Sunday, March 14, 2010

Becoming a Sweathog Yogini

So, am I a Sweathog? No, I am not, not in the Vinnie Barbarino sense. I just needed a cool name for my blog :)

I consider myself a Yogini. I am a Bikram Yoga fanatic. Bikram Yoga yogis and yoginis sweat...a lot...and they love it.

I started practicing Bikram Yoga on Friday, June 5, 2009. But let me tell you first about the state of my body before I embarked on this Bikram Yoga journey.

I was skinny...up to the day I left my birthplace and moved to Canada. Because food was cheap, I ate and ate, until I gained enough poundage to transform the once skinny girl into a thick-waisted, thick-necked, flabby chick. I married, and got pregnant (yes, in that order). I suffered from gestational diabetes, a blessing in disguise as it compelled me to check my blood sugar regularly, so I gained a measly(!) 37 lbs. After having our beautiful baby girl, there I was with all the pregnancy weight and flab. It would be around 3 years after her birth that my husband and I decided that we should do something about the extra weight we were both carrying. So we went on the Atkins Diet and lost enough pounds to our liking. But we both gained it back. We got smug, you see. Back to square one...

Five years later, not liking what we see in the mirror, we decided to go back on the Atkins Diet. We lost the pounds again, and vowed never to seesaw back to our old, flabby selves. It was during this time that I discovered Bikram Yoga that June day in 2009.

I had dabbled in Iyengar Yoga and Power Yoga. Although I enjoyed it, it didn't really click. In wasn't into the "humming" during meditation at Iyengar Yoga class. A friend and I were chatting about Yoga and she casually mentioned Bikram Yoga, popularly known as Hot Yoga, and how she would never try it as the heat and the all-around sweating are a turn-off. One slow day at work, I sneakily Googled Bikram Yoga and found a studio close to home with a great 2-week unlimited introductory package. That got me interested. I thought, what have I got to lose? So there I was, on a Friday 7:45PM Karma class, busy as hell due to its cheap admission fee. I was wearing cheap Wal-Mart bike shorts and a stretchy top. I looked around me and saw Lululemon sports bras and shorts, as well as bikini tops and bottoms! The instructor's name was Wendy, and she was great. Everything else was so-so; there were a few times that I felt light-headed and moved awkwardly. I am what you would call sporty, and in grade school, my classmates called me "Flexi". I had maintained some degree of flexibility through the years, which helped me do some of the postures well enough. But boy, was that room HOT! I was born and raised in a tropical country, so heat and humidity are not foreign to me. But I have not sweated buckets since I moved to Canada years ago. I don't remember sweating buckets at all!

Ninety sweaty minutes later, class was over, and I felt like a million bucks! It's amazing how I felt rejuvenated, and wasn't huffing and puffing after the workout. I knew I worked my body very hard, but it wasn't cursing me afterwards. In fact, I felt as if it was overyjoyed and thanking me profusely for subjecting it to ninety minutes of an odd cocktail of "torture" (Bikram Choudhury calls the hot room the "torture chamber") and ecstasy! I knew there and then that I was going to come back the very next day...

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