Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Lock your knees.

I've been going to Bikram Hot Yoga once a week for 3 months now.
Before this surprises you, let me assure you that no one is more surprised than myself.

People do yoga to get in touch with their soul, to unwind, to meditate etc. I do hot yoga simply because I want to eat junk food. See, to justify eating like a pig, I need to exercise. And hot yoga is the most passive exercise I've ever encountered in my whole life.
You attempt some impossible positions in a small, bright room of 38 - 40 degree Celsius with a 60% humidity level (I assume hot yoga is simply referred to as 'yoga' in India) along side 50+ people for 90 minutes. Even if you don't participate and lie down on your back, you're still sweating. It's the perfect 'sport' for me.

The first time was terrible. It felt like long distance running and I had to take a cab home.
The second time around, I was yawning in class. Not because it was too easy; my brain was lacking oxygen and I passed out on the floor 10 minutes later.
Now I have the energy to walk out of the room and straight to Grill'd  to destroy a burger. I still can't perform 50% of the poses. I can't even lock my knees. But I'm maintaining my weight without giving a crap about what I eat.

There is definite physical improvement in terms of lung capacity and flexibility (just like how getting smashed repeatedly by a chair would improve reflexes and durability). After 3 months my knuckles are touching the floor, and I noticed that arguments with the girlfriend has gone longer than before. I also sleep really well after each session (maybe not because of yoga but more from the arguments). I guess in the end, we all need something we can own and build upon. Even if that 'something' involves inhaling sweat germs from strangers. 

One common misconception is that yoga is for hot girls. Well, the reality is that for every hot girl in the class you get 3 chubby ones, 3 who are so skinny that the spine is poking out like a fossil, and 3 hairy men in speedo trunks. Tip: if you ever need to bet on who're the experts, always go for the chubby ones. Maybe this is why I kept going back, to piss off the beautiful people by doing the back bend while they sit down in defeat. (Ok that last part is not very in tune with the Bikram teachings, but fuck the beautiful people right?)

In short, Bikram Hot Yoga is simply simulated torture. Sure they try to sugar coat it with inspirational quotes and 'mind over body' bullshit, but it is not any different from signing up to a gym. (They got me hooked on this Staminade drink and want to charge me $100 for having my own matt. It's still about the money.) It's not mysterious; it's just another activity, like training for marathon or golf. And with every activity comes a bunch of douche bags trying to make it bigger than it is (oh you need to try to Nike Yoga wear, it's uh-mazing). 

You just need to find your own poison.