Taking the Temperature of the Room

Rough Bikram class today.

For me it’s a matter of a couple of degrees between a hot class and a HOT class. A hot class means I can be productive. I sweat, I stretch; it is what it is. A HOT class means I can’t get through everything. I literally feel my body radiating heat and even savasana isn’t a relief. I spend the class counting my breaths and trying to just be in the class without hating it. Most of my classes aren’t like this anymore but this one today was a doozy.

I find that when my tolerance is already low, what I really want is a teacher who is aware of the class mood and environment. I call this “taking the temperature of the room,” which takes on a double meaning in a hot yoga class. By this I mean that they adjust their teaching methods to the class they’ve got instead of making every effort to adjust the class to fit their teaching.

We had the second kind today. He’s a good teacher but he unaffected by heat, he likes to talk and we hold each pose a little longer in his class. Usually that’s fine but today it was excruciating. A lot of veteran people fell out of poses early and the group of new people just didn’t know what to do with themselves. They didn’t take the temperature of the quiet focused room and adjust to it. Instead, they breathed noisily, threw their crackly plastic water bottles around and made such a ruckus that Bonnie (who was taking the class) finally said “Hey! Settle Down!”

Hearing the owner of the studio reprimand someone during class made me feel like a kid hearing my mom yell at my siblings. Part of me thought “ha ha!” (they were seriously so loud) but then the rest of me  got a little scared and tried to be extra quiet and fly under the radar while thinking “Mom’s mad.”

And who can blame her? It’s hot. And only getting hotter. I’m leaving Tucson at the end of the week and my opportunities to do Bikram are going away as well. After this class, I think that isn’t so bad. It was only 90 degrees outside today and the Bikram studio was already super hot. With upcoming summer desert temps of 110 degrees, who needs to spend any extra time in a hot room?

I think I can find something else where I’ll suffer in a different way.

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