Friday, April 4, 2014

My Bikram Yoga Manila Makati Experience

Last Christmas, all I wanted was time to find a workout routine that I could stick to. I've tried running, one class of Crossfit, and cycling. However, admittedly, I never had a commitment to live a healthy lifestyle - may it be through clean eating or a regular workout routine. But like all previous Fat Kids Inside, all it took for me was, NO, not debilitating bullying (please, I embrace my inner Mindy Lahiri), but an Epic Flu of 2014.

It took a lot of convincing from my friends to finally get me to step into a Bikram Yoga studio. In 2013, the night I was supposed to go to my first class, I got gastroenteritis. True story! But I finally caved and had my first hot yoga class last February.

A real woman does not workout and brag, but come on, surviving a room at 40 degrees Celsius is no mean feat when the only goal for first timers is to stay inside the studio!

I liked my first session a lot that I enrolled for a full month's class right then and there, only to be derailed by said Flu of 2014. Long story short, it took me more than two weeks before I went back for my second class. But as you can see, my commitment to Bikram Yoga is unparalleled compared to my other Life Choices that I've finally made it Facebook official as of press time.

So how's my Bikram Yoga Manila experience, you might ask?

If you haven't Googled it yet, Bikram Yoga is the 26 postures sequence selected and developed by Bikram Choudhury from Hatha Yoga. Classes are done inside a studio at a minimum 40 degrees Celsius at about 40% humidity. Each class runs for 90 minutes or 1 1/2 hours. So yes, it may sound like Hell the way I describe it, but believe me, it's not. If you can last in said conditions for 90 minutes, just imagine what more you can conquer in this lifetime?

"Why Yoga?" and if I only have a peso for every time somebody asks me this question and other cliches

I've heard a 360 Fitness coach once say that it is best to start with workouts that carry your weight - running, walking, and the likes. Bikram Yoga does just that but not as strenuous and is as forgiving to couch potatoes like me. You carry your weight through leg lifts like Standing Bow, Balancing Stick, and Locust Pose but not just enough to not hurt your knees or joints.

Bikram Yoga also encouraged me to go on a sort of forced diet. On my first week, since I attend the 8PM class, I can honest to blog really feel every morsel of my lunch go up my throat every time I had to bend down. It gets worse if I had a rice meal that day. So Bikram Yoga, in a way, forced me to choose salads over full meals, quit after lunch coffee runs, and stop eating after 4PM for around 3 weeks. I even had to plan my meals depending on days I had to go to Yoga because that means I had to eat a heavy breakfast, salad and protein for lunch, and nothing at all after 3PM.

But this was before my body got used to it. You don't really need to diet if you're doing Yoga. The point of working out, if not really to lose weight, is to maintain your eating habits while you shed of the pounds, right?

Just kidding! It all depends on how your body acclimates. I'm no dietician nor health professional, but since I've been practicing Yoga, I feel like I don't crave rice, junk food, and sugar as much as I used to anymore.

So will you lose weight if you do Bikram Yoga?

Our teacher Chris told us that depending on your metabolism, it may take you a year to lose weight. What you should be measuring rather are inches - your arms, your waist, your belly. You might say it's a let down if weight loss is your ultimate goal, but weight is just a number.

I've lost around 2 kilos since I started Bikram Yoga, but what's more fulfilling for me is to not feel like wearing sausage casings every time I slip into a pair of skinny jeans, hearing people say my face seems smaller, and finally getting to wear that dress that used to be tight around the tummy.

Another point I'd like to share as what really drew me into Bikram Yoga is that it's a sport (Facebook says so) that can be totally sustainable if you want to transition into more active activities. Running made my knees hurt before - probably because my form was bad, or because I'm overweight to start with and my knees cannot carry me - but Bikram Yoga promotes strength, balance, and flexibility without putting your body into immediate, repetitive shock. I figured Bikram Yoga is the best way for me to jump start my sedentary self into exercising.

And you know who else does Yoga?

Iron Man and Loki. Come on. Why wouldn't you?

Tom Hiddleston doing the Master Pose or what our instructors call the summit of the practice.

Robert Downey Jr. doing a variation of a Toe Stand.

Convinced?  Y/N?
Leave a comment and ask me anything about my Bikram Yoga practice!

If you want to join me do Bikram Yoga, get in touch with
Bikram Yoga Manila Makati  
15/F, 88 Corporate Center, 141 Valero St. cor Sedeño St. 1227 Makati
Phone:  (02) 576 8391

Email or call for class schedules and rates! 

Read about my and my friends Sheng and Dawn's adventures about yoga at

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Mara Ruiz said...

I am agree with you Bikram Yoga helps to reduce weight and increase your stamina. Your body will be more flexible with regular Yoga. I also joined Bikram delray and i reduced 15 KG weight in just 2 months and now i feel more fit and fine.

Mara Ruiz said...

hi may I know the price per session? :)

Mara Ruiz said...

Hi, Kimberly! If I remember it correctly, 350-550 PHP depending on the day. Sometimes they have Charity Tuesdays where they donate proceeds of the day to charity. Best to check out their Facebook page or call them :) Hope this helps!

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