Tuesday, August 3, 2010

How Bikram Yoga Handed My Ass To Me, or, Holy Crap I'm Gonna Barf

At the very enthusiastic urging of a friend of mine, I decided to try Bikram Yoga. What singles Bikram Yoga out from other types of Yoga is the fact that it's held in a really horribly, terribly, miserably hot room. The room is kept at a temperature between 95 and 105 degrees Fahrenheit and 40% humidity to ensure the most amount of suffering possible within the 90 minutes of class time. Or, you know, to encourage muscle flexibility and profuse sweating which, along with making you look super sexy and smell AWESOME, has something or other to do with eliminating toxins from the body, blah blah blah. I kind of forgot all of that once the postures began and I was hit in the face with the startling revelation that I'm a big ol' pansy. And I wanted to throw up.

Looking back, I did everything wrong. My friend let me know that I'd need a towel, lots of water, and that nothing was expected of me beyond just staying in the room. He DIDN'T mention the whole "eat only a light meal about 3 hours prior to the class" thing. Maybe he thought it was common sense but I strive to be uncommon in my life so I reject banal things like that. Dude should have told me. So, yeah, I ate a fairly heavy meal about an hour and a half prior to the class because I'm dumb like that. Also, I failed to keep myself properly hydrated throughout the day so I was already in need of some fluids before any of the physical fitness shenanigans began. To top it off, I removed my glasses because I knew they'd just be sliding off my nose the whole time. However, it left me with super fuzzy, unfocused vision which exacerbated the nausea. I was doomed. DOOOOOOOMED.

So less than halfway through, I had me a lil' panic attack and left the room. I tried to just sit down and focus on my breathing but with each breath there was a little voice in my head that went something like, "omg it's so damn hot in here I'm gonna die in this stupid hot room but not before I puke all over myself and omg did I mention it's hot where are the damn windows I'm gonna puke and die!!!!!" Once I got out of the stiflingly hot room, I went and had myself a good shame-filled cry. The instructor came out to make sure that I wasn't actually dead and offered some words of encouragement. It was enough to get my pathetic, pansy-ass back in the room for the floor exercise portion of it. I did NOT make it through all the floor postures but I DID stay in the room after that point, all the while checking with my friend to find out how many more postures we had to do before I could get the hell out of there for good and have my damn popsicle. I liked my popsicle.

Will I be going back? Well, I spent $30 for the Newbie 30-Day Trial Special (not what it's actually called) so I should go back at least one more time to make it worth the money (regular sessions are $15 a pop). But I remember thinking at the time that there was no way in hell I was ever going to do it again. I can kind of liken the experience to childbirth, however, in that the more time that passes, the less you remember of how painful it all was. Hell, I went through THAT twice so why not do the same with Bikram Yoga? Plus, it just feels so good when I stop. Or maybe I'm just happy that I no longer want to barf.


Cathy said...

Good job for even trying! Give yourself some cred girl! Now, as I say this in a hushed voice, I had a day like this in physical therapy. I got a woman I'll call the 'drill sergeant' -- up until her I had been cruisin', getting loads of sympathy, ice water, shoulders to cry on -- but this woman had no compassion. She put me through the wringer. I almost cried. I was so close. I felt so sorry for myself. I got panicky. But then I realized she pushed me so much farther than some of the other therapists. And I kind of realized maybe I was stronger than I thought.
I think I did cry later though. :)

Christian Herwitz said...

Highlarious! Also...I did bikram once, and ya'know what? FUCK THAT SHIT IT'S TERRIBLE. I'm pissed that I allowed myself to think it might be a good idea in the first place! Oh my god I hate bikram. It makes me annnnnngry!/rant

TheSarah said...

Cathy, are you still doing physical therapy? Have you regained all of your movement back? I still can't believe you had a freaking brain tumor. In my mind, you're kind of a super hero.
Christian, I could tell that you had some resentment toward Bikram Yoga from your comment on my FB post about it. =P Believe me, I was thinking "Fuck this shit" for pretty much the entire class. Now I'm just mad that it owned me and I want a rematch.

Christian Herwitz said...

Where bikram is concerned...no one wins.