I got up at 6 on Sunday morning and was out the door by 6:30. I had set my yoga gear by the door the previous night, so I wouldn't forget my mat, as has happened at least once before. The two-hour drive north was beautiful as the sun came up and warmed everything... It feels like spring! At the beginning of my drive, I had half a cup of coffee (sounds crazy but having some is essential for me), a banana, and a little bit of farina (generic Cream of Wheat) that happened to be in the fridge. My belly was feeling good when I got to the studio. I could probably have gone without the farina, but I wanted to start a long yoga day with plenty of carbs.
Class was good. As planned, I snagged a spot in the first row, in a corner. I've only ever been in/around that spot in that studio; no one ever told me it's the hottest part of the room. Teacher-friend complimented me and another student on our backbends while we were in them, so of course I looked over (while backbent) to see where the other student was, and we pushed each other even further. It was cool! My friend had been teasing me about Triangle before class, remembering how I'd totally and completely sucked at it a few years ago when we were both in Utah. I warned her that it had gotten better as I got stronger with my home practice. Well, Triangle came along in class and I think she was pretty much dumbfounded. Yes!! Score one for my nascent hamstrings. (She was standing behind me, and I couldn't resist whispering a "Told ya so...") Also, she helped me out in Half-Tortoise. Awesome.
Pretty sure I got deeper into most postures than I do at home, which was so nice; the heat is my friend. But this studio is DAMN hot, the only place I've ever felt like my skin is actually on fire. Also, and it could be me, I feel like I am under heat lamps here. The lights burn my brains out and make it really hard to want to keep my eyes open during floor series savasanas. I recognize, though, that this is all a test! Apparently I passed, because I didn't claw my eyes out or find ways to blow the lights' fuses. And I just sipped water, which was cool. I guess I'm just not in the habit of doing it anymore (since there's really no reason to when I'm home, not sweating like crazy).
A couple strange things happened: I got a really bad headache in class at some point. Then about 20 minutes later, it was gone. Uhh, OK. Something was just moving along, I guess. Then in Kapalbhati breathing at the end, my left knee seized up like crazy! It felt like there were shards of glass in it, so we moved gingerly after that... After spending forever and a day in Savasana (note to students: Could you try not slamming the studio door while everyone's resting? kthx) I was fine, and apparently the knee was too. Weird!
Teacher-friend, her friend and I went out to brunch, then hung out with their dogs and walked around town a little bit to kill time before my class at 4 (the silent-but-with-music-wtf? class). Despite my pre-emptive caffeination and plenty of water, then more water with Emergen-C after class, the in-class headache had returned, and with a blinding vengeance. Ugh. I was not looking forward to driving home (into the sun) with a migraine, but didn't think I could take another class.
I'd decided to go home anyway and do a single set of the series at night, but then... friend's friend had some errands to run before they'd do dinner, so I JOKINGLY suggested that she take the 4 p.m. class with me to kill time. Much to my surprise, she said yes. So it was decided: I was really going to double up.
Ooohhhhhh, the "silent" class.*
My understanding had been that it would be led by someone who counts out the postures, maybe controls the heat, too? This was not that. And I never did get a good explanation for why the "silent" class has a musical soundtrack, which ranged from soft-alternative-ish-mellow-rock (meh) to Annie Lennox (whom I love, but not when I'm sweating buckets or trying to), to something that sounded like a Bruce Springsteen song being sung in Mongolian. No, seriously. And it wouldn't end. Finally, the last thing I want to hear when I'm in the Savasana between the standing series and spine-strengthening series is a tortured rendition of "Amazing Grace." Nothing could relax me less.
Maybe I wouldn't have minded the tunes so much if my fellow students weren't also attempting to commit grand larceny with my peace. People were toweling off between every posture. I could hear water being gulped, frequently. People were up and down and leaving the room and blah blah blah blah blah sigh... I should keep in mind the bottom line: I wanted to have two classes in a hot studio in a day, and I did that. I got good corrections and feedback in the first class, and I really tuned in with my breath and the collective energy in the second class. One thing I can say for the students at that studio - they are really, really enthusiastic about Bikram yoga. Maybe it's not as "disciplined" (others might say uptight?) as where I practiced before, but the studio is relatively new, too. And maybe, just maybe, I need to take myself and practicing a little less seriously.
Great news: The headache was gone for good after the second class!
* It is entirely possible that none of this would have bugged me if I didn't have a headache, or if these things had occurred in isolation. But the combination was just too much.
This morning, everything was sore. The first muscle I noticed was toward the base of one of my fingers. Really, how does that muscle get a killer workout? But it's been good to feel my body all day. My biceps and lower back, especially, feel very stretched. Can't wait to double up again — if there's a silent class this time, though, it'll probably be at home.