I got started on a yoga kick with the Wii. The Wii Fit Program eases you into yoga in the comfort and privacy of your own living room so that no one is there to see you fall off the Wii Fit Board attempting to do the Tree or the Downward Facing Dog for the first time. Yoga (once you get past the basics) gives you flexibility and range of motion, defines your muscles and if you don't try and speed through it (as I'm known to do) can calm you down and center you.
Armed with my fourteen months of Wii yoga, I decided to drop in on a class at a small club up the street. I walked in all smiles and asked when the next beginners' class was. The perky and pony-tailed woman behind the counter smiled and pointed, "They are starting a Bikram class in five minutes in Studio A." I paid my little money, tucked my purple yoga mat and water under my arm and strode over to kick this classes' ass. Never occured to me to ask what or who Bikram was.
I walked in the room and noticed it was quite warm. [<~~I'll take "understatement" for $1000, Alex] As I unfurled my mat and set down my water bottle, the woman closest to me pointed at the bottle and laughed, "That's perfect for this class." My eco-conscious H2O carrier (don't judge me, that's how the package read) looks like this:
|Sorry for the blur. Blackberry pic at midnight. |
You get the point.
I smiled but still didn't really get it. It wasn't until the instructor came in and started talking that I knew I was in trouble. She bounced in a teeny-tiny top and a whisper thin short-shorts. I should have known something was up right then.
"Welcome newbies, how many of you have done Bikram yoga before?" A few people put up their hands. She smiled and nodded, "Bikram yoga is a specialized version of Hot yoga which is done in rooms ranging from 95 to 105 degrees. There are 26 yoga poses involved. The body gets very warm and allows increased flexibility and release of toxins. You will LOVE it! Let's go!"
95°? Did she just say 95° - 105°? Aw hell no! People who know me (very) well know that I always say... there's only a few good reasons to really work up a sweat. Hot yoga ain't one of them. But I had paid my money and didn't want to appear wimpy (though I really am) so I stayed. We started with some basic standing postures, okay - these I could nail. They were holding poses a little longer than the Wii program but so far, so good. Then she moved into a toe touch pose and a easy balance pose, still good. Then to the Eagle pose where you squat and balance on your tip toes?
Okay, I may have said this somewhere else on this blog: I'm a top heavy chick with no butt and small ankles - gravity defying activites are not my friend. Skating? No ma'am. Snow skiing? No sir. Walking down stairs at more than a leisurely pace? Uh-uh, not gonna happen. Now if you require buoyancy - swimming, water-skiing, bouncing - I'm your girl. But the tippy-toe squat? With sweat already rolling? (Did I mention it was hell-like hot?) Not pretty but I managed it.
The next pose was called Standing Head to Knee:
Yeah so... hell no. The instructor called me out, "You're wobbling, steady your right leg and tighten your core muscles for balance." Uh - if my core muscles were tight, I wouldn't be here - okay? You remember the toy Weebles? They had the catchy commercial: "Weebles wobble but they don't fall down?" Here's how that worked out for me -
When they moved into the next poses, I was out of there. Back to my Wii, where the instructor gets a little snarky ("Come back every day so you can do better") but I don't sweat out all my cute in two minutes or fear blacking out in public. I don't do heat. Mr. Bikram can miss me with that. I will have to achieve my Zen state at seventy-six degrees or less.
For those of you getting your giggle on (yes, I see you); peep the pose chart for this class here. Now imagine holding each pose (twice) for over four minutes each in one hundred degrees. Uh-huh.
BougieLand - talk to me of your exercise successes (and misses). I have fallen in love with cardio-boxing, given the side-eye to Stripper Aerobics (a whole other post) and want to go back to Zumba. Has anybody tried P90X? Let's get some sharing going people. I know we have one personal trainer (Steve), a marathon runner (Amy Berry), a professional dancer (Joy) and a cyclist (David) - so we should get some excellent fitness tips. The floor is yours...