Sunday, December 11, 2005

A Quest for Hot Yoga

I considered going on a quest for the Holy Grail, but chose to go on a more attainable quest considering I live in the Twin Cities.

It turned out to be harder than i thought it would be.

There was a hot yoga class at CorePower Yoga in downtown Minneapolis (the side closest to where I live) at 9 am today. I thought, okee dokee, traffic shouldn't be too bad downtown on a Sunday morning, neither should parking, plus they have a sweet student discount. I was wrong about everything but the student discount (actually I never found out about the discount). Even though the place is less than 2 miles from my apartment, it took me almost 20 minutes to get over there because every block has a light and every light was red. When I did get there it took another ten minutes to go around the block to look for parking because every street was an inconvenient 1-way. It turns out the studio has no parking that I could find, and thanks to a stupid vikings game all the ramps and lots were $20 event parking. All that left was the meters, which are short term and more expensive than I had quarters.

Angrily, I drove back home, which only took 5 minutes because all the lights were green.

So the next class opportunity was at 10 am in Uptown at the Bikram Studio of India. This place supposedly heats their studio up to 115F and was a heck-of-a-lot more expensive, plus it was almost 6 miles away in a part of town with dubious parking, constantly horrible traffic, and a known population of uppity snobs (I think that's why it's called Uptown).

Anyways, it turns out I can take the freeway to this place so it only took 10 minutes, and it had its own parking lot (although I drove past the place three or four times because the sign was too small to see from the street). It was still super-expensive, but they had some nice amenities like rentable everything, lockers, a sun light in the ladies locker room (whoa!), and two extra teachers that were there to help the new people (that's me!). Plus it turns out the studio is actually only 105F (phew!).

The teacher for that class was a rather militant dude that ripped me into a horseback riding clinic flashback (clinics were done by this crazy screaming german lady). He barked all the orders, constantly came around and yelled at you to try harder, got mad at anybody who talked, and gave almost no water breaks or other kinds of breaks. Some of the things he said were uncannily similar to the wise words of my old riding teachers: chin up, look straight ahead or look where you want your body to go, heels down (or in yoga it gets slightly more complicated, heels may be up, or one heel down and the other up, etc). By the time it was over my hair was completely soaked with sweat (and I have a lot of hair), my clothes could have been wrung out, I stank like a pig, and I could hardly see straight. Now that's a good workout.

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