Is There Anything Bikram Yoga Can’t Do?

Is there anything Bikram yoga can’t do? It’s a question I have, and I actually have an answer. My answer is, it seems like it can pretty much do anything you want and give you most of what you need. I was reminded of this recently when I got the hiccups.

Hiccups are so annoying.

Mine came on about an hour before class. I was at home and resorted to my handy-dandy carbonation method. The carbonation method is simple. Get something to drink that is carbonated. Take a deep breath. Pinch your nose shut, and start drinking. Keep drinking until you cannot hold your breath any longer. Release your nose and start to take in oxygen while you continue drinking.

I learned this method about 15 years ago when I had the hiccups for three hours. It was awful. I was on a boat most of that time. When I made it home I went online in search of a cure for the hiccups. I found the carbonation method, tried it, and it worked instantly. Ever since then the method has usually worked the first time and always if I did it a second time.

So I did my method before I left for class. It worked. I went to class.

Class started and I got the hiccups again. What am I going to do? I didn’t know what to do so I just did my pranayama. Bingo. Hiccups gone. So does pranayama deep breathing get rid of the hiccups? I think it might. I’ve had the opportunity to try it out two more times outside the hot room. Both times I got the hiccups I stopped, did five reps, and they were gone. Pretty simple and a lot more comfortable than the first method I described!

But, is there anything Bikram yoga cannot do? Well, it doesn’t seem to do much for my eczema. If you’re wondering why I haven’t mentioned my eczema before (don’t worry. i’m not including any pictures) it’s because I haven’t had a flare up – at least a major one – since I have been writing this blog. Heat makes it worse, and it really makes it look worse. A spot that looks non-existent can look downright painful (even if it’s not) after 10 minutes in the hot room. These spots light up like firecrackers in the hot room. But to be fair, hot showers make it worse and even simply moving around and getting my circulation going will make them look worse than when I first get out of bed.

If I could stay out of the hot room for about two weeks I think I could get this mess all healed up. But I’m not willing to do that. The good news is that it’s not itching anymore. I just need the skin to heal. The other annoying news is I have to keep my skin super hydrated which does not work well for hot yoga. I have to keep lotion on my spots so they will heal. This is really own bad during standing bow. I’ve solved the problem by bringing in a hand towel and gently patting the area around my ankles that has the hot spots. Otherwise I am a slimy mess and cannot grip my ankle.

So even though it’s taking me longer to heal, I’m not staying out of the hot room. Someone recently came to class not feeling well and asked if she should attend. The instructor said it sounded like she was fine to attend so long as she monitored herself and sat down when needed. At the end of class – well, really, halfway thought – she said she was feeling so much better! I don’t know if this practice is helping my skin at all, and I can accept if it’s not, but I’m not willing to lose benefits by staying out. I want my benefits even if it takes my skin longer to heal. It’s worth it.


9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. cazbaz
    Apr 29, 2013 @ 06:16:05

    Hi Leigh

    Thanks for your post, so interesting for me personally as bikram has brought about a dramatic improvement in my eczema, it’s actually quite incredible. So good luck with your perseverance – you don’t know, any day now it could disappear. You haven’t asked for my advice but I would encourage you to try showering before class and going in with no lotion nor anything on your skin. In my experience it will sting badly and possibly flare and itch at the start but after 5, 6, or 10 classes you will start seeing a difference. As I say, this was my experience and not a guarantee. 😀

    And, to answer your original question, I believe there is almost nothing bikram yoga cannot do. Because what it does is give you back more of you. And it is you that ultimately does the doing.

    Caz xxx


  2. jenniferpetkovic
    Apr 29, 2013 @ 06:22:21

    I totally know what you mean…just last week I got a really bad flue, which I am still recovering from. I took one day off my practice (what a tough decision, I am telling you!) and was not sure whether I should go the next day since I really was not feeling well. Once I stood on the mat, though, I did not regret it a tiny bit — I actually had a pretty decent class that day. Also, I really felt that ‘sweating it all out’ helped me recover as quickly as I did. Bikram Yoga is giving me way too many benefits every day – no matter how bad I feel/how sick I am etc. You’re right: It’s worth it! Always.


    • leighahall
      Apr 29, 2013 @ 21:17:31

      My general train of thought on this is if I can drive myself to class, then I can go to class. If I’m not contagious, and if I can stay in the room, then I can go. I will sweat a significant amount when I am recovering. That said, I have been practicing at least five days a week for a year now, and I have not been sick in a year. Glad you are feeling better.


  3. Nicole
    Apr 29, 2013 @ 21:09:43

    I walked in the hot room today with a headache, feeling nauseous… I’m pretty sure that by the end of pranayama I felt better and made it through the whole series. The best I felt all day was those 90 minutes!


    • leighahall
      Apr 29, 2013 @ 21:18:20

      That’s great! Glad you are feeling better. It’s so amazing how we can go in feeling like garbage, wonder how we will ever make it through class, and come out the other side feeling amazing.


  4. Jane
    May 15, 2013 @ 01:44:23

    I found my bikram yoga place at and I’m soooo glad I did. It was really hard to get used to (as I’m used to the cold) but after a dozen classes, you really do feel the benefits. I recommend it to anyone and everyone 😛


  5. Trackback: Retro Throwback: Is There Anything Bikram Yoga Can’t Do? | My Bikram Yoga Life
  6. LeighAHall (@LeighAHall)
    Sep 13, 2014 @ 14:18:50

    Is There Anything Bikram… #bikramyoga #yogaholicsmag


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: