Rob and Peter somehow managed to convince me to join them for a bikram yoga class after work. Bikram yoga has always been categorised under 'what the?', 'are you crazy?', and 'out of the question, I'll pass out and die' in my head, but I had always been curious to find out how the classes were actually like, and reading testimonies of "First you feel like you're dying, then after the class you feel reborn" helped push me into today's 6pm class.
And can I just say - yes, the room is fucking hot and humid. It's a fucking 40°C sauna. There is no joke about it, IT IS FREAKIN HOT.
After a few minutes in the room, I thought to myself, ok this isn't too bad I can handle this, it feels like I'm back in Malaysia and I'm walking under the hot sun. The instructor comes in and starts barking orders, military drill style. I looked around in confusion - everyone seemed to know what to do - so I just followed one of the other girls. 10 minutes on, I can feel beads of sweat sliding off my body. You're doing ok, I told myself. About another 10 minutes later, I start seeing white spots before my eyes and I'm feeling light headed. Uh oh.
So I kneeled down on my mat and sat out a few poses. When I looked up, everyone around me was contorted into human pretzels with their knees and arms wrapped together like rope. I'm thinking WHAT THE. Meanwhile the instructor keeps barking instructions. "Kick higher! Kick higher! Higher! Higher! Higher! Now hold! Hold it there! Hold! Absolutely hold! Now relax!"
The next hour and 10 minutes was brutal and challenging, both mentally and physically. I was conscious of the heat, my body felt like it was burning, and I was sweating bucketloads from every inch of my skin. I didn't know my eyelids could sweat!
Via: The Iron You: The Awesomeness of Bikram Yoga
The end of the class finally came. Ah savasana (corpse pose), my all time favourite pose. As I relaxed on the floor amongst a sea of sweaty bods, I ran through the session in my head - I had managed to stay in the room the whole time and was able to do a large majority of the 26 poses. I was elated - it was Bikram 0 Sammie 1, I had survived!
So did I feel born again after the class?
Sadly, no. I felt like I had just run a marathon in 40 degrees heat in Vietnam. It felt like the biggest workout, I looked like I had gone swimming in my workout gear. Even after a shower I was still sweating.
I also had a massive headache. I knew I had tied my hair up too tightly (which always gives me a headache), I was probably dehydrated, and my body just doesn't handle heat very well. The headache soon escalated into a migraine. I couldn't even stomach dinner - when Sammie doesn't want to eat, something is very very wrong - and on the way home I threw up.
Bikram 1 Sammie 0. Bikram, you win big time. But at least I've now had a taste of Bikram yoga, and it tastes like sweat, Gatorade and water.