Sunday, February 3, 2013

Breaking Bad or How I Threw Caution to the Wind and Attended My First Advanced Bikram Yoga Class

Richard and I are currently in London, staying at the luxurious Jury Inn at London Heathrow Airport. Okay, when I say luxurious I am being 100% cheeky. It is the best deal in town, and within walking distance to Richard's training, as well as the Tube station.

We arrived Friday night sometime after midnight. We had spoken to our friend from Teacher Training Tammy about getting together, and she invited us to come to an Advanced Bikram class on Saturday. I was so excited for the chance to take an advanced class as they are currently not offered in Manchester or Liverpool. I have been intrigued and feeling ready to try it since Teacher Training, and my curiosity was heightened with reading Benjamin Lorr's "Hell Bent". Let's just say I've been dying to try it for a few months and was really happy that I was going to get a chance.

Tammy emailed me Saturday morning to let me know that I should come to the 12pm Beginners class to warm up for Advanced. As I wasn't planning on this, and since I was potentially 2 hours away with the trains and getting my bearings, I ran out the door with my skull onzie on under my clothes so that I could jump directly on to the mat upon arrival.

The universe guided me straight there with hardly a delay. I arrived with 20 or so minutes to spare. Tammy greeted me and introduced me to Ky Ha the 2007 Yoga Asana Champion who would be teaching our Advanced session.

The Beginners class was lovely. I enjoyed the hot room, the carpeted floors, the windows looking out to the posh office buildings of Canary Wharf just outside. By the time we were finished, I had chugged two litres of water, and was ready to fill up my third to take to Advanced. We had a 15 minute break and then class began.

I was positioned in the back, straight in front of a window looking out into the reception area where three employees were staring in watching the class. I felt a bit like I was in a fish bowl, but tried not to let that bother me too much.

I stumbled through the warm up series, falling down a few times inbetween the quick movements with Ky counting 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.. between each pose. Everything was brand new to me, which made it lots of fun. I had seen the Advanced series at Teacher Training, but other than that I had no idea what to expect.

There were several postures where you place your leg over your head, which I have been able to to since I was a kid. It felt so nice to actually be able to apply this special talent to something useful. Ha! I nearly did a lot of the postures, including one where my right leg was behind my head, and I stood up from that position like in toe stand. Holy shit! After that, I managed to do the splits on both legs. Holy shit again! I haven't done the splits since I was in middle school! The feeling of having my legs completely apart on the floor was a major rush.

After that, I managed to do a full back bend, touching my hands to the floor, walking them close to my feet, and then standing back up from the back bend (first with the help of Ky, then on my own.) Finally, towards the end of class, after accomplishing so many things that I never imagined I would ever attempt, I did full camel. What a feeling. I can't wait to do it all again!

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