Monday, 20 February 2012

Channelling my inner Yogi...

Today is Monday, which means only one thing: time to try Bikram Yoga (new week, new start and all that.)
I have been wanting to try Bikram for some time now, but have been putting it off, under the impression that it would be truly, truly hideous.
For those of you who are not familiar with the trend that is 'Hot' or 'Bikram' Yoga, it is in essence the practice of Yoga in an unbearably hot room, the point of which being (as far as I'm aware) to sweat as much as is humanly possible in order to burn as many calories as you can.*
Today I decided it was time for me to find out for myself what the fuss is about. Armed with a towel, some tiny shorts, a t-shirt and my (not so tiny) sports bra, I made the journey to Kentish Town 'Bikram North.'
I was required to take off my shoes before entering.
I did.
The clientèle were pleasantly surprising. In my ignorance, I had expected (no offence) the place to be full of tree hugging weirdos. While I won't deny there were a couple of the aforementioned, the majority of attendees were pretty much 'normal.' There were young women, old women, fat women, thin women, women wearing bikinis, young men, old men, fat men, thin men  and even a middle aged man wearing a bikini.
Like I said, there were a couple of weird ones...
The class itself, whilst not entirely un-hideous, was a lot better than expected. I did sweat, a LOT, but because it was so hot I felt absolutely no guilt whatsoever about taking frequent breaks to sit on the floor. Which I did. Frequently. So, to my surprise, did quite a few of the skinny tree hugging types who I'd expected to be bendier than a bendy pencil. Fraudsters.
One of the main reasons I decided to try Yoga was because of its stationary, non boob bounce inducing nature. True, this was quite successful. There was less jiggling up and down than on your average bus journey. There were however a couple of  'just lie down on your front and put your arms underneath your body' poses that proved logistically impossible.
Which was a shame, as they looked quite relaxing.
For me, other negatives included the smell (pretty gross) and several splatterings-with-sweat from nearby middle-aged male Yogis. I think some may have even been from the man in the bikini. I'm not sure it's the most hygienic of sports.
I also could have done with a bit more help from the instructor, as most of the time I had literally no idea what I was doing and far from being at peace, spent much of the lesson in a state of 'am I doing my body more harm than good in this god-awful weird position?' anxiety.
On the whole though, I'm startled to admit that I quite enjoyed the experience - particularly the fairy lights and the sweet chai tea they served afterwards. And my chest certainly felt a lot less sore than after the bouncy delights of a jog.
Verdict: Bikram yoga is hideously hot and slightly gross but as long as you sit down when you need a break and drink lots of water, I think it is a good option for a BBB (big boobed babe.**)
I like to think I will start going regularly.
I probably won't.


*Disclaimer - I am NOT an expert and am sure this is in fact not the point. I am merely attempting to be witty and acerbic.
**To refer to oneself as a 'babe:' arrogant? Discuss.

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