Bikram Yoga an adventure in vomit.

Then I thought, yoga!  Maybe Yoga.

If I don’t have the aptitude to cut the 5 pounds of back fat out of my body, maybe I could yoga it off. In the olden days I would have preferred something like kick boxing or even just kicking, but now that I’m older and more mature, and lazier, I’m looking for a way to incorporate relaxation into my exercise regime.

But some people who do Yoga look like they need to lay off the cream puffs themselves, so maybe Yoga won’t work for getting rid of the water wings I have floating just above my waist band.

If my goal was to be very bendy and own a lot of good quality stretchy pants then Yoga would be my go-to exercise, but I wanted a good workout. One that would make me feel strong, and fit and energized. And better than everyone else who wasn’t wearing a purple Lululemon jacket with holes in it for my thumbs to stick through, while I browsed the snack aisle of the grocery store.

Then I remembered my niece.   She’s what you’d call crazy. And exercise obsessed.  She likes it.  She genuinely likes working out or running until she stinks like ammonia.  She recently tried Bikram Yoga and claimed to hate it. She hated it with a fierceness normally reserved for people who club baby seals.

She hated Bikram yoga so much she loved it.

Bikram Yoga is a form of intense hot yoga. Some describe it as militant. All classes are 90 minutes with the exact same poses in the same order every class.

Moksha Yoga, on the other hand, is also hot yoga, but there are a variety of levels, intensities and class lengths. They sometimes even have live music! Seems way more civilized.

Which is why both the fella and my niece preferred the thought of Bikram Yoga.

Here’s what happened.  A couple of months ago, the fella asked me if I’d try out Bikram Yoga with him.  Sure.  Shit.  Why not?  Let’s ask my niece too.  She’s always wanted to go.  She’s available. GREAT!  Done.  We’re all going to Bikram Yoga.

Only the day of the Bikram class I got one of my very famous migraines.  So I thought standing on my head, or whatever goes on in Yoga class, would be stupid.

So I had to cancel yoga, and the fella being a gentleman agreed to cancel with me until I was feeling better. Also, I told him he wasn’t allowed to go without me.

But my niece.  My niece has 3 kids and works so she doesn’t get a lot of opportunity to get out of the house unless it’s to go to hockey practice, parent teacher meetings or the emergency room.

So, my niece went to Bikram Yoga.  And here is how it went down …

(transcribed from a series of text messages and phone calls)

title

 

Bikram-Yoga1-1

Dear Moksha Yoga.  Which days do you have live folk music again?


108 Comments

  1. Reg says:

    Thanks for the giggles on a dreary January day Karen.
    I find it curious why people pay good money to be made uncomfortable and miserable. I can imagine what the venue for hot yoga would smell like, blech. So now you’ve paid to be miserable in a room full of smelly people.
    Think I’ll stick to taking nice long walks or riding my bike when weather permits. And it’s not one of those Tour de France bikes. It’s an “old lady bike” with a basket and big fat tires.

  2. Jess says:

    I am laughing! I just read ” the bloggess” and now yours. I am crying from laughing.

  3. Deb says:

    Ok, that was screamingly funny. My nose is running and my eyes are tearing. I think I pee peed a little in my panties. I may have howled a bit, too. I sound like a rabid dog. Think I’d rather have food poisoning to lose weight than try that. Anyway, thanks! (A true, sincere thanks).

  4. Kris says:

    Ha Ha

    YES! I spent years in my nice happy yoga class, meditation, breathing, feel good stretches. THEN I thought I would try the Bikram that everyone was talking about. Your description hits the nail on the head. But it IS that addicting endorphin type of thing that gets you going back. Even if you do lose all feelings in your outer extremities and question if you really ARE going to live through it this time.

  5. Kristin in Michigan says:

    The Bikram studio in my town does a great job of prepping beginners for what to expect & how to prepare for their first class; they also do a follow-up call for noobs afterward. I, too, had an unbelievable headache after my first class; at my follow up call, the guru said it was due to the toxin-clearing effect of the class, and that drinking electrolytes during class would help. I never had any problems after that first time; love it utterly, but don’t love the class fees.

  6. Delphine says:

    Well! I now know not to try Bikram yoga and I thank you sincerely. I have an illness which worsens in heat and Bikram would certainly polish me off. But if you want to get rid of your body fat and firm up may I suggest Tai Chi. It’s not for old people, it’s just that by the time you get old you realise how stupid you were wasting time, energy and effort on all the gym memberships, Bikram classes and TV gadgets that slide under the bed when you could have been exercising in your own home, in the park, down the beach etc. etc. Once you learn the moves it is yours for life. It is a martial art and you can do warm up exercises at any speed. Check it out – look for a REAL Tai Chi class. You will need to learn chi quong first. You will be surprised.

    And brussel sprouts aren’t worth the ground they’re grown in.

  7. JBess says:

    Boo Hiss! I can’t believe you are wussing out. I hate heat and humidity and am far from being a fitness type, yet I somehow still love bikram yoga. I was so looking forward to your account of it! Anyone who can build a chicken coop, hold a big slithery fish, insert a frozen tampon and blog about it, and basically reinvent a whole house definitely has the lady balls to brave a bikram class. Maybe if your niece gets addicted you’ll see how much she loves it and reconsider. I think there’s still a chance. I should note, while my first class was certainly a huge eye opener, it was not as traumatic as your niece’s account. I felt wobbly but kind of great and like I really accomplished something afterward. The time I was stupid enough to try to go with a hangover, however, was EXACTLY like your niece’s account 😉

  8. Rachel says:

    Hi Karen,

    I agree you dont’ go, I think you will really regret if u go, may be be u will freak out & run out after 10 minutes! yesterday is my no. 4 class, I finally make up my mind I am not going back anymore! no matter how much my friend convince will help my back pain, I pay for $39 a month for unlimited class, I went 4 times last week, each time I feel like want to cry or killed somebody! the instructor will push you till the limit! he even said ” i saw some death faces there, hey! I didnt’ force you come to this class, you guys pay for it, u better use this 90 minutes, push harder, push, sweat, sweat, breath… hey, that chinese girl, i didtn’ say u can rest, not water break yet! hey, why u go rest-room? my class not over yet..! OMG! I want to scream, & i agree to your niece, i sweat like crazy, & the carpet smell so bad, i almost die inside!! I prefer go hike or ride a bike than torture myself in that hot room,btw, i am in LA, they turn the heater to 104 ! I think i can sweat in other way than this,hot yoga is insane to me… too terrible!!

  9. nicola jones says:

    OMG Karen- this is laugh out loud funny. I do love a good fart, poop, puke story and this is AWESOME!! I promise – you will do none of the above at our Meditation class this weekend and yes do go to Moksha. You will not only keep your clothes on but you will actually enjoy it too. Thanks to your niece for taking one for the team- I almost went this weekend- whew.

  10. Kellay says:

    I’m not going to read through all the previous comments but this was my first experience with Bikram… In Whistler yoga studios are very popular and many do a 30 day yoga challenge. You basically do 1 class (90min usually) a day for 30 days. You are allowed to miss 4 classes but have to make them up on other days. So anyway I decided to sign up. I’d mostly only done Hatha and had never done a Bikram class which was primarily what was at this particular studio. Cost $80 for the 30 days I think. My first class I ended up laying down for 2/3’s of it, anytime I would get up I’d get dizzy and lay back down. Felt like a total newb. Anyway went home that night thinking I had wasted $80 (which is a lot for a ski bum) and the owner personally called me and left a message saying that it was perfectly normal and she couldn’t wait to see me the next day and was positive if make it through the whole class. So I went back.. And she was right. I made it. Then I made it through the 30 days and then I decided to do another 30 days. Best shape I have ever been in my life hands down(and I am very active). Do NOT wear normal yoga clothes. Little shorts and sports bras are your friend.

  11. Terri says:

    I laughed so hard that I got gooseflesh! This is my first visit to this blog and the first post that I read – and I love it enough to follow it! I was drawn to this one because my eye keeps wandering to that new hot yoga place they opened down the road….

  12. Franky says:

    I just peed a little…this was hilarious! Just what I needed after my son decided to get up at 5 the 5th day in a row!
    Bikram is insane, but it feels soooooo gooood!!

  13. Kathy says:

    Okay I did my first Bikram Yoga class today and felt the exact same way as your niece!! I found this post by typing in the words: bikram, vomit, pass out, sucks into google. I was actually okay for the first 30minutes and then I became the girl who couldnt stop wiping her face, falling over, and taking ‘hot’ water breaks because let me tell you – that cold water you brought into class now verges on boiling. It was pure effing hell and was freezing afterwards…and it was 87 degrees here today. I don’t know how I stopped myself from puking – that was a true fcking miracle. And bonus – once I got home I got a migraine from hell. Curse that damn man who came up with this hellish form of exercise. I would rather be water boarded. Stick to your guns Karen.

  14. Jesse says:

    I have been doing Yoga for about 4 -5 months now, started at 318lbs @ 5’5” so i’m not anywhere close to being a small guy. To be honest I was a really fat guy that was very immobile and lazy. In the beginning, it was hell, it still is some days and I puke after class maybe once a week (I go 7 days a week),but i always refuel properly after class. I love it now and I’m addicted to it. I have become so much stronger and flexible that I catch myself all day trying to do poses at home, work or anywhere. I just hit 270lbs a few days ago and the weight is shedding away. Try it, you’ll feel great. Remember it is only 60 or 90 minutes and that time will always pass. Love yourself and use that time to make yourself a better more fit person.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Jesse! First if all congratulations! That’s a lot of weight to lose and a lot of work! However, I’m 5’3″ and 106 lbs. If I were to lose that kind of weight I’d be dead, lol. Nope. It’s just not for me.

  15. Brad says:

    I have been doing Bikram yoga for eight months now. There was only once when I felt that I did not enjoy Bikram yoga class. Here is the story :

    I was six months into Bikram yoga. I went for Bikram Yoga day after having pizza, coke, chips and dips with friends. I am not big fan of these toxin rich foods. After finishing Bikram yoga next day I threw up couple of times after drinking water. I was myself surprised with this, since I was doing so good at Bikram yoga for six months and suddenly I throw up after Bikram yoga.

    So, I guess if you are used to having toxin rich food, then Bikram yoga is going to be tough for you.

    • Karen says:

      Well yes, Brad, lol, the pizza, chips, dip and coke probably didn’t help. I wouldn’t say pizza is toxin rich though. Chips and dip might be pushing it although I must admit I happen to love chips and dip along with kale salad, and other nutrient rich foods. My niece is a good eater and very fit. I think it has a lot to do with your bodies ability to regular temperature actually. Some people even find summer temperatures difficult to get used to for a little while. ~ karen!

  16. Lisa says:

    Omg. Your niece could not be anymore right. I tried Bikram yoga for the first time yesterday. Got invited by a co-worker for a free class in Baltimore. Let me tell you… no amout of review/blog reading can prepare you for this kind of torture. About 5 min in I thought to myself this must be what HELL feels like… literally. I tried not to be the 1st one to punk out, but about 45 min in to my 90 min class I began to feel light headed, and was sure if I stayed another second they would be scraping me up off my yoga mat. And YES, it is frowned upon to excuse youself or leave out for air; but my militant drill.. I mean yoga instructor would just have to understand. (She kept screaming “ALIGN YOUR SPINE…. ALIGN YOUR SPINE” ). As I left to catch my breath, soon after another person came out.. followed by another. After about 7 min of the best AC I have ever felt in my life I retured to finish out the class. But I tell you this, if I wasnt positioned in the middle of the darn room I would have grabbed my towel and rolled up out the door. Bikram could keep the “hot tea water”. I woke up this morning in need of a full body cast. And somehow I got convinced to sign up for a groupon offer for more classes. How that happened, I have no idea. I think they get you right after when your foggy & light headed. I signed the paper and ran out the door before I puked all over her desk. Thats when I realised I just signed up for 10 more freakin’ classes. OMG! Seargent “Kill Me Now” can keep that $45 and shove it up her yoga mat! *Namaste*

    • Karen says:

      LOL!! I shall direct towards this comment so she can feel your pain. I still haven’t gone. I still will never go. ~ karen!

  17. Leslie Best says:

    I can’t believe I haven’t read this before! Hilarious! So so funny.

    🙂

  18. Claire says:

    Bikram yoga is soo horrible maybe it is something everyone should try once. So get a single entry not a month intro deal. I went today for the first and last time. it is like yoga with all the good bits removed and lots of horrible bits added in. Bikram calls it “the torture room” and that is the entire atmosphere. Bright fluorescent lights, lots of mirrors and an instructor who barks instructions like a race-caller. The heat is incredible, my face was like a tomato for 30 minutes afterwards and like your niece I was cold. it is true my physical body feels good, but my heart, mind and soul feel violated by how ugly the whole experience was. Bikram seems to be designed for people who hate themselves. I recommend people try a vinyasa flow hot yoga instead where you can relax, play and get fit and bendy having fun 🙂

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  20. Kelli says:

    Sitting here with a ‘hot-yoga headache’ and can’t stop giggling.
    This reaction is exactly how I thought I was going to be the first time I went.

    I didn’t. I survived, and I keep going back – but it’s most definitely not for everyone!!!!

    My little girl (6) does Bikram with me once a fortnight (in a room much cooler than 40C!!) and she loves it too!

    PS: Brussel sprouts send me in to shock, give me chills, make me vomit and want to lie down for a year.

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