So after many too words of encouragement to try Bikram Yoga, I finally caved. I decided to give it a whirl. This post is a mental and emotional response of my body and mostly my mind of my very first Bikram Yoga class.
Before I went it, I looked it up to see what the postures were, the concept, the duration of most classes and the many many before-after pictures. Of all the workouts I’ve seen and done, I felt Yoga felt the most positive and healthy. And I thought- How hard could this be? Man I had no idea what I was signing myself in for.
I dressed up for my class, all excited and decided I don’t need a giant bottle of water, this tiny one filled with 250 ml would be more than enough. (Thankfully, I knew I didn’t need shoes so I wore my favorite flipflops) Then to hopped to the class.
I push the door open and the first wave of heat hits. WOW it was hot in here. But, thats goood. I will sweat more, I will burn more, I will be flexible faster.
I lay down my mat and put my locker keys and water bottle next to it. Then I look around to see what everyone is doing. They’re lying on the mat or sitting taking deep breaths. There was this one girl doing really really really bendy things. I think to myself, I will get there. Smiling, and slightly sweaty, I sit down.
I had counted 26 postures before the class. Two sets of each. EH, how hard could it be. *GLUG DOWN HALF OF MY LITTLE WATER*
And then it started.
The first asana was a breathing exercise. Simple. How do I do this? Oh, look at the girl and follow. Nope I’m still wrong. I think I got it. Nope. Yep, this time. As the first set finished, my teacher knew I was very new. She asked me to listen and look around and follow. Okay. IIIIINNNNNN and OUUUUUUT. SIX SECONDS? HOW AM I TO ONLY KEEP BREATHING FOR 6. Lungs are going to tear. NO no no. How are they breathing so loudly?!
The second asana had me going OUCH OUCH OUCH OUCH. Ouch. Wait, whats lock your knees? How do you lock your knees? Whats the key? (Pun intended). Wait, Japanese Ham Sandwich? I don’t eat Ham but I wouldn’t mind a sandwich. Done. What second set? NOOOOOOOOOO *inner voices deafens my mind, but not enough*
The third asana was like squating. I can squat. In my work outs, I do about 100-150 squats daily. Okay. Now I’m doing on my tippy toes like a ballerina? I’ve always wanted to be a ballerina, oh I need to sit. Join my knees and stand a little? I have big thighs, my knees never really join. No. Okay. I need water. I WANT WATER.
The fourth asana how are my hands to twist? I don’t even. The instructor said something something eagle something. What? Stop talking mind. Nope, just follow the others. That looks easy. Rope my leg on the other? I can do that. No no no no, and I fell. Don’t even know how. So ofcourse I stayed there. But, not for long. I missed a whole set and the other side.
Party time? How long will it be? ONE SIP OF WATER?! I sipped little. Had to save it for the rest of the class.
The fifth, sixth and seventh asanas comprised of lots of stretching and balancing on one leg. ONE LEG. Also, still clueless about how I lock my knee. And since I wear glasses even when I sleep, so I still had them on my nose blinding me with my own sweat (and some tears). Basically, it’s stretch and kick and kick and higher and higher… and then fall flat on your face/butt.
The next three asanas were no cake walk either. I was really craving for cake all this time thought. I sweat some more, I compressed my body in agony and pain. I did all the sets. Something about my stomach and cores and mostly just more sweat and agony.
Then the 11th Asana was tree stand. It looks pretty simple. But the second I tried to get my one hand touch the other, I fell on my face. I am a rather clumsy person. But, I think Yoga really brought out my real clumsy trait.
And then the trainer said the magic words: SAVA ASANA. Its the best posture and asana for anyone who practices Yoga. You basically lay flat on your back on the mat. Like I said, the best pose ever. Little did I know, the real Bikram Yoga was about to start…
The 12th asana was okay. Just pulling your knees to your stomach. The third part of the asana was difficult. How do I hold my elbows over my knees? Hands weren’t reaching elbows. THEY ARE NOT EVEN TOUCHING!!!!
Sava Asanas are to be done after every set and every posture. But, you only understand why when in the 13th asana you are lying on the floor trying to push up like the snake, the aeroplane and the one with hands and feet and more stretching. I swear some of the sweat was actually transparent blood flowing all over my body and face. At this point, my brain had stopped processing any and all information, except to follow the instructors orders and yell in my brain in pain.
The 14th Asana seemed easy when I watched the others do it. But, boy, was I wrong again. I had to spread my thighs and calf muscles and lay down, in a way that both my thighs and upper body pulled in different directions… It really didn’t look like it’s going to happen.. Nope.
The 15th, 16th, 17th were similar asanas, slightly easier, but since I was so so so out of energy all my mind could think was NO way was I coming to this again tomorrow. I knew I’d paid for the entire month already, but I wasn’t coming. I totally wasn’t.
The 18th Asana was touching my toes without bending my knees. I did one set and then settled into the very sweaty Sava Asana. Aaaaaaah. Home. I want to go home.
Then the final Asana was full body twist. Twist like a pearl necklace. PEARL BLOODY NECKLACE. I don’t want to twist like a pearl necklace. And my hand wouldn’t touch my knee. I tried and tried and tried. But, it didn’t. But, I twisted and it seemed like I was grasping it. Ah. I could easily do two sets of these. I almost looked like I knew what I was doing. But, it was only one set.
The class ends with a breathing exercise. I have seen this exercise on TV and I’ve always made fun of my dad of doing just this and calling it a very hectic “workout”. (Daddy, if you are reading this, that isn’t exercise but it’s closure of exercise 😛 ) While doing the breathing exercise, my whole body didn’t feel so exhausted anymore. I felt peppy. Like I could do another 90 minutes of this Yoga now. Why didn’t we do this before? Had I done this before, I would have been much happier doing the Yoga. I don’t know how. After the breathing asana, in the final Sava Asana, I sorted my day for tomorrow and planned when I was coming back tomorrow.
It’s been two months since this. I’m in a love-hate relationship with Bikram Yoga. I hate it while I’m in the room, torturing myself with the pull pull and lock your knees. But, the second I’m lying in the final Sava Asana, I plan to come back the very next day. I still don’t know how to “lock my knees” or “stand in the posture”. And I have tried not to fart while doing several postures. It’s very rare that I don’t.. (I do fart, and I cannot lie!)