Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Phase 1: Fizzical Phitness

I've been going to the gym since January-ish, and I have seen SOME results, but not that much. I think my body has gotten used the the usual elliptical, stairmaster, bike, occasional weight-lifting routine. Or it could be the fact that my average baked good consumption per week is well over the recommended per month. Regardless, I have decided to shock the hell out of my body. Not in the Death Row way, but in the holistic healing way.

Today was my first day of Bikram Yoga. I walked in as The Decemberists' "The Mariner's Revenge Song" played faintly at the front desk and I knew I was in my kind of place. For those of you who don't know (and up until last week I was one of you), Bikram Yoga is a set of 26 postures, each repeated twice, over a 90 minute class period. You start off with standing postures, then you work your way to the ground. All of the postures are in order the way that some guy named Bikram decided was best. You with me? So, you're in a room for 90 minutes doing stretches and holding poses such as "The Eagle" and "The Full Locust." Sounds pretty normal.

Except the fact that the room temperature is purposely set to a minimum of 105 degrees. There's the rub. Literally. Everyone drips with sweat, so embarassment and self-consciousness goes out the window - which I like. At times, when the instructor (a really nice young woman probably just a little older than myself), went around the room and gave people pointers and compliments, I felt like I was in elementary school. If I felt I was doing a pose particularly well I would push myself as hard as possible and glance at the teacher, hoping she noticed. I got a "Beautiful, Andrea!" and felt pretty fulfilled. It reminded me of when I would shush the kids at my "table" in 4th grade, folding my hands on my desk so tensely that I probably looked constipated, wishing so hard for the teacher to let us line up in our loafers first.

I went to the studio at 6:45 in the morning and thought I would be the only average person in a room full of champs. To my happy surprise, I was wrong. Someone else almost fainted and I didn't! I know this is a terrible outlook, but it's the simple things that make me rejoice. Not to say I wasn't dizzy a few times, or that I didn't almost collapse face down into my sweaty towels during the "Standing Bow" and "Toe Stand" poses.

...Okay, fine, so I fell once. But at least I didn't fart. That would have been unfortunate because I was next to a shaggy Robert Downey, Jr. lookalike.

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