Fear of the Week: Hot Yoga Might Kill Me

The Source of My Deep Fear of Bikram Yoga

by Jenny Hansen

Photo credit: HealthZone ~ Wikimedia Commons

One of my BFF’s is hot on my flabby tail to try Bikram Yoga. A few months weeks ago, she sent me a link from Mind Body Green with a link to this Seattle Craig’s List ad. (I recommend reading it in its entirety when you’re done here.)

p.s. If anyone finds out this genius man’s name, send it back to me so I can buy all his books. I’ve summarized his experience below.

Yoga mat for sale. Used once. – $1
Usage timeline:

Register for hot yoga class. I commit to 5 class package and purchase a yoga mat – $89.74. Money well spent, I smugly confirm to myself.

Open door to yoga room. A gush of hot dry air rushes through and past me. It smells of breath, sweat and hot. Take spot on floor in back of room next to cute blonde. We will date.

I feel the need to be as near to naked as possible. This is a problem because of the hot blonde to my left and our pending courtship. She will not be pleased to learn that I need to lose 30 pounds before I propose to her.

The shirt and sweats have to come off. I throw caution to the wind and decide to rely on my wit and conditioning to overcome any weight issues my fiancée may take issue with.

Begin small talk with my bride to be. She pretends to ignore me but I know how she can be.

Instructor enters the room and ascends her special podium at the front of the room. She introduces me to the class and everyone turns around to greet me just as I decide to adjust my penis and testes packed in my Under Armor. My bride is notably unfazed.

Since I do have experience with Hot Yoga (5 years ago) I fully consider that I may be so outstanding and skilled that the instructor may call me out and ask me to guide the class. My wife will look on with a sparkle in her eye.

It is now 110 degrees and 95% humidity. I am now balancing on one leg with the other leg crossed over the other. My arms are intertwined and I am squatting. The last time I was in this position was 44 years ago in the womb, but I’m in this for the long haul. My wife looks slightly weathered; her eyeliner is streaming down her face.

The overweight Hispanic man two spots over has sweat running down his legs. He is holding every position and has not had a sip of water since we walked in. He is making me look bad and I hate him.

I consider that if anyone in this room farted that we would all certainly perish.

It is now 140 degrees and 100% humidity. I am so sweaty and slimy that I feel like a sea lion or a maybe sea eel. Not even a bear trap could hold me.

140 degrees and 130% humidity.

150 degrees and cloudy. And hot. I can no longer move my limbs on my own. I will lay sedentary until the aid unit arrives. I lose consciousness.

I have a headache and I can’t really breathe. I consider that my only escape might be a crab walk across 15 bodies and then out of the room.

I cannot move at all and cannot reach my water. Is breathing voluntary or involuntary? I stopped participating in the class 20 minutes ago. Hey, lady! Stop yelling at everyone and just tell us a story or something. It’s like juice and cracker time, ok?

Torture session is over. The instructor graciously allows us to stay and ‘cool down’ in the room. Who cools down in 175 degrees? A Komodo Dragon? My wife has left the room.

My opportunity to escape has arrived. I roll over to my stomach and press up to my knees. It is warmer as I rise up from ground level – probably by 15 degrees. I muster my final energy and slowly rise. One foot in front of the other. Towards the door.

The temperature in the lobby is 72 degrees. Both nipples stiffen to diamond strength and my penis begins to retract into my abdomen from the temp swing. I spot my future ex wife in the lobby. We had such a good thing going but I know that no measure of counseling will be able to unravel the day’s turmoil and mental scaring.

Arrive at Emerald City Smoothie and order a 32 oz beverage. Finish it in 3 minutes and spend the next 2 hours writing this memoir.

Create Craigslist ad before the “shakes” consume my body.

Have you done Bikram yoga? If so, what did you think? Are you other Bikram Virgins as scared of ‘the Hot Room’ as I am?



About Jenny Hansen

By day, Jenny provides training and social media marketing for an accounting firm. By night she writes humor, memoir, women’s fiction and short stories. After 15 years as a corporate software trainer, she’s delighted to sit down while she works.

When she’s not at her personal blog, More Cowbell, Jenny can be found on Twitter at JennyHansenCA or at Writers In The Storm. Jenny also writes the Risky Baby Business posts at More Cowbell, a series that focuses on babies, new parents and high-risk pregnancy.

© 2012 Jenny Hansen. All content on this page is protected by copyright. If you would like to use any part of this, please contact me at the above links to request permission.

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