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Those of you who have had your Bikram Cherry popped already, you will know what i am talking about. Your first class is always one to remember… Those first few seconds when you walk into the hot room and think ‘uh… how long is this class going to be again?’ The strange, confused glances sometimes addressed at the instructor. Meeting the dilemma of your body sweating like a beast (and loving it) but your head trying to psych you out and tell you that it’s too much or too intense. The wondering how that person in the front row doesn’t look like a drowned rat, like the rest of the class. The wondering why your body doesn’t move how it ‘should’. The realisation of why you should never wear trackpants to Bikram Yoga.

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There’s more. The determination that sweeps over you to keep enduring the postures. The satisfaction when you (sort of) get a posture figured out and execute it like a pro. Feeling as if you are part of the energy filling the room and the sense of relief at the end of class. The ‘yoga brain’ kicking in and the moment you realise you just gave your body the greatest gift you could possibly give. The sense of peace taking hold of the very middle of your being.

Last night I accompanied my friend to their very first Bikram Yoga class. It brought back such memories of mine. They did well and managed to keep up for most of the class. It seems they may be one of those people who may pick it up quickly. They may just be a Bikram convert yet.

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After class had finished, a few minutes were spent in meditation before stepping outside and waiting for my friend to exit the room. They followed shortly behind me, taking a seat immediately. Appearing to be in quite a surreal state after their first round in the torture chamber (as Bikram Choudhury calls it) I simply asked if they were okay and if they enjoyed class. The response came slowly: “more… more yoga!” I had a quiet chuckle. Ahh yes, I remember that feeling. The feeling of not quite knowing what the fuck just happened, but damn it was good!

Once showered, cleaned and de-sweatified, we made our way up to Tanuki’s Cave for some delicious food and then back to my wee apartment for tea. The yoga brain was strong in us that evening. What with two, usually perfectly spoken individuals, mixing up simple grammar and meshing words that really shouldn’t be mixed. Nonetheless, it was a great night and I felt a real privelege to have shared a ‘first’ experience with this friend of mine. And so thankful that I am able to share this wonderful, sweatified gift for our bodies with others.

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Related stories:
Level-Up, Bikram Style
The Challenge

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