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Bikram yoga

Piotr Redlinski, New York Times

Withering Glance: Yoga: The heat is on

  • Article by: RICK NELSON and CLAUDE PECK
  • Star Tribune
  • March 10, 2012 - 5:03 PM

RN: Sure, we're living through the fourth-most-temperate winter on record. But I don't think that's the sole reason why, lately, you've had That Glow. Spill.

CP: Glad somebody noticed. Dr. F. Goode doubled my Wellbutrin XL. Maybe that's it.

RN: No, it's something else. Your posture, for instance. If I didn't know any better, I'd say you'd installed a ballet barre in your basement.

CP: No, I signed up for the free week at a local hot-room yoga studio. Have been going every single day. Gotta get my money's worth.

RN: My underarms are getting clammy just thinking about it.

CP: I seem to recall you once embarked on 30 days in a row of heated yoga. Is it true that you were seen to levitate briefly around Day 28?

RN: Close. But it was more like I nearly drowned in a pool of my own sweat.

CP: It's fun. They lock you in a high-windowed, dimly lit studio and a calm-voiced instructor guides your flow. Shocking amounts of perspiration ensue. Of course, when the room is heated to 95 humid degrees, chewing a stick of Polar Ice gum would make you sweat.

RN: I prefer my exercise environments cool, like my emotions.

CP: Maybe it's the novelty of so much sweating that appeals to me. Other times when that much fluid pours out of your corpus, it is usually related to something highly unpleasant -- a gunshot wound, say, or uncontrollable sobbing.

RN: At least this way you're getting bendy. Make that bendier, Mr. Pretzel.

CP: Oddly, I remain not-that- flexible. More troubling perhaps: My general crankiness seems unchanged.

RN: Yeah, no kidding.

CP: I still don't have one of those $65 yoga towels, so here I am with my SpongeBob beach towel in a sopping heap alongside my Slip 'n Slide mat. Am I in third grade again? Can't be, as I'm surrounded by statuesque women doing perfect forearm stands and ujayi breathing.

RN: Making a joyful noise among the yogis is unsettling, at least for this lapsed Lutheran. Modesty prevents me from uttering audible lion's breaths.

CP: Please. I have been in yoga with you, and you shout "namaste!" with the same gusto you bring to your Christmas Eve hymn-singing.

RN: Nothing wrong with a rousing chorus of "Good King Wenceslas." Do you see yourself continuing this yoga journey when the free week at CorePower runs out?

CP: I guess I'll have to, or risk flunking out of my Wellness plan.

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