Bikram Day 1*

*Okay, in all fairness, I did have a private lesson yesterday with an amazing Bikram teacher – Kelly Mara at Yoga Crossing in Waltham, MA.  I fully intend to write about that lesson, but right now I’m fresh off my first real class so that’s where we’re headed:

Group Class #1, Wednesday 12/14/2011

Motherofgoditwashot.  And not just hot, but hot.  It was (apparently) 112 degrees in there and I felt that heat down deep in my lungs.  Every breath I took was HOT.  It was excruciating and awesome all at the same time.

Now, I hate being hot.  I believe that exercise should be done in a sixty degree room with a fan blowing right in my face.  Sweating gives me low self-esteem.  I feel gross, I look gross, I smell gross.  Sweating leads to me hating myself just a little bit more.  I avoid it as much as possible.

But like an idiot, I let a friend convince me to go.  I guess I am in the midst of one of those “seeking” phases in life (midlife crisis?), and so I decided to push my edges.  Honestly, just showing up for the class was a huge accomplishment – and I recognize that.  Staying in the room for 90 minutes?  Another accomplishment.

It was brutal.  All around me bodies were being contorted into beautiful positions, sweat glistening on their trim and toned bodies.  They were balancing.  They were stretching.  They were touching the sky, touching the mirror, touching their toes.

I was dying.  I was very suddenly aware that even standing upright was difficult.  Breathing was difficult – not just because it was hot, but because I apparently haven’t used the bottom 2/3 of my lungs for… well, ever.  These people were breathing and standing upright and they all looked so beautiful.  There I was, the oily spot in an otherwise perfect reflection of their beauty and hard work.

I tried to hide behind a very lovely brown-skinned gentleman, but it was no use.  And so I spent 90 minutes looking at my reflection with disgust while also trying to remember that I was in the room.  I showed up.  And come hell or high water I was staying in that room.  I wasn’t going to pussy out.

So I stayed.  I laid down some, but not as much as I thought I would.  There were times when I was sure my heart was going to pound itself to death.

I told Kelly (in an email sent after class) that “Emotionally, I’m struggling with whether or not to EVER do that to myself again.”  Yeah.  That about sums it up!

But let me tell you, walking out of that room was like having a thousand snow angels kissing my skin.  Who knew that room temperature could feel so good?

In the shower I was congratulated for staying in what was apparently a very hot, very tough class even for the seasoned practitioners.  That made me feel pretty good.  Also – that was the best shower of my life.  What a reward for hard work!

More to come (because, apparently I was crazy enough to go back).


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