Vic of Tri4YourLife, who is training for his first Ironman here in SE Texas at the end of MAY, asked if I was serious in that if I thought doing Bikram/hot yoga would help acclimate him for what will undoubtedly be a tough 140.6 miles due to weather (here's to hoping for a random cold snap for the Vic-ster! but I dont really see that happening :O(.
- My answer is a resounding yes. The way I first got interested in hot yoga was because of a couple of girls at KW that never seemed to have so much of an issue when running long runs in the dead of Summer. They actually ENJOYED the long runs, I just wasnt able to begin until after Chicago and it was too close to introduce at the time. I don't know that hot yoga would help everyone out with heat/humid acclimation, but from what I can tell (so far) it has already helped me. This winter we have had a roller coaster of weather, it being in the 70's and even 80's some days, with lows in the 60's, to a few normal cold days (40/50) and then only a smidgen of what we consider bitter cold (feels like of 20's/actual temps in the 30's). So on the 'hot' days, and also humid days when I have run, most recently last Friday (warm and very humid), I honestly was like 'whatever' and just ran. Sure I got uncomfortable, but not like what I would have normally. When I walk into a room, and its 90deg and I say 'why is it not hot in here yet?', um...yeah. The only downside that I have experienced is honestly that I don't seem to handle the 'cold' very well anymore.
Karen, the ultra marathoner, wanted to know what the difference was difference was made for a person who does regular yoga vs Bikram/hot yoga.
- You know I asked this very same question (to myself) and went online and started doing research. I had gone to yoga (regular) a few times, and I hated it. It was all flowy, and well...flowy...I hated it. I didn't feel like I was getting a workout AT. ALL. It was stretchy, bendy, flowery kind of stuff. Have I mentioned that I hated it? Bikram/hot yoga is basically a series of poses (26) done in a certain succession, and done twice. These poses are not anything near what you would do in a regular class, although I knew a few of them from the couple of classes I had gone to (downward dog, warrior, corpse for example). However these 3 examples arent really Bikram poses, but stages along the way. I would suggest to google Bikram and read about how it all began. The thing I can say most about it to answer your question is that Bikram/hot yoga is a workout. Its intense, its hot, its humid and its for 90 minutes. Its heart raising to a certain point (in addition to the heat factor the stages of balancing poses slowly build your HR up to a point where you think its going to beat out of your chest). I honestly also believe that Bikram/hot yoga has had a dramatic and direct effect on my 'system', my sleep, my skin, my appetite (for good things!), my overall demeanor (some that know me personally can vouch for this) being much better; I am a much more happy and content person. I have noticed that my ability to run with my HR being lower and my stride opening up (due to many hip opening types of poses), which means I am faster without even trying. I have much more core and upper body strength than any regular vinyasa/hatha/flow type of yoga would ever give me. I've done both and to me, in my opinon, there is no comparison whatsover. To me Bikram/hot yoga is the workout I would suggest to anyone wanting to be a better runner. Bottom line.