I have experienced a new phenomenon. It's hot yoga, also called Bikram Yoga. It's yoga that's done in a heated room, sometimes 115 degrees (the room I was in was only 100), and done with an emphasis on relaxation and rejuvination of your muscles and ligaments. The poses are sufficiently challenging, and the class is made more difficult because the heat skews self-judgement, causing falsely increased flexibility and hugely increased soreness the next day. I am experiencing that soreness right now. Bikram yoga seems to have a cult following, however, and I am tempted to go back and see whether the soreness eventually gives way to a constant state of euphoria - the only thing I can think of that would make it worth all the pain of the class and stench of my sweat. Actually, I'm guessing that the heat would increase my body's flexibility at a pretty fast pace.
The problem is, the only Bikram yoga studio in the twin cities is located in the nightmarish Uptown area, which is not far from where I live but hell to get to. After a drive like that there's no way I could relax into any kind of a yoga pose no matter how hot the room is (and I've heard they keep it at the upper end of hot) or how relaxing the yoga pose (and very few are relaxing, let me tell you). I am still pretty tempted by the thought of becoming more flexible, though, since my whole life I've been embarrassed by inflexibility, and this has reached a new level now that I teach a stretching class at the YWCA (you teach WHAT? my chiropractor asked one day, then laughed until she fell over). Also compounding my decision is that the classes are $18 each and I've heard can be a little crowded, since the cult followers are loyal and dedicated like good cult followers should be.
So will I attempt a twin cities Bikram Yoga class? You will just have to wait and see. Meanwhile I may take advantage of Christmas break and return to the one I originally went to in Coralville, Iowa (which was started by the man who owns Mondo's, for you Iowa City familiars). It is clearly an internationally popular spot, attracting regular visitors from Alaska, Seattle, and all over the place, like a good cult would. Their classes are only $15. And it's easy to drive to (especially when my cultish Mom drives me there). And I always like to support my hometown. They might just make a cult follower out of me yet.