Monday, January 27, 2014

Bikram Yoga First Timer

'I've been thinking about Bikram Yoga since many years ago, I just never had the right impulse to try it out. So when the girls called that they are driving to Prague to give it a shot, I was on board!

We were still smiling and excited here :o)
It was tougher than we thought though ... yet exciting! We will be back!
Photo courtesy by Petra Polanská

What actually is Bikram Yoga? It is the "original" form of hot yoga. Established in the United States by Bikram Choudhury who brought the idea in 1970s from India. The original Bikram is pretty strict: 90 minutes, 26 poses in given order in a room of 42 degrees Celsius (105 Fahrenheit). The poses come from Hatha Yoga = dynamic style of Yoga. Thanks to the temperature your body and muscles become more flexible, your muscles are also getting stronger and because of the dynamic sequence of the poses it work as cardio as well. I am quite trained endurance athlete and this definitely IS cardio! And I was sweating like a pig :o

The true Bikram Yoga can be only practiced in certified studios with certified teachers - they get 9 week training in LA for a bargin price over 10 thousand dollars! Man, these people must LOVE Bikram Yoga. The teacher only shows parts of the poses as he speaks all the time to guide you through the dynamic sequence of the class. It was really well organized, he put the experienced people in the first row and the greenhorns (that would be us) just behind them. This way we could see how the poses should be performed and he could see how we were doing. You shouldn't push to the extrems of the positions so you can last throughout the session. You are not allowed to leave (trust me, you won't need to pee, you will sweat it all out...).

I really liked the class, it was pretty demanding and I had like two moments when I had to get out of the pose and breathe through to relax in order not to faint. But that quite normal. Even our friend Petra who is great power yoga instructor and personal trainer had these issues... You also can drink only at specially dedicated moments, so you should drink plenty of water before the class and after as well. It took me more than 5 minutes to get myself together after the class. But after those first moments of weakness my body was flooded with energy! I had trouble sleeping though, but I will be trying more classes as I purchased the 10 day unlimited trial (it is worth it if you go at least twice). So I will report more about that.

I loved getting my muscles stretched more and my spine more flexible. We do many similar exercises with The Coach. So I am thinking this could be great cross training activity as long as I manage to do all my training while coming to the class once or twice a week. We shall see..

Any runners out there practicing Bikram Yoga???

Any advice on how to put it up with your training?

Thursday, January 09, 2014

Unbelievable Happened

First of all, let me wish you all HAPPY NEW YEAR 20114!!! Let it be a year full of health, striving, setting and fulfilling dreams, gratefulness and happiness :)

Photo from my New Year's run at 6:45 am at the hotel gym, I felt so excited doing the thing I love first thing after getting up in the new year of 2014! (I couldn't sleep - needed to get that extra wine out of my system :) ).

I will come back later with the recap of 2013. A lot moved I great direction in my life and especially in my running!!! I was already fully plunged into my training for Prague International Marathon 2014 for the last two months of 2013... But what I have to mention here quick and now is my session yesterday with The Coach. He had planned out 3x (500 m + 200 m) interval speed work for me. First the paces were off and I proved my dad's blood running in my veins proving The Coach that he probably does not want me to run the 500 m faster than the 200 m :))) Anyway, after two weeks of lot of trainng but generally only volume and some hills, I wasn't able to run that fast for 500 m anyway :)

But then the unimaginable happened: I finished the third interval and I felt like wanting more!!! You have to understand this: I am what Craig McMillan calls endurance monster. I can swallow miles and miles, but the speed work is always super tough for me. It is truth that 3 reps are funny in comparison to 12 or 16 that I do as the races come closer, but anyway. First time in the 2 and half years we have been working together with The Coach I asked for MORE speed work than he had planned for me. And it went great! I crushed the 4th 500 m little faster than the previous 3. I don't want to brag, it is still damn snail pace, but I am really excited.

Today's message: my dear friends, don't be afraid of wanting MORE and striving for your BEST possible self!