Bend it like Bikram

Picture it: You are in a room heated to 105 degrees with 40% humidity. Ahhh! Sounds like a pleasant sauna, right? Wrong. You cannot leave this room. Also? You will be forced to contort your body into unnatural poses as you struggle to grip slippery limbs and breathe through the huge sweat droplets clogging up your nose.

Not torture-y enough?

You are surrounded by buff young women.

Welcome to my Bikram yoga class!

Sometimes referred to as hot yoga, Bikram yoga is a NINETY-minute class in which human beings are expected to perform a series of 26 challenging poses in stifling heat.

I am proud and shocked to say I have put myself through two of these sessions already. It certainly wasn’t my idea. My Rolfing practitioner (more on him later) recommended it for my back. He said it would be an ideal way to decrease pain;  improve flexibility, mobility, stamina; and strenghten my pathetically weak core.

But I hate yoga! It hurts and there’s no cardio rush. Still, I had to try.

First Day

I was terrified. What if I couldn’t do it? What if I had a panic attack? What if I broke some sacred yoga rule? What if I broke an important bone?

I signed in, trying to explain to the lady at the desk that I, JD, was special.

“Um, I have scoliosis? And herniated discs?”

“Watch the forward bends,” she said dismissively.

Ooookay. People with scoliosis and herniated discs? Also watch the back bends. And side bends. And for god’s sake, just don’t even attempt the supta vajrasana. (UPDATE! After more than a few classes, I learned that back bends are actually really good for strengthening the spine and banishing pain. Sounds crazy, I know, but 50-plus classes later, I can tell you, it’s true.)

The Room

I was about 20 minutes early, so I decided to enter The Room and get used to the heat. Then I decided that was stupid, because heat is hot. The Room! It was so dreadfully hot I almost burst into tears, but I knew I’d be dehydrated soon enough.

Reluctantly, I went back in. I assured myself I’d get used to the stench of boiled sweat. I knew we weren’t supposed to talk in The Room. Not even to say, “Excuse me? I am dying. Please tell Gus and Pru I love them.” Also, when I said earlier that you’re not allowed to leave The Room? Not joking. If you’re feeling light-headed, dizzy, or nauseous, you are instructed to lie down on your mat.

Another first-timer came in after me. She looked at how we had our mats set up — all facing the same direction with our towels on top.

“We put the towels on our mats? We’re gonna sweat that much?” She was obviously unaware of the no talking rule.

I nodded miserably.

“Why is everyone so serious?” she asked a little louder. A sinewy woman in the front mimed “NO TALKING.”

I hung my head in despair.

Here comes the instructor. I was surprised to see that she didn’t actually do the poses. Instead, she called out the directions much like an auctioneer:

Head down, knees locked, knees locked, KNEES LOCKED, you’ve got it, you’re in it, the throat is crushed, there’s not much air, hold it, forehead to the knees, elbows up and away from the shoulders, away from the shoulders, hold it, hold it, hold it, lock the knees, lock the knees, LOCK THE KNEES, extend your fingers, charge your arms, keep going, keep going . . .

I was pleased to find I could at least do some of the poses for part of the time. The heat really does make it easier to bend and twist and stretch, even if you can’t really breathe so much. No one yelled at me or told me I was a fat idiot. But damn, the sweat. And the heat.

About 20 minutes in, the new woman in front of me tried to leave The Room. Uh oh. You could practically hear the “dink-dink-dink-dink” cartoon music accompanying her stealthy tiptoeing as she strained to be invisible.

“Where are you going?” The instructor sees all.

The woman skulked back to her mat.

“Please stay in the room. If you’re dizzy, lie down on your mat.”

Damn. There is truly no escape. I had plenty of lightheaded moments, and, surprisingly, sitting or lying on my mat and taking some deep breaths really did help. You feel like you’ve GOT TO GET OUT OF THAT ROOM, but, well, since you CAN’T, you just don’t. And you deal with it.

Ninety minutes later? I DID IT! True, I probably did about 40% of the work, but I hung in there and didn’t throw up. I was tired and shaky but mostly triumphant, and I felt fine once I’d pounded 2,000 gallons of water. Oh, and before the 2,000 gallons of water, I lost six pounds.

Second Day

I felt more confident going into my second class. Outside of The Room, I overheard a young woman mention that this was her first class. A newbie! And I, a wise old-timer, would take her under my sweaty wing.

“Today is only my second class,” I confided. “It’s easier when you know what to expect.”

“Oh, no, this is my first class OF THE DAY,” she clarified.

Ah, yes. Humility. That’s the other thing you learn.

*        *        *

So, have I convinced you to join a Bikram yoga class? Have I convinced you I’m craz-ay? Most important, if I die, will you tell Gus and Pru I love them?

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64 Comments


64 Responses to “I Sweat My Ass Off in Bikram Yoga”

  1. 1 Canucklehead

    Mmmmm … blueberry yoga! Wait? Hot?!!! This word: yoga. I don’t think it means what I think it means … :(
    .-= Canucklehead´s last blog ..Street View Cred =-.

  2. 2 moooooog35

    No thank you.

    If I want to be forced to contort my body into unnatural poses as I struggle to grip slippery limbs and breathe through the huge sweat droplets clogging up my nose I’ll just go visit my uncle.

    Perhaps I’ve said too much.
    .-= moooooog35´s last blog ..Twix or Tweets – Teenage Gandhi Edition =-.

  3. 3 Anne

    I will totally be responsible for telling Gus and Pru that you love them. I have a neighbor that does Bikram and I think you are both nuts (I mean that lovingly). Admit it, if I told you I was doing that (before your doctor recommended it) you would think I was crazy, right?

  4. 4 Tarheel Rambler

    I’ll be trying this on the same day hell freezes over and pigs sprout wings to escape the cold. Actually, it sounds remarkably similar to the summer we’ve had in North Carolina.
    .-= Tarheel Rambler´s last blog ..Sunday Scenery – 113 =-.

  5. 5 Shieldmaiden1196

    Clearly I’m too stiffnecked (in a soul sense, not a body sense) for a class where you ‘can’t leave’ because my go to thought when someone was reprimanded would be ‘F this’. I did my compulsory can’t-leave exercising in high school and I’m all done with it. But I do hear good things about Bikram. And it sounds like something that would feel fantastic in the dark, brittle cold of winter.
    .-= Shieldmaiden1196´s last blog ..Boogity- Boogity- Boogity =-.

  6. 6 dcr

    They don’t let you leave? I’d be like, if I’m paying for this class, I’m leaving if I can’t take it anymore. I’ll leave if I want to! Leave if I want to! Leaving ’cause I want to. And if I have to kick a door down to escape, well, they shouldn’t have locked me into a torture chamber.

    Actually, I suppose I might be more passive-aggressive about it. Instead of telling them off while trying to make my escape, I’d just fake pass out and let them carry me out.

    Then again, I probably wouldn’t go in the first place. I’ll just stay home and turn off the air conditioner if the heat is supposed to make me better.
    .-= dcr´s last blog ..Success September- Marketer vs Snake Oil Salesman =-.

  7. 7 Kelly

    It actually doesn’t sound all that bad. I like the heat part but could probably do without the humidity. Still, if I gotta have humidity to have my heat, I guess I’ll deal with it.

    But yoga? Hmmm. I don’t know. I suppose if it really does help relieve pain, I’d give it a try. I’d like a followup report after class 15 or so.
    .-= Kelly´s last blog ..Small Abstract No 109 =-.

  8. 8 Stephanie Barr

    I think this is very very impressive. My hat’s off to you for your dedication.

    Admittedly, I’d be even more impressed if you could sweat MY ass off.
    .-= Stephanie Barr´s last blog ..Update and Apology =-.

  9. 9 Karen and Gerard

    Congratulations for sticking it out–I would have left. What are they going to do, arrest you if you leave early? I never did care for Yoga, now I really don’t want anything to do with it. What’s with the “no talking” rule? I think that is very goofy!
    .-= Karen and Gerard´s last blog ..6 Things I Learned This Week-85 Flintstones- money- Furminator- kid tips- museum- zoo =-.

  10. 10 Ron

    BRAVA, JD!

    woot! woot! woot!

    I do yoga myself, at home (Hatha). And yet, in all the years of trying various styles of yoga, can not do Bikram. Honestly? I’m much to sensitive to heat, so I just can’t bare it. However, I do know that it’s wonderful and I applaude you!

    You GO, girl!

    ” knew we weren’t supposed to talk in The Room. Not even to say, “Excuse me? I am dying. Please tell Gus and Pru I love them.”

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

    Have a great holiday weekend….X
    .-= Ron´s last blog ..SwayPussycat Dolls =-.

  11. 11 babs - beetle

    No, no, no, no, no, NO!! You would NOT get me in that room. EVER!
    The main reason being that I HAVE to be in control of myself. I can’t stand things effecting me that I have no control over. If I want to leave, I want to leave, and the thought of not being able to would probably give me a panic attack! You are very brave, and I hope it works wonders for your back :)
    .-= babs – beetle´s last blog ..A nice bowl of pea soup anybody =-.

  12. 12 Lidian

    Um, really hot and they don’t let you leave? Sounds like my first grade classroom. At least we got milk and a pretzel rod once a day, though.
    .-= Lidian´s last blog ..These Official Shoes =-.

  13. 13 puglette

    thank you so much for doing this for me, my friend. i would not be in there at all…ever.

    i have tried pilates at home to the olddvd and actually enjoyed it. it felt like my spine stretched andi felt taller some how.

    and yes, i will tell your sweet kitties that you love them…and i will whisper it into ollie’s ear. right next to his cute little ear whorl.
    have a great holiday weekend!
    hugs,
    puglette
    :o)
    .-= puglette´s last blog ..My First Pug Rescue Transport! =-.

  14. 14 Ziva

    Doing only 40% of the work is what most of us do all day long at work, so I think you’re probably ahead of the class already. And breathing is overrated anyway. But just in case you realize you can’t do without it, you should look into one of those portable tanks of oxygen. I bet you’d be the most popular person there.
    .-= Ziva´s last blog ..Mmm- roasted high jumper- my favorite! =-.

  15. 15 JD

    Canucklehead: Nooo, I think you took a wrong turn somewhere. Hot yoga — kind of awful. Hot yogurt — REALLY awful.

    moooooog35: As usual, you’ve not said ENOUGH. I shall look forward to your post regaling us with your fun Sunday afternoons spent with your sweaty uncle.

    Anne: Thank you! I think I’m nuts too, and yes, I have ALWAYS thought hot yoga enthusiasts were crazy. But I think it’s the very craziness that appeals to me. Like, if I can do this, I can do anything. If I live.

    Tarheel Rambler: Heh. I was very resistant to the idea. Hell, I STILL am! I don’t think I’ll ever be one of those people who say they LOVE hot yoga, but as long as I can get through a class without exploding, I’m good.

    Shieldmaiden1196: I hear you, sistah. And believe me, if the day ever comes when I absolutely have to get out of the room, NO ONE would stop me. And, yeah, I look forward to winter, tho I have to say, after soaking in 105 degrees for an hour and a half, a balmy 90-degree day feels pretty damn good.

    dcr: At first I thought I read on their Web site that they locked you IN. But then I saw that they just lock the doors so no one can GET in after class has started. But why would they want to? Boy, you’ve given me a great idea. I’ve often thought I’d need to perform the fake pass-out in uncomfortable situations, but THIS! YES! I’m not sure how convincing I will be, supposedly unconscious and gasping for breath, but it’s worth a try.

    Kelly: Wow, you’re way more optimistic than I am! Fifteen days? OK, giving an update would be motivation for me to stick with this. I have to say, I was pretty discouraged after the second class, because I thought I’d do at least a little better than in the first, but this wasn’t the case. Tomorrow is lucky number 3!

    Stephanie Barr: I think sweating off another person’s ass requires a level of consciousness that I will probably never attain. But thank you for your kind words. Um . . . can you come with me to class? You don’t have to go into The Room. You can just yell encouraging phrases to me through the door. I’m sure the other participants would love that.

    Karen and Gerard: Thank you! I don’t know what happens if you leave, but if I ever do, I probably would be too mortified to ever go back. This yoga is very different from other types. It’s really focused more on the physical than the mental. I’ve read that some instructors are like drill sergeants: rude and bossy. Luckily, my instructor is not like that.

    Ron: I’m exTREMEly sensitive to heat and also have panic disorder centered on the fear of not being able to breathe, so this is a real challenge for me. If it weren’t for the fact that I think it will help my back immensely, I wouldn’t do it. It’s definitely not for everyone. Thanks for the applause. Honestly, it means a lot and really will help motivate me.

    babs – beetle: I KNOW! I feel the same way. But I know their reasoning is, if they told people they could leave if they had to, EVERYone would be in and out. The idea is to try to work through the discomfort. It’s hard. And as I said above, it’s definitely not for everyone. Believe me, I’m not trying to convert anyone here. Thanks for the kind words. I feel very optimistic!

    puglette: You’re very welcome. I really like Pilates and have always argued for it over yoga. Yoga has always been hard for me, while Pilates is challenging but definitely more doable. But, this is what I was told to do, and the guy who recommended it seems to really know what he’s talking about. Even if I don’t pass out in class, you may feel free to whisper “I LOVE YOU!” in Ollie’s sweet ear. Any time.

    Lidian: HA! I’d love it if we got a milk and pretzel rod break, say, maybe after the standing series. As it is, we’re lucky to grab a sip of water once or twice.

    Ziva: “Breathing is overrated.” This is my new mantra. Thank you. Oh, how funny would it be to show up with an oxygen tank. But you’re right: everyone would be my best friend.

  16. 16 LJ

    Ummmmm .. . . No! Wrong on so many levels.
    .-= LJ´s last blog ..I got to be a kid twice this week =-.

  17. 17 puglette

    i do tell ollie that you love him. he likes the adoration from afar. i have taken some ear whorl photos, i will try to get them up soon! oh…i saw part of a zumba infomercial last night. it really does look like fun! no wonder you love it!
    :)
    .-= puglette´s last blog ..My First Pug Rescue Transport! =-.

  18. 18 meleah rebeccah

    I officially ‘DISLIKE’ your Bikram yoga class!

    The heat & the smell of boiling sweat, plus not being able to leave ‘The Room’, or TALK?

    I would have died! And if you die I promise to tell Gus and Pru you love them!
    .-= meleah rebeccah´s last blog ..T’was The Night Before High School… =-.

  19. 19 v

    no way. i will skip bikram yoga, you can keep doing that so i don’t have to.

    and seriously, if i’m in all those positions, there better be a “happy ending.” {insert deleted comment here}

    funny “this can’t be right” photo.

    kudos to you for making it through.

  20. 20 Kathy

    You realize you’ve just described pretty much any episode of Locked Up Abroad, don’t you?
    .-= Kathy´s last blog ..Where to Find Big Girl Panties =-.

  21. 21 Mom Taxi Julie

    I’d so be the one passed out on the mat! I can’t do the heat well and that would just NOT BE FUN.
    .-= Mom Taxi Julie´s last blog ..HALF A POUND =-.

  22. 22 Alexandra

    I really don’t mind hot and humid (have to figure out how much 105 F would be in Celsius, but I think I can survive that pretty well). But yoga? Not my thing. Although, I guess it’s way better than those muscle relaxers…
    .-= Alexandra´s last blog ..??- ???????! =-.

  23. 23 Don

    I’d have to say that I would not be going to these classes at all. And I do martial arts in a room often without AC or heat (in the winter), but this just seems WAY too much, and possibly not healthy?

  24. 24 Lauren

    Being placed in extreme stress positions for hours sounds like torture to me. Did you drive to class in a car or ride in the back of a van with a hood over your head?
    .-= Lauren´s last blog ..Doctors Say Hurricane Season May Cause Tropical Depression in Some People =-.

  25. 25 JD

    LJ: So wrong . . . yet so right. I dunno. It’s weird. There’s something about the heat that does feel really good. Of course, I’ll change my tune the first time I puke in class.

    puglette: Oh, I can’t wait for the ear whorl pictures! I think I’ve seen the Zumba infomercial too. YES! It’s so fun. I can’t wait to go back (once I’ve yoga’d my body back into shape, that is.)

    meleah rebeccah: HA! And thank you. I feel a lot better knowing Gus and Pru will be looked after. I’m going for my 3d class today. Wish me luck!

    v: The “happy ending” is basically that you get to live at the end. At least, unless I’m not sticking around long enough. Hmmm.

    Kathy: HAHAHAHA! Yeah, and I don’t even get to get high!

    Mom Taxi Julie: No, it’s not fun. I don’t do heat well either. I look at it more like physical therapy than a workout. Physical therapy . . . in HELL!

    Alexandra: Exactly! I’m trying to get off the pills. I’ve never been a big yoga fan, but this is supposed to be the magical cure I’ve been looking for.

    Don: Yeah, I hear ya. It is extreme, but supposedly that’s part of the “charm.” I really want to try to stick with it, despite all the discomfort.

    Lauren: HAR! No, but I’ll tell you: The drive home is the happiest I’ve ever been!

  26. 26 Patricia (Feelin' hot, hot, hot)

    Tarheel Rambler (ramblin’ about SEC and Tarheels…I shake my Wildcat fist at you) got it right and stole my joke—everything is bikram yoga in the south, even drinking water. In July, you don’t even think about sex–the thought of another person’s body heat/nasty sweaty parts is too much to handle–don’t trust that Kathleen Turner movie from the ’80s–you just lie in bed and hope you don’t accidently touch your mate. Very few Southern babies have spring birthdays.

    I’m curious how you cool down from Bikram–do you do it slowly or just jump in an icy shower? Nothing is quite like being in a jacuzzi or sauna and then running out into the snow. You gotta be careful, though, because it’s the leading cause of nipple-shattering syndrome.

    Maybe they don’t allow talking because everyone would be spending their much-needed energy going ‘ehhhhhhhh it’s hoooooot’ and ‘eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeh did I mention it’s REALLY hot? Like I’m in a Ronco food dehydrator hot?’ (’cause that’s what I would do.)

    Most important question: HOW’D IT HELP YOUR BACK?

  27. 27 Kathleen Kaufman

    I am one of the dumbasses who helped amass that statistic a few years ago for home yoga injuries that ended up in the ER. I was innocently doing my Urban Yoga workout, and since I had been doing it for a full week, and was obviously an expert I didn’t think twice when she said not to attempt the next pose unless you are an expert. Of course I’m an expert, I’ve been doing this for a WEEK. Pfffttt…..besides, I’m pretty flexible, I can totally lift my leg over that….and then twist my…OW.
    OW. OW. Oh crap, I’m stuck.

    Pinched nerve and torn ligament later…..my leg still gets stuck in place if I sit in the wrong position for more than a minute.

    That was pretty much when I decided that I should give up exercise altogether.

    I do admire your moxy though, and if I could lose 6 pounds in one sitting, I would totally be there, well, maybe….course, I’d probably get frozen in place like the tinman on the first pose…….
    .-= Kathleen Kaufman´s last blog ..I Am A Genius Inventor- Sorta… =-.

  28. 28 Daisy the Curly Cat

    I think the worst part would be that all that heat and humidity would totally ruin the hair-do!
    .-= Daisy the Curly Cat´s last blog ..A Sweet Shirt! =-.

  29. 29 Margaret (Nanny Goats)

    Holy crap! I’ve heard about this this hot yoga thing, and there is no way in hell….. Because if I get dizzy or lightheaded, I will not lie down on my mat, I will pass out on my mat and I am just not in the mood to lose consciousness for a stupid class. You though, you knock yourself out. Literally.
    .-= Margaret (Nanny Goats)´s last blog ..Goat Thing of the Day- Hot Dog Goat =-.

  30. 30 Patricia (Feelin' hot, hot, hot)

    I just thought of the perfect match for this ‘Bikram Yoga’ experience, as well as a catch up for your last post about the wedding, which I sadly missed. (Warning: my back medication is onboard.)

    It’s a little something I call ‘The Southern Summer Wedding.’ Alright, first, July or early August is the preferable time for The Southern Summer Wedding, which I will now refer to, in honor of you, J.D., as a Bikram Wedding.

    First, attire. Put on your girdle thing, we know you have one, then your pantyhose with control top–yes, pantyhose must be worn, it’s in one of the letters of Paul to the Corinthians. Then, wear a dress that’s navy blue–sure, black is more slimming, but you can’t wear black to a Bikram Wedding, that is strictly taboo–’what, you want the bride to die?’ (Similar taboos are held on the colors red, white, any shade of ivory to silver, and anything too much like the bridesmaids/color scheme/anything the mothers of bride/groom are wearing, nothing too sexy, nothing too much like the bride–which, darn, I was gonna wear my veil and tiara to this one–Uh, anyway, navy blue.)

    Make-up is heavy, but not whorelike. Being from ‘not down here, are you?’ territory, I have yet to master this and go on the ‘not whore’ wagon–which means people think I’m constantly sick. However, it is only proper if it is melting off your face as well as in your handbag. I’ve had expensive, department store lipstick melt in a perfectly good navy blue purse. You’d think that’d teach me–it hasn’t.

    You get bonus Bikram Wedding points if it’s family event and you are involved in the family photography session. Wearing a shapeless garbage bag style dress in brocade as you feel any exposed flesh turn crispy and can smell your own body odor, plus the ripeness of cousin Beau Hunter in a black tuxedo. Triple points if there is a baby or young person involved and you think seriously about stealing their sippy cup. The photographs come back–everyone’s face is red and puffy.

    Hold the wedding in an historical chapel–the less seats and more people you can invite and thus cram into the pews, the better. Pass out programs that lamely double as desperation fans. Use liberally and (special instructions for women with bald husbands, like moi: wipe the sweat from that spot–you know the one…)
    Absolutely NO air conditioning or open windows–that could ruin carefully coiffed hair and carefully coiffed decor. As the pew flowers begin to droop, the reverend/preacher will sayeth thus:

    “Is there a doctor in the church? I do believe someone who is kin to the groom has fainted.”

    Sadly, we cannot lean back on our towels when we feel dizzy or faint. Similarly, we cannot leave The Church. And once the session starts, NO TALKING and NO LEAVING. The instructor, aka preacher, (or, in the case of my brother-in-law and his wife, the coroner–I kid you not, but theirs is a tale for another rambling post) talks us all through it–jewelry becomes unbearably tight, breath gets short…(this is where I blackout on a need for xanax and hydration.)

    Oh, and at the reception? No booze if their of certain religious persuasions. (Which I do not mind, but please, for the love of love, may I have a coca-cola with a gallon of ice decorated with those fake icesicles they use at Christmas?) Just lemonade–if you’re lucky enough to get in the line first. And uh…don’t eat anything with the mayo in it.

    The last time my husband and I engaged in a Bikram Wedding was in July–the couple went to Alaska on their honeymoon.

  31. 31 JD

    Patricia (Feelin’ hot, hot, hot): No icy shower. Just walking outside to a burst of 90-degree heat is refreshing. My nipples are safe. I’m sure you’re right about the no talking rule. I would be all, “You are KIDDING! I’m supposed to do THAT? DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM? etc.” I had a different instructor yesterday who was a little looser and actually told a few jokes (!!!!) So I guess we’re allowed to crack a smile now and then. The yoga combined with Rolfing (which I’ll write about soon) is helping my back by literally moving stuff around, fixing imbalances, creating new alignment, and making me stronger and more flexible. It’s early days, yet, but I can tell I’m on the right path. YAY!

    Kathleen Kaufman: Ow, ow, ow!!! Oh, your poor leg. No, I don’t think six (very temporary) pounds is worth a frozen leg. Believe me, if I felt even a hint of “wrongness” about this, I wouldn’t do it. And yes, I do consider myself an expert after 3 classes.

    Daisy the Curly Cat: Actually, humidity is my hair’s best friend. It makes it all nice and puffy looking. However, the sweat then totally ruins everything.

    Margaret (Nanny Goats): So far, no unconsciousness. It’s funny: they ENCOURAGE you to get dizzy. Like, you’re not doing it right unless you’re stumbling around seeing spots. So that’s . . . different.

    Patricia (Feelin’ hot, hot, hot): Oh, dear god! Where’s your blog, your column, your book? You are killing me here! “Bonus Bikram Wedding points”? STOP!!!

  32. 32 Kathy

    I concur. Patricia needs a blog.
    .-= Kathy´s last blog ..Where to Find Big Girl Panties =-.

  33. 33 Surfie

    I’m about as flexible as cold steel, so I’d need all the help the heat of The Room can give me. I’ve only ever taken one yoga class, and it wasn’t a Bikram class. I’m so inflexible I couldn’t hold myself in Downward Dog (even with my knees bent) unless the instructor stood on my hands to keep them from sliding out from under me. I’m very proud of you for doing so well and even going back for a second class! And if something happens to you, I’ll tell Gus and Pru you love them. Heck, I’ll even tell Dave! :)
    .-= Surfie´s last blog ..A Hint of Fall =-.

  34. 34 absepa

    I’m really glad that the yoga and rolfing are working for your back pain! If you’re going to suffer like that, at least you know you’re getting something out of it. For me, yoga is a no-go. I read an article on msnbc last year about a woman who attended a yoga class for the first time, did all of the poses even though she had a bit of pain in her neck, then went home and had a stroke. (The doctors’ theory is that one of the yoga poses broke loose a blood clot in her neck.) I’m WAY too clumsy to do any kind of exercise that can kill you in one session. I’m going to send a link to your post to my sister, though–she told me about hot yoga not too long ago, and said she was interested.
    .-= absepa´s last blog ..Curse you and the salad you rode in on =-.

  35. 35 Master Dayton

    You know, you’re braver than I am. There are a lot of things I’m willing to try, but this type of Yoga is not very high on the list for me at all, lol.
    .-= Master Dayton´s last blog ..The Truth About Freelance Writing =-.

  36. 36 Katherine

    Hysterical! The dink dink dink made me laugh so much!
    .-= Katherine´s last blog ..Did You Hear The One About Hurricane Earl =-.

  37. 37 JD

    Kathy: I know, right?

    Surfie: Aw, aren’t you sweet? Thank you. I’m terribly inflexible too, but the heat really is incredible. As awful as it feels . . . it feels so good. I think I’m hooked!

    absepa: Oh, god, don’t tell me about strokes! I HAVE A BIT OF A PAIN IN MY NECK! Oh, well. Too late. I’m in too deep. I gotta see this through! I’d like to think that that woman would’ve had a stroke one way or another . . . that didn’t sound right. You know what I mean. Good luck to your sister!

    Master Dayton: It used to be high on my “I Will Never Do These Things” list too. Funny how you can do a 180.

    Katherine: Thank you! I swear, I could hear it.

  38. 38 nothingprofound

    My wife’s voice teacher has been doing this over a year now. She loves it. Has lost gads of weight, and feels like a new person.

  39. 39 Alex Yong

    This is the first time I’ve heard about Bikram Yoga. From what you described, it seems like a torture. But if it helps to improve the well-being of health, I think it’s worth giving this hot yoga a try.

    A well written article.

    Thanks for sharing, JD. I’ll be back here again.

    Regards.
    .-= Alex Yong´s last blog ..Turn Off The Television =-.

  40. 40 Jewelz

    There is no possible way I could stand the heat. I love yoga but saunas and sauna type environments FREAK me out.

    For some reason I think I will be locked in and fry in the heat.
    .-= Jewelz´s last blog ..Im A Cheap Hooker =-.

  41. 41 carissa

    Ah … Bikram.

    I have to say this.. When I first started going I HATED it. I did it consistantly for about 3 weeks then one day I decided I was over it and that I’d never go back.

    The next time I started I thought I actually liked it.. and I think I did. But ultimately I didnt’ want to pay $300 a month when I could sweat my ass of in my own apt. if I wanted.

    Now I do it at a little “donation” studio about once a week, supplimented by other types of yoga and I absolutely love it. It’s not so strict like the yoga. If I’m tired , I lay down. If I want to talk, I talk- though it probably is still looked down on.. But I do what I want!
    .-= carissa´s last blog ..The Good- The Bad- and the UG-LEE =-.

  42. 42 Courtney

    I’ve had a couple of friends tell me they were going to do some “hot yoga”, and I just thought they were trying to be funny or that “hot yoga” was a code word for something perverse I’d be better off not knowing about … but now that I read this post I now not only know what hot yoga is, I know that I never, ever want to try it. Kudos to you doing stuff so I don’t have to!!! :)
    .-= Courtney´s last blog ..Update =-.

  43. 43 Jen

    I was actually thinking of doing something this crazy until I read your post. No way. First of all I don’t sweat in public on purpose and I certainly don’t go to places where if I feel dizzy I get to lie down on a mat, take me to the ER dammit!

    I do hope it helped your back but boy this seems extreme.
    .-= Jen´s last blog ..And…They Are Back! =-.

  44. 44 JD

    nothingprofound: I’m only going 1-2 times a week, so I don’t know if I’ll reap the benefits of weight loss, but I hope to bump it up to 3 times a week. I could stand to lose a few.

    Alex Yong: Well, the founder calls the yoga room a “torture chamber,” so you’re not too far off in your impression! Thanks for stopping by.

    Jewelz: Me too! I also feel like I can’t breathe when it’s that hot. So it’s obviously a bit of a challenge, but one I feel like trying to overcome. Which is SO not like me.

    carissa: Luckily, the class I take does “let” you lie or sit down. But I always feel kinda self-conscious. I’ve read about some real militant instructors, and that is not for me. I’m glad you found a place you like. A place that lets you talk? Imagine that!

    Courtney: HA! Yeah, it’s code for “STAY AWAY!” I can’t even believe I’m doing this. The things I do for you people.

    Jen: Yeah, but I think I need “extreme” right now. I’ve tried everything else. It’s weird, but the dizziness, tho unpleasant, does pass. Why feel dizzy in the first place? I dunno. It’s all part of the magic, I guess.

  45. 45 Flit

    Thanks for doing that for me cuz no way in hell (cuz that’s what it sounds like to me) I would ever go there…. I am altogether too fond of breathing. Not GOOD at breathing – but its not something I’m in a hurry to give up.

    I did take a hatha yoga class the one of my fellow graduate students led for us; I really enjoyed it, even though I couldn’t do some of it at all well. By the end of the 8 weeks though, it was pretty much just she and I…so I doubt she’ll offer it again this year, unfortunately.

    Sure hope it works for you.
    .-= Flit´s last blog ..Getting Sorted =-.

  46. 46 cardiogirl

    First of all, awesome photo. I love the guy’s sweatband *and* ponytail.

    Second, when I read this I felt the panic rise in my chest.

    “You feel like you’ve GOT TO GET OUT OF THAT ROOM, but, well, since you CAN’T, you just don’t.

    But then I read, “Oh, and before the 2,000 liters of water, I lost six pounds.”

    And now I desperately want to join at least one class, just to see if I can do it. So you cannot bring a bottle of water into the class?

  47. 47 David

    There’s a Bikram place next door to my real estate office, and I am regularly astonished by the half-naked men who drip out the door and stand there in all their yoga-toned glory, getting a breath of air. The women don’t seem to do this; I guess they’re more modest, or something. Every now and then I think, “Wow, I’d be pretty impressed with myself if I looked even one-third that good; maybe I should try it.” Then I remember that I start to gag and hyperventilate at any temperature above 72 degrees, and decide nah, I’m okay with my cooled-off and kind of wimpy self as-is. Plus I could just take my shirt off and stand around for no reason if I felt like it.
    .-= David´s last blog ..Random Items in No Particular Order =-.

  48. 48 Kathleen Kaufman

    This reminds me of those sweatlodges where the nut wouldn’t let the people out and they died. I just can’t think it’s a good idea…..I want to think it is…but I can’t.

    But then again, I’m incredibly whiney about extreme weather. If it gets over about 73 degrees I can’t stop fussing.
    .-= Kathleen Kaufman´s last blog ..Five Legal Terms For Everyday Use =-.

  49. 49 MomZombie

    Thank you for sweating your ass off for me. Next time could you please sweat off my ass? I’m like you: I like the cardio rush thing. Yoga makes me sleepy.
    .-= MomZombie´s last blog ..Random act or publicity stunt =-.

  50. 50 JD

    Flit: Thanks, I hope it works too. It’s tough, but I feel like this is what I need. I still can’t believe I’m dealing with the whole breathing/heat issue, which is a BIG problem for me too. Everyone assures me “you get used to it.” So we shall see. I hope your yoga class gets continued this year. If you stuck with it for 8 weeks, you must’ve really liked it!

    cardiogirl: That’s my dilemma too. Breathe and stay fat or faint and lose weight? Yes, you can bring water. Aaaand . . . you guessed it: they tell you when you can drink. That’s where I rebel. I do wait for the first water break, but after that, I guzzle as I please. I’d love to have you come to this class with me. Ponytails are NOT optional!

    David: Yes, you certainly could stand around with your shirt off. Who’s to stop you? Not those yoga guys. They’re probably half-dead from dehydration. I don’t know if my physique will undergo any dramatic changes; I’m just hopeful my back pain will decrease and my core will turn from a flabby cushion to a semi-solid mass.

    Kathleen Kaufman: I know! I’m the same. Which is why I can’t believe I’m doing this. But I’ve gotten through a whole 3 sessions, so I know I can at least survive a class. Now I just have to try to do all the poses. And not die.

    MomZombie: I’ll gladly sweat off your ass, but my ass is probably going to take a while, so please be patient. I do miss my cardio rush, but I will go back to it as soon as I get in better shape.

  51. 51 A Vapid Blonde

    I had always wanted to try Bikram. Until now that is. The idea of a room that is oppressively hot isn’t so bad, but the not being able to leave? Let’s just say that I am already feeling claustrophobic and panicky!

    But wow, good for you for sticking with it.
    .-= A Vapid Blonde´s last blog ..I Am Not Good At Anniversaries…Part Two of Two =-.

  52. 52 blogocrazy

    wow…wow…wow….what can I say?
    .-= blogocrazy´s last blog ..Biography of Lady Gaga =-.

  53. 53 Eric Castelli

    I found your site on BlogCatalog and would love to include it on PostZoom.com

    PostZoom is a directory of the best blog posts which helps consumers find great blog posts and blog owners drive more traffic to their blog.

    If you are interested in joining, please visit http://postzoom.com/register.aspx (yes, it’s completely free).

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    PostZoom

  54. 54 meleah rebeccah

    Okay… I am starting to think this Bikram yoga class has killed you!
    .-= meleah rebeccah´s last blog ..DeSordi Family Picnic – 2010 =-.

  55. 55 Your Daily Cute

    I love bikram yoga! I did it for a while, but now my stupid work schedule gets in the way and none of the classes are at a convenient time.

    Keep at it. You will definitely feel the difference. Yes, it’s hotttttt, but don’t you feel fabulous when you walk out of there? :)
    .-= Your Daily Cute´s last blog ..Kitten in a Bowl =-.

  56. 56 JD

    A Vapid Blonde: I’m finding that the heat also acts as a relaxant that keeps me from panicking. Yes, I am bothered by the heat and feeling suffocated, but I don’t feel like I have to run screaming out of the room. Because if I had to? Believe me, I would.

    blogocrazy: I dunno. Namaste?

    Eric Castelli: Thanks, Eric, I’ll check it out.

    meleah rebeccah: I’m here! I’m alive! I’ve even been to two more yoga sessions in the 90 years since I posted this. And I WILL blog again! (Just super crazy busy with work.)

    Your Daily Cute: I do feel fabulous, if a bit dazed. It’s very rewarding to get through a class. Why don’t you c’mon over and join me one of these days?

  57. 57 Hippest Snippets

    We tried bikram yoga once and couldn’t re hydrate for 2 months. We ended up bathing in juice boxes.

    We love your blog! Hippest Snippets reads every post!
    .-= Hippest Snippets´s last blog ..Diaper Surprises- Testicular Holidays &amp Raw Umber =-.

  58. 58 meleah rebeccah

    Okay! Now I feel better. See you soon!
    .-= meleah rebeccah´s last blog ..DeSordi Family Picnic – 2010 =-.

  59. 59 Shaky Jake

    I went to a Bikram class once with my girlfriend when we lived in North Hollywood. She went a few times a week, whereas I weakly went once. I did not get to your status of a wise old-timer.

    You’re description of the instructions all being said at once, with no time to get each part correct before splitting a muscle in half is dead on! It’s like some sick game of Twister, only there’s no chance of accidentally grazing a girl’s boob (unless you’re clearly doing the positions very incorrectly…).

    You’re a rockstar for going back a second time. Way to go!!!!

  60. 60 kathryn

    Honey, you are certifiably insane. What? Kazoombig or whatever that other thing was wasn’t enough?

    Performing in Thai porn didn’t give you the rush you needed???

    What if you’d had to pee? What if I’d called you on that teeny-tiny
    cellphone I’d hidden in your left shoe? (The one that rings to the
    tune of “Don’t You Want Me Baby??”)

    Oh, the horror! And I know you’re gonna keep doing it. ‘Cause you’ll do anything to make us laugh till we pee.
    .-= kathryn´s last blog ..My Rules- My Way =-.

  61. 61 JD

    Hippest Snippets: Your name is hard to say three times fast. Other than that, WELCOME! Juice boxes, eh? I’ll have to try that. Any particular flavor?

    meleah rebeccah: Aaaaand . . . here I am!

    Shaky Jake: It takes a lot of dedication to become a wise old-timer. Thank you for calling me a rock star. It’s been very hard to motivate myself to keep going, but I am determined to be a true old-timer.

    kathryn: ZUMBA! HA! Zumba is off-limits for me for a while. Bikram is kind of the anti-Zumba. Thai porn is never quite as fulfilling as you think it’s going to be, I’m afraid. Yes, I will keep doing it. Yes, I am terrified of having to pee, or . . . WORSE! But I’ll tell ya: If I have to leave, I’m leaving, end of story.

  62. 62 Christa

    Dude. I can still call you that, right? I’m several weeks late and 4 cupcakes short over here but I am CRAZY proud of your ass for stepping into the yogurt pool. It’s good times here – good times. Bik and I don’t hang out quite as much as we used to but me and his brother Vinny~assa get our grooves AWN!

    Man, if you were closer I totally comp you for my laughter yoga class. I’ll be leading a kazoo pranayama to rid the body of negative mojo. It’s an emotional freedom technique with plastic. All the rage in Asia now.

    Anyways *sipping my very girlie Belgian framboise beer (let me say double yum)* – rock out with your **** out and jam out with….you know. I won’t say it here. This isn’t THAT kinda blog. *laughs*

    Whatever happens going forward, just keep smiling and beware of the camel toe….be-ware!

  63. 63 JD

    Christa: Dude, not only can you call me “dude,” but you can TOTALLY say “cock” and “clam” on this blog. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I am proud of myself, too. I would love to meet VinnyASSa someday, but for now, I’m bending it like Bikram. And loving/hating it. You know how it is. I would so love to attend a kazoo pranayama. It’s gotta sound better than the “Haaaaaaa” sound our class makes — kind of a cross between a snore and a snort. (Should I beware of camel toe in camel pose — or just any time?)

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