Bikram Yoga

Bikram Yoga

I’d like to meet the guy who thought doing yoga in a one hundred and five (or whatever) degree room was a good idea. I can see him sitting in lotus position on a Himalayan peak somewhere laughing his ass off. Probably he’s wearing a down parka because it’s freezing.

There are twenty seven poses in Bikram. They are always the same so the instructors are more or less irrelevant. Actually, that’s not true. Some instructors belt out the postures auctioneer style leaving you with jangled nerves. Others come across as deeply and emotionally disturbed by your dreadful camel. Still others want to nurture your inner well being and you feel a real sense of alarm that you may be sprinkled with pixie dust any second now. Either way, you end up sweaty. Rivers run down your face. Your hair drips like a faucet. Your fingers prune up as if you’ve been swimming circles in a hot tub for hours on end. You attempt to hold your left foot high in the air while you balance on your right big toe. But you might as well try clinging to a greasy badger. It ain’t going to happen. That left foot hits the ground. Hard. People stare at you. Disapproving.

After a few poses, you start to notice things. First, the room smells. Like the soccer socks of a teenaged boy, forgotten in the trunk of your car for a hot week in August. Like the inside of a leather shoe worn without socks. Like your suitcase when you’ve stayed in the tropics for a week too long. It’s fine as long as you don’t breathe.

Second, some people are made of rubber and not just porn stars. Regular people. People you see around town. But you are not one of them. Don’t even kid about it, it just makes you look pathetic.
So there you are, getting yelled out to bend in inhuman ways, in a stinky room where you can only take baby sips of water like your in labor or something, with your contact lenses so full of sweat you’re virtually blind and suddenly a question pops into your cluttered overheated mind: why the HELL am I doing this?

I’ll tell you why. Because it feels really good. And you’re already plotting when you can come back and do it again…

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