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May 28
♪♫ ♥ Diva ♥ ♪♫♥
Mom, partner, listener, healer of wounds large and small, dog-petter, writer, pie baker, star shooter, wine appreciator, hungry muse, part-time pirate and pole dancer.


JULY 26, 2011 11:16AM

Looking like a Japanese ham sandwich

Rate: 14 Flag

Half Moon Pose 

“Look in the mirror, lift your chest, find your ribs!”

Find my ribs? I haven’t seen my ribs since middle school. I am pretty sure I am dying. I am pretty sure I lost some common sense somewhere. Why? Because I am voluntarily in a room heated to 105 degrees (40% humidity) doing Bikram yoga. None of the other participants look as though they are dying but sweat pours off of everyone freely.

“Lock your knees! Lock your knees! Lock. Your. Knees!”

Standing Separate Leg Stretching Pose Triangle Pose  Tree Pose Toe Stand

I, too, am dripping with sweat. I hate sweating. I don’t know if my knees are supposed to lock on their own or if I was supposed to get a lock for them at the front desk. I hate the heat. Yet here I am paying for this. I try twisting myself into a pretzel position without much success. I find I have lousy balance as I tip over, right myself, tip over again. I am frustrated yet something about this appeals to me: I feel surprisingly challenged.

“From the side, you look like a Japanese ham sandwich! No gaps between your body, your head to your knees, your arms on your sides. No gaps!”

What the hell is a Japanese ham sandwich? Do the Japanese eat ham? When I first saw that there are only 90 minute classes offered at Bikram studios, I gulped. Ninety minutes in heat? I enrolled last year in a 30 day yoga challenge with disastrous results. It took me 15 months and Xanax to return to yoga. I had heard of hot yoga (also called sweaty yoga for very obvious reasons) and thought trying that instead of my previous type might help me transition back into a practice. My first try was a languid session of sweating. The main challenge in that studio seemed to be to fight boredom.

“Savassana! Find your stillness. Do not blink!”

My first Bikram class stirred a challenge: two sets of 26 poses done the same way each and every class. Huh, I thought, I could see my progress in each class since I’d be doing the same thing each time. Yet, entering into my first class I can’t help but notice two things: 1) most of these people are in great shape, and 2) they wear very little clothing. I briefly wonder if I missed something, I know there is nude yoga, but little clothing yoga? Ahh, the heat. We’re going to sweat.

“Lift your leg! Higher! Lifffft, lifffft, release!”

Bow Pose 

I huff and puff in my corner (where else would I go with all these mirrors?). I pull and stretch and try not to look at my watch. How much longer does this go on? I perform wind-removing pose and sure enough, some around me do release wind! It’s hard not to giggle like a schoolgirl. Grateful to be on the floor and no longer standing, I twist and bend through a series of animal poses. I’m a tortoise, a rabbit, a camel. Then I hear the magic words, last series! Last! Finished, we are invited to return to savassana, or corpse pose. Corpse is correct. I am amazed to find I am still alive.

“Bikram called his classes ‘torture chambers’, saying you did 90 minutes of hard work for this: Lay down, let the floor hold you and relax.”

I sink into the floor, still panting, still sweating. And a little voice says to me, You go, girl, that was some tough shit!


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This is all new to me Psych. I have never heard of this particular brand of yoga.
But please continue and I hope you get the forms down pat....
Unfortunately the intelligent pig is commonly referred to as bacon grub.
Muslims and Orthodox jews agree on one thing. The eschew pig meat.
It's smuggled into Israel just like the guns we send to kill other human beings.
There are herding pigs.
Mushroom digger pigs.
Then - bacon lards pigs.
We westerners are sick.
We eat hormones pigs.
Pig is a sentient beings.
Agriculture is a big hog.
Ag-Machine electrocute.
Slaughter houses kill pig.
Human pig is greedy hog.
I need to do Yoga `Asap.
I get potbelly fat tummy.
I best flee before deleted.
I am cranky as a boar hog.
Kerry? What is happening?
You at Yoga AA Yoga meet?
You best stop playing nasty?
If you no delete? Who do it?
It not Eric Holder. Ham hock?
Mission, I had heard of hot yoga but the heat never appealed to me (until it did!). I keep meeting people in class who tell me how it cured/helped their back problems, arthritis, etc. I'm only 5 weeks in so I'm not cured of anything yet but will keep you updated.
It's great to see you back! I love yoga...but nice, calming yoga, done in my house with a DVD featuring the woman I've dubbed my "yoga guru," J.J. Gormley. "Let yourself stretch only as far as you want to go today..." Bikram yoga is hardcore! I respect and bow to you.
Sounds suspiciously like my childhood ballet classes. Mirrors everywhere. Are you wearing a tutu?
And I forgot dear: It is GREAT ti see ya again in these parts of the cyber world. I have certainly missed ya!!
Let me know if this works. I will try it for my resident wolf, evil bastard it is....
Great to see you Drema, but which one is the pic of the ham sandwich?
Kudos to you for signing up for the torture chamber!
So so glad to see you, friend! I'm your twin yoga devotee but nix the heated room for me - makes me cranky and I sweat plenty without it. Keep stretching *and* writing. XO
I have heard about Bikram, but it sounds painful and terrifying to me. I am awash with admiration. Please don't melt...then we'll have to wait even longer before you write again. ;-)
First let me say how glad I am to see you. Then I want to say, HOT YOGA??? WHY????? Oy. It's not for me. I need kinder and gentler *everything* and that includes yoga. My yoga teacher lets us sit and chant...:) ~r
"A Japanese ham sandwich???" I must find a picture of one!
We are happy to find you are still alive too! You go girl. Sweating is so good for you, mypsyche. You will be a yogini before you know it. ;) I set my intention before each class -- and it is always the same: don't think about the time, stay in the present. It helps.

And ... ah, the reward of Savassana -- my favourite pose!
Good to see you back. I remember reading about your experiences with Yoga. Funnily enough, I am convinced that Bikram Yoga is the answer to my problems. I went as far as to see if there are any studios in my neighborhood. There are and so I no longer have that excuse.
I hate heat and sweating too, and especially the thought of being sweaty around strangers, when not in perfect shape. This was interesting and inspiring. Please, keep writing about it.
Two things appealed to me: "Find your stillness" and position # 23 (sort of like a three-year-old: "If I can't see them, they can't see me...").

Oh, wait - #13 looks cool, too!

Mostly, however, I liked your writing here - had me stifling laughs at my desk. Sooo funny, you are! (And you go girl, indeed!)
You are a much better woman than me. I eschew all forms of sweating, being in the heat, and exercise. And for some reason, it makes me really... no, I mean, REALLY... nervous when I read about someone I know doing all things healthy. I think it's the dread of oncoming guilt. Dammit. Don't mind me. I'm just having an argument with myself.
You go, girl!! Aaaannnddd...... SO glad to see you back here!
So good to see you. Just reading about this is enough for me. I'm sweating already.
Let the floor hold you indeed. :)
Art-- so much to think about as usual!

Alysa--gritting ones teeth for 90 minutes is not as hard as one might think... Okay, that's a lie, but I like seeing my progress so I go back.

Miguela--I would wear a tutu if it kept me cool!!
Mission--thanks for the welcome back! There's no place like (maddenly slow) OS!

Caroline Marie-- the ham sandwich is one where you are bent over like a sheet of paper, your stomach on your thighs, your head on your calves, your elbows locked to your calves. Sounds fun, huh?

Candace-- this time around, I'm determined to not break anything! I figure if I'm sweaty, I'll be limp too and won't crash so hard. Good to be back!
Ann--I'm hoping to melt only select parts of me...

Joan--thanks for the support. Trust me, I am the last person anyone expected to be doing this!

Scarlett-- ah, a yogini...I like the sound of that! So far, my intention is 'please let me live'. I think it will change soon!
Fernsy-- if you think it might help, go! My partner who has had a knee replacement and has arthritis and hates yoga is loving this. And, feels better!

OM--(had to amuse myself) Glad you liked it and laughed. #23 is where I curse into my mat!
Kim--don't get guilty just yet, it's not like I've given up wine! And am glad to be back, thanks!

Trilogy--I'll keep sweating for you, but if you come to Austin, I may drag you to a class! 
Sweat I HATE to sweat I can not even imagine sitting in a class where I sat and sweat, much less participated. YOU rock!!! Glad your back :)
I cannot jump on hot (temperature hot) yoga. I have a resting heart rate (birdlike) that needs fans and ice and hot young men fanning the ice. Really I just need air conditioning. In a super hot room I almost always feel faint and icky. I went into a sauna once about twenty years ago and after fifteen minutes they offered to call an ambulance. I can't imagine doing actual exercise in that environment. But I guess the idea has legs -- I mean saunas, sweat lodges and all that. Some people can deal, so it's intriguing to read about people who benefit from this type of heat. I'm glad you're feeling it and getting some relief! Even as humans we're all different birds, aren't we?
echoing your sentiments ; "You go, girl!"
This straight up Had me rolling! You are hilarious and this piece left me wanting way more.

I didn't know if my knees locked on their own or if I was supposed to stop and pick you funny!

I did a yoga bootcamp once. Aside from the oxymoron, it was an amazingly sweaty experience and hard hard.

You Rawk!