Friday, May 05, 2006

Bikram Yoga: Sweating for $20

After a long weekend in the desert (coachella festival), on a whim, I decided to drop in a bikram yoga class to detox a little. I didn't know much about Bikram--I've taken regular yoga and had heard it's similar, just hotter (the room is set to 110 degrees)--the thought of sweatily stretching in a steamy room with other sweaty stretchers didn't sound totally awesome but I was curious enough to try it once.

A drop-in class is $15 but the Bikram Yoga/Manhattan Beach Studio is currently offering a $20 special for first-timers. For only $5 more, students get to free classes for 10 consecutive days.

Bikram Yoga is a series of 26 poses. The first pose is really just deep breathing with your hands clasped under your my 3rd deep breath, sweat is already dripping down my nose. And all I can think is "crap, i shouldn't have signed up for the $20 deal".

Even seemingly simple poses (stretching from side to side with your arms above your head, curled up in a ball on the ground) create gushes of sweat and my towel, tank top and shorts are drenched 10 minutes into the class. The guy next to me is wearing swimtrunks that are dripping like he just stepped out of a pool so I don't feel so self-conscious about my droplets of sweat rolling down my glistening arms.

The 90 minutes goes by pretty fast; a sweaty blur of pretzel-like poses and agonizing 'savasana's (laying down relaxed pose) --agonziing because I struggle to not close my eyes and pass out in the relaxing pose. Near the end, I start feeling a little light-headed and sit down for a quick break.

Afterwards, I approach the yoga instructor "is it normal to feel--"
"dizzy and nauseous? absolutely. You'll get used to it and it'll go away"

Hhhmm, I'm not sure if I want to pursue something that is supposed to make me feel sick but later that night, I felt really energetic and peppy and since I signed up for the 10 day sessions...why not get used to feeling dizzy for 10 more days?

Taking advantage of the special, I've gone 4 times this week; it's strangely cathartic and relaxing despite the intense work out and I don't even mind the lightheadedness that much.

I'm only half way through the 10 day session but have already noticed that my 'tight jeans' aren't so tight anymore---I don't know if it's the 1/2 gallon of water-weight I've been losing every day or the fact that you have to work out on an empty stomach (or you'll feel even more nauseous) has forced me to stop my all day grazing at least a few hours before the class.

The only downside is--with all my sweaty work out clothes and towels--I've also had to do laundry 4 times this week.

To find out more about the $20 deal, call 310:802-0225 or log onto
3618 Highland Ave, Manhattan Beach

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