Saturday, February 6, 2010

Day 6 - Bikram Yoga Challenge: Why is it so HOT in here?!

Courtesy of Image: federico stevanin /

Class was PACKED today! It was like a 90 minute sauna soak with 60 + of my closest friends, and I do mean close, we were all mat to mat. You gotta love the New Years Resolution crowd, they have good intentions, only time will tell if they can stick it out. It is not easy to stick out Bikram Yoga, you kind of have to want to torture yourself every time you come to class. This is pretty much the hardest thing I've done, except maybe for running the San Diego Marathon and even then, I only did that once. I torture myself with Bikram Yoga, by choice, daily. Each time, working my hardest, irritated at the heat, loving the heat, hating the sweat, needing the sweat, loathing the discomfort, loving the challenge and all the time waiting for when all those things don't bother me anymore.

Today a few of my "issues" got the best of me and I wanted to leave the room in the floor series. I didn't, but I wanted to. Two things kept me there, one, I am going to teacher training and you just can't leave the room if you plan on being a teacher and two, the room was so darn packed, I probably would never have made it to the door!

We had made it through about 2/3 of the class when my mind started focusing on the heat. I have no idea if it was hotter than 105 degree or not, and really, it doesn't matter. It can be 100 degrees, 105 degrees or higher and it all feels the same when the mind chooses to focus on it. Hot is hot at that point. There is a tipping point when it comes to thinking about the temperature in the room. It is normal to think it is hot, I mean, it is 105 degrees with 40% humidity. But there is a big difference between thinking it is hot and letting it go and letting the mind focus on the heat to the point that you THINK it is TOO hot.

Sometimes I lay in Savasana and think, "man, it's so hot, PLEASE turn on the exhaust!" Is it hotter some days than others? Sure. Are the hotter days the days I wish for the exhaust or hope the teacher will open the door to turn the heat down, letting in nice cool air? Not necessarily. It is all in the mind. If I allow my mind to THINK it is hot, well, the mind will tell the body it is hot, too hot, and it needs to leave the room. If my mind isn't thinking about the heat, it is amazing, I can go through the whole class and not really know if it is hot or not. Of course it is hot, it is Bikram Yoga, but the question of hot enough or too hot doesn't come up.

Today I let my mind get the best of me and at one point I could tell my mind was too focused on the heat and the new exhaust system because I kept thinking about when the instructor might turn the exhaust on or off. I kept wishing for it to be on, then I started wondering, "did she turn it on or off last time?" and the whole time I was thinking "man it is hot in here!" It is a mental battle with myself some days. It usually happens about the time we do Half Tortoise. As I lay in Savasana between poses, my mind starts to tell me it is too hot and I have to tell myself it is NOT too hot, that everything is fine, that the temperature doesn't matter. Today I chant in my head (because we are not allowed to talk) "It's not hot, you can do this, you are almost done." I do the same thing when I run to help get me to the finish line. Then right before Stretching I thought to myself, "you are in the home stretch" and I pictured myself running down Bishop Ave towards Davis today in my 5k and I knew I could make it through class.

And of course, I made it through and didn't die. Class 6 done! And I love the torture so as you might imagine, I will be going to back tomorrow for more. Namaste

Join the 2010 Bike Run Yoga Challenge

Beyond Yoga Supplex Racer Back Camisole (Black, Large) $ 57.00

American Apparel Women's Stretch Cotton Yoga Pant, Small, Black $14.00

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