Friday, June 26, 2009

Yoga in a sauna

Couple nights ago, I went to Bikram's Yoga, which is very conveniently located next door. I bought a pass for unlimited hot yoga for a week. Why now, I don't know. Maybe cause they won't make me run. Yoga in a sauna. I had to snap my mind back from judging myself harshly. I took off my top to reveal my Nike bra top cause it was that hot in there. Picture my mind like a yoyo going from oh, you're not doing too badly to omg, look at my gut hanging over my pants. I couldn't do most of the poses very well. I think of the 26 poses, I did about 80% of them. My shoulders hurt, I can't hold them out away from me that long without my rotator cuffs aching; my balance was off, I kept falling over; I can't twist one leg around the other cause they're too big. Arguably the biggest in the class. At least, I could feel good about my lovely pedicure. I'm the only black woman there. I say that because all that sweating is not good for a sister's relaxer. But I snap my mind back from comparing myself to that 4% body fat girl over there and just concentrate on getting through the poses. I do well I think. I didn't pass out and I didn't give up.

The little Asian woman with the mic barks out accented orders rapid fire like a machine gun. I'm so used to Asian accents that I can actually understand her 60% of the time. She calls out my name and says PALM OUT like 5 times before I actually figure it out and put my palm out. I'm wearing my watch and yes, I did sneak a couple of looks at the time. When was the last time you spent an hour and a half in a sauna? I breathe deeply and loudly to make my lungs are still working and give thanks to the pasta dinner I had that is giving me the energy to continue. You're not supposed to eat 2 - 3 hrs before class or to eat lightly. I hoped I wouldn't throw up.

I made it through and felt very relaxed when I got home. The need to seriously chill out increases as I get older, and I'd like to replace the wine and candy/cake/ food approach. I have to say, it's a little like chanting for the body. It's a discipline, you have to quell the mind from judging your faults but it's like this little timeout out just for you. I think it's the sweating, it tricks you into thinking you're working out like a dog.

I'm not so sure about the locked legs and the pain part of it, but I plan on taking it easy. My shoulders hurt quite a bit, rotator cuff issues - you know from WORKING OUT! The second time I went it was easier. I got into a couple of poses I couldn't do before. Barely, but I got there. Not that I wanted to see my fatty thighs from that angle, but whatever. Yay for me! A fellow Buddhist from up the street took the class so chatting with her after was nice. She confirmed I had placed myself (unwittingly) under a heat vent which explains why I had a hard time picking up my sweaty ankles with my sweaty hands. No wonder that spot was always empty.

I have another post for you, but - it's a doozy. And I just can NOT keep it to myself.


Wordgirl said...

Hi lady,

I've been thinking about you alot.

My brother swears by hot yoga -- me? I despise heat, like actually moving in heat -- which makes summers a little difficult...but still, I know tons of people who think it's great. I remember when I first started doing yoga and it was challenging, and then somehow it really began to affect me -- the way I held my body -- even thought about my body -- and my body -- but that was 2000 and seems a lifetime ago. I was trying to clasp my elbows behind my back and that caused ALOT of self-cursing.

The recent Shambhala magazine has a great conversation about the intersection between meditation and yoga -- I think you'd like it.

I'm going to go relax with a chocolate chip cookie.

I wish we could be gym partners too -- and yoga partners (though again, I'd probably pass out)



WannabeMommy said...

I used to do Bikram yoga. I loved it! But man, getting past that first class is a doozy. I agree... discipline is character-building; a good thing. I'm also trying to quit the chocolate/sugar/wine habit thing and have been sugar free since Monday. Yay for me!!

loribeth said...

I like yoga, but I've never tried Bikram. I find it's hard enough focusing on the positions without factoring extreme heat into the equation, lol -- although, as with any kind of exercise, the more you do it, the easier it gets. I have rotator cuff problems too (especially my left shoulder).