90 minutes, 105 degrees, 40-60% humidity, 26 postures, a Certified Bikram Yoga instructor & You.

This is listed under "What makes a Bikram Yoga class?" on the Yoga Groove website. Such a simple and albeit true statement, but is the equivalent of saying it only takes you and a pair of running shoes to run a marathon. This is just a description of the who, what, when, where & how. Where was the why?

Last year a friend bought some classes and proceeded to peek my interest as she described the brutality of the heat, the overall discipline, and the enigmatic way she stated that I wouldn't “get it” unless I took a class myself. True to the Austinite spirit, I've tried just about every class, cleanse, juice, boot camp and sport out there. I've run races with bleeding feet in the freezing rain for crying out loud, for sure I can do this, right?

Eager and ready, I showed up with my gear raring to go. However, within the first few minutes before class even started I was taken aback by the waves of extreme heat. Oh sweet molasses, the idea of just sitting in the class for 90 minutes was almost unbearable, let alone doing 26(x2) extensive postures?!?

Being a Texan one would think I would have acclimated to heat—heck I was born into it. But this my friends is no ordinary heat. This is heat+humidity+monkey mind+whatever other hang up you got going on. I wonder if I can just sneak out without being noticed I thought? Fat chance. My strong adverse reaction could only mean one thing—as much as I hated to admit it, I had to go back.

Class after heat filled class, something amazing happened to my psyche (and no it wasn’t that I began to fall in love with the humidity or understand the long names for each pose)… I slowly began to see why my friend was smiling. The ever-important why. I recognized that she couldn’t tell me why because everyone’s why is different, and will differ on a day-to-day basis ~ at least mine does. Last week it was because my mind needed to rest, two weeks ago it was because I was tired of doing my regular gym routine, this week it’s because I missed my little buddy Bikram and that amazing pebble dispensing ice machine. That first class is fast approaching a year now. Over that time our relationship has had it’s fair share of high highs and low lows (for those who practice know it’s the challenge of the mind that’s the greatest), but the one thing I can count on is: Bikram always brings out the best. Namaste.