Bikram Yoga

It’s 105 degrees in here.  Sweat drizzles off my body like I’m a lawn sprinkler.  Both knees are locked with one leg lunged back behind me and my hands stretched out in front with my whole body balancing precariously on my other teetering leg and I say to my self, “I paid for this.  Yeah.”

Jill said I would hate Bikram Yoga the first time.   What a funny thing about us, about our culture, that when we here of some exercise that our friends say we will surely hate, it makes us want to do it even more.  It’s like when someone says not to look at something the temptation to stare increases all the more.  But it really shouldn’t be that way with something that our friends say we will hate.  “But it’s good for us.”  And that’s the clincher.  Come hell or high water, we will determinately pay huge amounts of money to do things we know we will hate in the name of health.

I wanted to write about Bikram Yoga after my first time there.  But Jill did say I would hate it the first time, implying that the second or third time might give a different impression.  So it would not have been fair to write about it after one try.  I was also busy/lazy/etc., but that’s another story.

I didn’t actually hate it the first time.  When someone says I am going to hate something, I expect it to be pretty bad.  It turned out that the hard part was only the first forty-five minutes, where you go from difficult pose to difficult pose.  The next forty-five minutes switches between a resting pose and stretching pose.  According to Bikram, this is where you get all the benefits, in the resting pose.  Fine by me.  Just as long as I get to lie down, (is what I was thinking at the time).  As a result, it really wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought.

Then again, I was sore for a week.  I guess that means that there must be gain as there was significant pain, but I always wonder if it was worth it.   In addition to the soreness, there is also a detail I really should mention about this activity, and that is the smell.  The whole idea might be really great, focusing on breathing deeply and cleansing the body.  Problem is that when they tell you to breath deep, you say to yourself, No Thanks.  It positively wreaks of sweat in that facility, and I find it so hard to even think of cleansing effects when in such a stinking environment.   I guess you get used to it.  No.  Not really.

I do like yoga, and doing it in a hot room certainly puts a new spin on it.  It’s quite a change of pace in winter, too, since there is really nothing wrong with being warm when it’s so cold outside.  If you are going to try it, there is no better time than the dead of winter.  You end up going out into the 15 degree day with your jacket hanging open, a purple face still sweating and a popsicle hanging out of your mouth.   The irony amuses, even if the yoga doesn’t.

I’ve done Bikram Yoga four times now.  I gave it a good honest try.  I think that’s fair.


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