Holy Hell!

The studio I’ve been practicing at is 30 minutes north of my work, and an hour north of my house. The gas and studio membership has been slowly killing me financially. Last weekend, a new studio opened up 6 miles from my house! It is exactly between home and work! AND! They were looking for baby-sitters. I contacted the studio owner, and told her I was willing to do pretty much anything if all the daycare spots had filled. She wrote back late Thursday that the baby-sitter for the weekend shift had just stood her up and she’d already advertised having daycare for those classes, could I cover it? The ONLY daycare shift that I could work, and it all just so perfectly fell into place! So, I’m all official now. I get all the yoga I want, for 3 little hours of baby wrangling each week!

Saturday, I was still working out the timing (read- not very motivated and despise early classes), and just barely missed the 8am, baby-sat the 10am, then drove up to town to take 4pm. I really liked the teacher. He had great command of the dialogue, even though his counting was a bit strange. In standing deep breathing he’d talk until I was at 3, the count to six really quickly from the midpoint. But other than that, it seemed like he’d been teaching for a while. He opened the door nearest me, and I crawled under my towel. He noticed and only opened the other set of doors for the rest of class. I GOT MY HEELS IN FULL CAMEL!!!! Afterwards, he asked why I didn’t like being cooled down. I told him I work hard to warm up my muscles and suddenly cooling down was more painful than relaxing. He seemed really interested in my answer and proudly told me that was only his TENTH class!!! He just finished TT last month!

Sunday, I baby-say the 10, then took the 12. The temperature was amazing. The room is huge and beautiful, the paint is a really light bluish grey, and… Somehow had a very nice effect on my practice. Like, mid-triangle I remember thinking “wow! The color in here is fantastic! Really calming!” I left on a total yoga high.

Both days, the daycare kids complained about being hot and asked to get naked…. I told them they could get barefoot instead.

Today, they canceled the day classes to work on the building temperature. I took 7pm and it was HOT!

Well, to be honest, the heat was fine. But the humidity was off the charts. I have been practicing this yoga for 15 years. I can handle the heat, and humidity and normal studio conditions. Whatever was going on tonight, was NOT normal. It was not ok. And I am completely shocked that I did not die. I have never seen myself so pink, or turn so unnaturally gray. Nor have I experienced such extreme, and overwhelming chest pain, I thought I was going to have a heart attack, or a stroke or both between tortoise and camel. Things then got really wild, mid-rabbit when I was suddenly FREEZING! My teeth started chattering and sweat pooled in valleys between the goosebumps that had popped ip on my arms.

The whole experience was terrifying and my body still feels weird- creepy crawly feelings in my hands and legs…

I wonder if that’s how the first timers feel? Do you remember your first Bikram class? What was your first experience with the heat like?

(My first class was when I was 12. It was really different back then, just a few space heaters, and I don’t have any real memory of struggling with the temperature),


8 thoughts on “Holy Hell!

  1. I think the humidity was really out of whack in a bad way and you were having a bad (but probably normal under the circumstances) reaction. I do not think this is a normal way to feel in class. It’s a sign that something is majorly wrong. I hope that doesn’t happen again.

    So glad about the new studio and the babysitting. The universe has aligned for you!

  2. I’m so happy for you! I’m in the midst of changing studios and literally haven’t gone to a class since last month. I mean, yay for working out and trusting a home practice but boo I really need to just swallow my fear and get to the studio I want to be at!
    I have definitely had a similar situation temperature wise, but it wasn’t my first time – and it was definitely the humidity that did it. I hope they’re able to get the temperature issues sorted out quick!
    Congrats on full camel & all the goodness coming towards you – you deserve it 🙂

  3. A frequent practitioner of yoga once told me that when we experience odd sensations during yoga, it’s usually an indication that we are in the process of opening up a new chakra. She told me this after I reported having felt like I was having a panic attack right after camel.

    I don’t know much about the philosophy behind yoga and how it relates to energy and chakras, and there wasn’t much research to support this claim, but it’s an interesting idea to think about. I wonder if your immediate transition from hot to freezing is an indication of some type of spiritual shift.

    • I’m not sure about all that. I am pretty sure that it was the humidity, and that we hit some kind of danger zone. Everyone in the room had the exact same experience, even down to the timing.

      I’m no expert or anything, just your average yoga addict. But, I think the temperature was on the high side of 105 (105 on the wall, but slightly higher in the room with space heaters and bodies and whatnot), which is fine. But the humidity got out of control. When we got to the floor series, we got trapped in a “don’t wipe the sweat” kind of paradox… Because, laying on a towel, you know, it absorbs the sweat. At which point, our bodies were extremely hot from the air temperature and having worked a good 3/4 of class, then it was being dried while laying on the towel, getting over stressed producing more and more, which was busy doing its job of natural, human, AC and cooling the body before getting dried off between sets. All if the body functions were doing their jobs, just to extreme degrees (pun totally intended), and the whole thing just got insanely out of hand.

  4. Agreed. This happens when the humidity is too high, and our body overheats. Chills and goosebumps are symptoms of heat exhaustion, which is the condition that comes before heat stroke. Decidedly NOT healthy.

    This is not a jab at Life Chats, but I really cannot stand when yoga teachers insists it’s got to do with chakras and what not. No, this is actually bad for you (as your body was telling you all day after class).

    Unfortunately that is how my first class was, because it was extremely crowded.

    • I think things DO open physically and mentally in the hot room. And weird sensations DO happen… Especially coming out of camel. But this wasn’t weird or opening. It was real, and dangerous.

  5. Pingback: Double, doubles??? (And I fall out…) | The Adventures of a Teenie Yogini

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