Turns out, I wasn't dreaming last week. It is a yoga carpet on the floor. From what I found after winning the argument with Google while searching for yoga carpet, carpet is the only approved surface upon which Bikram Yoga is to be practiced. It's apparently anti-wet spot, anti-bacterial, anti-mold, anti-fungus, anti-spore, anti-viral, and anti-germ carpet. Basically....it's outdoor carpet that claims to be super healthy. The carpet has no pad so it doesn't suck up the sweat from everyone. And apparently they clean it reguarly. That's all well and good but it doesn't make it any less gross.
Dear Bikram Choadsmoker,
You're an idiot. Carpet? Seriously? Nasty! I know that you became famous in the 70s when carpet was all the rage but times have changed. Carpet is so out. Perhaps you should revise your carpet policy. Consider properly laquered bamboo wood floor and throw rugs. Just a thought.
Sincerely, Severely grossed out Salina
Now that I know I'm not insane about the carpet, I'm finally able to reflect back on my actual practice. I'm feeling a little jaded now that I've decided just how disgusted I am about the carpet situation but I'm going to try to keep a positive attitude about the entire experience rather than let a little shared sweat ruin it all. No promises, but I'll try.
The classes themselves aren't nearly as challenging as I was expecting. The room didn't feel smoldering hot or anything, the poses seemed much easier than I remember, I didn't need to rest at all throughout the 90 minutes, and was left feeling slightly disappointed. The thought of a nice shower to rinse off the sweat after peeling off my layer of wet clothes was ringing in my head though. Oh...the wonderful feeling of rinsing the sweat off. So fresh and crisp and clean.....ahhhhh.
SHIT! I forgot to put my towel in my bag. EEEEEWWWWWWwwwwww!
So what am I to do now, wash myself then run around the yoga studio naked to dry off?
I did notice a couple things that were really quite pleasant. I feel the need to bring some joy into this scenario here because I was just not feeling it.
Pleasantry #1: I was slightly grumpy when leaving the class because of the carpet thing which I just can't get out of my mind. It's burning a hole in my brain and I'm pretty sure I'm going to start getting age lines in my face from all the cringing and snarls I'm wearing. Hold tight, the good stuff is coming, I promise. So anyhow, I had to get some gas and while I was waiting for it to pump into my car, I looked at my phone and realized that a friend had called while I was in class. So I dialed her number and while I was listening to the rings, I had the conversation we were going to have already playing in my head that was going to go something like this:
Hey, how's it going?
Fine I guess. Just got out of yoga.
Shit! There's carpet! So freakin' nasty. The class wasn't even very challenging. So not worth puting up with the carpet. And, AND to make it even better, I forgot to pack my towel so...
That sucks, I'm sorry.
Thanks. I feel like drinking now. Wanna hit happy hour with me?
But instead, I got her voice mail. I was fully prepared to leave a summary of the above conversation on her phone and insist that she call me back immediately so we can get drunk together. Instead, this is what happened:
Beeeeeeep..."WELL HI THERE HONEY BUNNY....GOT YOUR MESSAGE....CALLING YOU BACK.....LOVE YAAAAAA!"
Did you read that with a cheerleader kind of bubbly bounce to it? If not, you should try again to get the full affect.
Who the hell just left that message? Was that me? Where did that come from? I thought I was grumpy because of ---- well ---- the obvious carpet and towel problems I think I've adequately made you aware of.
Who knew I was actually happy? I sure didn't. But, I thought what the hell, might as well go with it. So from there on out, my day was just lovely. Strange but true.
Pleasantry #2: My eyeballs felt clean. I'm not messing with you. My eyeballs felt clean. Everything looked more crisp, colors seemed more vibrant. My eyeballs actually felt like I had just washed them out. I'm not talking eye drops feeling clean. I'm talking about the feeling you have after washing off a full day of working in the yard, caked in dirt and bugs nesting in your hair, scooping dog poop, on your hands and knees scrubbing toilets and floors kind of clean. Get the picture? My eyeballs felt clean.
I'm sorry I have to keep repeating it. It just sounds weird to me so maybe I'm trying to convince myself that I'm not making it up or something. Very strange sensation for sure.
My other senses felt a little bit more enhanced too, now that I'm thinking about it. I rolled my windows down as I was driving home and could smell all the little aromas of the city and the trees and the weeds growing along side the highway. The steering wheel of my car felt so smooth and my finger tips were like butter. Sushi dinner was just amazing too. I love sushi but dinner post yoga was just fanfreakintastic. The subtle sweet vinegar sushi rice and the cold texture of my raw salmon was unbelievable. Seriously!
I would venture to say that hot yoga might just be natures ecstasy.
Attention: Blog Note! 17 days left to vote for my June activity. There's currently a tie between cross fit and rowing. Vote Vote Vote!
Not only is that one of my favorite words like EVER but it happened to me today.
So there I was suffering through my day. I was at work and miserable through pretty much every moment of it. I had to deal with a couple primadona whiners that I despise. Not only do these people irritate the ever loving shit out of me, but I had to be nice to them. Ugh! All I really wanted to do was just flip them off when they even peeked in my office at me. You don't even want to know what was going through my head when they actually knocked or god for bid...come in to my office. Blood shed was among the many thoughts racing through my head.
I was just pissy. As pissy as a pissy pants can be. I mean I was BAD! So bad that I really didn't even want to be around myself. Now you know it's bad when....
Then work was over and off to the gym I went. Today was cardio/weight training day afterall. I just couldn't imagine dealing with stinky sweaty people in the cardio area so I decided to go swimming instead. Ah swimming. Desperate for something, anything to grab my head and pull it from my ass with some considerable force, I looked to the soothing waters to save me. It wasn't a bad choice. I wouldn't say it totally saved me but it definitely didn't hurt either.
After I was done swimming, Accountabilibuddy was set to arrive for our Wednesday weight room ass kicking session. Lower body on the schedule today. I love kicking her ass. I love that she does a little whining then I push her a little out of her comfort zone and she rises to the challenge and SUCCEEDS I might add. Every time, she succeeds.
She happened to ask me a harmless question in between one of the moments of nausea she was experiencing. Now this is where the serendipity came to visit. The question Accountabilibuddy asked was "Did you happen to see the notice at the front desk?". My reply was "of course I did, how exciting, new cardio equipment on Friday. Yay!". She said... "nooooo....the other notice taped to the front counter". Other notice? What other notice? Apparently, there was a notice on the front counter that they are currently looking for group fitness instructors.
On my way out of the club, I decided to do a quick little drive by and check the notice. Sure enough:
NOW HIRING - Aerobics Instructors for Group Fitness Classes
So I ask the little guy at the front desk if they're trying to get some new types of classes in the facility or are they just looking to hiring instructors that can teach their existing classes. Of course he doesn't know because he's just the little front desk boy. He asks to take my name and number down though and says he'll have someone call me. So I write my name, phone number, my ACSM certification (heeeheee...because I can), and my Punk Rope Certification on the little note pad.
I turn and walk out of the facility and into the parking lot when a different little guy from the front desk comes chasing after me. He's my favorite front desk guy. So cute! He asks if I can come back in and fill out an application right then. Unfortunately I couldn't because Hubby was waiting for me at the car but I said I could come back down on Friday and do it. So I ask him if he knows if they'd be interested in a different type of class. The guy has no power or decision making ability but he seems to believe that it's entirely possible. I'm sure he has a good idea about what's going on around there because he's one of the few faces that has been there almost as long as I have been working out there.
So...Friday, I will be filling out an application to teach some group fitness classes at my gym. Even though there's no way I would leave my job to do that full time, it's a good way to get some experience with training and to maybe get some interest in Punk Rope. Cross your fingers for me that they just go schitzo freak happy for Punk Rope and I can come back here next week and tell you all that I have an official start date for the first class in Seattle. How rad is that gonna be?
Ah Yoga... How I love thee. You may recall that last week was my first week for the activity of the month which is....you guessed it, YOGA.
The challenge began with deciding which kind of yoga I'd like to do. Afterall, there are many different kinds of yoga out there. And not all yoga is created equal. I would never venture to say that one is better or worse than another of course but I think some yoga is better suited for some individuals than for others. So it's a good thing that there are so many types to choose from.
And there are more where those came from. Probably the most common type of yoga found in every strip mall USA would be Hatha yoga or some butchered variation of it. The other close second would be Bikram, also referred to as hot yoga.
I chose Bikram Yoga for the month.
Bikram yoga was developed by Bikram Choudhury and released on the western world back in the 1970s. Bikram yoga is known as a sequence of 26 postures done twice through for a total of 90 minutes in a 105F room. The postures were taken from the Hatha style of yoga but doing them in a particular sequence and in a hot room makes it Bikram.
Confession: I've done Bikram before. It was about a year ago when I was curious about it and went to a class with a coworker. I had no idea what I was getting myself into and was a little scared. I had heard horror stories from people about how difficult it was and how people have been known to get sick and/or pass out. I was not in the best shape either so I thought I might just be a candidate for some of those unpleasant outcomes. Not to worry though, I made it through. It was difficult and very challenging but I did it.
So this time, I had an idea of what I was getting into and felt much more relaxed about the experience before diving in.
The facility I chose is on my way home from work and was offering a killer deal that I just couldn't pass up. 20 classes for $20. The only catch is that you only have 60 days to use it. Seriously an amazing deal since it typically costs $15-$20 per class if you do a drop in.
There I was last week with my GPS and the address trying to locate the place. I was expecting it to be in a strip mall because as you know, all yoga houses are these days. No, instead it was in a business park. Strange. But I told myself I would just give it the time and attention it deserves. Go in with an open mind. Don't judge right off the bat. Just do it. So I did.
I went in, signed my life away and changed my clothes. They have a great little store area where you can buy cute yoga clothes and mats and stuff and they have a decent changing room with showers and all the necessary crap to take care of the sweatiness that is post yoga. I'm thinking "I can do this, this isn't going to be horrible at all, no problemo".
Then I got into the studio where the class takes place.
Have you taken yoga classes before? In the gymnasium at your workout facility or in a strip mall yoga place?
What kind of flooring are you use to seeing? Or if you don't have experience in taking any classes...what kind of flooring would you expect to see?
My experiences have pretty much consisted of a gym floor or a bamboo floor. Anything different out there? Anyone? Anyone? Ferris?
The first step into the yoga studio and I froze in place. Literally, I couldn't move. I was confused, wondering if I had miandered into someone's living room by mistake. All of a sudden, I had to ask myself where I was and what I was doing. Do you ever have those moments? "Wait a tick, am I dreaming right now? Is this right? Am I naked and don't realize it?" Luckily I was fully dressed and not wearing roller skates around my middle school so I figured I was probably pretty safe.
I felt the need to remind myself that I'm committed to following through with this whole thing all month long. Why? Why would I be questioning my sanity at that particular moment? Afterall, yoga is suppose to be cleansing and relaxing and peaceful and all the warm fuzzy shit right? Well, yes...when I'm not distracted by the flooring. What is this crap? Is it.....carpet? It can't be. What kind of crazy nasty weirdo would put carpet in a yoga studio where the entire purpose of the room is to drip as much sweat as you can force from your body in a window of time? Who does that?
I really don't know what it was. Is it carpet? It was a strange fuzzy hard kind of surface. It didn't have a weave like a traditional carpet or anything but it wasn't any kind of wood I've ever been exposed to. Afterall, isn't a wood floor with the proper amount of Swedish finish the appropriate material for the occasion? One would think, or hope...unless I really have gone insane and dreamed the entire experience. I'm going back tomorrow so we shall test my sanity and see.
It is still a little unclear how I did in the class or how I felt about it because all I could think about was the floor. I was terrified to touch the floor with any bare part of my body because I just pictured one puddle of nasty sweat on top of another and I was floating on top of it all. It was like the lava game as a kid where you have to jump from one piece of furniture to another to avoid falling in the lava that was the floor. I would have jumped from one yoga mat to another to make my way into and out of the room if I wasn't interested in following through with my commitment. I thought the other patrons would vote me off the island if I attempted the game by myself so I opted to just suck it up with the intent to sterilize myself immediately after class.
Well, April is over and the weight training was fun. I don't have any smokin' guns yet but I'm working on it. I did get the scale to move a bit after a few weeks of a stand still, so that's progress for sure. I really wanted the weight training month to get me back into the habit of it more than to actually show noticeable results by the end. Looking at it from that view, I think it was a success.
I've reviewed and revised my monthly activity calendar with my plan as it stands now. Would you like to see it?
Well, as you can see...I've kept the same weight training schedule as before. No changes to that. Perhaps I'll give you a gun show before and after so we can see how all those weights are working as time goes by. Hmmmm?
You'll also notice that I decided to put skating on there twice a week. Skating? Yes, skating. I made a declaration a few how ever many posts ago stating that I am determined to do the damn roller derby thing. I even dedicated a month to skating and derby practice. It was a disappointment. IT wasn't actually the disappointment, my abilities are the disappointment. It's a hell of a lot harder than it looks. So after going to the official derby practice league, it became oh so clear to me that I need a lot more practice before I can hang with those girls. And that's why skating is on the schedule. I think I can, I think I can, I think I can....
I've added the Hot Yoga to the schedule. Hot Yoga on Tuesdays and Thursdays for now. We'll see how this works. I may do it on the weekend too. We'll see how I hold up with such a crazy wonderful schedule before I make any promises though.
What can I say about the lovely art of hot yoga? How about answering a couple common questions and concerns? These are the biggies that I've heard over and over.
How hot is hot yoga?
Well, the temperature varies depending on each studio, the climate outside, and how many people are in a class but it is typically set at about 105F.
How long are classes?
I'm going to be doing Bikram Yoga which is a 90 minute class. There are other types of yoga that are now done in a hot environment that are only 60 minutes though.
I've heard that people vomit and/or pass out in hot yoga classes, is that true?
It's definitely possible to vomit and/or pass out in a hot yoga class if you don't adequately prepare for the class. It's absolutely imperative to drink enough water throughout the day to be properly hydrated. Dehydration is typically the culprit for making people feel sick in hot yoga. The other thing to consider is restricting your food intake within 2hours of the class. If you go in with a full stomach, you might not be a happy camper.
My first class this month will be tomorrow so I'll be sure to report all the good, the bad, and the ewwww of my first Bikram Yoga class.
Tell me what else you want to know about hot yoga.