Sunday, January 14, 2007

Hot stuff

Saturday morning, I went to Bikram Yoga for the first time. If you're not familiar with it, it's yoga done in a hot--VERY HOT--room. I've been practicing yoga on and off for many years so I was familiar with all of the poses. In Bikram, it appears that the poses are the same in each class. The series is not particularly challenging, though the advanced movements are tough, as with all yoga. But holy moly is that room HOT! I hung in there pretty well for a "first-timer" but it was a bit hard to hear the instructor. She paced in front of the class, but the room was long and narrow and she rarely made it down to my end. Her voice was echo-y due to the hard surfaces--one undecorated wall, one covered in mirrors and the sisal covered floor. I'm going back, though, because the introductory offer is a screamin' deal: one week (one class a day) for $20. The cheapskate in me cannot resist. Also, the studio is about a one minute walk from my front door.
Several other people in the class were also first-timers and a couple of young women, at least 10 years younger than me, sat for almost the whole class. Can't say I blame them. At times I felt sick to my stomach and had to sit down. I occasionally also saw spots. No way this can be healthy! These young women were having a talk about their sit-down with the instructor after class. She complimented them for managing to stay in the room for the full 90 minutes. At least one of them had had a heavy breakfast not long before class. It's recommended that you don't eat for at least two hours before class. The instructor said that it depends on how speedy your metabolism is. I hovered on the edge of the conversation waiting for a moment to ask where to put my dirty towel. The instructor asked a woman who was the most experienced person in our class what she ate. Then, the young woman who'd eaten the hearty breakfast turned to me and said, "What did you eat?"

I was a little startled by the question since I am also a beginner. But I did more of the poses than she did. In fact, there was only one pose I didn't do at all. Maybe I seemed like I knew what I was doing even though I spent plenty of time sitting. I answered, "I had two of those Rye Crisp crackers with a little bit of almond butter."

The more experienced student said, "Oh, that's perfect!"

I do know a little bit about eating before rigorous exercise due to my rowing experiences. Eating before our early practices was tricky. Some people would have nothing, but not I. I would either have toast and peanut butter or a banana. I had to have something. And lots of water during practice. That probably helped me make a good choice. Also, I ate around 8:30am and class was at 10. It was just about right. Next time, I'll try and eat a little earlier if possible.

Can I make it six more times this week? I wonder.

Update: I made it to the second class on Sunday morning. It was really hot! My legs were sweating. But I did all the poses and only saw spots once. I am very tired today, though.

Grateful for: endurance.

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