Bikram Yoga is the devil. There I said it and I think you will live a happier life knowing that I have done the grunt work for you and figured out this hellish puzzle.
Bikram Yoga is the devil.
Others, I will call them, Bikram Junkies, will tell you I am wrong, but really can you trust them? No.
What is Bikram Yoga (BY), you ask? Well it is your basic run of the mill Middle Age torture chamber really. People go in a 105 to 115 degree room and stand or lay in various "postures" while wearing "costumes" for about 90 minutes. I am told there is an advanced class that runs for 3 hours! Yay! This is all done without music, not even that tuning guitar crap they play in headshops and every hippy related scene you have ever seen in any movie.
Postures- nearly impossible positions you must stand in and hold for longer than humanly possible.
Costumes- clothes. Well, calling what most of these people were wearing clothes, is a bit of a stretch since most of them were sporting something akin to granny panties and a nursing bra.
I guess I should tell you how this all started. I have a friend, a very good friend actually- note she is still a very good friend despite introducing me to the BY hell- recently went to a BY class with her cousin. I mentioned that I had always been interested in trying something like that. In all honesty, I was perfectly fine saying, "That is something I always wanted to try." (But never actually trying it.) However, since I opened my mouth, I figured I should at least follow through.
We picked a day that work for both of us, Monday, and a location, Columbia. We met there and as I looked around at the other people, both men and women were in attendance, I thought (foolishly), "If they can do this, certainly I can."
The they were made up of women my age and size, men my father's age, women my mom's age, people fatter than me, people skinner than me, a dirty hippy looking guy and a woman wearing long pants.
My friend and I paid, SIGNED A WAIVER!!! (should have been a HUGE red flag), put our stuff in the locker room and headed over to the BY room. It should be noted that the women in the ladies room are NOT modest in the least bit. I think they would do the class naked if permitted- gross. At one point, my poor friend had to get something out of her bag, which she had put in a cubby on the bottom row. Just as she bent down to get her forgotten item, a grown woman pulls down her own granny panties, leaving my friend with quite a view of this stranger's lady parts. That bathroom was full of exposed lady parts, nipples, white flabby butts- I mean really, not that I was looking, but when the room is the size of a shoebox where else is there to look?
As we open the door to the BY room, I am smacked in the face, arms and legs with thick heat. I want to turn to my friend and ask her if she wants to ditch the class and go get a beer and some wings. I don't ask her. Instead I follow her to a spot in the middle of the room in front of dirty hippy guy. I swear I was just waiting for a bird or chipmunk to make its' way out of his beard and onto it's own little yoga mat.
Before class begins I look around and some people are already sweating more than I do after 60 minutes on the Crosstraining machine at my gym.
What the hell am I doing here?!
Ten minutes into class I am looking at my watch and am disappointed, probably more than at any other point in my life, that I still have 80 minutes to go. I am facing a mirror and I look around the room, people are dropping like flies and yet the instructor is still counting and encouraging us to pull harder and touch our baby fingers together. Saying things like, "Body up, leg back. Breathe normally. Eyes open." I'm not sure it is physically possible for me to twist in a way where my body is up and my leg is back while I am balanced on my pinky- I mean baby toe. Also, it's 115 degrees in here, how does anyone breathe normally? And it is very hard to keep my eyes open as I black out. You tell me are they open, because I cannot see a thing in this blinding heat? It should be noted that, you are encourged to both sit down if you get what they call the "wa-wa's" until you feel better and to stay in the room through the duration of the class.
I made it through most of the standing poses, which lasted about an hour. Then we went to the laying down poses...darn it, I mean postures. At this point, I just laid on my $4 rented mat like a sweaty hot yoga slug. I used my smaller towel as a pillow as I watched those around me, including my friend, hold the lotus, rabbit and turtle postures. I continued to look at my watch. Every 2 minutes. Literally. As I lay there NOT doing yoga.
Finally when there was about 5 minutes left of class, I couldn't take it anymore. I grabbed my towels and left the room. I know you are probably thinking that I am a huge wuss and why couldn't I just stick it out for 5 more minutes. I will tell you why- time stands still in that hole of hell on earth. I began feeling like the instructor was just making shit up to keep us in the room longer. Oh sure, she would occasionally open the doors and turned on the ceiling fans, but they did very little in the way of providing relief.
Other ridiculous things the instructor said:
"You may be feeling dizzy, that is normal."
"If you are feeling lightheaded that is ok. That means the toxins are leaving your body."
"Bikrim Yoga is like sex. At first you hate it and wonder how anyone could possibly like this terrible thing, but the more you do it the more you like it."
In closing I have a reply to her statements- It is NOT ok and it is nothing like sex. If toxins help me not feel lightheaded and dizzy, then I love toxins. Standing in 115 degrees is not normal, let alone trying to actually workout in it.
I will say though that my legs have a pleasant tingle to them today, so the yoga part was good and I plan on doing that again- in a properly ventilated room!