When going to your first Bikram Yoga class, go with an open mind and a lot of water. Do not drink excessively the night before and do not eat for at least two hours before class. The heat is certain to make you nauseous if you have eaten and sweating out your toxins can be arduous if you have had too much alcohol. Make sure you’re on time because Bikram, more than any other yoga class, requires that you respect the schedule and other students.
The breathing exercise is certain to be intimidating and might initially scare you off, but resist the urge to laugh at the inhaling that sounds like a room full of locomotives. Throughout class, it is important to realize where your limitations are and refrain from or modify exercises that are beyond your skill level. Whenever you feel sick or dizzy, rest with your head above your heart and do not be afraid to tell the instructor you need air. Despite their warnings about staying in the room for the entire class, they understand the intense physical challenge you are putting your body through and will let you sit by the door while staying in the room. You should drink at least 32 oz of water per class, but do not drink too much at a time or you will only increase your feeling of nausea.
Keep an open mind when you find yourself challenged or wanting to laugh and remember, everyone is very friendly and there to help you; they are not watching you in the mirror or criticizing you, having been there once themselves. Other students are a great resource for motivation, encouragement, and advice. The paramount thing to keep in mind with Bikram is to continue going to class; you should notice the changes in your overall health and well-being after the first class and feel refreshed; as you progress, the benefits increase exponentially, the exercises and the heat get more tolerable and actually enjoyable, and your hour and a half flies by. If you make a commitment to Bikram, it will quickly become the highlight of your week.