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1st May
written by LS Girl

Stop the shrinking that comes with age.  You might even gain an inch, or two and grow inches taller naturally.

A lot of people ask me about Bikram Yoga.  It’s hot.  I mean, it’s actually 105 degrees in the room.  The radio station I listen to has a DJ who does Bikram, I feel like I know him because of this.

Is it a cult?  No.  It’s just a really difficult but awesome thing, and people bond over it just like hikers who summit a highest peak, or runners who complete a marathon.

I started with Bikram after a series of attempts to find something that worked for me (original post of this experience is below).

But, here’s the thing.

I went for my annual physical exam a few weeks ago, and I’ve grown 1.5 inches in height.  ONE AND A HALF INCHES.  I didn’t believe the nurse when she measured me.  I said… “I’m HOW tall!!!???”  I could see by the look on her face, she was thinking, “Oh no.  Another middle aged shrinker, and I’m going to have to be the one who breaks the news.”

NOT SO!  I’m taller.  I am so much taller, I had to take all of my pants to be altered.  Some of them couldn’t be made LONG enough.   So I bought flat shoes to avoid looking like a 1985 JC Penney’s catalog model with a hem at my ankle.

Additionally, I’m kinda old now.  But I’m more flexible, and I feel better than I did ten years ago.  I didn’t lose a lot of weight, but I am “arranged” differently.  And, I’m physically stronger.  Don’t make me kick your ass.




I’m a Yoga Tramp.

I’m unfaithful.  I started practicing yoga regularly; I went once a week.  I began by joining the local community health center yoga class.  Every Thursday at 6:30, the instructor lead us through the basics of a “mixed level” yoga class.  Seven weeks for $70.  I liked practicing yoga right from the start.  I felt good during and after the class.   It was the before I had trouble with.  Not only did I have to show up at least 20 minutes early to get a “good” spot… but, everyone sat around and complained about their lives while we waited.   Husbands, brothers, bosses, the lady in the grocery store, the guy at the book store… all horribly disappointed the patrons of my yoga class.

We had a saying in this class:


Detach.  We were instructed to say this when our mind wandered.  I said it a lot.

After taking this yoga class for two semesters (14 weeks) I took a short break.  I needed to reflect.  What was it about this class that made me tense?  It was the 20 minutes of complaining.  I dreaded it. So, I decided I would continue taking Yoga once a week for seven weeks, I just wouldn’t go to any one dedicated class.  I’d go to all different classes.  I started looking around on the internet, and networking with co-workers and friends.  Here is a recap of my yoga rampage…

Class #1: Townie local yoga place, relatively new:

Description of location:  One block away from the downtown area of a small town, population 7,000.

Description of actual studio:  office/commercial building.  First floor separate entrance.

I arrived a few minutes early and hovered in the lobby until someone had time for me; it was busy… there was another person in the lobby also buying classes.  After the chaos died down, I filled out some paperwork and received a quick tour, and was lead to the studio area where the tour guide helped me arrange my mat and get settled.  It was comfortable in the room, which held about 12 people.  But, once again… there was complaining.  Chit chat and socializing about their issues and problems.


The class itself was very good.  But, the complaining was once again tainting my yoga practice.  Moving on…

Class #2: Townie yoga place, in business for several years.

Description of location:  Off the main road of a sub-downtown within a larger town.  Population 40k in the town, 3k in the sub-town, or “village”.

Description of the actual studio:  Converted house turned office building.  Lower level.  The studio is very nice, but the ceilings were very low.

I arrived a few minutes early again, and this class is a little more laid back.  There is room for about 12 people, and it’s dimly lit, and quiet.  I’m feeling good about this.  The instructor is overly perky, but I appreciate her enthusiasm for her craft.  We settle in, and there is a modest amount of quiet conversation.  The perky instructor enters, and assumes her lead position in the front of the class.  It’s quiet.  We are poised, awaiting her instruction… and then… it came.  “Yoga Voice”… this little, tiny perky girl… was channeling some deep, slow, droning dirge voice.  It was weird.  “Brrrrreeeeatheee deeeeeep……. and……….. throoooouuuugh your noooosssseeeeee……”  I didn’t laugh.  I wanted to.  OH.  this reminds me… the seven weeks for $70 complaining class:  there was a farter.  I know it is natural and all that.  But, there was this one pose, which a particular patron would “express” himself.  I still didn’t laugh.  I wanted to.  Anyhow, the “Yoga Voice” continues throughout the class and I adjust to it.  Moving on…

Class #3: Bikram Yoga / Hot Yoga in a professional building, well established.

Description of location:  high end office complex, metropolitan area.

Description of actual studio:  located right in the middle of the building, well insulated from outside noise and distractions. OH, and it’s 105 degrees.

I enter the studio and there is a healthy looking girl at the desk taking money and slips of paper and talking to regulars and new-comers.  She sees me and informs me that I should go in to the room right away and acclimate myself.  She explains that it’s a voice-guided class, and all I need to do is listen.  She informs me that there is… (I still get a little teary-eyed when I think of it)  no talking in the studio. No talking?  No talking.  I pay for my class and enter the room.  It’s hot.  Like, really hot.  The room is large,  and the walls are lined with mirrors.  The ceilings are high and the room is hot.  H to the O to the T.   The lights come on very bright and everyone jumps to their feet and stands at attention.  I follow suit.  The healthy looking girl comes in and tells us that we need to listen, and move.  That’s it.  She begins with her instruction and I begin to move.  It’s awesome.  It’s hot, and humid, and everyone is soaking wet and striking poses.  It’s an hour and a half long.

When the class ended, I knew I was in love.  I didn’t want to be a Yoga Tramp any longer.  I was reformed.  Rehabilitated.  I couldn’t stop thinking about my sweatbox Bikram Yoga class.  I wasn’t going to see any other yoga instructors any more… I was ready to commit.

As luck would have it… I received a gift certificate for the yoga class of my choice and I cashed in that coupon for Bikram Yoga.  If you are interested in Bikram Yoga:

Listen.  And Move.

And… for the record:  my abrupt abandonment of the community center yoga had NOTHING to do with night I came home after class and discovered a large hole in the crotch of my yoga pants… nothing at all.




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