I ended up doing 100 days, finishing a manuscript and jumpstarting both my fitness and my career. Probably one of the biggest and most rewarding challenges I’ve undertaken. For those of you who don’t know, Bikram yoga is a crazy, crazy 90-minute session done in 140 degree heat and rain-forest humidity, while the instructor challenges or berates you, depending on their enthusiasm.
It was amazing. I opened and loosened muscles and joints that had been locked up for years. My skin glowed. My limbs grew more limber, my sinew more sinewy.
But 150 hours in a crowded, hot, torture chamber has a downside. I had yoga laundry every day. My car smelled like a boys’ locker room. And I discovered that people (people like me, even) can be rude and gross and self-absorbed when they think they’re dying.
My inner peace got a little chain-saw murdery. so once my 100 days were up, I quit.
A mistake. With two novellas and three novels coming out in the next year or so – I’m such a tease! – I quickly fell victim to Dormant Butt Syndrome. This was followed by Locked Shoulders, Creaky Neck and Fell Out Of My Chair Due to Sleeping Legs Disease. I had to come up with an at-home practice.
So I now use the Down Dog app on my phone, (as mentioned in a previous post) and am currently on Day 8 of a new 30 day challenge. Anyone want to join me? There are no rules, no reporting, just rah-rah. (Hopefully saying this right now hasn’t jinxed me. I’ll let you know.)
But for those of you who like the class situation, let me share a few things I learned in the sweat-room. (Remember, I have space issues. I have many other issues, but this is the one we’re addressing today. Don’t judge me.)
Yoga Etiquette for Dummies
1. Keep your mat in line with the ones beside you. It's not difficult. There's lines on the floor. Don't think "maybe I'll just stagger mine down a bit." It's like taking two parking spaces. Someone might key you. Someone should key you.
2. Look in the mirror at the people behind you; if you're directly in front of them, move sideways, so they can see themselves in the mirror. Maybe you think you're doing them a favor, but they might actually want to watch themselves instead of your ass.
3. Don't blow your nose into your towel. Just don’t.
4. Don't be so oblivious to the person behind you that you kick them in the head. Which probably wouldn't have happened had you parked in your proper space.
5. Whenever possible, don't grunt or moan or fart or talk. (That's why the sign says NO TALKING outside the studio door. Geez.)
7. And finally, brush your teeth before class. And maybe lay off the garlic the night before or whatever you ate that makes you smell dead. (FYI perfume only makes it worse.)
Oh and here's a thought: maybe I wouldn't be able to smell you, no matter what you'd rolled in, if you'd parked your mat in the PROPER SPACE.
And now you know why it’s best for everyone that I stay at home.