DAY 80: Baskin Bikrams.

Author: Heather Molina /

by: Stephanie Marek

So I’ve never actually been to a Baskin Robbins, but everybody knows their original claim to fame was having 31 different flavors of ice cream. According to their website, that number has since grown exponentially. And if you’re lucky enough to be near an actual store location, you can go in and they will let you TRY as many flavors as you want by giving you samples on little pink spoons. Pretty cool!

Well at a recent yoga class, on my little pink mat, I got a sampling of some of the different “flavors” Bikram has to offer. It was a class during which I experienced MANY distinct sensations! So many, in fact, that I know this post is going to end up sounding more like a list of ice cream flavors rather than an eloquent piece of writing. Oh well, I’m just going with it! :)

#1. “HUNK-A CHUNK-A HALF MOON HUNGER” During this posture my stomach felt like it was gnawing on itself and I kept thinking about all the things I wanted to eat when I got home. This is not the first time I’ve experienced the pangs of hunger in Half Moon. I like to practice on a fairly empty stomach, and many times it’s just really apparent in this posture specifically. Fortunately, the feeling never stays with me through all of class. (Is there a logical explanation for why that is? Fellow yoga dorks, feel free to comment back with any insights.)

#2. “SURPRISINGLY SWEET HANDS-TO-FEET” A few weeks ago I was getting praise in Hands-to-Feet and I could tell I was making some progress towards locking out my knees. But lately that has stopped and I’ve been feeling like I’m actually regressing a little in this posture. Therefore, it was a DELIGHTFUL surprise when during this class something opened up in second set and I experienced an awesome full-body stretch! Let me tell you, I felt like I could have stayed there all night! It really was sweet!

#3. “ARCTIC AWKWARD FREEZE” I‘ve heard that the more easily you break into a sweat, the more efficiently your body is at cooling itself. I was already working up a great sweat by the time we got to Awkward, and I did feel a nice coolness despite there being no breeze in the room. Recently I’ve been kind of hating Awkward, but this made me actually dig in and enjoy it!

#4. “STANDING SERIES SUPREME WITH TERRIFIC TRIANGLE SWIRL” I felt really satisfied by pretty much my whole standing series in this class. Despite falling out of postures probably as much as I normally do, I had a lot of energy and was really focused on trying the right way. And then the cherry on top of this Bikram Sundae was that I felt like I had tremendous strength in Triangle! Normally, I pretty much loathe every second of Triangle. (I swear getting my hips down low enough will be the death of me!) But for once it seemed like I was nailing that “perfect upside down ‘L’ ” on each side and I had enough strength to stay in the posture for the whole time. This was a nice change for me- perhaps my favorite flavor!

#5. SLOW CHURNED FLOOR SERIES WITH FOOT CRAMP CRUNCH” Once the floor series started it seemed like an entirely different class. My energy and strength were zapped. I was moving really slowly in and out of postures because the lower half of my body felt like lead. On top of that, my feet were cramping up horribly throughout all off spine strengthening. There wasn’t a single Savasana where I could keep my toes together and let my heels fall open while on my stomach; I had to keep flexing my feet back against the floor as a counteractive measure. These killer foot cramps returned later during final breathing and prevented me from even doing the first set.

#6. “CAMELL-O HELL-O JELL-O” After having gotten over my initial fear and dislike of Camel back when I first started practicing, I’ve become one of those people who actually likes this posture. In fact, I love it and usually feel really good in it. But in this class Camel harkened back to my early days of practice. I was really shaky and weak; my legs might as well have been columns of Jell-O. I was quickly getting down into Savasana to make “the dizzies” stop. In a way though, it was cool to experience this again now that I’m more confident in this posture and can trust it. (By “trust” I mean basically knowing that I’m not going to die.) This wasn’t my favorite flavor, but I’m actually glad I got to try it again.

#7. “FAMOUS J’s RED-HOT RABBIT” (That’s right, fellow 101 challenger and one of the main authors of the Bikram 101 blog, thedancingj, has been immortalized as a Baskin Bikrams flavor!) By the time we got to Rabbit that nice coolness I experienced back in Awkward had been obliterated. My skin felt like it was being scorched and I really thought my face just might MELT OFF! But during this time I recalled J’s recent post where she talked about how although we will always feel discomfort in class every now and then, to some extent we have a choice about suffering. So I decided to just acknowledge that I was feeling really hot and go with it; I was uncomfortable but I was not going to suffer. I even smiled a little remembering how in the same post J was downright gushy about her love of Rabbit. :)

#8. “WET & WILD HEAD-TO-KNEE WITH STRETCHING” Normally towards the end of class I’m no longer aware of how much I’m sweating. I’m soaked to the skin no matter what. But during this class my upper body was noticeably raining on my legs in Head-To-Knee with Stretching. Each time I leaned forward I felt the heavy PLUNK, PLUNK, PLUNK of sweat beads dripping down. It was nice and juicy!

I could go on and on with the list, but it’s probably time I talk more about what I think all of this means. Other than showcasing my penchant for making up silly names for the postures, it tells me that on this particular day I successfully stayed present for the entire class. It’s something our teachers always remind us to do, but it’s easier said than done. Far too often those outside thoughts creep in and our minds drift away from what’s actually happening in the hot room. Although sometimes we need a little distraction to lift us and get us through a tough moment, it’s important to try and come back and focus on the present, no matter what we may be feeling. This hyper-awareness really connected my body and mind, and I quite enjoyed it! Some sensations I liked, some I didn’t, but it reminded me of one thing for sure: With all the different “flavors” Bikram has to offer, I’ll never get bored!

In closing I would like to pose a question to all those who are reading: What’s the name of YOUR favorite (or least favorite, most unusual, etc.) Baskin Bikrams flavor??? I want to know! This is a call to my fellow yogis to flex that creative muscle between your ears and comment back! Looking forward to hearing from you all! :)

-------------------------------------------------

Stephanie hails from the lovely western Massachusetts. She is completing the Bikram 101 Challenge at Bikram Yoga Northampton, where she began her practice in October of 2009. When not in the hot room she loves spending time with family, friends, and her cat, Buddy. She also enjoys dining-out adventures, writing, shopping, and anything relating to either The Wizard of Oz, Sex and the City, or Lady Gaga. Stephanie currently works in the field of advertising as a full-time Media Buyer, but she hopes to one day complete Bikram Teacher Training so that she can turn her passion for yoga into a career. This is Stephanie’s first challenge and you can read more about her experience at http://ladyyogaga.blogspot.com/.

9 comments:

nf said...

this blog is so creatively awesome - once again you impress me and make me laugh! i'm working on my bikram flavor - perhaps i'll have thought of it by the time class is over today!

nf

Yolk E said...

Such a cute, creative post, Stephanie! I really enjoyed reading this :-) Arctic Awkward Freeze--hahahhah! Baskin Robbins should hire you! Or Bikram should for his next book.

Johan said...

Funnily enough I found myself standing staring at a Ben & Jerry counter today, think what's up with all these crazy names. Must be an american thing. :-)

If anyone deserves to get their own Baskin Bikram flavour it's definitely J. So great work there, and with the rest of the post. Shocked me a bit that someone else would write a posture summary on the same day. Seems we are all still very much in sync.

thedancingj said...

Oh my gosh, this post is amazing.

I has a flavor?!? ( http://icanhascheezburger.com/2007/01/11/i-has-a-flavor-2/ ) Thank you!!! (Yes, I went there with the LOLcats. Sigh.)

Now I am trying to come up with a flavor name, but just ended up looking at lists of Ben and Jerry's and getting hungry. HAH. I want to make something like "Seven Layer Separate Leg Stretching," but I can only think of 4 layers - "first your legs stretching, then hips stretching, then lower spine stretching, eventually whole body stretching." Oh my god, the dialogue is being burned into my brain right now, help me... ;-)

The Missus said...

LOL!!!! Then call it, "Four-Layer Separate Leg Stretching!"

nf said...

how about Shivery Spine Twist with Cool Down Topping?

nina

bikramyogachick said...

Very creative! How about: Scoop-a-leg-up-in-the air standing bowlicious

Lady Yogaga said...

thanks for all the love on my post guys! i had a lot of fun writing it!

J- i like where you're going with your Seven Layer Separate Leg Stretching... maybe add a layer about how all the sweat is dripping down in your eyes and nose, heehe. and p.s. LOLcats is HILARIOUS!

nf & bikramyogachick- love those flavors! very good work!

olga said...

How about thinking you are floating on top of a cool vanilla quart of ice cream during the hottest savasanas!?
This is so creative, thank you for the fun of reading it!
Check out my blog at www.chickswhoknow.com
Namaste, Olga

Post a Comment