Tuesday, August 5, 2014


Yesterday I got an email promotion from Thanksgiving Point, letting us know about $2 Tuesdays, and additional discounts for members on Mondays. The way I read it, it looked like we could take a Bikram yoga class for $2 apiece. "What a great Family Home Evening activity," I thought. I asked Jeff as he strolled past me and my computer, and he quickly said "Let's do it".  I was sure the girls would be excited, but wasn't so sure about Kai. I figured if four out of the five of us wanted to do it, he could try it as a new experience. I think we've gotten a little more adventurous as a family since Nicaragua. I like how we go out on a limb a little more, and I hoped that maybe Kai would actually like it.

Jeff was late getting home from a meeting, and called on his way home to see if we still wanted to go. I started packing the beans and rice and zucchini back into the fridge, and told the kids to go change for yoga.

"No! I'm not going! I don't want to go! I'll stay here!" Kai said. He threw himself over the sofa arm onto the cushions (now I know why that arm is collapsing). "Go change'" I told him. "You will be miserable in jeans and a T-shirt," I added. He didn't move. "OK, I will take you in whatever you are wearing, that's fine" --but I felt guilty as I looked at him.

We rounded up the two measly yoga mats we own, and brought three beach towels to fill in for the rest of us. I grabbed our water bottles, and Jeff threatened until Kai and the rest of us were in the car, already knowing we were going to be late.

It started raining hard as we got close to TP, and, not sure where to go, we followed two guys with rolled up yoga mats into a parking lot, and had them point us in the right direction. We hurried through the rain into the beautiful brick building with a huge SPA sign on the back. Walking in, I felt like the suburban, middle class family that we are, but tried to be brave as I asked if the receptionist thought we could still get into the already started class. Oh she was nice! She assured us we could still take sneak in, believed my discount story although she'd obviously never heard of it (I later found out I was mistaken), and got us set up with a mat for each of us AND a towel. "You'll need that towel in a minute as you start to sweat".

We walked in the door, and it was an act of will for me to not turn and walk right back out again. I started sweating and my heart started racing immediately. Kai escaped "to the bathroom" for the first 5 minutes as we got started. We staggered our mats out, trying not to block anyone's view of the mirrors, and covered them with the towels. The teacher asked if anyone was new, and I raised my hand as high as I could, so everyone would give me a pass if I screwed up. I joined in, raising my hands overhead clasped together like I was holding a pistol, and bent over to the side, as the sweat trickled down my arms into my ears and armpits. The teacher talked a blue streak giving directions, and pushing pushing pushing with her voice: "over, over, OVER!" then clapped twice, said "change" and started moving us around to the other side.
The teacher was very thin, with long, white arms and legs, and wore black. Somehow, her glasses never fogged up, even with the steam coming off 3 dozen bodies in a 105 degree room (Kai checked the thermostat). She didn't do the class with us, just worked her voice very hard. She had a great normal, conversational tone that moved very fast from one set of cues to another. If I spaced out for a second I probably would have been lost if it hadn't been for the bearded, tattooed, shirtless guy to my right, and the extra limber, stocky girl in the sports bra in front of me to my left.

Kai's mat was next to mine, and his face got redder and redder.  He only did every third pose halfheartedly. In between, he just stood there looking at the teacher. Periodically he ran out the door "to the bathroom" for a few minutes. I honestly couldn't blame him. I thought I might be sick.

We placed our feet apart on the mat, hinged at the hips, and brought our head to the floor. Salty sweat ran into my mouth. I had nothing to wipe at it with, as my hands were dripping, everything was dripping. My fingertips were wrinkled like I'd been in the bath for too long. Oddly, I was starting to get used to the heat. The nausea got worse as I attempted camel pose (always a challenge for me), and I passed on doing it the second time. Kai was just sitting on the floor at this point. The teacher came over, and told him how cool he was that he was doing something probably none of his friends had ever done. I chuckled supportively, and said "he's a trooper!", but my usually easygoing, cheerful Kai just stared at her stonily.

I glanced at his watch, and there were only ten minutes left in the hour and a half class. I started the class hoping Bikram classes were shorter than normal yoga classes, and had even gotten fooled with a mid-class Savasana (corpse pose) which is usually saved for the end of  a yoga flow. The Savasana was torture instead of a rest, as the floor was so hot. I felt like my back was getting even hotter than the rest of my body with its full contact. My towel was soaked with what felt like boiling sweat.

The teacher ended the class with another Savasana, and let us know that 7 minutes was ideal to stay in that pose. I did my best, but my best was maybe two. When I saw Jeff rolling up his towel, I threw in mine, and hurried out of the room. The air conditioning was chilly. The bottoms of my capris dripped. As we walked outside, Jeff took the corner of his shirt and twisted a handful of sweat onto the ground. Tia told us sweat dripped up her nose on the forward fold. Ari said we should go do it again tomorrow!


belann said...

Doesn't sound really fun. I hope you at least felt better afterwards.

Meeshab said...

Yucky? Cool and brave!