Monday, June 16, 2008

To Yoga or Not To Yoga???That is My Question!


I took the plunge last January and stepped into 2 classes of Bikram Yoga.
My boss gave me 2 free passes for 2 people for 2 days. I have never done yoga before, and thought it would be something to at least 'try'. My oldest daughter was visiting, so she became the other person for the free pass.
Bikram yoga is HOT yoga! No, no, no, not in the sense that something is 'hot' as in hip, cool, gorgeous... no it's FRICKEN HOT!

Bikram Yoga, also known as Hot Yoga, is a style of yoga developed by Bikram Choudhury and a Los Angeles, California based company[1]. Bikram Yoga is ideally practiced in a room heated to 105°F (40.5°C) with a humidity of 40%. Classes are guided by specific dialogue including 26 postures and two breathing exercises. Classes last approximately 90-minutes. People of all levels, ages and body types practice and start together as this is a beginning yoga class.
Who in their right mind goes to a small room where the heat is 40.5? Don't people die in that temperature? Well, we head out anyway. I'm wearing a coat as it is winter here and they take us into the room to let us lay down our yoga mats, she suggest that we, as beginners should stay near the door, as it is a little cooler. I just about die! Instantly I can't breathe and am sweating like crazy, I am however still wearing my winter coat.
They tell you as a 'first timer' to try to just STAY IN THE ROOM. Even when you can't do some of the poses, JUST STAY IN THE ROOM! This evokes thoughts of me running to door, begging and pleading to leave and those in charge standing as drill Sargent's yelling out loud resounding "NOs"!
We go in and find our mats and lay down. The room is soooo hot! The heat is supposed to be a good thing for helping your muscles warm up, stretch and it helps to prevent injury. We are to keep silent in the room as well. I'm questioning how this could be for beginners. Like come on, I might need to moan and groan and whee.
We begin.
They start with the beginning breathing exercises, I'm embarrassed to say were quite difficult! The breathing I could do, but keeping my arms high and trying to make my elbows touch, was rather difficult due to the large amount of boobage that I carry.
We carry on and do more of the poses. Each one was rather difficult, you want me to do what? and grab what? which way should my hand go? and then the pose would be over before I would even be close to catching on. I was rather discouraged.
There were a few I could do, not to the full extent, again this brought discouragement. Don't get me wrong, I wasn't trying to be able to stand on one leg with my other leg wrapped around my head 2 times, I just wanted to at least get half way around. (no poses have you wrap your leg around your head, I say that for exaggeration, and some poses do kinda feel that way)
Towards the end we are in savasana (which is to rest) and I look over at my daughter who is silently screaming what the F did you get me into. At the end I wasn't even able to get up to my knees with out feeling dizzy and nauseous. And to think, I had another free day of this..... woo hoo akkkk!
They like you to wait 5 days before coming back.
I waited about 7, then ask my daughter to go back with me, she didn't want to... etc etc... I was VERY discouraged about going, and I really didn't want to go alone I just wanted to back out. Too often in my life, when the going gets hard, I quit. So with determination and a few tips from my boss about modifying the poses I venture out on my own.
I was shocked at how different it was for me, I went in attempting to do the pose to the best of MY ability, and there were points were I could stretch farther than I did last week. I was very proud of myself. I still found at the end that I couldn't get up on my knees with out feeling weird and woozy, so I laid those ones out, (savasana)
I left with amazing energy which is unheard of for me. When I exercise It takes so much out of me that I have to almost check out for the whole day. This was amazing and I was hooked for the moment.
A couple weeks later I attend a free class. This one wasn't so good as my gall bladder started to act up. It is common if you have ailments in your body, bikram yoga will help your body bring healing. My tummy nor I was none to fond of the healing process.
The spring comes and my boss decides to give me the gift of yoga! she also gave me this book. Which would help understand some of the modifications that are necessary to help. I smile nicely and cringe inside thinking how am I going to be able to do this?
Just before this time, I had decide to book myself to have the dreaded gall bladder surgery.
I do not recover well from surgery, but with the weight loss success I have been having and walking 2 km 3 times a week, maybe the yoga would help me to continue to lose and would help post op. in the healing process.
Those that are yoga fans, whole heartedly agree that this is the case. So I begin again trying to pay attention to the poses that might be aggravating my gall bladder, attempting to take it easier on myself, and counting down how many more classes I have to go to.
Day 2 completed only 17 more to go!
I don't wear the appropriate clothing for yoga, actually I WEAR clothing, many of the people there wear as little as possible. Bathing suits and teeny tiny 2 piece yoga costumes. The tops are a bit of fabric to cover the private parts and then string to hold them on, and then itty bitty shorts for the bottoms. In my world some clothing is great as it holds in the bulgy parts and absorbs a lot of the sweat, especially when you need to grab your leg, it's not all slippery.
I do however feel out of place in my lack of 'yoga' costume. So as I'm out shopping at a consignment store with with daughter number 2, I find a pair of XL yoga pants. (I say XL as the XXL were too big YAY!) They were brand new (tags still on) regular price was $89.00 store price $29.99! Then I find a sports bra (tags still on) from the same company around the same price and down to $19.00. A new sports bra was really needed as my regular wired bras keep me high chested and off the floor when I am laying on my tummy. They want you to lay flat on the floor, and this just doesn't happen as with large amounts of boobage, you become a bit of a lopsided teeter-tauter.
Well, I couldn't very well pass up on such a great deal, and thought I will look more the part of a yogagoer! All I need was my own mat!
I've been renting a mat for $2.00 each time I go. Over the course of my time I would have given the company $40.00 in mat rental. I thought I would keep my eyes open for a good deal, especially since I might do more in the future.
I started reading the book a few days ago and it said that if I went every day it would HELP me even more. I'm thinking my pass will be over quicker!
This past Sunday I had some free time in the afternoon, so I packed my bag with my new REAL yoga pants and sports bra, still haven't found the right yoga top for me and nor should I just go in the bra, as I think some people do.
After Church and lunch I had to talk myself into going to the studio. It's easy to talk myself out of going. "oh you just ate sushi, you'll feel sick", "oh you are too tired", "you shouldn't go".
Once I'm there I see they have yoga mats on sale, and so I buy my very own yoga mat. I'm really looking the part.
I go to the change room to change, something I don't normally do(due to the FREEness of the women, but that is for another story), I typically come dressed. Down I head to change, I'm really moving into a professional yogagoer!
I venture into the room, this Sunday class isn't too full. I feel great in my new yoga clothes on my new yoga mat and I decide that since this is session 3 for me, I thought I could try to move a little closer into the room, away from the door.
We begin!
Breathing exercises, and I am now realizing that my elbows CAN touch at the end of the cycle! this is good! still not the complete form, but hey! they are touching! And I can do more than I had done before letting my arms drop.
I continue and work as hard as I can at the poses, but by the time we hit the floor I think I'm going to die from the heat, so I move myself back to my corner by the door where it was radically different in temp for me.
I made it though session 3, and plan to try to hit the studio twice a week (I will be able to get through this membership quicker!!)

The verdict is still out on whether or not yoga will help me....
but at least I will look good as I decide

Diva M

2 comments:

GraceeJ said...

You are my hero! I did yoga once and then I died. It was a miracle that I came back to life.

Diva M said...

I honestly can't say that I am alive.... yet... but I keep going... WHAT'S UP WITH THAT?