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OHM SWEATY BIKRAM YOGA CLASS BY JOANNA KELLY 30 My good friend is obsessed with Bikram yoga. She loves it more than anything and has even been known to go to more than one class in a day. Each class is an hour and a half so that is three hours of 105 ex- ercise. She might be clinically insane but I gure if she loves it that much I should give it a whirl. For those of you that have never heard of Bikram Yoga it is a class consisting of 26 postures performed in structured sequence in a heated and humidied room. According to the Bikram Yoga LA website heat is used in Bikram yoga in order to allow you to go deeper and safer into the yoga postures reducing any risk of injury. You will nd that practicing yoga in the heated room creates a satisfying feeling of achievement. The heat also promotes detoxication through perspiration. I show up to the studio with my mat towel and a bot- tle of water in my most sweat resistant lululemon ready to feel a satisfied sense of achievement. Or maybe just a little bit skinnier. I sign a waiver that ba- sically says This is a bad idea. The room will be 105 or hotter and will probably make you feel like shit. If you choose to participate it isnt our fault when you want to barf. I might be paraphrasing. I pay for class sign my life away and head into the room. As I enter there are about 10 yogis in various stages of repose on their mats. The room is warm but feels more like cozy snuggles than the inside of a convec- tion oven. I am buoyed and think it cant be any worse than other styles of warm yoga classes Ive taken. We start with some breathing exercises as the room heats up. I am accustomed to ujjayi breathing in all the yoga classes I have taken. You constrict the back of your throat just a bit so your breath sounds like the ocean or like Darth Vader. The yogis in this room sound more like a Giant with sleep apnea or a dying asthmatic cow. I try hard to focus on the teacher. The room continues to heat even more and we move on to some stretching poses. I am relieved when the snoring stops. It is getting pretty warm but I can also feel the sweat starting to roll and surely this means I am detoxifying my body. The teacher encourages us to resist drinking water until after the first three poses. He fails to mention that wewillbedoingeachposetwicehold- ing them for a minute or two each. By halfway through the second pose I feel like I have been transported to the in- side of a kiln except with the humidity of the rain forest. I guzzle water as soon as allowed and instantly re- alize that was a poor choice. Now my guts are lled with water and it sloshes around as I move to the next pose. But I push onward. I can feel my muscles working and my exibility increasing with each pose. About half way through the class and the room has the heat of a thousand suns. Then the teacher turns on the overhead fans. I feel as though I have been saved. The sweet breeze hits my drenched body and I am freed from the captivity of oppression This is short lived. As soon the top layer of sweat begins to dry the fans effect becomes an accelerant for the hot air. It is as though someone is breathing down my neck except all over my body. Just as I think I can- not take the overhead fans any longer the teacher turns them off. It is still hot as Hades in this room. About two-thirds of the way through the class the heat has gotten so intense I start to have visions of what the witchs oven in Hansel and Gretel ovens must have felt like. My lungs burn when I breathe. I take an- other sip of water even though the stainless steel cap of my water bottle burns my hand and the glass bottle is only one degree away from being molten. I cant decide which is worse feeling so thirsty from the des- ert in my mouth or feeling full and bloated from the water which instantly starts to boil as it passes my lips. ..F2016