I have some free time this holiday season and as I was looking for new activities, my feet took me to the first Bikram Yoga Studio in the Philippines. They are having a Holiday promotion of Php 500.00 for seven consecutive days! So of course, while I have the time, I enrolled for the classes. This type of yoga is different in that it will make you strong from the inside out, as Frank, the first instructor I encountered, and Olay, the owner/instructor intone every time we are there. The room is gradually heated up and it can get really humid.
DAY ONE: I arrived one hour late, so I wasn’t allowed to join the yogis. I decided to register anyway, and to watch them a bit, then headed to the mall. I went to the movies, bought some groceries, deposited the groceries home and then returned to the studio. This time, I was there one hour ahead of the start time. =)
I placed my slippers in the shoe rack next to the door.
Frank was the Instructor for 6.30 pm session. We had a short chat before I entered the room. He showed me how to do the breathing exercise and I told him I have asthma. He asked me “not to run away from the room” when I get uncomfortable. Apparently, there must have been some people who found it too much and bolted from the room.
I know the discomfort associated with humidity and I’m not talking about the sticky feeling on your skin. Rather, my saliva can get really thick and it can be very hard to breathe, so I had a puff before I left the locker and also brought my inhaler to the room to get acclimatized to the temperature.
While guiding us through the series of limbering exercises and the different postures, Frank would describe what we have to do. He would also add little tips like, ” you need to be able to deal with the painful postures just like you deal with life.”
The posture can indeed be quite difficult to execute. One needs to focus on the posture in order to finally get it.
I wasn’t able to perform all the postures perfectly on day one, but you bet, I’ll keep trying!
Frank told me that as a first timer, I was lucky tonight because it was not hot. He said it was not hot because it was cold outside. (Not hot? I had to to take another puff from my inhaler after we had two or three postures, because my saliva was getting thick in my throat. And I thought I sweated much too.)
DAY TWO: When I got home last night, I was beat. Had some dinner and was flat on bed. The next thing I knew, it was daylight. I was sore all over, but I wanted to go back.
Another session with Frank. This time, there are more yogis, some were from the previous night’s session. Some of the ladies wore two- piece bikinis. Very colorful. The males wore long shorts only. You can just imagine how hot the room can get.
We were doing the limbering exercise again and I think we were just in the third posture, when I started dripping with sweat. I didn’t know my arms and legs can sweat like that. I have never sweated so much in my life. Our towels on the mats were soaked, and the floor was wet with small pools of water.
This time, I did better than the first day. I wanted to be able to do the posture that opens that heart. I have watched in youtube that some people cried buckets after their sessions. I was speculating on what emotion will take over when I do this posture. I was curious to know if I would be overcome by too much grief or if I would be rolling in laughter.
Some of the postures can indeed be painful. Day One had my legs shaking from the strain and I was wondering when I would drop. Well, I stopped for some time when I strained my right hamstring. It was PAINFUL. And then after that, my left scapula was also slightly injured. But lo and behold, after a few minutes, all was well, and I carried on as if nothing happened!
I was expecting to have my monthly period on Day Three, but I had it on Day Two. I normally have dysmenorrhea, where my pelvis down to my legs are really painful, but this time, I only had slight pain. Yoga must be good for me. It must be due to all that muscle stretching activity.
DAY THREE: Today we had the owner as the Instructor. Her name is Olay. The other Yogis were telling me the previous day that Olay and Frank are the same. “Mahirap”. A direct translation is not possible, but it can mean ” Not easy” because we are made to hold the postures for a long period of time. If you can hold a certain position for 10 seconds without losing balance. I had fun. Olay was giving instructions on what to do and what benefits we can get. She also explained that the first set was actually meant to warm us up and to prepare the muscles for the postures. My muscles were less sore by the minute.
I attended the 9 AM session, so I can still go to the FEAST at PICC for the 10.30 session. God is good. I was expecting to get there after the mass is over, but I made it before the Communion, so I was able to join my friends George and Jayson. I was supposed to attend with Edith and Adrian, but Edith had to attend the 8 AM and Adrian wasn’t sure of the time he can get there.
I bonded with my friends, together with Adrian at MOA.
DAY FOUR: I wanted to attend the morning session, but it wasnt meant to be, so I went to the evening one. This day is also seniors day out. I took my parents and my sister to the mall, we watched The Hobbit movie, we also had lunch, sort of. Since I didn’t want to be late to the yoga session, I bought everything with me: the yoga mat, the towels, water bottle. I was also writing this piece. The family was in hurry. And I was too. Now, I have three pairs of slippers scattered on the floor in my room. They were rushing me, so I had to end the piece were it was. Rushed to log out from the computer, picked up my bag and slipped my feet on my slippers without looking.
The result: I kept my slippers in my locker this time.
Jillan was the instructor. One thing I can say about our instructors is they are all super fit. Like Olay and Frank, Jillan led us with the breathing exercise and I noticed that it wasn’t as difficult as before. I am getting the hang of this. Looking forward to Day Five.
DAY FIVE: I had allergic reaction to food. Instead of going to my yoga, I went to the ER with Ma and got a cocktail via IM- injection to the deltoid muscle. It was meant to make me sleep, but I set the alarm for one hour and as expected, I wasn’t able to sleep. The nurses thought I’d wake up the next day. After one hour, I asked Ma to accompany me so we can pay and go home. Readers, make sure this doesn’t happen to you so you can save your 1.5 k. I got red all over, like a cooked lobster, itched all over, had the chills and a terrible headache, it was also unbelievably warm. I only got alarmed when I saw my face in the mirror because I set the alarm for when I need to get ready for the yoga. As I was preparing myself, my brain registered the redress… I had a puff of my steroid inhaler and I took my bp: 94/45, pr 86. My heart felt like it was going to jump out of my throat. I had another puff from my inhaler.Five minutes later, my stats were bp 97/49, pr 96. I was resting and my heart was racing like never before, so I decided to go to the ER.
DAY SIX: After Christmas day at 9 AM.
To be continued.