room helped strengthen my core and overall conditioning, which is essential to beating these obstacles, and I used the 26 postures to help build strength and flexibility for the event.

For instance, Half Moon Pose opened and strengthened my upper body, which let me swing around on the Monkey Bar and Hanging Tough obstacles without sustaining any injuries. As anyone who’s ever done Tough Mudder knows, the cramps and fatigue your muscles experience are crazy. My team and I did Bikram-inspired stretches before, during and after the event, and this kept us strong and injury free.

In fact, I believe that Bikram Yoga is a complement to any fitness-training regimen. Whether you do MMA, Crossfit, running, basketball … Bikram Yoga will make you a stronger athlete overall. Not to mention, if you can do 90 minutes in the hot room, you’re definitely mentally prepared to conquer Tough Mudder!

Bikram Yoga and Tough Mudder - Spinal Twist

How did you do?

Like I said, I came out of the event injury free – I consider that a major success! More specifically, my team and I did completed the challenge in 5 hours, starting and finishing as a team. By the end of the day my legs were pretty sore – but nothing a hot shower and some Bikram Yoga couldn’t fix!

Have you ever participated in an extreme event like Tough Mudder, and found that doing Bikram Yoga helped prepare you physically and/or mentally? Let us know by leaving a comment below!

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