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Googled bikram and heart attack and chest pain . . .

Saturday, December 05, 2015

. . . and my goodness, I came up with some rather sobering articles.

People DO experience heart attacks in high heat(105 degree)/high humidity (40%+-- goes up quickly if the room is crowded) conditions. And fainting. And injuries, especially to 'chest wall muscles", from excessive stretching which is made possible by the loosening-up effects of the higher heat.


Had I read these articles before attending bikram, I might not have attended.

And I am thinking very hard about whether I want to return when my chest muscles are healed.

Apparently bikram has a particular appeal to "competitive" Type A personalities -- the kind of person who's accustomed to "toughing it out".


This is going to require more reflection. In the meantime, I cancelled my mammogram scheduled for Monday and postponed to March: there is no way I'd be able to tolerate it right now.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I am reading this late as once again you fell out of my active blogs. My two cents? Don't go back!
    1633 days ago
  • NANCY-
    Interesting... Thank heavens we have the internet.
    Perhaps Hawtha yoga might be better. You get a gentle stretch which helps with flexibility and posture. It is still challenging as you work on form and you can progress to more challenging variations.
    1634 days ago
    Wow - sounds like something for the fittest of the fit...
    1635 days ago
    I can't exercise in heat. At our "old person" gym, I'm in the minimum acceptable clothing while some women are in sweat suits.

    I understand the desire to "tough it out" but we must take reasonable precautions and know when to quit.

    Oh, those competing voices in our heads!
    1635 days ago
    Yikes, yikes and some more yikes!!! I was invited to hot yoga the day after Thanksgiving and said no way! I don't tolerate heat very well any more, so said thanks, but no thanks. Glad I didn't even try!! Thanks!
    1635 days ago
    Interesting. I didn't see any classes for hot yoga at Kripalu. Maybe that is why. Did the instructor know you had issues? I would hope the are well trained and know to watch for symptoms.
    1635 days ago
    there must be a middle way - and hot yoga does not appear to be *it*. good rethinking... and as the wise ones say, listen to your body!
    1635 days ago
    That is definitely food for thought..especially stretching those chest muscles in the heat. I hope you continue to heal and to feel better.
    1636 days ago
    I have long been skeptical of hot yoga... but acknowlege that is influenced by the fact that I hate the heat and cannot imagine seeking out an opportunity to work out in the heat! Don't let this curb your enthusiasm for trying something new, though... once you are healed...
    1636 days ago
  • no profile photo CD15520036
    Oh my! Maybe your injury was a blessing in disguise in that it's steering you away from a risky activity. I think when we're very fit, we can get kind of elated with our great condition and get very ambitious. I've had a worrying experience or two which have made me pull back.
    1636 days ago
    Happy to hear you are rethinking Birkram yoga. People of all ages need to be careful of our bodies and not try to tough it out like that program seems to do. I love regular yoga and see nothing wrong with it, and with the right teacher it can be very physically challenging. Good luck finding a class you love.
    1636 days ago
    Happy to hear that you are doing your research and taking care of yourself. Yeah. mammogram would likely do more damage to the already injured chest wall at this point. Seems like a smart move and I trust you know what's in your best interests.

    When's that soiree?
    1636 days ago
  • _LINDA
    So glad you looked into it. I agree this type of yoga wouldn't be a good fit for you! Nothing wrong with regular, beginning yoga. Its a great addition to a fitness program!
    Have a relaxing, peaceful Sunday!
    1636 days ago
    Priorities?????What is more important? Yoga or a mammogram. I choose mammogram.
    1636 days ago
  • GABY1948
    I am SO thankful for the outcome of that episode! I honestly don't know what Bikram is but don't think I WANT it no matter!

    JUST glad you are fine! emoticon
    1636 days ago
    Another lesson learned. Thanks for the share. So relieved that you are ok, if over done. Literally.
    1636 days ago
    Yoga is great...bikram not so much. Why beat up your body? Please reconsider future sessions. There's plenty of good things you Type As can do.
    1636 days ago
    Yup, Bikram is challenging! And not my cup of tea, because of other injuries, I need to be careful.

    Once out of the first flush of youth the thing type As would benefit from getting competitive about is being able to sustain exercise without injuring themselves. A matter of character tempered by experience. So I don't see it as connected with the exercise, it is the approach.

    Did you tell your Bikram teacher about your mild chest pain? Did the teacher give you that opportunity? Did he or she have an eye on you as a newbie to see that you weren't overdoing it? If not, maybe you need a more mindful teacher.

    Did you listen to your body and respect what the pain was telling you? Do you have an array of responses to pain and injury other than pushing into and through pain? If not, arm yourself with a few different responses and tools. One that might bring immediate relief is an epsom salts bath. Use about 1lb of epsom salts, soak in warm to hot bath, wrap yourself in a nice warm towel...and so, to bed. Aaahhh!

    Have you heard of Feldenkrais? It is a very very different approach to exercise that i found greatly helpful while dealing with a chronic pain condition. Also, Bowen Therapy, which is sometimes referred to as Bowtech. Don't be disturbed by any woo woo factor, just get a less woo woo practitioner. I found both of these to be remarkably useful approaches even for people who are very physically compromised.

    Hope this helps
    1636 days ago
    Reflecting is good.
    1636 days ago
    Wow! I have done hot yoga before. I think I'm going to think twice before I do it again! Thanks for the information! Wishing you a Beautiful Saturday and a Wonderful Weekend!
    Hugs and love, xoxo
    1636 days ago
  • no profile photo CD15733790
    Wow! Who knew? Glad you looked into it and are thinking about whether or not to return. Maybe a talk with your medical practioner would help too? Take care.
    1636 days ago
    Wow, that's pretty scary!!!! I wonder what the statistics say about % of people who have had problems with this.

    If you would like to try a gentle, work at your own pace, build your skills yoga program, once your muscles are healed, you might check out the book by Richard Hittleman - 28 Day Yoga Plan - I've used this for years. He takes you step by step through the positions and moves, and you start slow and then build slowly. Once you are finished, you can keep doing his several final workouts to maintain flexibility, strength, and balance. (I've just incorporated a few into my daily workouts.)


    1636 days ago
    Wow, yikes. Good to know !!!
    1636 days ago
    Much "food for thought" here... chest wall muscles from stretching? Might explain a past event in my own health history. Here's to the rapid healing and the measured considering of next steps! emoticon emoticon
    1636 days ago
    I am soooooooooo relieved to hear that you've done your research. I know I could never do it. Too intense for my body.

    1636 days ago
    Not a fan of hot yoga. Choudhury Bikram is not a nice guy either. I have done hot yoga. Seems like a good way to get hurt - heat exhaustion, over-stretching muscles, slipping on your own sweat. I get hot enough in the vinyasa classes. I don't need the temperature to go up to 100 degrees.

    I hope you heal quickly. Don't give up on yoga. There is a lot of benefit to pairing the breath with movement.
    1636 days ago
    Oh my goodness I am thinking I have missed something so I better go back and read a previous blog so I'm not in the dark... I do hope you are alright.
    1636 days ago
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