Back to Bikram

I went back to Bikram Yoga East Harlem today for the first time in a long time. It was strange and comforting. I felt guilt and excitement. It was interesting to see what I had forgotten and what stays in my head no matter what.

It all started off well – I went deeper in to Hands to Feet pose than I ever have before. Maybe that flexibility challenge I did on Instagram for February really did help. I was super excited and then…Standing Head to Knee pose isn’t easy on a good day. I felt a little dizzy, a little nauseous. I tried to tell myself that it was because I hadn’t drunk enough water yesterday or didn’t have enough to eat at dinner. Both of which are true. But the reality is that I have been away from Bikram for a long time and no matter what the yoga snobs say, Bikram isn’t easy. I won’t bore you but I sat down three more times during the standing series. I talked my way through Tree and Toe Stand reminding myself that soon I would be on the floor.

My arms are tired and pulling my skinny jeans on after class wasn’t easy. I forgot my proper alignment in Wind Removing pose and flopped in to Camel Pose (one of my favorites) rather than slowly lowering down in to it. The only thing that made me feel a little better was the fact that whenever I sat down, there was always at least one other person sitting down with me. While the postures themselves are pretty straightforward, the 104° temperature and 40% humidity kicked my butt. My time away from my practice was felt most in that way.

Mentally, I was worried that I would be so racked with guilt that I wouldn’t be able to make it through the class. Luckily, the teacher I love goes off script just enough that I don’t feel like I am a drone listening to the diatribe of a sexist racist. And I really had to concentrate to get in to the postures – more than when my practice is consistent.

Anyway – I plan to go back tomorrow and finish up my 20 remaining classes and see what happens from there.



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