Day 3 of 1/20

Day Three.

Still no coffee.

That includes yesterday, too, for all of you doubters.

In just three days, this is what I notice about life without coffee: I really miss it. Leaving yoga in the mornings, I crave it when I walk past one of my favorite coffee shops.

I don’t get hungry as early. Hence, I eat breakfast much later. Like at 11 a.m. This is sort of helpful when sticking to an 8-hour diet.

Wait, didn’t I mention that already? It’s sixteen hours off, eight hours on.

(I know. I’m like a human matrix with all of my rules that are constantly changing.)

I’ve woken up late for every yoga class this week. I’d really like to blame the lack of coffee on this recent development, but I think that might be a stretch, since it also requires a person to be awake before enjoying it.

I didn’t just miss the first class for the last two days, but I also missed the second class. I scrambled to get to the third class, but made it. However, going this late to class requires throwing together a bag of dress clothes and toiletries, and it means I lug my yoga mat and clothes around with me for the rest of the day. That, in addition to the work bag and pantry of meals I carry on a daily basis, makes me resemble what could be considered…

A City Sherpa.

Being back at my yoga studio after the holiday break required a little bit of an adjustment. (Now is also a good time to point out I came back to a fully packed-out studio. Ahhh, all those New Year’s resolutions full of hope and motivation.).

While I was in Houston, I visited a yoga studio close to my parent’s home. They offered hot yoga, and when I’m traveling, the studio being hot is my only non-negotiable criteria when choosing where to go. It took a couple of classes before I realized the hot yoga they did was an abridged version of Bikram yoga.

The daily greeting of “Have you ever done this before?” as they looked down their nose should have been my first clue.

(This is why some forms of yoga come across as a cult….)

This standard introduction has happened every time I’ve participated in a studio modeled after Bikram yoga (and including the one strictly pure Bikram studio I visited in the past), but in total honesty, every Corporate Yoga studio will greet you this way when you sign up for a class they feel is supremely rigorous. It’s like some sort of verbal indemnity clause they are compelled to recite, a verbal assurance (insurance?) that you are officially on your own if you start to fold like a wilted deck of cards.

I refer to the studio I visited in Houston as “Suburban Yoga.” (This isn’t much of a leap. It is actually located, ta-da!, in suburbia.). There are a couple of big differences between this and Corporate Yoga. First, the instructors are not a mere two decades old, but my age and older. This would also be true of the students in class.

It appears they are my demographic.

Ahhh, the call of the suburbs.

Also a little unique to this particular studio is they didn’t offer any classes before 8:30 a.m. At first, I thought they were operating on a “holiday schedule,” but no, this was their normal schedule of classes.

This is sort of like if Starbucks opened at 8:30 a.m.

That. Would. Just. Be. Crazy.

In my first attempt at this “Suburban” studio, I found the class less challenging than what I had been doing at home in DC. (I’m sorry, but it’s true). I doubled up on classes for a couple of days to help offset that feeling. But to give Bikram its props, I fully admit after a few days of consecutive classes, I completely understand why people are so loyal to it.

First, the room is heated to 105-degrees with 40-percent humidity. Initially I thought this was just to make doing the yoga more challenging, in order for it to feel more like a “work-out,” and also to help with flexibility, just like it does with other hot types of yoga. But I had it backwards. The intense heat Bikram is known for, first increases your flexibility tenfold, and then it has the added benefit of making the practice more challenging as you go along.

Dripping with sweat while breaking through all of your barriers can be, simply put, intoxicating.

(And there’s nothing like being on the verge of vomiting, or passing out, to really bring the rush of endorphins home.)

So I’m back at my regular yoga studio in DC this week, after a couple of days off with the traveling and the New Year. In my first class back, I started in Downward Dog, pedaling my feet, trying to sweet talk my hamstrings into acquiescence. But they don’t hear me–do not care–and pretty much tell me to fuck off.

And suddenly, I feel cheated.

Why?

Because I’m looking for that 105-degree room in order to turn myself inside out, and I don’t have it.

I basically had what’s known as a classic yoga temper-tantrum right there on my mat.

(Which no one can see because it’s crammed deep down inside of me like a proper yogini would do.)

So lately…I’ve been stalking Bikram studios in DC. Not that I want to give up the studio I have.

I just want to add to it. 

I can but hope my newly-discovered motivation for Bikram yoga won’t burn out like so many other people’s well-intentioned Resolutions do.

I know this might be putting the cart before the horse since I haven’t even started yet–stacking hope upon the shoulders of hope.

Now this, I blame on the lack of coffee.

 

 

 

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