Saturday, January 3, 2009

Not so hot

Heh. So, I didn't end up going to bikram yoga last night. My husband and I instead went out for a late lunch of sushi and wandered around our neighbourhood in the sunshine. Then we planned a nice dinner and got some groceries. I can't say I'm unhappy with my choice.

Honestly, I'm a little frightened of bikram yoga in Vancouver. I tried it once in Ottawa at Rama Lotus (great studio), and loved it. Ok, well, 'love' might be a strong word. Bikram yoga is undoubtedly an intense experience. The one and only time I went I found it was a mixture of exhilaration and nausea. The first 45 mins. were great. I felt exalted and powerful. My body was limber and robust, and I surprised myself with my vigor. Then we took a short break midway through to hydrate. It took a turn for the worse. (Anyone ever sit down for a long session of tattooing? Same principle applies. You take a break and all the blood rushes back to your skin. All of a sudden it's the most painful tattoo you'll ever get!)

The 'sit-ups' we were asked to do between poses got more and more difficult. You'd do the pose, then lie down, spin around, do a sit-up, then spin around again and go into the next pose. I got dizzy. My stomach was revolting and I found myself struggling to pull myself up. It went downhill from there. I thought I was going to die. I couldn't breathe. This wasn't fun anymore. 

After the class, which I survived against the odds, I started to feel better. Much better. So good in fact that I could feel the radiance of my skin. Everything felt amazing. Food tasted better. A shower was orgasmic. My body was a temple of purity. 

I always said I would go back, but I never did. We moved to Vancouver, and I heard stories of the rather militant approach to bikram yoga here. Where the instructors actually yell at you if you do something wrong. And call you out to the whole class. Yell? In yoga? I can't reconcile that idea... for me, I don't go to yoga to do everything 'right'. Some poses are a real struggle. I am fairly flexible, but I've had a back injury and some poses are difficult. If you have extra weight around your middle like I do, some poses are so uncomfortable you can't breathe. But I try. And over time I get better. It's an evolution that can't be rushed for the sake of appearances.

So, I don't know if I will ever go back to practice bikram yoga. I would like to. But more importantly I just need to practice. It can be hatha, ashtanga, yin, iyengar... anything. As long as I'm there.

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