Ya, I have to give credit where its due. I stole that tagline from my buddy JMegs. You can follow his blog here.
So like any multi-sport athlete, I'm always looking for other types of workouts that will allow me to recover from the rigors of swim/bike/run training. Throw in that my body is the rice krispies treats of bones due to years of injury and that list becomes even more narrow!
So J turned me onto Bikram yoga a couple of years ago. For those of you not in the yoga "know", Bikram is 26 yoga poses, done over the course of 90 minutes in a room heated to 105°F with a humidity of 40%. So in essence, you're turning your body into a human pretzel in a sweat box. I know that might sound like a turn off to the exercise but believe me...it SHOULDN'T be. The heat keeps your body warm and receptive to the stretching, the list of poses (13 standing, 13 on the floor) are designed to gradually get harder throughout the session. The poses not only have benefit to joints but also for concentration, balance, digestion and circulation.
And...if you don't think its a workout, just look at my heart rate graph and calories expended total, courtesy of my Polar RCX5G5 and polarpersonaltrainer.com. Those spikes in and elevated heart rate are from...POSES. My "workout space" for such a tough cardio workout was my 6ft by 3ft yoga mat. Um, did you see the caloric burn for that session? A thousand calories! That ain't no joke folks. I get a great plyometric muscle/joint workout in 90 minutes, that caused no pounding stress to said joints AND I burned a grand in calories to boot! And to be honest, when its over, I never feel more refreshed. A nice hot shower and I'm ready to head out for a run or bike ride. I know that sounds crazy but its the truth (at least in my case). Not to mention its a great change from the monotony that is triathlon training.
Few things I certainly want to point out if you've never been to a Bikram yoga session: it wouldn't hurt to look here to at least get an idea of the poses you'll be doing (don't get freaked out, the people in those poses are PRO's. Very few people on the planet actually achieve that level of stretch in Bikram), understand that your first few sessions are going to be a learning experience until you get accustomed to the flow and tempo of the session, don't get upset that you can't do a pose or poses because "muscling your way" through them isn't going help and will probably hurt you and lastly...when they say all you have to do is breathe...believe them! I'm amazed about how much better I feel, how much more flexible I am and how quickly i seem to recover from tough workouts when I have Bikram in the trainiing rotation. You really should try it out. If you're looking for a great Bikram studio in the MetroWest Boston area I totally recommend Bikram Natick run by my friend Maria. She and her staff ROCK!!! Namaste.