Archive for the ‘exercise’ Tag

From Beads to Rivulets: Second (and Third) Bikram Class

So, I’ve been three for three. And since I’m now properly hydrated, the sweat is even more intense.

Something tells me that this is not going to get any easier – just deeper.

I didn’t think my heart could pound that much (says she who taught spinning for years).

And the monkey mind: Why are we here again? Why are we laying in 105 degree heat? Why are we moving in 105 degree heat? Why are we trying to tuck our fingers under our heels and pull our forehead to our shins? Why are we trying to grab our elbows when our arms are slick with sweat and we’re still in a room that’s, oh, 105 degrees?

So, like anything, getting there is the hardest part.

However, unlike┬ámost everything else I’ve ever done, staying (in the room) is a close second. (Did I mention that they call it hot yoga for a reason?)

On day two, I went at the same time, but there was a different teacher. She was heavily tattooed and no nonsense. Very technical. I liked her and I probably got more out of it because of her astounding attention to detail.

One day three (today), I went at 7:00 a.m., which means I got up at 5:00 to have half of a smoothie (and about a quart of water, more or less) before I left. Same teacher. The room was more crowded.

The 7:00 a.m. class, as I feared, was more hard core than the 9:00 a.m. class. Much more partial nudity. Many more men. And a lot of people who could actually do the poses in their “full expression.”

Me, I continue to struggle (and am happy about it).

I made the mistake of wearing a super light cotton top today; never again. I literally considered it whipping it off like everyone else, but I’m not quite ready to go there (at least not yet).

The one interesting thing that I didn’t really think would happen (based on the marketing) has. That you come to love your body (or at least appreciate it).

When I am sitting in the room looking in the mirror – sweating and cheeks flushed, I am actually quite attractive. And when I sit with my back straight and my shoulders back, I look quite regal. And I have lovely shoulders.

Yes, it’s also true that I have a knee (the left one) that won’t lock during standing half moon (or whatever it’s called), or standing bow for that matter, but I do have a left knee is that is getting stronger and will eventually lock during these things. So, that’s a start.

Ironically, I ran into my nutritionist – the one who recommended Bikram to me in the first place.

She’s 10 years older than me, was dressed in the tiniest pair of exercise shorts I’ve ever seen, and she’s as flexible as I don’t know what. She’s been practicing for three years. And she was, for lack of a better word, inspiring. Not because of her perfect body (which wasn’t), but by her absolute acceptance of what is.


First Bikram Class

Well, I attended my first Bikram class today.

It wasn’t as bad as I feared, which I suppose isn’t that ringing of an endorsement now that I actually see it on screen.

First things first: I was not the oldest person in the room, nor was I the biggest. I was also not the most overdressed person in the room, nor was I the most underdressed.

In fact, the only -est that could be used to describe me was the least flexible, which is promising.

There are definitely things that I couldn’t do and there were things that I didn’t even try to do (mainly those dealing with knees).

And there was something surprisingly interesting about watching the sweat bead on your skin (still trying to decide if “interesting” is code for fascinating or disgusting, but that’s neither here nor there).

It was hot. It was simultaneously hotter and not as hot as I imagined it would be. It was also easier and harder than I’d ever dreamed.

It’s probably fair to say that I had set my expectations low:

1) don’t throw up

2) don’t pass out

3) don’t fall over

1 & 3, no problem. There was one scary moment though, when I thought 2 was in the bag. I stayed in corpse while everyone else got up and did something knee related until the feeling passed (about 2 minutes).

When I finally got out of the room and peeled off my very technical top (no cotton, ever!), it literally slid out from between my fingers. And it landed with an honest to god “SPLAT”! I’d tell you about the sweat splatter that hit my ankle, but that seems like TMI – even for me.

I felt like a towel that had been wrung out (and potentially run over). And I had to stop on the way home for water.

Ever since I’ve turned 40, I’ve had a take it or leave it relationship with water. It’s pretty fair to say that I am probably chronically dehydrated on most days, weeks, months. Since I left the studio this morning at 10:30, I have had at least 4 quarts of water. Not to mention the 2 quarts I had before walking into the studio and the one that I had while I was there.

I’ve decided that even if the yoga does nothing, the greatest health benefit may come from the unintended consequences of drinking more water.

I’ll let you know how it goes tomorrow.


I’ll Take Making Out for 100

And it’s skipping for the win – which makes my inner child very happy!

Forty-one easy ways to burn 100 calories without going to the gym!