Hot Yoga - Bikram's Twenty Six

Được đăng bởi Mật Mít

Even though the world population has shifted from mainly
rural to mainly urban in the last decade, there are still
lots of folks like me who live in the sticks. Doing things
like taking a yoga class becomes a different thing in our
case from driving to the neighborhood gym. Since I live 40
miles from the nearest town large enough for yoga studios,
when I decided to take a class, I was more interested in
the schedule than I was the type of yoga. I couldn't afford
to be picky if I preferred not to wait around for a couple
hours after getting off work. So I looked in the phone
book, and didn't pay attention to anything but the
schedule. There it was: M-W-F at 4:00. Perfect. I don't
know what rock I'd been living under, but the word "Bikram"
writ large across the ad in the yellow pages didn't trigger
the term 'hot yoga' in my mind, and that left me in for a
big surprise.

I showed up with a comfy pair of sweatpants and a long-
sleeved t-shirt. As the woman at the desk was giving me a
little orientation information - explaining that the room
was heated to about 100 degrees Fahrenheit - I realized
that my concept of yoga clothes weren't going to work here.
Apparently, I wasn't the first to make this error. Susie
told me they had loaners. Now, it's been a while since the
last time I wore hot-pants, so when she handed me the
little scrap of shorts, I thought, "No way." She said,
"Trust me, you'll fit right in."

Susie continued, giving a few more orientation tips, which
started to seem like a set of warnings. "Our first-time
students are encouraged to rest whenever you feel you
should - kind of take it gradually. The instructors just
ask that you do your best to stay in the room for the
entire time." What? Were we still talking yoga here? I'd
seen pictures. Sure, I might not be able to balance on one
leg while holding the other one over my head at my first
try, but come on. How hard could it be to stretch as far
as I could go and stop there? Why would I get desperate to
leave the room?

Her next suggestion: "OK, I see you brought a bottle of
water. That's good, but you'll be tempted to drink a lot,
and I recommend you just drink sips - not too much at a
time." Hmm. What was I getting into here? It sounded
like I was facing some kind of ordeal - not what I had in
mind at all since I was thinking of yoga as a peaceful, low-
impact way just to stretch and keep my aging body flexible
and strong.

Once I was dressed in the little bit of shorts, I opened
the door to the yoga studio and was met with a rush of hot,
stultifying air. Oh goody. I walked to an open space,
spread my mat, lay on my back, and understood exactly what
she meant by asking me to at least stay in the room. I was
already dripping sweat, and we hadn't even begun the class.

Ninety minutes and twice through the 26 poses later, I was
indeed still in the room. In the non-competitive,
supportive atmosphere I had been completely guided to go to
my edge, but not so far that I would be turned off by
struggle. In fact, I was exhilarated. I lay on my back at
the end, eyes closed in the peaceful, very hot room, and
knew I'd be back for more.

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