Day 28

16 Feb

Due to the closure of our studio, L and I decided to take a class up near my work (NW DC).  I had been there twice before and knew what to expect, but I think L had a bit of a culture shock upon her arrival.  The studio is bare bones.  It is not as serene or as nice-smelling as our normal studio.  The teachers aren’t all hopped up on life and the students don’t wear lululemon.  It is just a hot smelly room with a bunch of strangers and plug in humidifiers.  No anti-microbial flooring or UV filtered air. Anyway, the list goes on.

My co-worker (K) who had done bikram twice before  headed over with me to meet L who was having a mild heart attack over the state of affairs at the studio.  We set our stuff down in the room as K chose not to stand near us and instead focused on channeling his inner zen on the other side of the room.  The heat in the room was different than the heat we are used to, and it felt more scorching and dry than it normally does. All in all, I had a really strong class and it was nice to have a change of scenery to break the monotony, albeit in a much less plush setting. But I guess sweaters can’t be choosers.  Our instructor was from my hometown area and even made a comment about the Phillies in the beginning of class so I automatically liked her.  She was pretty standard as a teacher, no frills or puns or jokes, but I was ok with that.

One pose that has really been challenging me lately is the half moon pose.  It is the first pose during class (after pranayama breathing) and involves several mini-postures (pictured below):

Each of these poses within the half-moon series requires immense amounts of concentration and physical strength. A lot a mind-body battling goes on throughout this series, specifically in the backbend, and my success in these few postures often predicts my success and ability to control my body throughout the rest of the class.  I will continue to work on the posture and have realized that the depth in each pose doesn’t matter nearly as much as form. L and I were definitely two of the stronger students  (at least on our side of the  room) which was a new experience.  I am slowly gaining confidence in my practice and although I know I’m not good by any means, I feel less inhibited to push myself and enjoy challenging my body and mind in class. At the end of class I felt satisfied and was disappointed to remember that we wouldn’t get any cool towels soaked in essential oils at the end of class. Instead we got a half-hearted goodbye from the instructor and left class not nearly as refreshed as usual.

Some things that I have been noticing out of class include 1) My hair-it is growing out like crazy! Have no scientific explanation for this but I am not complaining, but my supply of shampoo and conditioner quickly dwindle because of the amount of showers I’m taking. 2) Laundry- I do a load of laundry every night and still I can smell bikram lingering. Ew. 3) Skin- the bags under my eyes that had been persistent for weeks 1-3 are finally starting to go away. May have something to do with the better sleep I’m getting or could be due to my body finally adjusting to working out every day (something I haven’t done since sophomore year of college so >5 years). Not sure I’ve achieved the glow that people say that they get from bikram but I am hopefully working towards it 🙂
Lessons learned: Judge bikram studios by their cover, no frills just isn’t my style.

Goals: Focus on form in half-moon series during class 28


Because our studio was closed for renovations, C and I were forced to attend a different studio.  There’s a bikram studio about 6 blocks from my office, but I decided to travel a little farther and go to class with C and her coworker at a studio near their office.  And it was…interesting?.  I used to live in a somewhat sketchy part of the city, but I’ve been in the ‘burbs for 3 years now and I’ve gotten used to my cushy life style.  Our usual studio is so pretty: decorated with calming colors, has an antimicrobial floor, uv lights that filter the air, a cute Buddha sitting with hippie incense, instructors/staff that are always happy and welcoming and a huge studio with mirrors on 3 sides and a high ceiling.

But not with this other studio.  I’m a germaphobe and I don’t try to hide it.  I wash my hands countless time a day, carry around hand sanitizer, and have to make an actual effort not to freak out on the germy metro (someone actually sneezed on me yesterday…who does that??!!).  So needless to say, I wasn’t too happy with this other studio.  It was in an older building, with low drop ceilings, old looking carpet, no frills, and no discernible effort to control germs.  The actual yoga room smelled like feet and I spent 90 minutes thinking about what germs were attacking my immune system.  Luckily though, I’ve taken enough bikram now that my practice was on “auto-pilot” and my irrational germ panic didn’t affect my performance during class.

The actual class was really good and I was happy to finally have a strong class again.  The instructor wasn’t quite as high energy as I’m used to, but was very perceptive and corrected students as needed.  She even learned my name which was impressive.  And the other students seemed a little bit more low key than our normal studio.  AND  the drop-in classes are cheaper and even include a free second class.

All in all, I think it was a good experience for us to see a different studio.  It made me appreciate our studio more, but also illustrated how uniform the actual bikram yoga practice is- take it in a mansion, apartment, shack or house….it’ll be the same!

Lesson learned: I think I’m a yuppie and that makes me a little sad 😦

Goal: Clean my yoga mat.  For being such a germaphobe, I’m a little grossed out that I haven’t cleaned it in months…



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