Posted by: kerryalina | 27 February 2012

Challenge Classes 12 & 13 (AKA My First Double)

Yesterday’s teacher no-show necessitated a double today if I was going to continue with my 60 Day Challenge.  For those of you not in the know, this is two Bikram classes back-to-back… a total of three straight hours in the hot room.  Eeeeeep!

I was essentially in denial about the whole deal – I brought along an extra towel, but told myself that if I didn’t feel up to it, that was fine.  I could always do my double tomorrow.  Or the following day.  Or the one after that.  The thing is though, I was already bending my studio’s rules.  With 60 Day Challenges, we have to complete six classes every week; we can’t do five one week and seven the next… and here I was with Week Two over and still one class down.  With yesterday’s teacher not showing up for class, it wasn’t entirely my fault… but I still didn’t want that one “missing” class hanging over me any longer than it had to.  And with two days off beforehand and a good sleep-in today, I knew I was operating under the best possible circumstances.

Class the First was just a regular old class.  It was crazy-humid today (in class and out) and I struggled a little, sitting out both sets of Standing Head-to-Knee and Triangle poses (at this stage, these asanas pretty much qualify as my arch-nemeses).  But while I wasn’t pushing to my edge, I wasn’t consciously conserving my energy for the second class; I still worked hard and really hit my stride in the floor series.  Unlike one gentleman, who absolutely lost his cool (pun not intended) when the teacher opened the door to let some air in – it blocked his view of the mirrors, so he got up and slammed it closed.  Then complained LOUDLY when the teacher re-opened it and gently asked him not to touch the doors.  After some more angry protests, he threw up his hands in disgust, grabbed his mat & towel and stormed out.  We could hear him stomping through the corridors and banging doors for the rest of the class.  Poor dear; I don’t know what his life is like, but I’m pretty sure he needs some more yoga in it.

When the class had finished, I moved my mat over to a cooler part of the room before the hordes could invade and then wandered out to the reception desk, where I checked in for the 7:45 class before my startled brain had time to react with a “HELL NO.”  Then I went and passed out on my freshly-towelled mat… which had about an inch of standing water covering it by the time class started 10 minutes later.

I hadn’t met the 7:45 teacher before, but I warned him before class that I’d be doing my very firstest double, that I was terrified and that there was a fairly good chance I would actually die in the yoga room.  Silly me thought this meant he’d go easy on me.  Once again: HELL NO.  Right from Pranayama breathing he was kicking my ass.  It was… kind of awesome, actually.  I sat out the same two poses (mainly from the knowledge that I had a good excuse to… that’s definitely something to work on), but I got a major compliment on my Floor Bow (“Miss Lady by the Window, that is JUST BEAUTIFUL”) which had me glowing.  My muscles felt so relaxed and fluid that the stretching postures just worked… although the balancing series was a bit more hit-and-miss than usual.  The strangest thing was that the second class was very much like starting from scratch – I was tired, but certainly not exhausted and I didn’t seem to bring any of my issues from the earlier class into the room.  It wasn’t the best class I’ve ever had (a shoulder injury in Rabbit helped bump it down, as did the shock of finding a teeny tiny spider on my towel during first Savasana – eeeeek!) but I’ve had far, far worse.  And the knowledge that I can do this – something I was previously terrified of and sure I couldn’t handle mentally OR physically – was far and away worth any minor discomfort.



  1. Inspiring stuff, I don’t think I could handle two yoga classes in a row, most definitely not Bikram classes!

  2. Thanks! But you know, I really didn’t think I’d be able to handle it either? I promise I’m not particularly fit or talented – I was very much the “permanent doctor’s note for PE” girl in high school, and have been the “buy a gym membership, never actually go” girl ever since. I think it’s a combination of finding something that really works for me (Bikram, Bikram, ra ra ra!) at the right time in my life… and sloooowly coming to accept that I can accomplish more than my brain thinks I can :)

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