This time of year everyone flocks to the gym. People pick up where they left off 20 pounds ago or they try something new like aerial yoga, bootie boot camp or another nouveau fitness rage. I’m a yoga instructor and see the masses filing in. Between my personal workout and teaching, I don’t usually have time for anything new. I visit my old instructors in the city now and again and that seems to keep me fresh.
Now that “hot yoga” has come to Maryland’s Eastern Shore, everyone is all over it, saying, “Oh, it’s cured my back pain,” or “Oh, I’m finally losing weight with Bikram” and “Oh, how it helps my depression.” I have no desire to pay the $13,000 to attend one of founder Bikram Choudhury’s twice-yearly trainings so that I can share with others the combination of heat and activity that leads people to weep, vomit and pass out. Plus, I’ve heard that Bikram is kind of a machismo dickhead. I attended a hot yoga class in D.C years ago before anyone knew what Bikram was.
This is how it went down:
10:50 a.m. Arrive to register for class. Very excited for a good workout and detox.
10:55 Enter room filled with body odor mixed with smell of something that might have been left in my refrigerator bin too long even though food is not allowed in class.
10:56 Unroll my mat and sit cross-legged.
10:57 Lucky me. Buff guy unrolls his mat next to me. I think we will probably date in my next life.
10:59 Instructor comes in; she’s an Asian woman who looks like a former Olympic gymnast.
11:00 Class starts. Instructor tells us we are going to “warm up.” It’s 100 degrees in the room. Is she a comedian?
11:10 We’re now into the series of poses. The instructor stresses the importance of proper breathing. My past yoga history has taught me all about breathing, which would come in handy if there was actually any oxygen in the room.
11:20 Seriously may die of heat.
11:35 I take a break and gulp down half my water. Overweight woman in front of me has not taken a sip. Making me look bad.
11:45 We are doing downward facing dog. The palms of my hands and the soles of my feet are so sweaty that I’m sliding downward in opposite directions. Sweat is also dripping into my eyes and I can’t see too well. I look over at buff guy. He is in perfect form and his eyes are directed forward. He’s probably playing hard to get.
11:50 Feels like 130 degrees and 100 percent humidity in room. The only reason I don’t pass out is fluid coming out of all bodily orifices and sensation keeps me conscious. I couldn’t care less about buff guy. I hate him. I hope I never see him again.
11:56 Instructor says we will start relaxation. I silently express gratitude and find new meaning in the act of respiration.
12:00 Class is over. I roll onto my side and try to stand upright. Torture session successful. I resolve to never take hot yoga again. Guess that’s one resolution I’ve kept this New Year. Some are just easier than others.