As yoga is know for the benefits to Mind, Body and Soul, it seems a natural choice to capitalise on ‘Body’ for ‘B’. Of course there are many great things that Bikram Yoga does for the muscles, toning, flexibility… but I could drive you crazy with repetition and if it is something that you don’t (yet) engage in then I’m in more of a mood to expose you to the downside today. I have so far found my body to be constant source of amusement to myself that I never really discuss but that inevitably finds ways to challenge my concentration.
The convenience of exercise in a hazard free, toasty room is that on arrival you pretty much just strip off. More so for men who practice predominantly in trunks, but for lasses too it’s a case of kit off – vest top and shorts on. This isn’t a formal requirement but WOW do you feel the heat in anything more! . But this of course rings with it a multitude of different problems. To keep things simple, a full regular wax is probably essential however as a newbie I’ve not got quite so organised yet. On my very first class I found contentment in half-moon pose – arms stretched into the air in front of a mirror and not even a shadow – phew. ‘Lift up and reach to your left, beyond your flexibility’ (OW. Owowow). Up. Back, way back – all the body is concerned with at this stage is trying to get air… then forward. Head on the front of legs, beneath the knees – ayeayeaye! I can ignore the sweat literally pouring out from places that I didn’t even realise could sweat but nearly recoil and the close-up exposure of a rather poor shaving (or rather epilating) attempt. Not only have I missed patches, there are wayward strands that look as though they have never been caught! I instinctively lift my head a fraction horrified that someone else has suddenly been exposed to the same view. And relax, head down, head lower – oh no… winter toes. There is definitely a distinctive dishevelledness that possesses the feet over winter and this is no improvement on the legs.
It took only that lesson for me to jerk into action and get tidy in every crevice possible… but that wasn’t the end of it. Sweat by nature is pretty salty. In Bikram yoga there’s a whole lot of sweat. And swivelling around on the floor. The combination isn’t a great one and within a week or so I found I had sore dry patches in several places including the tops of my feet, shins and just underneath my bum. Nice. Very sore. In fact there was even a day that I didn’t much fancy sitting down at all. Now, armed with talc and body butter I’ve restored my skin to something more bearable and can concern myself less with the negative side of Hot Yoga (I assume it’s not only Bikram that would have this affect) but I do kind of wish someone had told me first… so if you’re looking to take it up, talc, body butter, good waxer. Job done.