What I’m Thinking During My First Bikram Yoga Class

By: Ethel Rohan


This is nice: standing, breathing deep. It’s good to be alive.

Ardha Chandrasana with Pada Hastasana

Yes! I am a half-moon. And I can kinda touch my toes.


Squatting is awkward. Squatting on my toes is awkward and weird. Squatting on my toes with my knees together and arms outstretched just isn’t happening.


Okay, I’m squatting, I’m twisting arms, twisting legs, twisting like an eagle, twisting, twisting, twisting…and I’m flat on the floor. Sorry about that, folks.


Stand with one leg locked, got it, and with the other leg stretched straight out in front bring your nose to your knee. You lost me at “the other leg.”


Stand with one leg pulled back and arced up over the head and the other arm reaching toward the mirror: reach, reach, reach. Okay, I can do this, but it’s sure hot in here. “Fluid yoga,” they got that right. The last time I sweat this much it was two decades back and I was drunk at a disco in a skintight polyester pantsuit and dancing like the outfit was inhabited by a swarm of fire ants.


Okay, balance like a stick. I can do this. Yeah, I’m doing this. Perhaps more snapped twig than straight stick, but hey.

Dandayamana Bibhaktapada Paschimottanasana

Stand straight, separate legs five feet, lean forward, and touch your forehead to the floor. Surprisingly, I can almost do this, and it feels good. Although the only thing that could get my head any closer to the ground right now would be a guillotine.


Wee! I am a triangle.

Dandayamana Bibhaktapada Janushirasana

You want me to put what where? Boy, they’re really into the whole touching your nose to your knee thing, aren’t they?


Maybe I could stand like a tree if I wasn’t dripping in sweat and unable to hold my slippery foot in place. Damn it’s hot.


She’s kidding, right?


Yes, thank you! I never thought I’d feel so happy to assume a corpse pose. What? This pose is over already?


Is she going to talk throughout the entire class? Where’s the quiet, the stillness, the “shut up and let me think about anything else besides what I’m doing right now, thank you very much?”


I hate sit-ups, but at least I can pronounce them. There go the trumpets: more farts than at an Irritable Bowel Syndrome convention. I hope I don’t let loose.


Cobras: they swallow their kill whole, right? Can swallow prey up to fifty times their size, or did I just make that up?


Locust, pocust. This is a doddle. I’m so coming back tomorrow.

Poorna Salabhasana

And I was doing so well.


I’m making such a fine bow someone needs to pick me right up and wrap me around something.

Supta Vajrasana

No way, I’m not even trying that. I’m just going to lie here in corpse pose and luxuriate in the fact that I’ve probably lost five pounds of fluid since hauling my sorry ass in here.

Ardha Kurmasana

Someone’s sure detoxifying! I can taste that stink.


What does she mean we shouldn’t drink too much water during class? I’m so thirty right now I could hack open a camel’s hump and drink straight from it.


How many frigging poses are there?

Janushirasana with Paschimottanasana

I can’t get my nose to touch my knees, okay? Not in this pose or any other pose. We’re not all elastic or plastic or whatever it is you’re made of, because you’re not human. I am so never coming back here. They so better give me a refund on my membership.

Ardha Matsyendrasana

This is like that scene in The Exorcist, where Regan’s head spins.

Kapalbhati in Vajrasana

Which one of my stomachs would you like me to snap exactly? And if I only had one stomach that I could snap sixty times in sixty seconds I wouldn’t need to be here, now would I?

Namaste my arse.


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