I know this isn’t the first time you’ve ever heard of Bikram (and probably isn’t the second or twentieth either); I know everyone who reads this (all two of you) surely has their mind made up already about which side of the fence they’re on when it comes to Bikram Yoga. You either dig the idea of slowly and silently Vogue-ing in the strangest of positions for 90 minutes in a 105 degree room or you don’t. I’m not trying to make believers of anyone.
But (and I know you’re on the verge of confronting me with a, ‘methinks thou doth protest too much’ at this point, but it’s true!) the truth is that I really didn’t intend this blog to be one big collection of YouTube videos, at least not entirely. I wanted it to be a way to kind of… hold myself accountable for a sort of healthy, creative lifestyle through documentation. As far as pursuing creative avenues, I’ll admit I’m slacking. I drew one picture of a wonk-eyed prince (in the style of the great Australian painter, Samuel Condon), and play bad covers on an out-of tune guitar for about an hour every other night. Ooh, I do have one project I’m kind of working on but not in a very disciplined manner at all. But I try not to get down on myself.
From a health perspective, I’m doing alright. I get plenty of (read: so much) sleep; I think I succeed in eating well more often than not (last weekend’s pizza bender notwithstanding); and I get a lot of walking in, between taking What’s-His-Face on daily tours of Belmont and getting to and from the office. But one of the big things I’d wanted to start doing upon moving here was get back into Bikram.
Charlottesville’s a great place for Bikram. That is to say, it has an awesome studio. My good friend and former roommate, Julia, developed such a passion for the practice through them that she became a certified instructor, going on to teach first in Cville and now in the Bronx. Kathy also was a dedicated yogi, completing a 30-day challenge fourth year (and going nearly every day when she was just visiting here, none of which I accompanied her for! So bad!). I had expected that now that I’m a big workin’ girl I wouldn’t run into the biggest obstacle to truly becoming an aficionada I faced as a student: expense. But ay, that $15 an hour gets spread thin every week, and though I went I think three times right when I moved back, after the holidays my good habits were done for.
But (and this is back on the subject of our studio here being so rad), good things come to those who make excuses for not going to yoga wait, and Bikram Yoga Cville had a great Valentine’s Day promotion: bring a date, sign up for an unlimited month, and your date gets one free. Or, as I interpreted it: steal your brother’s girlfriend for 90 minutes, and both-a-yas can split the price of one unlimited month, ya dig? So we went, both of us miserably out of practice in a fairly crowded session. The experience took its standard course for me: feel pretty hot, feel a little hotter, feel like I’m starting to tolerate it, get dizzy about halfway through the balance series, regain my composure around Triangle, wish the two-minute savasana would never end, lament my lack of back strength through the entire floor series (meanwhile wishing all the intermittent savasanas would never end), and feel like the limpest dampest rag that’s been wrung out a million times by the end of it. But in a good way, you know?
And now we’re both sitting on half-priced unlimited months! For added incentive, I made it this year’s lenten vow (haha) that I would go to yoga thrice a week (that and something about trying to eat vegan twice a week; totally doable, the only reason I wouldn’t would be laziness-with-a-hint-of-self-sabotage). My body (and miiiiiind) are excited for the new onslaught of exercise (yes, 270 hours a week is now an onslaught).
Oh, and here’s an article I’ve been sitting on for months, waiting to get into Bikram again and write about it! I think it’s actually the reason I wrote this post haha. It’s a piece called I Left the Room (so you don’t have to) from a blog I haven’t properly sat down to peruse called I Do Things So You Don’t Have To. The author is prone to panic attacks and takes a humorous approach to having one that forced her to– gasp!— leave the room during one particular Bikram session.
A quick excerpt:
Oh, wait. That all happened to me. But come on. It’s still funny. You have to laugh, right? Anyway, it’s been quite a while since my ol’ friend panic attack paid a visit. But the day I signed up for my first Bikram yoga class, I had a feeling we might be meeting again.
You see, my young friends, the panic attacks were always triggered by heat and humidity and the feeling that you can’t breathe because there’s no air when it’s hot and you gasp and hyperventilate and OF COURSE there’s plenty of air but that doesn’t stop your brain from telling your body YEE-HAW! It’s fight-or-flight time, and you ain’t got no one to fight and there ain’t nowhere to fly.
And it goes on as such. Do give it a look:
Oh and what the hell, I guess I’ll wish all you sappy fools a Happy Valentine’s Day as well. My date’s cashed out early, but sleep actually doesn’t sound too bad right now at all.
but don’t change a hair for me, not if you care for me, stay little valentine, stay…
“You mean that’s not just from a Kanye song?!”