Nashville Bikram Yoga

So You Want to Take a Bikram Yoga Class?

Nashville Bikram Yoga

Bikram Yoga Nashville

Nashville-based guest blogger Tabitha Tune offers in-depth pointers for those looking to start Bikram Yoga.

My first Bikram Yoga class was in 2004, and I will never forget how I felt–totally and utterly miserable! Before you think, “Wow, you’re not selling this very well,” it turns out I just wasn’t prepared. But with some good advice from instructors and figuring out, over time, what works best for me, my practice is still going strong eight years later.

I have yet to find a physical activity that I love as much or is as exhilarating and beneficial for me, both mentally and physically, as Bikram Yoga. It certainly helps that we have two Bikram certified studios in Nashville–one in Cool Springs and Bikram Yoga Nashville which just opened its doors in January.

While it didn’t take me all eight years to figure out how to be properly prepared, it took a bit of trial and error over some time. So to save you that trouble and to help you make sure your first class wasn’t like mine, here are some tips to make your Bikram Yoga experience great:

Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate

It’s summer, and it’s already sweltering in Nashville, so it’s just good sense to drink water throughout the day to stay hydrated. This is even more important before heading into a 105 degree room where you’ll be sweating a lot. By “hydrate” I don’t mean chug more soda or energy drinks–just stick to good ole H20. Water is your best friend in this weather, and it will serve you well on your Bikram days.

Eat Light

Try to eat at least two hours before your class and practice Bikram Yoga on an almost empty stomach. That said, don’t starve yourself because you will need strength and energy to take a class. While there’s no impact in Bikram Yoga, there are still lots of cardiovascular aspects and some postures that compress, so practicing with a full stomach could prove to be very uncomfortable.

Dress Right

You don’t need fancy yoga clothes, but you also don’t want to wear anything ill-fitting or loose/baggy that could obstruct movement or that won’t let your skin breathe and sweat freely. While you’re in the early stages of your Bikram practice, dress in sportswear that’s meant for yoga, made of breathable fabric that’s stretchy and that will let you stretch and move. The same applies to guys–a pair of running shorts and a tank top will work well.


Listen to the instructor and listen to your body. Bikram Yoga instructors go through a thorough certification process to ensure that students are taught to do the right thing at the right pace. They know what they’re doing as they guide you through every posture in a precise way that provides the deepest stretches and a complete workout without risk of injury. However, only you will know when something hurts, so when your body tells you to stop doing something, listen to it and take it easy for that moment.

Keep an Open Mind

Regardless of your fitness level or your yoga experience, go into the class with no expectations and enjoy yourself. You will hear this often: “All you need to do is stay in the room.” Even if you just sit and watch the entire time, you’re already fast on your way to receiving the benefits of Bikram Yoga. Every class is different, and to this day I still learn something new each time I go back into the yoga room.

You will figure out your own habits as your Bikram Yoga practice progresses. In the meantime, have a great class!

  • Anonymous

    Tabitha, Bikram yoga should come with a warning label that it can be addictive! I’ve been practicing for just a little over nine months, and when I first walked into the studio, I didn’t picture it as a long-term thing necessarily. I’ve done a 60-day challenge and now I’m working on a “birthday” challenge–one day for every year as a little gift to myself and my health.

  • Tabitha

    That’s really awesome that you’ve done the 60-day challenge, that’s quite a feat! I didn’t expect to love it as much when I first started either and like I’d mentioned in the post – 8 years later, here I am, still going! It’s hard to give up for sure and it’s an addiction I will happily never try to find a remedy for!

  • Mrszinaharris

    This was a great and informative article! Something I for sure wish I had before my first class three weeks ago. I have been a faithful fan of it ever since. Without fail, if I do not follow any of the above tips, I get dizzy and lightheaded. So it is a true practice inside and out of the studio. The instructors at the Cool Springs location are amazing. Without their clear and calm instruction, I would have been lost.

    Namaste! :)

  • Tabitha

    That’s great Zina! And the breathing really helps in day-to-day situations too. I’m certainly way more focused when I practice regularly than when I don’t. Thank you for reading and maybe I’ll see you at the studio sometime!