A pink taxi

A pink taxi

March 14, 2011

Pre Bikram Yoga

Instead of asking where I find the time to write a blog, I often find myself wondering how I find the time to attend a Bikram Yoga class! Who said golf was time intensive? At golf I can choose the time to play on the large course, playing at dawn or on a vacation day.

I must concede that there are over 25 sessions of Bikram Yoga at Club Stretch. But when  a relative or neigbor inquires about my next session of bikram, my answer is always the same. "Either Sunday at 6pm and/or Monday at 8pm". No other time works for me, because I am not free on Thursday at 1pm and the random Friday morning session is only a rare event.

I also only take bikram classes with my "guru". I don't see why I cannot be as picky as a movie star! They choose their yoga mentors and so can I. Attending bikram yoga, in a very crowded hot class needs motivation enough and it explains why I act selective.

The pre-yoga time is always a race. I have to leave the house an hour before the class. If I don't, I will arrive at Club Stretch 20 mins before and find the sign up form filled to the rim, with no place for the quasi-regular that I am. I have sometimes  regretfully u-turned back home with no place to rest my mat.

On those bikram days, no sooner have I picked up the children from school that we begin time-management programs worthy of the Oval Office. It is all about prioritizing and giving each child the equal amount of time and attention. We examine each child's homework assignments for the evening, ascertain which of it can be done without adult supervision, and then get to other activities and chores, such as washing my daughter's long hair. Any remaining time gets divided amongst the various tasks. The kids and I work in a frenzy. The house feels like a bee-hive but sounds more like Grand Central Station.

Then I get dressed for Bikram yoga. I often don a Gap(RED) tshirt with an inspiring slogan Ado(red) or Hono(red). Minute details of that kind are necessary motivators. Then, I am out the door, rushing for the nearby Starbucks for a caffeine fix. I ignore the guilt inducing questions like: "Is coffee ok before a session?" or  "Won't you feel dehydrated or nauseous?"

Caffeine is my chemical motivator. Without it I go with lower spirits. I need an encouraging lift. I admit to having had a Red Bull before Bikram once or twice and performing in a weird way in class.

I often fly solo to class but occasionally a crazy aunt/uncle/cousin or a dedicated neighbor or two will join me. With the Capricorn Tower tenants, I drive to Port Rashid area, chatting through 5pm traffic. When we arrive, we have to run through the "check-in". I don't seem to commit to buying a Bikram package, so I pay for my single session, rent my mat, secure my place in the room and finally realize that I can now....relax.

It is ME time. I now have about twenty minutes to relax and wind down before class. A monologue buzzes through my mind: "are you sure I want to do this?This is your only cardio workout. You will feel so good after! You left the kids so you have to make the most of it! Remember to focus, maximize your savasnah time. If you fall out of your posture go right back into it."

The instructor walks in, interrupting my reveries. 90 mins pass as if they were 30. I am now in post-Bikram time. I have to rush out: either to tuck the kids into bed or to skip the bed time routine and rush to my social obligations after a cool rewarding shower, to the ones I informed: "sorry, I may be late. I have Bikram yoga and I can't miss it!"


  1. Trying to find time to do everything is something that all mothers learn to do eventually. Making sure to add working out in one's busy schedule is essential to stay healthy and sane in a chaotic world. I enjoyed doing yoga when I was pregnant, but since have set it aside for other types of exercise. I just don't have the time to do it all, and so it comes at the sacrifice of an incredibly beneficial sport.

    The craze for spinning has taken over NYC, and I am incredibly lucky to live across the street from one of the best studios in the city. There are two competing studios, Soul Cycle and Flywheel, and I am a loyal client at Flywheel. The spinning class has become a part of my husband and my weekend plans. I like to go twice a weekend. He prefers once, as it is a strenous cardio exercise, where you walk out in a complete sweat. But like yoga, there is a meditative effect. The lights are dimmed, the music is loud and fun, and the teacher is getting us through the motions, while making sure that we are in the right form. He often makes us imagine we are all riding together on bikes in California or up in the mountains. I always think of the French bike riders on the windy roads in the South of France. Either way, I walk out my mind open, my spirits high, and having expended an incredible amount of calories!!!

    We have the luxury of signing up online for a specific bike. I like the ones in the front row, a remnant of my student days, and a way to keep me motivated. However, I always leave 15 mins before class to get settled in, wipe clean my bike (out of precaution, I am a germophobe!), get my bottles of water and towels for class, and to get comfortably set up on the bike. I hate rushing through these motions as that would make an enjoyable experience become a stressful one.

    I have also taken many friends, aunts and siblings (including the blogger herself who I had to literally pull by the hair to the studio!). It's great to find a fun outlet for our energy....