Thursday, September 24, 2009

Torture Chamber

I am quite health conscious and having been going to the gym religiously for the past 3 years. Apart from the normal cardio workouts, I am also into practicing yoga. In fact, I having been doing yoga for almost a decade. However, lately (for the past one year) I have opt to reduce my yoga sessions owing to a tennis elbow. Now that I have fully recovered from the tennis elbow, I am slowly getting back to yoga. (once a week).

My gym has given me 10 complimentary session of a different kind of yoga, BIKRAM's Hot Yoga.
It is supposed to be the ultimate yoga. Founded by Yogiraj Bikram Choudhary, it is a scientifically designed style of yoga guided by a specific dialogue. The session is 90 minutes encompassing a series of 26 postures and 2 breathing exercise. This yoga is practised in a studio heated at 40C. This yoga is very popular in Hollywood with strong followers like Madonna, Julia Roberts, Jessica Simpson, Sharon Stone and Matthew Mc Conaughey.

The benefits of Birkam's Hot Yoga are
  • Weight loss and rapid body toning
  • Muscle toning and strengthening
  • Reduction of stress
  • Slowing of ageing process
  • Beneficial to all the internal organs by stimulating the heart to pump more oxygen to all parts of the body
  • Increase flexibility and balance
  • Better sleep
  • Energy and vitality improvement
  • Treats and improves chronic diseases, muscular and skeletal related problems.
With the long list of benefits above, I geared myself to give it a try. After all, those designated postures are pretty simple and should not weigh me down.

However.... I was WRONG. The heat of 40C can be quite intense. In less than 30 minutes, I was already feeling exhausted and light headed. I managed to sweat (though not much) which is good to cool me down a little. I looked to my right and there is this "old" uncle (in his 50's) still going strong despite sweat pouring out like a dripping tap. On my left, my friend was drenched with sweat but still look strong. I, on the other hand is looking very much like a grilled lobster. Struggling with every pose and having to take a breather in between. The Yogi said that I was breathing wrongly and am hyper-ventilating!! I did my best to keep up with the rest. The heat was really getting unbearable. By the time we came to the last few poses, I started to see stars and felt numbness creeping up to my fingertips. Shamelessly I looked at the yogi wanting to give up. The Yogi ignored my "plea" and encouraged us to continue. Finally, I survived the 90mins feeling drained, light headed and soaked in sweat. The Yogi commented that it is meant to be strenuous and common for beginners to experience what I felt. He encouraged us not to give up and to return tomorrow for the next session. So... will I continue??? (I was "half dead" in the torture chamber.)Yes & No..
No, I won't go tomorrow.
Yes, I will give it another try next week.

Interesting, despite feeling worn out, I was strong enough to drive home and mopped the whole house. In fact, I must admit, I feel pretty good now... rejuvenated.... Hopefully I can also have a very good sleep tonight!!!

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