Friday, April 20, 2012


In about mid-January, a friend of mine started raving about Bikram Yoga.

"It's amazing!" she gushed.  "It's like a legal club drug."

I decided she was crazy.  I knew about Bikram Yoga.  It was that crazy yoga, they do it in a super hot room.  I'd done yoga. I like yoga!  It's calming and relaxing.  I like the stretching.  Especially I like the lying on the floor being still.  I do not like being hot.  Hot would ruin yoga. Plus, exercise? Yeah, I don't.  I just don't.  Really, ever.

So I humored her. I told her I would try to come. And I secretly planned to continue doing so until she got tired of the yoga and quit.

Then my wedding dress arrived.  And I couldn't get it on.

Without giving away too much, I will say my dress is fitted enough in certain places that the damn thing was just not going on.  The same day, I went to my first Bikram Yoga class.

I'll tell you this. They don't lie about the hot. It's hot.  Bikram studios are supposed to be "around" 105 degrees.  That's hot. On top of that, it's "around" 50% humidity.  So... yeah.  Not my favorite conditions.  But I made it through the first class. 

I didn't think it was "a legal club drug." Not even close. But I was proud of myself for sticking it out, and I had a huge feeling of accomplishment. 

And the next day, I went back.

And the next day.  And the next. Bikram Yoga is 90 minutes of torture.  That's what they themselves say, the Birkam Yogis.  90 minutes of pain, to save you from 90 years of pain, Bikram likes to say.  He also says, "give me 30 days I'll change your body. Give me 60 days, I'll change your life."

In the first 14 days, I went to 11 classes.  Since then, I've averaged about 5 times a week.  FIVE TIMES A WEEK.  I've never sweat so much in my life.  This week I haven't, because of various events, work obligations, wedding planning meetings... and I miss it.  I miss it!!  What craziness is this?

I'll tell you.

In the first 6 weeks of classes, I lost an inch from my waist and an inch and a half from my hips.  I feel taller, my lungs expand further.  I'm stronger.  I stand up straighter. I haven't needed my day time mouth guard that prevents me from clenching my teeth or the muscle relaxer I would take when the mouth guard wasn't enough.  I did not freak out when we lost our venue.  I am far less anxious in general.

Don't get me wrong. I still don't think it's anything remotely like a legal club drug.  I don't enjoy the class. I don't like it at all.  But I like the way I feel afterward. And I like the way my physical appearance is changing.   

My plan is to try to keep up a 4 class per week practice until... well, if we're lucky enough to have a... change of... situation, I'll have to stop.  Until then, I'm going to try to continue this new habit.  So far, I'd say Bikram  has definitely changed my body. Hopefully, he'll also change my life.

P.S. Speaking of life-changing... Um, I'm GETTING MARRIED in 2 weeks. TWO WEEKS!  EEK!