Adventure #20 – Bikram Yoga

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Websters Definition of Bikram Yoga
noun: Bikram yoga
1. a type of hatha yoga characterized by a set series of postures and breathing exercises, performed in a room heated to a very high temperature
Adventure Girls Definition of Bikram Yoga
verb: Bikram yoga (because what we did was most definitely an action and not a stinking lazy noun)
1. a type of hatha yoga that will literally will bring you to your knees while you are screaming for the sweet release of death.
     This adventure was brought to us courtesy of Maryhelen and Tracy.  We were all convinced we would be indoctrinated into their crossfit cult (JUST KIDDING about the cult part) that day and were pretty nervous we would be on crutches for Christmas.  When we met them at the National Spine Institute parking lot (good job throwing us off) they informed us we would be taking a hot yoga class.  The exhales that followed were hilarious!  YAY!  We would not be climbing ropes and flipping tires.  Little did we know that Bikram Yoga would be the most physically demanding adventure to date and we will forever call it the “Most Underestimated Adventure of ALL Time.”
     We arrived at Reston Yoga and one by one we paid our $20 and signed our release forms.  At this point I realized I was already hot  and sweaty.  I turned to one of the girls and said, “Even though we have not been locked in the classroom yet, I am very hot.  But, I can do this.  I can do anything for an hour, right?”  To which I was told, “the class is an hour and a half.”   We sat around waiting for class to begin in the lobby.  We were told by our seemingly sweet instructor that the goal is to “just stay in the room. That is it. Just stay in the room.” Ummm….okeedokee. We were told that the yoga room is a place of silence and not to talk to one another.  Looking back I am wondering why she didn’t add that we were not allowed to breathe either.  I would have NAILED that one.
     Some of you probably  know that I find it difficult to not talk for an hour and a half.  And to not laugh with my girls on an adventure would be an impossibility.  The SECOND we made our way to our yoga mats I failed at both.  My mat was positioned directly in front of the heating grate.  I looked at Maryhelen and mouthed, “What the &*!?” to which she laughed out loud.  We are already failing.  But, I can promise you that once those doors shut there was nary a giggle.  I am certain smiling was out of the question, as well.  All we could do was glance at one another and give our special death looks.  I know that everyone spoke deep into my soul with just their eyes.  This is what I heard.  Stacy: “If we have to flip over one more time I am going to lose it on our instructor.”   Tracy: “If she tells me I need to grab my ankle the other way again I am going to grab HER ankle with my fist.”  Tina, Heather, Suzy,  Maryhelen: “Kat, you distract her and we will make a slow run for the door.”  Kat: “I think I might have died twenty minutes ago. My funeral will be your distraction.”
     There were times where I felt like a little girl that was desperate for her mommy’s approval so when our instructor said for the 100th time for me to please breathe through my nose and not my mouth or told me the gap in my fingers was too wide I complied.  But, then I rebelled. Oh guys, I rebelled so HARD.   When she told us to flip over to our knees for the 100th time from a laying position I didn’t budge.  I laid on my back like my life depended on it.  When everyone was done with the knee pose and flipped back over to the laying position I welcomed them back with my death eyes.  Thirty seconds later she told us to flip back over to the knee position so I shut my eyes and hoped she wouldn’t notice that I remained on my back.  And then I heard this. “This is not a class where we lay down and meditate.  You will need to finish this pose. You will need to get up and finish.”  She is not talking to me, right?  My eyes are closed so she can’t see me, right? No such luck.  I could hear Stacy breathing heavy two bodies down from me.  Tina whispered to me, “are our heart rates supposed to be racing?”   I see Tracy grabbing at her empty water bottle.  The instructor said she was ok.  We were almost done.  I passed what was left of my water bottle up to Tracy.  That was a mistake.  The second it left my hands I couldn’t think of anything but water.  But, we love each other with such abandon that we will give our last sips of steaming hot water to one another and not think of the consequences.  I swear I had visions of swiping it right back out of her hands, though.
     When the class was finally over we made our way out of the studio and I witnessed a grown man tearing up.  I looked at him and spoke to him with my death eyes.  “We will never speak of this again. We will carry on with our lives with the thermostat reading a beautiful 70 degrees.  Oh, and Namaste.”
     Once safely outside the studio of doom I began to like sweet Rima again.  We talked for a bit with her and I felt we had a kindred spirit.  She loves adventure and seemed to really enjoy hearing about our group.  I will also say that the next day I had a strange longing to go back and do it again.  Maybe Bikram Yoga is like childbirth.  You forget all of the pain and only recall the jubilation of the end result.  In this case, the door being flung open to cool air.   The veterans in the class told us they would have cried had they taken their first class with Rima.  She is tough, but awesome!  If she had told us we could have left at any time we felt uncomfortable I think we all would have left at the 15 minute mark.  But, she pushed us and we did it.  That is always our only goal.  To just give it a go!  I want to thank her for believing in us and pushing us to finish.  Bikram Yoga was a big accomplishment.  Bikram Yoga with Rima as an instructor deserves some kind of major award.
     Heather thought the adventure was going to be ice-skating.  Here she is before lunch at the Reston Ice Rink. We pretty much did the exact opposite.  We weren’t holding hands in the ice cold singing Christmas carols while happily gliding across the ice. Instead, we spent an hour and a half holed up in a room  that was 105 degrees with 50% humidity gliding across a mat of our own sweat and most likely a little pee-pee mixed in.  Good times.
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     Tracy and Maryhelen were so worried that they just took this group over the edge and that Adventure #21 won’t ever happen.  I say, NO way!  We will all look back on this one as one of the toughest, but we did it!  Once again, we leaned on each other and made it through what would be a nearly impossible task on our own.  I found this comic and I laughed so hard reading it.  I actually think our instructor said to “just not think about it” a few times.  This cracked me up!  We love you, Rima!
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     If you would like to give Bikram Yoga a try and live in the NOVA area check out www.restonyoga.com and ask for Rima.  Tell her the adventure girls sent you and Good Luck to you!
Here is what an hour and a half does to a girl.  Our after shot.
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Next up:  Heather and Stacy have something crazy on tap for us.  Can’t wait!
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