A little over a year ago, I began attending Bikram yoga classes. Read all about my very first experience here (it wasn’t pretty). After practicing bikram on and off for the past year, I can definitely say that I’ve improved; that being said, I can’t say that I ‘enjoy’ each moment of every class. In fact, I still want to die for roughly 86 minutes of the 90 minute class. The worst is when I start sweating while laying on the floor before the class starts. That’s when you know it’s going to be awful.
Bikram is not for the faint of heart; it’s often underestimated, as yoga is typically associated with easy stretching and relaxation. Let me tell you, people, my heart rate sky rockets during bikram, I sweat like a horse, and I usually want to throw up. A lovely vision, no? Here is an abbreviated version of the thoughts that go through my mind during a 90 minute yoga class in a 105 degree room with 40% humidity. Yes, you read that right.
1. Okay, the teacher is walking into the room, I should stand up now.
2. Other people aren’t standing up yet…should I wait?
3. Ugh, I can already feel my upper lip sweat. This is going to be awesome.
4. Someone please remind me why I do this to myself…
5. Oh, cute guy across the room…
6. Good, there is his wife. Okay. Focus.
7. Alright, easy pranayama standing breathing. All I have to do is breathe and move my arms.
8. Why is the instructor yelling at me to lock my knees?!
9. Wow, the lady in front of me is breathing way too hard. Brown-noser.
10. My shoulders hurt. I thought that I worked out at the gym so that my shoulders would be strong.
11. Okay, the first part is done. I survived.
12. F*ck, I forgot that we have to do every pose twice. Here we go.
13. Aaaaaand there goes my first drop of arm sweat! Let the games begin.
14. God, I wish I’d drank more water this morning. Good thing I didn’t eat though, I’d have barfed 5 minutes ago.
15. Ooooohhhh new person on my left, I can show off in front of them!
16. Shoot, I’m falling out of this pose. Aaaaaand I’m on the ground. Okay, I can impress with a later pose.
17. I LITERALLY HATE THE FIRST THREE POSES OF THIS CLASS.
18. If I can survive those, I can survive anything.
19. I AM SO THIRSTY OH MY LANTA WHEN IS THE FIRST WATER BREAK?!
20. Water break. God is good.
21. Oh God, standing head to knee pose–lock my knees!
22. Yes! Standing bow pulling pose! I actually kill this one.
23. Okay, maybe not today.
24. I’d be good at it if there weren’t so much sweat in my eyes.
25. How am I supposed to balance and stare at myself at the same time? I need to stare at a non-moving target…
26. I am literally pouring sweat. It’s raining from my forehead like a summer downpour.
27. Can I blot my sweat with my towel?
28. I don’t want to be too fidgety, maybe I’ll wait until we’re on the floor…Eff it, I’m doing it.
29. Ugh when do we go into savasana…
30. I’m here. In savasana. I made it. I am woman, hear me roar! I can do ANYTHING!
31. Wait, I also hate the next six poses…
32. I really thought my butt was stronger than this.
33. I’m going to barf. I have to will it not to happen. COME ON!
34. Okay, the feeling has passed. You are fine.
35. Is it me or does it smell like McDonalds breakfast biscuits in here?
36. I am the fattest human in this room for thinking that right now.
37. Look at the lady behind you, she’s been on the floor for the last 7 minutes…I’m like a yoga goddess compared to her.
38. Don’t let the instructor catch you looking at others! Eyes on yourself.
39. My hair looks awful. Where is a bobby pin when I need one…
40. Did I leave my bobby pin in the shower the other day?
41. Focus on yoga. Aaaaahhhhh, the final two poses, the easiest of the bunch. Can we just get these over with and lay down please?
42. Okay, final breathing exercise, sit up straight, suck in that gut, and breathe.
43. DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE.
44. Lay. Breathe. Just lay. You are an amazing human being and no one could touch your yoga skills if they tried.
45. I can’t believe I ever wanted to throw up. I feel UNREAL!
46. Ugh, again tomorrow…
So maybe I don’t truly enjoy bikram yoga. But the mental and physical benefits far outweigh the temporary misery. Yoga centers me, calms me down, and reminds me to treat my body like a temple. It pushes me to my physical limits and forces me to challenge myself. And to be honest, I kind of feel my best when I’m drenched in sweat. Is that gross? I don’t even care.