Bikram Yoga Lessons: 10 Sticky Situations from the Hot Room

We’ve all been there or have at least watched someone go through it. Need some suggestions on how to handle the some of the most frustrating and troublesome times at Bikram Yoga with etiquette and poise and how to make sure you (and your hot yoga neighbours) have their best practice, read here:

1. Spot Stealer

Imagine this: You get to class early in order to get your favourite spot in the room and you know that another person in line is gunning for the same spot that you are. You decide to rush into the room the second the teacher gets out and snap your mat down into place victoriously: HAHA! I GOT IT!  I’M GOING TO HAVE THE BEST CLASS EVER!

Our Advice

We all know how easy it is to get attached to different spots in the room. However, letting go of attachment is a vitally important practice in all types of yoga. We want to encourage our yogis to purposefully try different spots in the room in order to challenge your mental boundaries and blocks when it comes to your practice. We challenge you to head to the back row at Kits with the same attitude, “I GOT THIS! I’M GOING TO HAVE THE BEST CLASS EVER.” Attitude is everything. Please be considerate of others coming out of the class before you. Give them at least 2 minutes after the teacher comes out and place your mat down quietly without disturbing the peaceful people around you. Practice Mindfulness at all times and especially between classes as it is an important to maintain a level of respect with the people in your surroundings. After all, we benefit from the presence of each other so we should keep our thoughts (and behaviors) fixed upon this thought.

2. Forgot Your Yoga Gear

You have mentally prepared all day to be doing class at 4:15pm and walk into the studio all excited and ready. Then, of course, you get into the change room and after rummaging frantically through your bag you realize that you forgot your yoga clothes: ARGHHHHHHHHHHHHHH why do I have to be so absent minded ALL THE TIME!!!!

Our Advice

Your first instinct is to smack your forehead and walk out the front door with your tail between your legs—but you’re in luck! Why? Because there are about 10 people this week who did just the opposite! They forgot their yoga clothes after they rinsed off in the shower and their clothes have gone through our laundry and are waiting to be picked up. Yoga clothes at our studio go into the Karma box which you can borrow from if absolutely necessary. If the thought of using someone’s old clothes bothers you then we have new yoga clothes for sale next to the front desk waiting for an owner! Don’t let something small like this stop you from doing your yoga!

3. Late Comer

You accidentally come in late and put your mat down right in front of someone and you don’t notice until eagle that the person behind you can’t see themselves in the mirror: Oh sh*% now I’m stuck here and it’s so busy that there is nowhere else to go and I can’t move and they are probably so annoyed at me…ugh.

Our Advice

Remember that this is yoga people! One of the goals of yoga is to get over your emotional reactivity and become less attached to the things that bother you. Don’t worry, if the person behind you has been coming a while then they have already let it go. They know that if they can’t see themselves in the mirror then it is a great opportunity to feel their body and connect very closely with their edge. If this ever happens to you think of it as another opportunity to let nothing steal your peace.

4. No More Wiping

You love to practice Bikram Yoga but you absolutely hate when your sweat drips down your face, stings your eyes, or makes you want to itch and scratch. You’ve gotten into the habit of bringing in a face towel to avoid the distraction: Ahhh, feels so good to get the sweat off even if it is just for a moment.

Our Advice

The amount of sweat that comes off of your body can be really distracted during Bikram Yoga and many people have this same issue. However, wiping off your sweat in a Bikram class is like bringing a towel into the shower. Using your towel to fan or wipe sweat off uses up energy, increases your heart rate, and makes you more hot! It works the opposite way you want it to. One of the greatest rewards of hot yoga is releasing our toxicity through our sweat, just wiping it back over our skin does nothing to help us release so just let it drip! Calm down your mind by slowing down your breath (and heart rate) and you’ll stay cool.

 

5. Free Yourself From The Fans

Don’t you just love it when the teacher turns on the air exchanger “ahhhhhhhh” or on a hot summer day when they open the door:  OH MAN, the teacher who I thought I hated for the first 80 minutes is now my saviour!

Our Advice

Try not to get attached to the teacher turning on or off switches, or opening doors.  Have no expectations. Do your best and if you are struggling with the heat pretend you are inside an igloo eating popsicles with a yeti, or if that’s too hard to imagine, think about standing in the freezing Vancouver Rain. Mind over matter!

6. Breezes For Your Bits & Pieces

You had to borrow some shorts from a friend to be able to come to class today but there is one tiny problem—you forgot to try them on before you came into class. Everything seems fine until you begin to charge your body forward toward the mirror and kick your leg up toward the ceiling in Standing Bow Pose. Suddenly, you feel a cool breeze waft slowly in areas where the sun never shines: OMG I hope these shorts aren’t as small as I think. What if that cute guy/girl behind me can see? GET ME OUT OF HERE.

Our Advice

Chill out, focus on your breath, and focus one point on the mirror/ceiling to still your mind and thoughts from running wild. No one will even notice. For next time, however, do your neighbor a favor; it might be a good idea to have a friend do a SBC (Standing Bow Check) before you head into class with new yoga gear. We know Bikram Yoga gives you a super hot bod, but it is far better to leave some things up to the imagination. 🙂

7. Hot Room Bartender

The standing series is over and you’ve just settled into Savansana only to hear your neighbour reach over to his numerous mini bottles of liquid and ice. OMG is he mixing himself a drink?! Really?!

Our Advice

Turn your neck gently and order a dry martini. Just kidding. It is completely normal to be irritated by small things in the yoga room but remember that if you are focusing on the small noises and movements of others then you aren’t focusing on yourself. Use this small irritation as a reminder to get back to yourself and forget about the other people around you.

8. Pee Break Posse

You haven’t had a sip of liquid since your Venti Triple Shot Americano this morning at 9 am and you are headed into a 6 pm Bikram Class. You end up drinking a lot of water at party time and realize quickly that it was pretty much half the bottle you brought. It’s empty as you are finishing up the standing series and by the time you get to the second set of locust… you really have to pee: I know I’m not supposed to leave the room and I’m normally really good about this and I feel so guilty about bringing other people down if I leave.

Our Advice

Cynthia Wehr said it best at the end of her class at Kits this fall: “Rehydration for tomorrow’s class starts… now.” Instead of having the omg-I-have-to-pee moment in class, begin hydrating at least two hours before class. Try to get to the bathroom right before class and if you really need to leave in class, well, that’s life. Everyone in the room should be focused on themselves enough not to notice if the door is opening. The key lesson here is not to get down on yourself about it but to be better prepared for next time.

9. Judge & Jury

Whether it’s the bathroom, nausea, a bladder infection, or heat exhaustion, you always find a reason to leave the yoga room even though you have been told a million times not to do it. You feel guilty about leaving the room all the time and get down on yourself about not sticking it through every class: I’m so tired of letting everyone down and feeling like I’m not good enough.

Our Advice

Everyone in the yoga room knows that each person is going through completely different battles and it is impossible to tell what each person may be going through. They know that maybe their neighbour recently had bladder surgery or is going through a breakup of some kind. Each person has a story and there should be no room to judge them. Deepak Chopra once said, “Practice nonjudgment. While performing your yoga postures, relinquish the need to judge your ability. Begin each session with the statement, ‘Today, I shall judge nothing that occurs,’ and remind yourself that self-acceptance is the source and goal of yoga. When you are constantly making judgments, including of yourself, as things being right or wrong, good or bad, you create turbulence in your internal dialogue, which constricts the flow of energy between you and the field of pure potentiality. Nonjudgment cultivates silence in the mind, which gives you direct access to the field of pure potentiality.”

10. Shower Power

It’s finally time to peel yourself off the floor in the yoga room and hit the showers. You need to get ready so you can meet your boss in an hour with no time to head home. This means your next order of business is a proper shampoo, deep conditioning, full shave, face mask, exfoliation period, and lotion rub down. Uh ohhh!  There are 10 people in line behind me but I need to get this done. GRRR WHY AREN’T THERE MORE SHOWERS!

Our Advice

Part of being able to practice yoga with other people is being able to share the joint energy and motivation of a group. This means we have to make some sacrifices in order to maintain a level of peace and order within the rushed quarters of the change rooms. Do yourself a favor; step to the back of the line if you need to take a longer shower or cut down your shower routine to two minutes if you are really in a rush. This way we can all head to our next activities on time and without frustration.

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