Tag Archives: bikram yoga

hard times, yoga, and exercise

Last year I practiced Bikram yoga almost every day, and I was really, really happy. I was also in the first months of “round two” with my boyfriend. The year was fairly low-key, and I focused most of my energy on developing a routine, spending time with my guy, and figuring out my new, first full-time teaching position. It was a good year. I remember it fondly.

In the last few months, I’ve written several times (here and here) about some general malaise I’ve been dealing with, followed by a delightfully productive “manic” phase. I’m not sure where I’m at now–a little moody, happy, productive, impatient–and I am starting to wonder just how directly some of my upheaval relates to the fact that I’m no longer practicing Bikram yoga on a daily basis.

For exercise, I now teach yoga twice a week, run a mile or two in the park, and practice Bikram yoga every other week or so. I’m starting to wonder if Bikram is what made me so happy/healthy last year. While I’m still exercising, I’m definitely not getting that nice, hot sweat from Bikram and the high that comes afterwards.

The thing is, Bikram yoga is really time intensive. It takes at least two hours. *At least.* If you count all of the necessary extra showering and laundry, it’s even more. It is also expensive. For those reasons, I don’t want to practice Bikram with the same intensity of last year. I want to have time for other things this year (in addition to moderate exercise), but I’m also starting to wonder if the super-happy-high from Bikram is worth the time and money that it costs.

last year and this year

I’m going to spend the winter skiing. Last winter, I went to Bikram yoga almost every day, which is obviously a very, very hot experience. This winter, I want to spend at least two days a week skiing (avoiding the weekends as much as possible), and that will be a very, very cold experience. There were many Bikram yogis who skied all day and came back to a hot yoga class. They and I are kindred spirits. I’m not sure why everything has to be so extreme with me–why the intensity of hot and cold resonate. Truly, I think I need that kind of intensity to feel alive, so that life doesn’t feel like it’s escaping me.

I spent last weekend with one of my favorite people in the world. I came away with some insights about relationships, language, and I laughed really hard a few times–some big, ugly laughs that were captured on camera. She explained that she is frequently, uncomfortably aware of how short life is. That’s why she needs to know a lot of people and do different things and generally have freedom to move around the world. That way, she can get a sense of other ways of living and thinking, which she may never get to fully indulge in her own life. I really like that idea. It has given me permission to explore and indulge in different ways of living and being. Last year I practiced yoga. This year I ski. And whatever I do, I don’t buy a house.