Posted by: kerryalina | 20 March 2012

Challenge Class 32: By the Numbers

2 breathing exercises. 12 situps. 23 savasanas. 26 postures. 40% humidity. 42 degrees. 90 minutes.  NAILED IT.*

My internal saboteur can go screw itself.

I’m still not exactly sure what happened yesterday – in hindsight, it seems to have had all the physical symptoms of a panic attack without the actual… you know, panic.  Palpitations, dizziness, shortness of breath, trembling and paresthesias all present and accounted for… but the emotional component didn’t kick in until much later, when I’d given up even the faintest hope of rejoining the class.  It’s something I’ve previously experienced after going into very deep backbends in Half Moon – not long afterwards, my heart starts going crazy and the other symptoms quickly follow.

Is it psychological?  I love backbends, but maybe part of my brain is irrationally afraid.  Or physiological?  My spine and back muscles always feel fine, but perhaps my head is too low or my heart struggles when it has to pump blood up to my hips.  Perhaps it’s just a coincidence – after all, the symptoms tend to manifest after a backbend… but not until 15-20 minutes have passed.

I don’t know.  What I do know is that it’s happened three or four times now which is enough to make me nervous.  And today, I fully intended to skip the Half Moon backbend.  “Better safe than sorry,” I mumbled to myself.  But my body felt strong, my breath was steady and before I knew it, my spine was arching backwards beyond horizontal.  And it was wonderful.

Moral of the story: Listen to your body.  Trust your body.  Then accept that sometimes it’ll screw you over anyway. Your body can be kind of a bitch like that.


Someone else who came back after a disastrous class… this woman!  And OMG she KICKED ASS.  She sat out a bunch of postures, but did most of them and (more importantly), stayed in the room and finished with a huge grin on her face.  It honestly made my heart melt.  She blew me a kiss as she left and said she’d see me tomorrow.  I hope against hope that I do… and that she gets as much benefit from Bikram as I have.


*I am aware that this is not a particularly yogic state of mind.  However, I find it much more enjoyable than curling up in the foetal position and crying.  So there.



  1. I have never tried bikram because it intimidates me a little! I enjoyed reading your post because it was so honest! When people talk about bikram, I usually hear “I feel so good after I’m done!” or “I just love the heat!”, but they don’t admit how they get through the actual class! I look forward to reading more!

    • Oh. My. God, I die ALL the time. But I also rave about how good I feel after I’m done and how I love the heat. It’s a perfect example of doublethink. Or perhaps schizophrenia…

      What is it that intimidates you about Bikram? You’ve already done hot yoga (yay you!), so presumably it’s not the heat? And I’m sure you’ll be pleased to hear that there are no Downward Dogs in Bikram :P

      • I’m not sure why bikram scares me. It kind of feels like one of those “one day” things! As in, one day, I will go to a bikram class. Also, one day, I will do the splits! One day, I will do a headstand. You get the idea…! But, while the splits are not likely to happen, I would be willing to give bikram a try!

      • The difference is that doing the splits and doing a headstand takes some sort of skill that you need to master. Passing out on your mat in a hot room takes none! Yay! So go forth and Bikram, post-haste :D

      • Haha! You’re right! Ok, I’m in! I’ll try one bikram class, maybe two if I survive! :)

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