Name: Markus Frohlich
Occupation: Project Manager, Video/Mobile Games
From: Ludwigshafen, Germany
When you started practicing Bikram Yoga: October 2017
Favorite Posture: To be quite honest, my favorite posture is the final breathing pose. It launches my recovery from the 90-minute workout and signifies a quest competed to me.
I also enjoy the Standing Separate Leg Stretching Pose due to its bipolar effect on my body.
Lowering my torso inflicts considerable but manageable discomfort in my legs on account of my poor flexibility. Conversely though, my spine stretches and I feel my vertebrae crack as my entire back relaxes. Great experience!
Why I practice: I have been looking for some sort of physical activity for a while. There is just this terrible imbalance in my life without doing something to break a sweat a few times a week. Most of my friends work out at a gym. I happen to find lifting weights or running on a treadmill to be about as much fun as watching grass grow. Many people say the hardest part about going to the gym is getting oneself to go in the first place. For me, the hardest part was not to leave the gym again right away, so I just rushed through my regimen (a.k.a. I half-assed everything) and went home frustrated.
I first heard about Bikram yoga on the Joe Rogan podcast which I enjoy listening to when I am at work. He described the struggle that he faces during every class he attends. I appreciate struggle and enjoy overcoming it, knowing that I gave it my best. Without fighting through struggle and discomfort, there is no progress.
I had never considered yoga before, never went to a class or had any interest in it. I wish I had a more interesting story to tell, but one day I just felt that I really needed to get moving and looked up the closest Bikram yoga place to my house. Class was to start 30 minutes later so I just packed my bag and went. That’s how I got started.
Going by what I heard about Bikram yoga on the podcast, I expected the class to be challenging before my first class started. I did not, however, expect that remaining conscious was going to be my prime objective. The heat in the room and the challenging postures wore me out in less than no time and I began seeing stars 10 or 12 minutes into the session. I was completely worn out and my lack of experience and orientation got the best of me - I had to walk out after the first set of the Triangle pose.
When I reflected on my experience later at home, I wasn’t disappointed about not being able to complete the class. I have never been closer to passing out during a workout before, so I knew I had given it all I had. Half-assing is not really an option in Bikram yoga. The heat alone will wear me out! Obviously, my next goal was to complete a class in its entirety, so I went back after a few days of recuperation and paced myself to meet my objective.
Setting weekly goals has become an imperative for my progress in yoga. I have to admit that going through the exercises is not as much of a spiritual experience for me as it is for many other yogis that I have talked to. My focus lies on improving my postures, preventing of any bad habits to develop, and finding out what does my body well. I don’t mean to sound cheesy or pretentious, but within the few months that I have been coming to class, yoga has become an essential part of my life. It’s a physical challenge, allowing me to assess the condition of my body on any given day and creates a certain balance that I have been in desperate need for.
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