I've been practicing yoga for years. I remember my first New York class like it was yesterday. Sun shone through the skylight as the teacher whispered us through a series of asanas and breathing exercises. The last 1o minutes were spent lying on the floor in corpse pose with lavender scented cloths draped over our eyes and foreheads. I thought I was in heaven.
In fact, I know I was, because last night I was in hell. Bikram Yoga is hot, wet and uncomfortable. The studio smells a little like a pair of old running shoes. Not exactly offensive, but thick and musky. Within ten minutes the sweat - not perspiration, but sweat - was running down my forearms and flopping from my fingertips onto my towel. Within twenty minutes the room was spinning. There were no soft encouraging words, no rest, and by God there were no warm lavender scented cloths. I can only imagine it's what it would be like to practice yoga in hell.
I think I'll go back tonight.