We all need it.  The more humility I get, the better a person I find myself becoming.   Yesterday, I received a not-so-unexpected lesson in humility again.

My buddy Louie, who’s one of those jerks that is in his 40’s, but looks like he’s in his 30’s, has been trying to get my to go do Bikram yoga with him for a while.  What is Bikram yoga?  Well it’s a  90 minute yoga class that consists of a set series of 26 postures and 2 breathing exercises. The difference being they crank the heat and humidity levels up in the class.  How hot?  Think sauna and you’re not far off.

He swears up and down it’s the best workout he’s ever done.  He told me it’s straightened up his posture, gives him more strength and flexibility, helps his breathing and so on and so on.  He also said it would totally kick my ass if I ever tried it!  Well, being the glutton for punishment that I am, I decided to join him for a Sunday class at noon.

So we arrived at Bikram Tysons, which has a beautiful, state-of-the-art studio, signed our waivers and got changed for class.   Louie told me to bring the following for class:

-Yoga mat
-Beach towel to cover the mat
-Bath towel for the shower
-lots and lots of water!

When I emerged from the changing room wearing a t-shirt and shorts Louie told me to ditch the shirt.  “You’re going to hate that shirt in about 5 minutes dude.  Trust me.”     So I left the shirt behind and walked into the studio with Louie.  10 seconds after walking in I really starting appreciating his advice.

When I say it was hot, it was really really really f’ing hot.   I mean, seriously.  It felt like early August in Florida in this room.   I’m sweating just thinking about it!

Anywho, the class got underway and we started doing our poses.  Nothing too far from what I’ve done in the few yoga classes I’ve done before.  But doing them in the heat, made every breath and movement 10x harder.

So I sweated.  A LOT.  Sweat was literally pouring off my body.  I felt like a sponge that was being rung out.
And after about 5 minutes I could hardly catch my breath.  Every time we finished a posture it felt like I just sprinted for 10 minutes.

But despite the overwhelming desire to slip out the back door of the classroom I made it through the entire 90 minutes, only skipping 1-2 postures to catch my breath and avoid passing out.   And man, was Louie right.  That yoga class KICKED MY ASS.   I was beat down, out of breath and still sweating like crazy.   The only thing I could think of was getting the hell out of this eucalyptus scented torture chamber!

Even after going through the full cooldown and taking a shower, when I got outside to my car I was still sweating like I was running a marathon.  This kept up for a good 30-45 minutes afterward as my body continued to try and regulate its temperature.   Finally, after I got lunch, got home and took another shower I started to feel normal again.
How does it feel 24 hours later?  In a word; amazing!  I felt super relaxed the rest of the day yesterday.  Last night, I slept better than I have in recent memory and, as a consequence, I woke up feeling absolutely recharged this morning (if a little sore).

So I’m going to give Bikram a shot.  One class doesn’t really change anything so I’m going to commit to going to 1-2 yoga classes a week for the next 2 months or so to see how I feel.   I’m curious to see how it affects my overall health and wellness, but also my performance in running, climbing and biking.

I figure that, if nothing else, I’ll at least give my pores a good workout!