Cleaning Bikram Yoga Clothes and Mat – How I got into Bikram Yoga

bikram
Bikram Yoga has only been in my life for a few months, but it has already done so much for me. I can’t picture my life without it (nor would I want to!). I have currently done 57 classes at the time of writing this. 10 this past summer and 47 since joining the wonderful Bikram Yoga Halifax Studio!
I had heard an old roommate talk about hot yoga a few years ago, but at that point of my life, I wasn’t really that active or eating all that well, so I never really gave it much though again until this past summer while living in San Francisco. I injured my lower back somewhere along the way and could barely move without cringing. I was miserable because I had to stop my beloved belly dance classes and any other activity that didn’t involve laying down and squirming in pain. I also have a very weak left knee, and this always gave me trouble in my belly dance classes and in any other physical activities. I took my sore back, knee and disheartened soul to a chiropractor and probably went about 10 times (“ouch”, says my wallet). My chiropractor was beyond wonderful, but it was still very expensive and I was hoping there was a more sustainable and regular activity I could incorporate into my life that would help prevent future injuries.
I was talking to a friendly gardener who was clipping the trees at a friend’s house and we got to talking about my injuries and how I was spending a fortune seeing a chiropractor. He suggested that I try out bikram yoga and it just seemed to make sense to me, so I found a Bikram studio in San Francisco and decided to give it a go. I nervously stepped into the hot, hot, oh my toasty-goodness hot room and that first class just did it for me. I did 10 consecutive classes until I flew back to Canada and in those few classes, I fell in love. It made me feel amazing, energized, de-stressed and it made my back feel so much better in a short period of time. My back is still fine to this day.
When I moved in December 2012, I excitedly searched to see if there were any Bikram studios and I was thrilled to find that there was! I waited for my pay cheque and signed my butt up for 30 days of yoga classes. My back was feeling fine ever since my summer classes, but my left knee was really giving me problems. I eventually signed up for the March 2013 Bikram 30 Day Challenge and found that my knee was slowly starting to feel stronger. It is still weak, but compared to how it used to be, it is so much better, and I know the credit goes to regular bikram classes. It is quite an amazing feeling, how it is slowly starting to heal itself.
Aside from aiding my back and knee, Bikram has done so many other things for me. To list a few:
* I feel so energized and uplifted after my class
* Stresses are largely reduced
* The fact that I am constantly looking at myself in the mirror during the postures has really helped to improve my comfortability with myself, both physically and emotionally. I feel more connected with myself.
* My belly dance has vastly improved, due to increased flexibility, endurance and confidence
* If I am having “one of those days”, where I feel really crappy, I’ll try to make myself go to class and it turns my day right around! 
* I have met so many wonderful and positive people (and Yogi doggies!). It is a joy to come into the studio, and whatever hesitation I may have had, due to tiredness, soreness, laziness…quickly melts away once I am laying in the toasty room awaiting the class to begin! I have never ever finished a class and thought, “I wish I didn’t come to class!”
 
So, I will leave it there. I am so excited to see what else Bikram will bring.
More Info on Bikram Yoga: http://bikramyoga.com/
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premade
Premade Yoga Mat Sprays:
Wisdom Yoga Mat Spray (Frankincense and Pine), Clarity Yoga Mat Spray (Peppermint and Lemon), Bliss Yoga Mat Spray (Grapefruit and Lavender)
yogamatspray
Cleaning Yoga Mat Method #2 – Spray it down with white vinegar and water and allow to dry on a drying rack or on a shower rod.

Cleaning Yoga Clothes if you aren’t putting them in the wash right away: Add a bit of baking soda and a couple of drops of tea tree oil into the sink and fill with water. Place your yoga clothes in the water. Allow to soak for a bit and then hang up on a drying rack until you are ready to throw them in the wash.

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cleanerspray

Making your own homemade yoga mat spray may be more expensive initially if you have to buy all the ingredients, but it’ll last you for ages and ages and be so much cheaper in the long run.

yogaspray

Essential Oil Homemade Yoga Mat Spray Recipe:

  • 1/4 cup filtered water
  • 1/4 cup witch hazel – $4
  • 10 drops tea tree oil – $6
  • 3 drops lavender essential oil $8
  • 3 drops eucalyptus $4
  • spray bottle (I got mine for about $2 at Canadian Tire, and have a smaller one that used to have a lavender room mist concoction in it.
  • (3 drops grapefruit seed extract) – I don’t add this in, but you can

Total cost – Around $20-$22, but you can cut about $8 by getting the lavender & tea tree oil that comes in one container. A lot of premade mat sprays are already about $10-$15, so if you have all your own ingredients, you’ll probably be able to make 10-20 batches, depending on how big or small your spray bottle is!

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Cleaning Yoga Clothes in the wash:

Add all ingredients into the wash and then add in your clothes (wash yoga towels separate).


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tip

What I wear to class: During my first class, I yoga full-length yoga pants. Never again. I usually wear shorts and a sports bra, or capris and a sports bra and sometimes I’ll wear a sports tank, but only if I’m feeling a bit bloated or something or I only have see-through sports bras left haha.

When do I eat before class / What I eat: I try to eat 2 hours before class, 1 1/2 hours before class at the latest. I recently ate some heavy food a friend made me 40 minutes before class and I was so miserable for the entire 90 minutes. Not doing that again. If it is 2 hours before class, I am usually not too worried at eating some “light” pancakes I make with some fruit, but if it is 60-90 minutes before class, I’ll either have a vegan energy bar or a protein shake.

How much water do I drink before class: I try to drink as much as possible…at least 500ml, but preferably 1000ml.

What do I drink after class: Either lots of water, an Emergen-C packet (tangerine flavour!) mixed with water or water, lemon juice and a pinch of sea salt. I am sadly not a fan of coconut water – at least the brands I’ve tried so far. I’m sure i’d prefer it if it were straight out of the coconut.

How much do I drink during the class: I drink much less water than I used to. I usually drink water once after the first few postures, sometimes a swig before triangle post, and then again 1-3 more times. Really depends on how hot the room is that day and how I am feeling. Sometimes I only drink water a couple of times since it just makes things worse if you drink before camel, a sit up, any compression postures…etc.

When I prefer to do classes: I used to do them in the evenings, but now I’ve become a fan of the 10am classes, since it gets my day rolling… I have done one 6:30am class so far. I’m a little hesitant to do it again, but it was awesome being finished by 8am! The evenings can be nice too, since it helps to release any stress the day may have brought.

How often I do Bikram yoga per week: I aim for 4-5 / per week now that the 30 Day Challenge is over.

Favourite Postures: Tree Pose, Toe Stand, Half Tortoise, I have a love/hate with Standing Bow Pose since my left knee is weak so I find it quite difficult, but i’m getting better at it! I am also starting to dig Triangle Pose.

I’m sure I’ll have a future post(s) to make regarding bikram yoga, since I am still under 100 classes, but this seems like a good place to start! :)

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