I was greeted by the same smiling happy face who had processed my enrolment only two days before. That smooth song like voice with the subtle accent asked how I was.
"Nervous" I replied, "I made sure I was early like you said so I would have time for my orientation". She smiled, and that, was when HE spoke.
I noted his thick accent and hurried information download with the hint of what seemed like impatience at my "newness" telling me to leave my shoes at the front here, he gestured with one hand while the other sifted through paper work, and the Ladies, (showers included) were at the back of the building down the hall he pointed. Yoga room there and you can put your mat at the back of the room thank you. It was during that monologue at some point that I panicked. OMG. Which one of these people is presenting the class? The, caring, kind lady or the "lets get on with it newbie" man?
My heart started to race as I asked very serious questions about what I should do if I needed to go to the toilet, vomit or die!
I became a little concerned as I was told "I will explain it all in class", with that same off handed Celt-like accent as before. I was very tempted to ask if that would be before or after I died!!!
HELLO!!! I am 50 years old, the only cardio work out I get is when I yell at my kids!!!
I decided to just do what I was told and hope I was still alive when the infomercial was given during class. So I went to the Ladies and found a locker, I then took my Yoga mat, towel, bottle of water, hand towel and locker key and headed for the "Hot Yoga Room".
OMFG ... The heat hit me like a dry Tsunami! I stayed there only long enough to dump all my stuff and get the @&$# out of that room! SURE, I know what a sauna feels like, I've even had a few in my time, sitting, very still in a swimming costume, sipping water and I STILL managed to work up a sweat! It was that same hot air in your lungs kind of feeling that I had almost forgotten existed.
They want us to do YOGA IN THAT ROOM??? I couldn't breathe in that room!! You will forgive me for thinking I had panicked before, because now, now I knew panic! I thought I might even die BEFORE I went back into the torture chamber.
Should I just go get my shit and leave? Maybe there is a back way out, nobody will notice, surely I wouldn't be the first person to have not even started a class? Maybe I could feign a headache, stomach bug, something contagious would be best ... they would want me out then!
I sheepishly went back to the front counter to try once more to get some answers. "So, seriously, if I feel like I can't complete the class?" "Try to just stay in the room." was the calm friendly response I received from the happy smiling woman with the soft accent; I didn't see a problem with that!!! After all, you don't often hear of people leaving a room (hot or cold) WHEN. THEY. ARE. DEAD???
Before I knew it I was caught up in a surge of people entering "THE ROOM" and so, there I was. Marc was right, he did explain it all in class, including the accelerated heart rate (which I had interpreted as a heart attack) step by step, he made sure every one of us in the room learnt something that day, even the seasoned. Even at the point when I did really think I might die, he asked I face the front, if for no other reason but to see if I was dead or not.
If I couldn't hear his words or didn't understand the pose, all I had to do was look at what the others were doing around me, mind you, this is a case where seeing is not necessarily believing! Just because these other fit, slim, young people could assume the posture, was not a predetermining factor for me.
I persevered, I got through, I did things I never thought my body would ever again do, I did falter towards the end, but I stayed and breathed in the hot air, acclimatising; which was a good thing, because when I went back the next day, it was much easier! I did not panic, in fact, I was looking forward to it. The heat actually helps your muscles to work, tendons and ligaments to stretch ... which I am sure some of mine had not been doing for quite some time.
In the second class I was overjoyed with my flexibility. I cannot believe how fast I saw and felt the benefits of this weirdly satisfying form of torture.
I am looking forward to my next class as I can now nearly cross my legs in a seated position, something I cannot recall EVER having been able to do or nearly do! My mind feels clearer and my body is seeking water. I am absolutely stunned at the immediate subtle changes I am already detecting.
I won't know myself after a few weeks of this and neither will you! I will keep you posted ...
Happy Ending? Obvious really ... I am still alive!!!
The benefits of Yoga and Bikram Yoga are far greater than just physical flexibility. See here for further information of benefits of Bikram.
Have you ever done Bikram Yoga? If not, WHY NOT? What do you do to challenge yourself?
"My Karma ran over your Dogma." -- Anonymous
This is NOT a sponsored post. The classes I am taking have been paid for in full by me.
I was not asked to write this post, I am sharing this story just because I feel it could be of benefit to many people.