The last time I had gone to my Bikram studio, I had to quickly leave the room halfway into the 90-minute class to puke. There were many many classes before that one where I had felt like puking, but that was the one and only time that I actually did. It was months ago. Like, months and months ago. And I was scared to go back; scared to feel that bad in there again. Bikram does that to you, though. It tests every physical limitation you might have and makes you realize that your mind really is a very powerful thing; that those physical limitations you think you have are often more mental and emotional than you give credit to. (Although trying to will yourself to stop obsessing about the fucking fan that isn't moving above your head, but that you wish the teacher would turn on for even just one tiny gust of air; believing that unless you get that momentary bit of satisfaction blowing against your boiling hot body, you very well could possibly die right there on your mat...is NOT easy. And sometimes not even possible.
After overcoming that, however, everything else in the room becomes less complicated.)
I discovered Bikram yoga in December of 2009 and very quickly became hooked on this 90-minute extreme heat (40+ degrees celcius with humidity!) yoga class that provides a total body workout by moving through the same 26 postures and 2 breathing exercises every class.
And by sweating your ass off.
I think it's safe to say that, until you've tried Bikram, you will have never experienced sweat like this before. I don't care what kind of athlete you are, whether you live right on the friggin' equator, or how bad your hot flashes hit you (which Bikram helps regulate, by the way....), there is nothing like sweating in that hot torture chamber. It pours (POURS!) off me, almost from the minute I walk in there. Oftentimes, I will start to sweat while sitting in the lobby waiting to go in. The body just knows what is about to happen and begins to prepare to work for me before I've even begun.
Clearly, bikram requires a good consistent daily water intake for the extreme amount of water loss that occurs
and, for me, a very empty stomach.
Today, I surrendered to my mat and had, quite possibly, my best class ever.