The Bikram Chronicles: Seeing Stars

Bikram session number 3 completely kicked my ass. Like it picked my ass up, and booted it across the yoga studio while cackling maniacally. I was dizzy and nauseous and had to sit some of it out when I began seeing stars. This pissed me off. I am not a goddamn quitter! And then I remembered I was in a yoga studio and I was supposed to be zen and all that shit. So I returned to my breathing and resolved to be gentle with myself. Besides, when you start seeing stars in the middle of a pose, it’s better to take a break than to pass out on your mat, that is if you don’t pass out on the person next to you- and the person next to me didn’t look terribly friendly. If I’m going to faint, I’d rather it not be on someone who was scowling with her eyes closed during her pre-class savasana.

In the middle of this little psychological argument I was having with myself about mental and physical will power vs. the very real possibility that I could faint, the instructor gleefully regaled us with stories of how he’s a notoriously difficult teacher, and that people avoid his class because he pushes so hard. No shit, I was thinking. I was also thinking, I can’t wait until I’m better at this shit so I can take your class without feeling like a 300 lb sixth grader who just climbed a flight of stairs! 

But struggling yesterday was not necessarily a bad thing. As I was eating my dinner an hour or so later, all I could think about was getting back in there the next day. It was the first thing on my mind this morning too. Hopefully today’s session will be an improvement.

Let’s just say I totally get how some people become super obsessed with Bikram, though I’m still slightly unsure how to keep this going considering what a time commitment and a hassle it can be: from the round trip commute to the shower after class the whole thing takes about 3 hours. If this is going to be a regular thing for me I’m going to have to become that thing I hate: a morning person. Plus, I have to lug my mat back and forth since they don’t do storage. There’s also the laundry situation. Bikram clothes are completely soaked after class and need to be cared for properly or they will mildew. Most New Yorkers do not have a washer dryer. I am one of them. So this is a pain in the ass…

Bikram is just a pain in the ass. Literally and figuratively. But I’ve already drunk the Kool-aid (and paid for the Groupon), so forward march, or stretch, or whatever.

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