Last Sunday, I decided that I was up for some sort of exercise but didn't feel like going for a run. I googled nearby gyms and yoga studios to see what places had drop-in classes on Sunday afternoons, and the only one I found was a bikram yoga studio. As in that hot yoga that's done in rooms typically over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, and all classes are 90 minutes. I've heard of it but never tried it before, mostly because it sounds horrible and disgusting. Nevertheless, I decided to give it a shot.
The studio was very beginner friendly, which was nice, and since everyone is still on their January exercise kick, I wasn't the only first-timer. They also didn't mention any bullshit about purifying your body of toxins or anything like that (scientist pet peeve: misuse of the word toxin). When I checked in, they told me to stay towards the back of the room and my goal would be to stay in the room the entire time, and to lie down if I didn't feel well. I mentally added "don't faint or barf" to the list of goals.
I entered the room, and was a bit surprised to see lots of dudes (about 40% men, whereas every other yoga class I've been to is about 10%), and everyone was half naked. (me, not so into working out in a sports bra). So it began, and within the first ten minutes I was absolutely dripping in sweat, to the extent that I had trouble keeping my grip on some of the poses. I did start to feel lightheaded a couple of times, but a quick glance around the room led me to discover that there were already a handful of people laying down on their towels so I followed suit until I felt better. The second half of the class was all poses where you were already sitting or lying down, so that was a lot easier. And it actually went by pretty quickly- before I knew it, we were on the final breathing exercises. I didn't hate it but I must say I prefer regular yoga.
The studio charges $19 per class, but they run a special for first-timers in which the next nine days after your first class for free. The cheapskate in me loves a bargain, so I did go back again a couple of days later, with the new goal of actually doing all of the poses and not lying down on my towel. It was a lot easier the second time, although still as sweaty as ever. And I just might go again today.
I haven't become a bikram yoga convert or anything, but it does seem like a good way to keep my muscles loose for the upcoming soccer season, so I think I'll try to fit in a class every couple of weeks or so.