Friday, March 12, 2010

Hot Yoga vs. Me

I've gotten a lot of advice and recommendations that I should try Bikram yoga to help with my hip. I've never done yoga before, let alone hot yoga, but I wanted to give it a try. I was a little nervous since this would be a new experience for me and it was waaaaaaay outside of my comfort zone. Beforehand I had a few thoughts swirling around my head including:

1) Who goes to yoga classes? Will the class be filled with Barbie looking Gumbys? Would I be the only guy?
2) Would I survive the 90 minute class? Why don't they have mini yoga available?
3) How lame would I be? I looked online and they said the class (Bikram Yoga) included 26 "poses." I figured I could maybe do one (the corpse pose).
4) Most importantly, would it help or would it hurt?

I took the plunge and attended my first class yesterday. After I paid for a one week unlimited newbie rate (about the same as the walk in, one class rate), I went into the hot room. I knew I was in trouble right away when there was one girl walking around the room. On. Her. Hands. I looked around and realized I couldn't escape. The instructor probably saw the fear in my eyes as they darted from side to side scanning the exits and said that I should consider the class a success if I was able to just stay in the room for the whole time without bailing. Poses were optional. I think that's setting the bar about as low as it can go but still seemed huge to me. Did I say the room was 105 degrees? I set up my stuff in the back corner of the room trying to melt into the scenery on the wall.

Some other GumbyBarbies showed up but some "normal" looking people showed up and 5 guys too (no, not the burger and fries Five Guys - I couldn't be that lucky). These guys wound up being more frightening than the GumbyBarbies as they spent a lot of the time in the class grunting and making other strange noises (can you say flatulence?). One guy even was wearing booty shorts with his butt cheeks hanging out and no shirt (showing his flab's dunlaps to all). That unfortunate image seems to be somewhat burned into my retinas and I shiver every time I recall it.

But back to the class. One of the best things I did was leave my watch home. I figured if I felt that I was in the room forever and found it was only a few minutes, I would be mentally defeated. I wore running shorts, a tri club technical tee shirt, and brought two towels to wipe off the sweat. Two water bottles and I was as ready as i could be.

The net result is that I did what I could. I was able to actually do some of the poses but the instructor had to take pity on me for some others. They let me use the yoga toys (blocks, straps, etc) but that might have been to keep my mind from realizing what was going on. The class seemed longer than I expected (perhaps time slowed) but I survived.

I don't know if this yoga helped me but it didn't seem to hurt. I call this battle a tie but since I bought a week's worth of classes there will be a rematch. With a different instructor.

But I won't be wearing booty shorts.


Diane said...

I can't believe you tried Bikram Yoga! You are definitely hard core. What can I say? It's not my thing, but some people love it. Guess we'll have to see which way the chips fall for you.
I still hope you'll give a Pilates Reformer class a try one of these days. And the temperature is usually a pleasant 68 degrees or so in the room. Take Care and have a great weekend.

KC (my 140 point 6 mile journey) said...

i've never tried yoga of any kind but i'm looking forward to hearing your experience once you have a few more sessions under your belt. Way to go!

Unknown said...

I went to a yoga class. Once. It was boring (too slow) and I felt like the biggest clutz ever. Now I do yoga with DVDs at home.

But...I think it would be better to do yoga in a class so they can correct you if you do things wrong.

Big Clyde said...

Thanks for writing about this. I think I am the least flexible person on the planet (the Clydes are rigid people). Please keep up posted as to how it goes.

Jess said...

But booty shorts are so awesome hahahah!

I've never tried a Bikram class, but I always thought it would be a cool experience. Glad you were able to stick it out.

RockStarTri said...

Either I screwed up or blogger helped me but the following comment by Big Daddy Diesel got rejected instead of approved. Sorry!
Big Daddy Diesel has left a new comment on your post "Hot Yoga vs. Me":

You have more guts then me, I have done yoga, I want no part of hot yoga

Anonymous said...

What, no booty shorts? Is that a rule or a choice?

Julie said...

Ha ha, you had me laughing:) If I saw a guy in booty shorts I would of probably been thinking the same thing you were!! Why....and what was he thinking? Good job on making it to your first Yoga class:) It is harder than it looks...I have never made it through an entire Yoga class:) I went to one a very long time ago and I was bored. I was in my twenties and felt like I needed to be jumping up and down or something:) I am impressed...way to take the big leap!! Happy Friday:)

teacherwoman said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog!

I LOVE Bikram Yoga, but there isn't a place in the city where I live that does this. So, I have only gone once while in the Twin Cities visiting my sister... It's so wonderful!

carpeviam said...

Some people should never wear booty shorts: men or women! You should have to take some sort of fitness/fashion/body type test before being allowed to wear them.

Keith said...

Thanks for dropping by my blog! I take yoga regularly, and find it really helps. The teacher is almost my size, and knows I'm doing this IM stuff, so she has essentially tailored the class to what will be good for me. Since there's only a half dozen regulars. I got warned about hot yoga though. That you should know your poses since there's no time to figure it out. And that the heat is amazing. My then massage therapist said it's for people with a sweat fetish.

Totally agree with Carpe. Except that if you pass, they become mandatory, everywhere.

Unknown said...

That was hysterical! Can't believe you did that man -- mad props!

Oh, and I can't stop thinking about a delicious Five Guys Burger right now --thanks for that too!

Anonymous said...

This post made me smile!! Good for you for taking the plunge and attending class. You have to start somewhere. Maybe one day you'll be walking around on your hands! Well done.

Anonymous said...

I like yoga but NOT the hot kind. Also, not the kind that has me doing it anywhere than in my own living room. If there is flatulence it had better be my own.