Bikram is not my favorite style of yoga, and it's controversial. A lot of people are deadset against it, believing that the heated room can put practioners in danger of overdoing and injury; and then it has its staunch adherents who say it's helped them heal injuries. I've done a heated yoga class (not Bikram) in which I did indeed overdo and, with the help of a long hike and a bad backpack, took my back out of commission for a couple of weeks; I've done a traditonal Bikram class which I had a hard time getting through because the room was SO hot and steamy. I don't mind the heat, but I do get bored with the same 26 postures. Nevertheless, there was a local Groupon for a series of Bikram classes very close to my home, and I thought it would be a nice complement to my training sessions with the fearsome Harrison, so I signed up.
I went yesterday, still quite sore from Friday's training session, and it did feel great. There are a lot of things I just can't do or can't do well, but I have become very good at making my own modifications. Bikram is not a practice that offers modifications and the one thing I found annoying was the instructor insisting on getting the forehead to the knee, even if it meant you have to bend the knee. It's not a flexibility issue for me, it'a a belly and boob issue, and bending the knee ain't going to help. About the fifth time he hollered at me to bend my knee so the forehead touched, I almost hollered back that nothing short of a masectomy was going to get my forehead to my knee. But I didn't. I just did my own thing.
That was the other thing I wasn't crazy about. Hollering has no place in yoga. I don't want a lively, noisy yoga class. I want a meditative, relaxing class (even if the asanas are challenging). But it will be fine for now. I certainly felt less achey when I left.
This morning, I had another session with Harrison. I wish I could afford to continue with him, because it's a GREAT workout. We started with three laps around my cul-de-sac, followed by a series of lunges and squats with weights. Then, lots of core work, some fun kickboxing moves, a lot of shoulder and back work with the resistance bands, more laps, lunges, squats, punches, and rows ... and two really killer core moves. I don't know what they're called but they will leave you in a pile of quivering goo. I refer to them as the Crunches of Death. You lie on your back, feet and arms in the air, with your thumbs locked and legs together. You raise your head and shoulders off the mat and do big forward circles with your legs, as many as you can manage in two minutes. DEATH. The other one, you have your hands tucked under your butt or lower back, legs together with knees to the chest. Extend the legs straight out and open and close once, then back to chest. Next time, open and close twice, then back. And so on, up to ten times. OWWWWW.
By the end of the workout, once Harrison had departed, I lay on the landing of my stairs drenched in sweat, while my husband laughed at me (sympathetically, but he still laughed) because I could not get up the stairs. Now THAT'S a workout.
Tomorrow, another round of Bikram. The whole point is to keep myself moving during this brief hiatus at home --- otherwise, I might be tempted to just slug around!