Saturday, November 19, 2011

Bikram (hot) Yoga & me

My sweet friend Maggie and I have been trying to workout together once a week for the last month. I adore her company and love the accountability. This week we purchased an unlimited one month pass at our local Bikram yoga studio. It is a deal just for newbies, like myself.

I was a little worried about our first class. I read all these horror stories about the stench of forty sweating bodies in the 105 (YES, 105) degree heat, headaches, dizziness, nausea... it didn't sound like a walk in the park.

I drank a ton of water the night before, and the morning of our class I made sure to drink some Nuun. Thanks to my fav running blogs for reviewing Nuun! It has been a huge help in keeping me hydrated on my long runs.

It took me about 3 minutes to get there...LOVE that it is so close. I was wearing black Nike booty shorts and a tank (your welcome for the play by play). I chuckled as I walked to the front door, the windows were dripping wet. The people at the front desk helped get me all signed in and I coughed up 29 buckaroos for my unlimited month....a steal considering one class is normally 15! I noticed they sold Nuun at the front desk and gave myself an imaginary pat on the back for coming prepared.

I stored my down jacket and Uggs, and giggled nervously when the front desk gal told me to bring my bath towel into the studio with my mat. Luckily I even had it, I was planning on using it to shower afterwards and had only brought a little sweat towel for the class. Walking into the class was the exact feeling of walking into a sauna...the heat just hits like a brick wall. Unlike a sauna there is moisture added to this air so it is not dry heat.

The next 90 minutes flew by. By the end of the first three poses I was dripping sweat. Maggie and I were next to each other and tried to avoid eye contact, or else we would lose it in a fit of giggles (so mature I know). After the last breathing exercise, which sounded like hiccuping snores, I grabbed my mat and headed to the single shower in order to make it to work in time.

I hope you're still reading this novel, because this is where it gets interesting. 
Caution!! Harsh language...

I realized I had put my stuff in the wrong dressing room, the one without the shower. I gathered everything and went to the room across the hall. Someone was already in the shower and women were starting to trickle in so I plopped all my stuff at the first available bench and started to peel my soaking clothes off.

Out of nowhere a woman (who was buck naked) came stalking over and stood in front of the bench staring at all my stuff.
(I will not write out all the nasty language but please know she did not hold back, or hint at any of it, I got the real deal)

Naked Lady: What the EFF is this? Real G.D. classy!
Naked Lady picks up my boot and starts to hurl it.
Me: Oh! Sorry that's mine. This is my first time, I didn't know
(apparently I had set my stuff on the "I-am-waiting-for-the-shower-bench")
 Naked Lady: J.C., EFFing great manners. mutter mutter mutter grumble grumble...(as she proceeds to "help" me clear my stuff off the bench)

Please note at this point, I am near my old age I have turned into the BIGGEST wimp.

Naked Lady: There IS a line, there were other people before me even! (insinuating that I was cutting for the shower line)
Me: nodding, speechless
Naked Lady: Okay! (shouting to everyone in the locker room) Now there's room, someone else can sit here! (As if anyone would sit down after that spewing)

The shower opens up and there is an awkward silence as we wait to see who is next, I know I am but I am terrified to go.

Naked Lady: Okay! Who's next???  (staring at me) I know there were others before her!
Woman behind me pipes up: Actually she is next (pointing to me, bless her heart!)

I scurry into the shower, washing in record speed, and hustle out. Naked Lady gets in after me and I am throwing my clothes on, jamming my feet in my shoes...and am just making it out of the door when she exits the shower, still muttering about "some people".

I loved my first experience of class, but was a little traumatized by N.L. I went again this morning at a different class time, hoping to avoid her. But alas...there I was this morning laying on my mat waiting for class to begin. When out of the corner of my eye, I see her stalking towards me. I thought she may apologize, so I pictured myself making strong eye contact and smiling...

Naked Lady (now clothed of course) stands over me, staring. I sit up.

NL: Are you relatively new here? Because you are sitting in one of the hottest places in the room, you're making it harder on yourself.
me: oh, I was over here before and I did okay.
NL: Hmmph!

So there you have it. Love the class, met some interesting folks...not yet sure what I think. I read this interview about Bikram Choudhury, the founder who has patented his 26 move, 105 degree workout.

After reading this I have had even more doubts on this style of yoga (and no, it isn't just because of his awesome hair), but would love to hear from my running friends if you have been practicing hot yoga for awhile and can tell me your own personal experiences.

Has it helped your running?
What are your honest thoughts?

As for me, I will use up this month's pass, going often and trying to figure out if it is a good fit, despite my Naked Lady friend. Who knows, maybe she will be my friend after all, maybe she is really kind and was only just dehydrated?


  1. Oh my gosh! Sorry that happened to you but that is like the best story ever! I really can not believe that!!! I have never tried hot yoga (or yoga although I keep telling myself that I need to) because it sounds horribly miserable. And I have to say your story didn't make me want to go!! Sorry about NL but thanks for the laughs!

  2. Oh my goodness, Jess, I want to beat that lady up for you!!!!!

  3. Oh my goodness! I would be traumatized. Good for you for taking the high road, not fighting back and going back to the class even! Bravo. I am glad you liked the actual yoga part and that 90 minutes flew by so quickly. I would totally complain about that lady, but you have a better attitude than me it seems :)