For most endurance athletes, the number 26 means one thing: The number of miles in a marathon. But when I chose to take on triathlons in an effort to protect my knees and safeguard my body from the pounding I offered it through a lifetime of running, the opposite taken place. I was sore all over because I was utilizing muscles and straining joints that I’d actually never worked previously. My shoulders from swimming. My back from cycling. I’d nagging aches and pains all the time.

Then I discovered real magic behind the number 26. A Bikram yoga course is a 26-posture series designed to scientifically warm and stretch muscles, ligaments and tendons in the order where they ought to be stretched. ‘An athlete can anticipate to work every muscle in the body from the neck down with a focus on the body core,’ stated Elaina Zorensky, co-owner of Bikram Yoga Tempe. ‘In addition, all ligaments, tendons, joints, glands and organs will be enhanced and renewed.’ As somebody who never stretched a day in his life, I was petrified to try yoga. And as an Italian originally from New york city, I knew my buddies would be ruthless in their taunting.

yoga guy

In the words of my friend, Don: ‘Do you’ve an unique skirt that you use to yoga?’ However I went. And I picked Bikram because I believed the heated space – the studio is heated up to a minimum of 105 degrees with a minimum of 40 percent humidity – would help loosen my tight muscles. And it worked. In the 3 years because I began exercising yoga regularly, I haven’t had a single training related injury, my body recuperates faster, my core is stronger than it’s ever been, my speed enhanced. But most notably, I never ever get sore.

Professional triathlete David Glover has actually said there are three primary reasons why endurance sports athletes must think about practicing yoga: Enhanced flexibility. Multisport athletes need a full range of movement in order to be more reliable in their motions. Among the best things Bikram does is improve the movement of arms and shoulders, which helped my swim stroke.

Improved core and stabilizer muscle strength. Because we preserve the exact same positions for extended time periods – 5 or 6 hours hunched over throughout the 112-mile Ironman bike leg or running upright for three or four hours throughout a marathon – we need a strong core and strong joints to support our bodies.

Both of the above will assist minimize the possibility of overuse injuries. Consistency in training is a key success consider stamina sports, Glover said, and it’s difficult to be constant when you are sore or hurt. When training for Ironman in 2013, I factored Bikram into my training schedule and considered it every bit as important as my long terms and 100-mile bike trips. During the 90-minutes classes, I’ll certainly sweat out as much as 10 pounds, so don’t believe Bikram is a warmup. It’s a workout.

‘Bikram yoga is incredibly advantageous for stamina athletes,’ Zorensky said. ‘One 90-minute session will work the whole body from the within out and routine practice helps one enhance focus, determination and stamina. It assists to teach one to remain calm in tough, difficult scenarios. Additionally, at the start and end of each Bikram yoga session, a breathing workout floods the body with fresh oxygen, teaches correct deep breathing, and improves lung capacity.’ However Zorensky stressed that you do not need to be an athlete to benefit from Bikram.

‘Bikram yoga is for everybody,’ she stated. ‘If one is stringent, can not touch their toes, or possibly can not even see them, they’re an outstanding candidate for yoga. Bikram yoga is a beginning yoga series that’s a terrific, non-impact method to tone and boost the body as well as to increase versatility.’

Want to attempt it? Here are some things to remember:

  1. Put on something cool and comfy. The space is heated, so be prepared to sweat … a lot. I made the mistake of putting on running shorts and a cotton T-shirt to my very first couple of classes. Females need to wear shorts and a sports bra or tank top with an integrated bra. Men needs to put on swimming trunks or workout shorts.
  2. Beverage lots of water throughout the day so you’re well hydrated before class. And bring a huge plastic bottle of water to consume throughout course. Also stay clear of consuming for a couple hours prior to the class begins.
  3. You’ll require a yoga mat and huge towel. If you don’t have them, they’re readily available at the studio to rent or buy.
  4. It’s regular to feel lightheaded or lightheaded throughout your very first course. So listen to your body. Don’t hesitate to take a seat or sit out a posture if you’ve to.