yes, yes…. i know, the words ‘hot & box’ said together conjure up memories of student days when you & 6/7/8 of your mates squeezed into a cramped jalopy of some sort smoking the magic that is ‘durban poison’… ahhhhh the days of our youth! sadly the hotbox i am referring to resembles nothing of the sort….. the hotbox i am referring to is BIKRAM YOGA.

i’m still trying to remember what on earth propelled me in the first place to enlist into this chinese (indian actually!) torture type thing in the first place. i mean for one i can’t stand sauna’s (we actually had one at our house when we were growing up – i hated it except of course when it could be used as a good hiding place!) but i digress (seriously?), and secondly i can barely do yoga without not being able to walk or sit for days….. so what the hell was i thinking…. yoga in a sauna???? evidently i wasn’t!!!!

the lack of brain cell engagement theory is proven even more so by the fact that i arrived at the class sans yoga mat (i had left it in my car & was too lazy to go back down to the parking lot to retrieve it – yip, a fine example of someone who ‘wants to get fit’!) but luckily you can hire mats, no towel (an essential for bikram yoga i was told by the ‘slowly starting to look worried’ granola bar at the reception (luckily i can hire one of those too – i’m starting to think they have dealt with my ‘type’ before…), no water (essential!), no change of clothing (doubly essential!!)…. oh the list just continues…. of course one could argue that a brainier person would have cut their losses & left the studio….. but not moi…. no, for some untold reason i was actually quite determined to see this torture episode through.

well truth be told summer is heading south very quickly & well as those of you who live / have visited cape town know…. there is just NO space for the fat! no! no! NO! during the summer the beaches are packed & well best you fit easily into the space assigned – hence bikram. word on the street is that the weight just ‘falls off’ you…. & actually judging by the shape & size of the girls that started to filter in it was quite clear that this could definitely be the case – seriously they all looked like supermodels…. that’s the motivation!

so, totally unprepared & fastly resembling a deer caught in the headlights i get shown to the changing room….. ‘to change’ says my granola friend…. except, what she doesn’t realise is, i am already dressed! long black lycra bootleg style leggings (extra thick – bought to help ‘suck bits & pieces’ in), a big baggy long t-shirt (to help hide other bits & pieces) & a jacket type thing over that to really mask the entire effect. it doesn’t take me long to realise everyone in the change room (apart from me of course) is stripping down to virtually skin & well i am starting to think that there is a good chance i might be a wee bit overdressed!!! watching (out of the corner of my eye of course…. i’m already a bit of a spectacle & i’m desperately trying not to look like a complete fool) my fellow yogi’s removing pretty much all outerwear i suddenly realise i have a pair of ‘control panties’ on…. just the body heat in the changeroom is already making me feel constricted…. & well in a brief ‘light on / someone’s home’ moment i decided to jump into a toilet cubicle & remove these panties – all i can say is than g-d…. i cannot even begin to imagine what would have happened had i attempted bikram yoga in spanx…. anyhow let’s not dwell on that point too long…. so, not willing to let go of my ‘security blanket’ too quickly i venture out, jacket & all ready to join the throng of people heading to the downstairs studio only for granola to come & take me aside again & explain it’s best i remove the jacket….. ok, ok…. i’ll remove the friggin’ jacket…. perhaps i should have told her that i’d already sacrificed my underwear for this friggin’ session… perhaps she would have had a heart then & let me keep the jacket!!!!

and so i ventured down into the ‘pit of hell’. i’m not sure what i had actually expected….. dark, dingy, definitely stinky (i’ve heard this mentioned by friends who did bikram in london)…. so i was quite pleasantly surprised to encounter a really big, spacious room that actually smelt quite pleasant, however, the one thing i was completely unprepared for was the heat & boy was it blasting in…. i had barely been in the room for 30 seconds & i thought i might faint. all the other yogi’s were already on the floor stretching – i couldn’t even begin to imagine how anyone could move in this heat let alone exercise. but i was in the flames so decided to cook. found myself a little spot at the very back of the class & tried to blend (more like melt) into the wall.

two really cute guys arrived shortly after me & ended up flanking me on either side. well this stressed me out even more as i honestly felt quite sorry for them…. what with a room full of supermodels (& i am being seriously serious here!) they end up having to watch my wobbling ass the entire time…. i can only hope that they were gay!

the class hadn’t even begun & i was already considering leaving. i just could not possibly even begin to imagine how i was going to do this. i found myself honestly berating myself for the stupidity that had gotten me to this point in the first place. luckily a girlfriend of mine who has done bikram before but is also quite a novice had ‘peptalked’ me earlier in the day. she assured me that even though i would definitely want to give up in the first 10 minutes (try 30 seconds!!!) that i mustn’t as somehow something just clicks & well it all is ok…. for some reason i decided to really trust her advice & stuck it out…. she also told me not to drink too much during the class…. which i didn’t listen to & well pretty much almost ended up fainting twice…. probably from bending down to drink the water & rising too quickly….

so apart from constantly worrying that my leggings would split & reveal my knickerless ass…. i have to say that unbelievably i thoroughly enjoyed the class. true i did almost faint twice (the teacher had to help me down to the mat on one occasion) but the class itself & the teacher were all so supportive & great (the one guy next to me even gave me a time update so i knew there was an end – the purple of my face must have given me away oh & the fact that i lost my balance so badly on the one move that i almost took him out…..) that really i actually cannot wait for my next session.

the fact that i could almost wring the thames river out of my clothing when i got home…. (yip sadly i had no change of clothing so had to drive all the way home in pretty much a swimming pool) can only prove that weightloss is going to be definite…. well either that or i’m going to end up looking like a prune!

one thing is for sure though…… i will be wearing WAY less clothing for my next class, oh & underwear!

for a great selection of classes check out http://www.yogalife.co.za

seriously if this happened in my class i would have SO hot-tailed (excuse the pun) it out of there!!!

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