Another Frightening Tale of Hot Yoga

Goodness…another harrowing tale of Bikram Yoga!  I can assure you, in my classes you will not be dealing with “wet farts” or “a mouthful of vomit”:

http://westsideindependent.com/2010/03/12/learning-to-be-flexible-a-hot-yoga-story/

It seems like some people enjoy the bizarre challenges of these types of classes.  A part of me can understand why.  I’ve taken some of these classes.  After about half a dozen of them, I found that I left exhausted and drained, and had overstrained muscles and ligaments.  There was a competitive energy in the room every time, and a certain kind of vanity…I always seemed to be surrounded by people with 3% body fat wearing teeny tiny short shorts and A cup sports bras.   I finally had it one day when I was feeling tired and drained and not “giving the best performance” in the class that day.  The teacher singled me out and said, in a patronizing voice, “ohh…..is this your first time doing yoga?” 

I’ve been practicing a gentler form of yoga over the last few years, and I can definitely see the difference in my body:  long lean muscles, great posture (everyone seems to think I’m an inch or two taller than I really am), and to be honest, my butt seems to be permanently lifted an extra 3 inches higher than it used to be (thank you crescent!)

When will we, as Americans, start understanding that the benefits of yoga are many and profound, but they are subtle and take time to incubate?  We are so conditioned to think we are not doing any good for our bodies unless we are suffering.  To me, the whole point of doing yoga is to feel great.  I always tell my students to STOP if they are in pain.  Challenge is good.  Pain: bad.  If you experience pain in a pose, you need to back off and push yourself gently each time you practice to work your way through it. 

The other night I had a student making happy “mmmmmmmm” sounds during the class.  I would much rather have that than someone running out to throw up.

McKenna Rowe is the Founder of Chakra 5 Mobile Yoga, an experienced team of corporate yoga instructors that provides mobile yoga classes on location and by appointment at businesses, schools and organizations throughout greater Los Angeles. Call us to start your corporate wellness program today: 310-853-3885.

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