Bikram

Keeping with yesterday’s theme of examining things I react to, I decided to go to the Bikram Yoga Studio in Renton. (Bikram has struck me as gimmicky and an attempt at a shortcut.) But I have been freezing lately, and the idea of a 105 degree room was attractive.

It is 90 minutes and 26 postures, and a whole lot of ass-kicking. (click on drawings for a photo of the asana.) Right out of the box, I found the breathing exercise challenging. Yogic breathing is hard, but I always enjoyed including it in my practice, and wish it were part of Anusara (the kind I practice currently).

I enjoyed the sweating part, and only got light-headed near the end, and sat out the second Fixed-firm pose. Not good on my knees. If I go again, I will heavily modify this — only go down to my elbows, or not even that far.

The instructor did say to do some things that my current instructor say never to do, like clench your buttocks muscles and push your hips forward in Half-moon pose, to get more of a back bend. But all that does is crunch up the small of your back — back bends need to move up the back to support the core and have the bend happen in the upper back. So practiced the way I practice and modified heavily.

All in all it was an intriguing experience, and they have quite an incentive program to get newbies to come back — for $10 your first two weeks are unlimited. I do still find it a little gimmicky, but am willing to have my mind changed. I enjoyed the sweating, they are not kidding about that. My clothing and towel were totally completely wet at the end. You know that sound when you throw a wet rag on the tub floor? That “plop”? THAT wet. Also, I weighed myself on my fancy schmancy scale before leaving, and then after the class, and I lost a full pound of water weight.

Anyhow, I guess the upshot is I plan on going back on Thursday. We will see.

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