To Kill Yourself for...60 Minutes?
*Originally posted April 28, 2016
Please note when I said “Daily Blog” I meant Dailyish. You know how I told you about the Bikram Choudhurydrama back in the second post of this challenge. One of the results of his fall from grace is now Bikram Studios who have been told that they are only allowed to teach Bikram Yoga and no other yoga, have started to loosen up a bit. Some studios now teach hour long versions of the class as well as the original 90 minute series. Others have gone so far as to remove Bikram’s name completely from their studios. Although they are stillteaching Birkam’s Beginning Yoga Class they now call it something like“Traditional Yoga”. I personally thinks this just adds confusion. Just call it what it is. And if you hate the man and his yoga that much teach something else. And some studios do that as well. In the case of where I’ve been practicing, Bikram Yoga Highbury & Islington, they mostly teach the 90 minute series and thankfully they still call it Bikram. But they also offer other types of yoga as well. On their schedule is now Forrest Yoga, Jivamukti, Vinyasa and an one hour version of Bikram Yoga. I think it’s great. I’ve taken the other classes there as well and highly recommend them. However right now, I’m doing a Bikram Yoga Challenge so before I go in I make sure to check the schedule to make sure I’m going to the right class.
Yesterday I walked into take the 4:30 class at and Nina was teaching. I have no clue how old Nina is because those of you who take yoga know, most teachers look timeless. I remember by the end of my teacher training the 300 of us at the beginning looked different ages and different stages in our lives. By the end ofnice weeks of a two-a-day practice we all looked the same age. I wouldn’t be surprised if someone had said they were 23 or 43, everyone just looks kinda sweaty and wonderful. I haven’t talked to Nina a lot about her personal life, but she strikes me as someone who knows a lot about different kinds of yoga. She’s a good teacher and if their are more advanced students in the room she let’s them move ahead and is less concerned with the room moving at her exact command. I like her and I like her class.
“Hello! Are you going to be able to stay for Nidra today?”
“The relaxation exercise after class.”
“Isn’t this…is this not a Bikram class?”
“It is the 60 minute class with a 30 minute Nidra after but if you can’t stay it’s fine.”
Shit. I’m not supposed to be taking the 60 minute classes. I’m doing a 30 Day Challenge I’m only supposed to take the 90 minute classes. When I explained to Nina I was on a 30 day Challenge and I was so sure the schedule online said this was a 90 minute class she didn’t seemed too concerned with my predicament. “Oh, it’s fine.” she said “This is still Bikram, you’ll still do all the postures.” Though this whole 60 minute thing didn’t really jive with my type A personality and my goals for this month. I would like to direct you to a very wise and ancient yogi quote: “Shit happens.” What was I going to do? Leave? It was the only class I could take that day, and further more I had just come from Crossfit where I had done 25 deadlifts, 50 burpees and hung upside down on a rings. Maybe a 60 minute class with a 30 minute relaxation is just what I needed. So I smiled brightly and walked into class. It was a good class it was hot I worked my ass off I have no regrets. At the end I stayed for the relaxation session.
When people I tell people I do yoga they often ask if I meditate too. Basically, no. Yoga is my meditation. I don’t do the traditional sit on a pillow or lie on the floor deep breathing thing simply because I go so “deep” into meditation one might mistake it as sleep. Probably because I’m snoring. I have been told by my boyfriend that when I’m asleep on my back I snore. He’s probably lying. I mean, I’ve never heard it. I have done Nina’s class with the relaxation after once before and by the halfway point I fell asleep. I didn’t ask if I snored after, I was too embarrassed. Today in class as we settle into our relaxed states she says to the class, “Don’t be surprised if you hear weird things like snoring sometimes that happens.” Yep, that confirms it. The last time I was snoring. During the whole 30 minutes I do my best to focus on relaxing but not snoring, it was an exercise in “mindfulness” or as I call it, staying awake.
Today, woke up and went to a friends house to pick up there tent and sleeping bag. Tom and I are running another Tough Mudder this weekend and we’re short a couple of camping necessities. Oh, did I mention I ran a Tough Mudder? Did I mention I’m running another one? No big deal guys, I’m only a super hero. After a quick catch up I dashed across town to get to the 12pm class. I walked in right as it was starting and missed the first set of breathing. (Oops) Ana was teaching, again I have no clue how old she is. She is tall, lean, and muscular. She has what I’ve come to recognize as a Bikram Body. There’s a kind of body that either suits Bikram Yoga or Bikram Yoga creates, I’m not sure which came first but she has it and I’m jealous. I also have a Bikram Body. A body of someone who does Bikram Yoga, but also drinks like a construction worker and can eat a rack of ribs and still have room for more ribs. I’m pretty proud of this body. It’s taken a lot of work to get and maintain.
Once we get into Half-Moon Pose we are off! Ana is not allowing a moment of rest between the postures it is just go, go go. The pace and intensity is making me dizzy. I love it. Finally we get to Separate-Leg Stretching Pose and Ana announces there will only be one set of this one. My head whips around to her. What? Why?
“It’s the 60 minute class.” she responds to my confused look.
Shit! Fuck! Really!? Again!? GAAAH! But what am I going to do now? Leave? Comeback later? So again I work hard for the 60 minutes. There’s no relaxation exercise after this class so I use my extra time to practice head stands and back-bends.
I committed myself to doing 30 days of Bikram Yoga and as Nina said yesterday, I’m still doing all the postures. I’d like to say that I’m so hardcore that I stuck around and took the 4:30 class to make up for it. But I didn’t because I have shit to do today and Yoga is supposed to enhance a person’s life not become it. I’ll be sure to check the schedule closer in the coming days. If you’re reading this and you disagree you think the past two days shouldn’t count toward my goal you can; how do the great Gurus say it? Oh yes, “Fuck off.” I’m still killing myself in class. I’m not sitting out postures and I’m always locking my knee. Once’I learn how to read a schedule I’ll have this yoga thing down pat.