Monday, May 10, 2010

Yoga Carpet?

Ah Yoga... How I love thee. You may recall that last week was my first week for the activity of the month which 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.

For more information about Bikram Yoga

So how did it go? My first week of Bikram Yoga.

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.