Wednesday, February 16, 2011

My First Bikram Class: A Memoir

"The heat really doesn't bother me." Those were the last words I remember saying as we filed into the warm studio.

I positioned myself behind Holly. I noticed an unattractive man rolling around in a pair of purple American Apparel briefs. I stuck to my mat like an island - visions of all of the bacteria that must be in this carpet danced in my mind. I took a deep breath, mentally telling myself that it was ok, and I was not going to catch a flesh eating disease from this studio. Surely they clean it.

The sweating began before the class did. I'm cool with this. Breathing exercises were different but do-able. The sequence wasn't rocket science. Slight tweaks in poses I wasn't used to, but I used my friend as my guide. I mentally noted how hardcore she was while I was watching her practice. I could do this.

About 45 min into the class, I realized I had become a sweat zombie. Processing about every third word, I thought maybe I should sit down. Was I giving up this easily? Fat man in purple briefs could do it... The instructor asked if I was dizzy. I said "no". That was a lie.

Succumbing to my inner guide, I hit the mat.

Unable to even relax in Savasana due to the heat, I began to writhe around on my mat like a dying lizard.

As I looked up at the stained, white tiled ceiling I knew this was what hell on earth was like. Was I alive? My friend was asking me something, but it didn't sound like it was in English. 

"Great", I thought to myself. "I'm in hell and I don't speak the language".

Over to my left was a water fountain. I mustered everything I could to stand up and walk to the fountain. I felt like I had a watermelon for a head, and a tooth pick for a body. I hit the fountain. It was dry. I moaned - what a cruel trick. The fountain doesn't work. I think people were laughing at me at this point. I bobbled back to my mat to commence "Writhing Near Death Lizard Pose".

Man in purple briefs stood up. My first thought was that he looked pretty hot - I knew I'd lost it. I was hallucinating. After class, the warm, balmy tropical air of Miami felt like a glacial mountain breeze.

As I sit here writing this, my nervous system is in shock. I've been pacing around my apartment for hours uncomfortable in my own skin. I had to write to ground myself. I'm hoping guy in purple briefs is there on Saturday. Maybe I can score his digits.

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