The website said I should wear a top (sleeveless) and very short shorts, Hahh. Sleeveless. Very short. Do you guys think that I can’t stand a bit of heat? I love summer, even during the most unbearable heatwave I cross to the sunny side of the street to enjoy the light. An hour in 36 C is simply nothing. I could even wear a tracksuit to show those soft people that this is really nothing for me. I ended up packing a short sleeved T-shirt and cotton capris. Cotton is a good idea if you are going to sweat. And they promised a lot of sweat at this bikram yoga class. 38 asanas (poses) and some unearthly state of mind. Getting rid of toxins etc. So I went. After Spinning I had thought I knew everything about sweating, endurance and indoor heat. Hell, I was wrong.
The place was really nice, cosy. A mix of incense smoke and a musky, damp smell lingering in the air. Changing rooms are packed, you need to get changed right where you got a spot to be standing. Yoga mats are provided for the first class, but I was lucky enough to have my own. How professional. In the room people were lying down on their towel-covered mats, eyes closed, meditative atmosphere. Silence. I started to feel that it was going to be slightly warmer than I had expected. Sitting down, I placed my bottle of water next to my mat.
The instructor started the class asking about newbies. I put my hand up. Her advice was to try to stay for the entire 90 (!!!!!) minutes. Why would I have to get out of the room? I asked myself. I got the answer about 20 minutes later. Yoga itself wasn’t new for me. I had been doing it before, quite regularly. In the first quarter an hour I was just paying attention to the instructions as the teacher didn’t practice with us, she was watching and correcting the poses. Then suddenly I was hit by the heat. It was overwhelming, unbearable. I was suffocating and praying for a gasp of fresh air. I managed to keep going, but had to gulp down water every five minutes ( otherwise there are water-breaks, but I had to cheat to survive). The heatwaves kept coming back, every one is worse than the previous. It can’t be under 40 C- I thought. Must be at least 60. Harder than the last round in the sauna ever.
Sweat was dripping down from my forehead, nose, arms, legs, everywhere. Halfway through the class I tore off my T-shirt and felt much better in my sports bra. After about 60 minutes I was confident that I was going to make it. I did, but once almost slipped on my sweat covered mattress.
It was indeed an incredible experience. My bottle of water was gone halfway through the asanas and I drank another 3 bottles later that day.
My head -never before- was sunset-red on the way home. Thank God, it’s winter- I felt relieved leaving the building. I felt dizzy from the dehydration. I should have listened to the advice on the website and drank plenty of water before.
But I made it. And went back in two days. It was much easier than. More focused and smiling. You just have to get through your first class in tropical heat 🙂