Wednesday, December 30, 2009

sweating to the yogis

It's almost New Years, which means it's time to aspire to something and give up on it in about a month.

Since almost all resolutions are fitness-related, I thought it might be apt to share my craziest, most awful fitness experience of the year: Bikram yoga.

No offense to bikram fanatics, but this class was the grossest thing ever. For those that haven't succumbed to the heat stroke that is bikram, it is a 1.5 hour class in a heated room. I don't mean 80 degrees or something manageable; it's 105. It's also a wee bit humid.

So let's set the stage: you've rented a smelly mat because you're new. The heat isn't excruciating yet, but breathing feels a bit weird. Soon enough, you're standing on one leg while the other leg is in some pretzel shape and sweat is pouring off your face. You can hear the plip-plop of sweat onto everyone's mats. You start to realize you didn't drink nearly enough water and that you're surely in some inner ring of hell.

The sweating is no joke. My skin is usually a little dry but here, the skin was SLOUGHING OFF. I was constantly wiping my hands on my shorts so I could grip random limbs, but every time I did a nice streak of skin cells appeared. When I peeled my top off at home, I swear I heard a little splatter as it hit the floor.

Anyways, they let you drink at certain intervals and if you're new and fainty-like, you can lie down on your back and regret your decision to come.

Before I totally make this class sound like the dumbest thing ever, the people in there were really flexible. I can't touch my toes; these people could bend over and touch the mesozoic era. It was pretty impressive to see people in all sorts of wild contortions. The heat really loosens up your ligaments, letting you stretch waaay more than normal.

Now for the downer. One of my reasons for going were the online promises of major calorie burnage. Some calculators estimated 700 calories AN HOUR. That'd be 1050 calories total (hooray)! However, most of those super bendy people were not lithe skinny minnies.  I suspect you lose a lot of water weight (duh) and get a deep stretch, but I don't really believe the calorie estimates. Especially after wearing a heart monitor and being quite unimpressed with my heart rate. I kind of think the heat is just a gimmick to make you feel like you're really working hard.

So what crazy fitness antics are in store for me in 2010? I got pilates for Wii, which will be a hoot. Daisy Fuentes' boobs are ENORMOUS in the game.

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