Saturday, May 11, 2013

Austrian hot yoga made me cry

In an effort to be social and keep active, I decided to try a Bikram yoga class. I saw a blog write up about a studio in Vienna which sounded really good (here is the link, if you are interested:, and since I enjoy Hatha yoga, I thought I'd give it a go.

So, I did. Except, it didn't go well.

Some foreshadowing which should have tipped me off to the impending 90 min of hell:

1. The yoga studio is set to 38 degrees Celsius. Which is hot. And sweaty. And I am hot and sweaty all the time anyway. Of course I knew it was going to be hot, but thought it would be manageable. I survived Madagascar heat (over 40 degrees C daily and over 50 degrees on especially hot days), right?

2. Upon arrival, the instructor (the Austrian yogi version of Nurse Ratched) said that the most important thing about the class was not to leave. If it was too intense, she said, sit down and rest. But DON'T leave. "NR" also said not to drink any water. A tiny sip was ok, she conceded, but only a sip and only if absolutely necessary.

3. Oh, and I have a heart thing. My heart condition is no big deal (inappropriate sinus tachycardia), its just  a bit fast, which means my blood doesn't move around as efficiently. Mostly, my ticker is totally solid, but sometimes it gets really poundy, which lets me know its time to chill.

You can probably guess how things unfolded, but I am going to tell you anyhow, because this is a blog post and that is the point.

Mins 1-45:  I got really uncomfortably hot and sweat out a few buckets. As an aside, NR conducted the class in German, which if I am being totally honest, I find to be a very ugly language to listen to. Plus, the way native German speakers talk is quite abrasive. They are overly loud and commanding, and make a lot of noises which require excessive saliva, none of which I particularly like.

Mins 30-60: My heart got super poundy and I felt miserable. I sat for 15 min or so, but didn't feel better. My face turned an interesting shade of purple and I could feel my pulse in my eyeballs. The heat was just too oppressive and my poor ticker, try as it may, couldn't catch up.

Min 61: I decided to leave.

Min 62: NR shamed/bullied me into staying and told me (and everyone else) that I looked fine and to sit back down. And in my weakened state, I obeyed.

Min 63: I sat back down and cried.

Min 64-89: I continued to sit there, like an idiot, staring longingly at the door (which was blocked), sweating profusely, trying to catch my breath, and willing myself not to faint or have a heart attack. I was also completely parched and my hands and feet were swelling at an alarming rate.

Min 90: Hallelujah! I very shakily bolted for the door made it to the lobby. Ate some fruit, got my wits about me, stole a coconut water, drank the coconut water, and then (finally) walked out. I didn't actually mean to steal the water, but think it was a bit more delicious because of the theft and all.

And that was my entry to Austrian Bikrim yoga.

I think an extra pastry is in order today.

For shiz.

1 comment:

  1. awesome! I have tried 2 spate hot yoga classes and both time same results! I consider myself to be in relatively good shape but while in the class I felt like an overweight 65year old. It is a very tough thing to get used to however I hear that once you do its great! Way to grab that coconut water....take that NR!