~ Our power comes from within ourselves:
The ability to breathe, stay calm and centred during challenging situations is an invaluable tool in life. Bikram yoga practise allows us to develop life skills, such as patience (learning to master a difficult pose), honesty (to do the pose honestly and not try to fake it, or change it so it is easier) dedication and commitment (coming to class even when we would prefer to sit on the couch), hard work (being prepared to go beyond our desire for the easy way, and submit to working hard in the poses, fearlessness as some parts of the class can bring up emotions and limitations that require bravery to move through), as well as just taking the time out of our lives to spend 90 minutes with ourselves, to get to know ourselves and all that we are. This teaches us that we are responsible for ourselves, our health, our thoughts, our feelings and provides us with a tool through which we can develop this responsibility. It gives us the chance to deal with our emotions, thoughts and even pain and sometime discomfort.And, in the interest of presenting a, er, balanced viewpoint, I also include this illustrative graphic from the quoted post above:
But I feel charged afterwards. Mental attitude is everything. And finally, I must include this hysterically funny Craig's list ad from Bellevue, reprinted in its entirety, since such ads have a way of disappearing over time:
Yoga mat for sale. Used once at lunch hour class in December 2009. Usage timeline as follows:I recommend Bikram Yoga Bellevue, in the Elements building across from the Bravern. Classes from 6:00 a.m. until 8:30 p.m. weekdays and 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. weekends. Great teachers, too.
Register for class. Infinite wisdom tells me to commit to 5 class package and purchase a yoga mat. I pay $89.74. Money well spent, I smugly confirm to myself.
Open door to yoga room. A gush of hot dry air rushes through and past me. It smells of breath, sweat and hot. Take spot on floor in back of room next to cute blonde. We will date.
I feel the need to be as near to naked as possible. This is a problem because of the hot blonde to my left and our pending courtship. She will not be pleased to learn that I need to lose 30 pounds before I propose to her.
The shirt and sweats have to come off. I throw caution to the wind and decide to rely on my wit and conditioning to overcome any weight issues my fiancée may take issue with. This will take a lot of wit and conditioning.
Begin small talk with my bride to be. She pretends to ignore me but I know how she can be. I allow her to concentrate and stare straight ahead and continue to pretend that I don't exist. As we finish sharing our special moment, I am suddenly aware of a sweat moustache that has formed below my nose. This must be from the all the whispering between us.
Instructor enters the room and ascends her special podium at the front of the room. She is a slight, agitated Chinese woman. She introduces me to the class and everyone turns around to greet me just as I decide to aggressively adjust my penis and testes packed in my Under Armor. My bride is notably unfazed.
Since I do have experience with Hot Yoga (4 sessions just 5 short years ago) I fully consider that I may be so outstanding and skilled that my instructor may call me out and ask me to guide the class. My wife will look on with a sparkle in her eye. We will make love after class.
It is now up to 95 degrees in the room. We have been practicing deep breathing exercises for the last 8 minutes. This would not be a problem if we were all breathing actual, you know, oxygen. Instead, we are breathing each other's body odor, expelled carbon dioxide and other unmentionables. (Don't worry, I'll mention them later.)
It is now 100 degrees and I take notice of the humidity, which is hovering at about 90%. I feel the familiar adorning stare of my bride and decide to look back at her. She appears to be nauseated. I then realize that I forgot to brush my teeth prior to attending this class. We bond.
It is now 110 degrees and 95% humidity. I am now balancing on one leg with the other leg crossed over the other. My arms are intertwined and I am squatting. The last time I was in this position was 44 years ago in the womb, but I'm in this for the long haul. My wife looks slightly weathered dripping sweat and her eyeliner is streaming down her face. Well, "for better or worse" is what we committed to so we press on.
The overweight Hispanic man two spots over has sweat running down his legs. At least I think its sweat. He is holding every position and has not had a sip of water since we walked in. He is making me look bad and I hate him.
I consider that if anyone in this room farted that we would all certainly perish.
It is now 140 degrees and 100% humidity. I am covered from head to toe in sweat. There is not a square millimeter on my body that is not slippery and sweaty. I am so slimy that I feel like a sea lion or a maybe sea eel. Not even a bear trap could hold me. The sweat is stinging my eyeballs and I can no longer see.
This room stinks of asparagus, cloves, tuna and tacos. There is no food in the room. I realize that this is an amalgamation of the body odors of 30 people in a 140 degree room for the last 55 minutes. Seriously, enough with the asparagus, ok?
140 degrees and 130% humidity. Look, bitch, I need my space here so don't get all pissy with me if I accidentally sprayed you with sweat as I flipped over. Seriously, is that where this relationship is going? Get over yourself. We need counseling and she needs to be medicated. Stat!
150 degrees and cloudy. And hot. I can no longer move my limbs on my own. I have given up on attempting any of the commands this Chinese chick is yelling out at us. I will lay sedentary until the aid unit arrives. I will buy this building and then have it destroyed.
I lose consciousness.
I have a headache and my wife is being a selfish bitch. I can't really breathe. All I can think about is holding a cup worth of hot sand in my mouth. I cannot remember what an ice cube is and cannot remember what snow looks like. I consider that my only escape might be a crab walk across 15 bodies and then out of the room. I am paralyzed, and may never walk again so the whole crab walk thing is pretty much out.
I cannot move at all and cannot reach my water. Is breathing voluntary or involuntary? If it's voluntary, I am screwed. I stopped participating in the class 20 minutes ago. Hey, lady! I paid for this frickin class, ok?! You work for me! Stop yelling at everyone and just tell us a story or something. It's like juice and cracker time, ok?
It is now 165 degrees and moisture is dripping from the ceiling. The towel that I am laying on is no longer providing any wicking or drying properties. It is actually placing additional sweat on me as I touch it. My towel reeks. I cannot identify the smell but no way can it be from me. Did someone spray some stank on my towel or something?
Torture session is over. I wish hateful things upon the instructor. She graciously allows us to stay and 'cool down' in the room. It is 175 degrees. Who cools down in 175 degrees? A Komodo Dragon? My wife has left the room. Probably to throw up.
My opportunity to escape has arrived. I roll over to my stomach and press up to my knees. It is warmer as I rise up from ground level - probably by 15 degrees. So let's conservatively say it's 190. I muster my final energy and slowly rise. One foot in front of the other. One foot in front of the other. Towards the door. Towards the door.
The temperature in the lobby is 72 degrees. Both nipples stiffen to diamond strength and my penis begins to retract into my abdomen from the 100 degree temp swing. I can once again breathe though so I am pleased. I spot my future ex wife in the lobby. We had such a good thing going but I know that no measure of counseling will be able to unravel the day's turmoil and mental scaring.
Arrive at Emerald City Smoothie and proceed to order a 32 oz beverage. 402 calories, 0 fat and 14 grams of protein -- effectively negating any caloric burn or benefit from the last 90 minutes. I finish it in 3 minutes and spend the next 2 hours writing this memoir.
Create Craigslist ad while burning final 2 grams of protein from Smoothie and before the "shakes" consume my body.
Note to self - check car for missing wet yoga towel in am.