Doing a Double

Doing a double – taking two Bikram classes in one day – is seriously not a big deal. In January, I did seven days straight of doubles. I had the week off, and I thought it would be nice to do some sort of challenge. Going seven days in a row wasn’t a big enough challenge in an of itself. Doing class twice a day for seven days was.

Of course in the beginning of my week I was all freaked out. I was convinced – CONVINCED! – that I would have multiple bad classes. But the week wore on, and I learned that everything was going to be just fine. It was nice to have those seven days to devote just to yoga.

Yesterday, I decided to do a double. This was my first double since my doubles challenge ended in January. Mark gave me the idea. I was bemoaning the fact that the studio was closed for Easter. He suggested I do two classes on Saturday. So there you go. It honestly had not crossed my mind.

I’ve done enough doubles now that I think I can offer a few words of wisdom should you ever decide to give it a try just for one day:

1. If you are even remotely curious about what a double is like then just go do it. Tell the people at your studio. They will support you. I told my instructor at my Friday evening class I was coming back for a double on Saturday, and she went out of her way to make sure my mat was clean and ready to go Saturday morning (we have a mat cleaning service that I signed up for. if you go as much as I do it is totally worth it). So sweet, and made my day!

2. It’s normal to be scared the first time. The very first time I did a double – about a year before I did the doubles challenge – I spent the entire first class afraid of the second class. The first class went fine. I then spent the entire second class afraid I would die. The second class also went fine. Try to be in the moment as much as possible. Come back again for a second day of doubles so you can enjoy it.

3. Space your classes out. For example, during my challenge I usually went to the 9:00 and then the 4:30. This gave me time to rehydrate and get some food in me. It worked well. However, on day five I went to a 6:30 am class and then stayed for the 9:00 class. Big mistake. I may have made it to triangle. I was definitely on the floor by the time we got there. I spent most of the floor series in savassanah. I think I tried to do some floor postures, but it was an epic fail. I spent a good 30 minutes praying for the class to end. I am in no way joking. As long as I space the classes out, everything goes well.  Saturday I did the 9:00 and went back for the 3:00. The back and forth means extra showers and driving, but I don’t think I’ll get much of anything out of two back to back classes except maybe an amusing story that involves me throwing up or passing out or praying for death. I am fine without those stories.

4. Take the class. In the Saturday morning class I showed up and took the class. I didn’t try to go easy on myself because I was coming back at 3:00. I just did whatever it is I normally do. Then I went back at 3:00 and took that class. It is no different than any other day except it’s interesting to see what your body does across the classes.

On Saturday, my second class was interesting. My triangle pose was much better than normal, and I could hold it for most of the required time. My hips were not as tight. Wind removing pose was also better. I could go deeper in it. I did have some issues with my hamstrings and calves. They were really tight. My calves cramped up twice on me forcing me out of postures early. What I am curious to see is what happens to me body when I go 60 days in a row. I want to see how the prolonged time is similar or different from doing doubles. I’m looking forward to getting beyond seven days in a row of classes and crossing into some new territory!

13 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. foursee4
    Aug 17, 2012 @ 16:16:12

    if you’re willing to say…i’d like to hear more about how you actually felt….between the two classes…after the second class…did you sleep well…any changes in sleep…did you have energy to do the rest of your life…more energy than usual or less…

    i’ve just done my 5th class in 10 days. here’s what i just posted on fb

    some things i’m noticing about me and bikram yoga:

    *i usually feel better after-physically
    *i usually feel better after-emotionally. my thoughts about self, other, the world are more loving, less judgemental, more accepting and more ready for taking action
    *i usually feel pretty good that whole day
    *the days i haven’t gone, i tended to feel ‘less good’ (physical and emotional)
    *as for the heat, the first class was the hardest
    *i’ve tried to go in the morning…so i get the benefit earlier…and bc i’m concerned it might keep me awake at nite (may not be true)
    *thoughts about… if i like it because it’s so extreme. noticing. and questioning my thoughts.
    *it was great to have a new teacher today who seemed happy, or at least ‘neutral with a smile’ that i told her about the modifications i do
    *i just made 4 phone calls i’d been procrastinating
    *i just made three piles of things to give (or throw) away
    1. a pile of plastic plant pots
    2. 2 bins of clothes
    3. electronics for the electronics recycler

    i wonder if i’ll get that indoor clothes line up in my laundry room next?

    today was my 5th class since in 10 days.


  2. can't wait to do this
    Oct 06, 2012 @ 12:14:27

    I am going to try to do the twice a day to see how I feel. I haven’t done this in about three months…any suggestions on have I should approach this .


    • leighahall
      Oct 06, 2012 @ 16:45:12

      My suggestion is to talk to the teachers at your studio. They will have the best suggestions for you. If you haven’t practiced in three months, I’m not sure doing doubles is what you want to launch in to.


  3. Trackback: My Bikram Yoga Life
  4. Kelly
    Jul 03, 2013 @ 15:41:05

    I did my first double 2 days ago. The first class being a 6 am hot power hour and then second being a 730pm vinyassa flow (1 hr 15). I felt pretty miserable during the second half of the second class, but after reading this, I am going to try again. I don’t think I fueled my body properly on my first attempt.
    Thank you for posting!


  5. Valerie
    Sep 03, 2013 @ 14:03:37

    I did my first double 2 days ago, then did a 5:30 am class the next day. So 3 classes in 23 hours. The doubles went really well. I made sure I was super hydrated, and had electrolytes in my water. The classes were 8 am and 4 pm, so lots of time between. I thought I would be tired for the second class, but just stayed focused and breathed calmly (often not easy for me) and the class went well. I felt very limber and well warmed up. The next day, the 5:30 am class was difficult. It was early, and I felt stiff. I didn’t feel as hydrated. I think, for me anyway, being well hydrated makes class so much better.


  6. Trackback: Revisiting the Double | My Bikram Yoga Life
  7. Trackback: Retro Throwback: A Walk in the Clouds | My Bikram Yoga Life
  8. Trackback: Doing a Double | Ministry of Yoga
  9. Lizzy
    Apr 05, 2014 @ 15:59:00

    Thanks so much for this post….really helpful tips! 🙂


  10. LeighAHall (@LeighAHall)
    Dec 04, 2014 @ 10:10:24

    Doing a Double #bikramyoga #yogaholicsmag


  11. Mark Quast (@do_the_posture)
    Dec 04, 2014 @ 10:12:15

    RT @LeighAHall: Doing a Double #bikramyoga #yogaholicsmag


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