Sunday, August 23, 2009

Bikram Yoga Saturday









My book club's theme for August is sports and wellness. In line with the theme, the moderator arranged a yoga session for the participants to kick off the discussion, an activity which I anticipated with as much excitement as a mammogram. My body is a yoga virgin, and I wasn't sure my old bones (and muscles) could survive the trauma. It was Bikram yoga, the peculiarities of which I learned belatedly. Had I known that Bikram was conducted in a heated environment, I would have stripped down to what was morally decent by R-rated film standards and drunk more water beforehand, because 5 minutes in the room rendered me grossly dehydrated. I had the idea that yoga wasn't about running nor jumping, but I wasn't informed that even mere stretching could make me feel faint with exertion

The first posture or asana was to teach us how to breathe properly. And, I kid you not, breathing isn't as easy as it sounds, at least not the way our yogi taught us. In fact, in the succeeding asanas, I had to constantly remind myself to breathe. It was getting harder and harder and I felt lightheaded--- but sheer will and stubborn pride kept me going. The yogi was aware that most of us were first-timers; he really didn't force us to do anything we thought we couldn't ("if you can't do it, bend your knees a little..."), but he encouraged us to push ourselves a bit further than what is comfortable. After sweating away what I believe to be 30% of my body weight, I was almost ready to quit.


During the yoga session, I couldn't bring myself to say that I was enjoying it--- maybe because I could hardly breathe, much less talk. But today, waking up with muscles I didn't know I had screaming in agony, I must admit that the experience was exciting, enlightening and immensely enjoyable. I feel like all my efforts were not wasted because, as I'm sore all over, I must have effectively worked out my entire body. Though Bikram yoga is so hot, I didn't really notice nor mind it too much. I was too busy trying to keep my balance and doing the postures correctly.

And if it is true that the heat makes me more flexible, that I burn as much as 600 calories in a 90-minute workout, and that doing yoga regularly will make me taller, then it's something I'm seriously considering getting into. Besides, it's the perfect excuse to go walking around half-naked despite being miles away from the beach, without being self-conscious because all I'd really be worried about is finding my center so I won't fall flat on my face.

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6 comments:

Peter S. said...

Hi sexy! But seriously Ajie, I think that, with a body like yours, you don't need yoga sessions anymore! Unlike me. huhuhu.

mental wayfarer said...

The minute i started stalking you around the net (haha!), i knew you were a great guy! But i really enjoyed yoga. I'm so unhealthy... Just blessed with skinny genes, i guess, but all my bad habits are bound to catch up with me.:P

artseblis said...

darn, 600 calories per hour? i could have been thin by now if i had not missed the yoga... anyway, ajie. you guys looked like yoga masters from where i was standing. you all had frightening looks of concentration on your faces. :P

mental wayfarer said...

Michelle: That's right, Al said 600 calories. He says we can add an inch to our height, too, but i don't think you need it. :)

Frances said...

a book club! oh, i've always wanted to join one! i'm so envious...

artseblis said...

@ frances - why not? check the book club site here --> http://www.shelfari.com/groups/12439/about