heather goes tropical: the shangri-la series – part toot

I have discovered the secret (not The Secret . . . calm down, Rhonda Byrne).  What I have discovered is the secret to why everyone in California is in such good shape.  No one works.  Without a pesky job getting in the way, there is ample time to pursue physical fitness and toned SoCal perfection.  My current unemployment actually gives me something in common with these tall, tan wonder women.  Serendipity!  But clearly, I am not trying hard enough.

Feeling the need to fully embrace my (temporary) status as a Real Housewife of San Diego County, I wanted to do what the Romans were doing.  Last week, the Romans were doing Bikram Yoga (well, they probably do that every week).  Yes, Bikram Yoga would certainly cement my elite California status.  I already have the no working thing DOWN . . . I “live” in a mansion . . . the only missing piece to my lifestyle is overpriced exercise classes.  A light bulb went off, and I saw the error of my “jogging by the beach” ways.  Why exercise out in nature for freesies when you can pony up cash to do yoga in a simulated jungle?!?

So, you don’t just go to Bikram Yoga, someone invites you there.  Luckily for me, Nate’s friend (let’s make his blog name Conrad because that sounds regal) gave me the golden ticket.  Now, I am a pretty fair-weather yoga-er . . . which means, I bought my yoga mat at Target and my Rodney Yee DVD’s gather a lot of dust between uses.  That being said, I have always enjoyed yoga as a simultaneously taxing and relaxing venture.  For those who don’t know, Bikram Yoga is also called “hot yoga” because (get this) you do yoga in a *hot* room.  Despite not having any experience in this type of yoga, I was confident that it would be just like riding a bicycle (funny for those of you who know how well I ride bikes).  I was hydrated.  I had my sweat-catching towels.  I felt good.

Conrad and I entered the class, and it was already obvious that I was way out of my league.  First of all, there were several very serious yoga-teers already preparing for class.  By “preparing” I mean, demonstrating feats of yoga strength while looking awesome.  Secondly, it was hot as freakin’ balls in that room!  Have you ever walked into a room that was 105 degrees and not on fire??  I mean, I knew it would be hot (duh), but I don’t think I had a practical idea of what that really meant.  It took all of 10 seconds for my face to turn beet red and glistening . . . I was certain I was going to suffocate . . . and that was just from rolling out my mat.

Despite my best attempts to blend in, I was quickly singled out by the instructor as a newbie.  Hmmm, how on earth did she know??  Was it my complete lack of body temperature regulation?  My Spiderman towel?  The fact that Conrad and I were just lounging on our mats staring at the yoga-teers and giggling??  Either way, I knew this meant I could not melt away into hot yoga anonymity.  I was keenly aware of my special spot on the instructor’s radar.  As class began, I thought I was striking my very best child’s pose, really I did.  You know who did not agree with me?  The yoga instructor (and the yoga-teers most likely).  Within 30 seconds, she was on me like a hot glue gun, adjusting my hips and standing on my feet.  The whole thing made me so nervous, I couldn’t even contemplate her motivation for touching her feet to mine nor could I let my brain wander to the idea that she is probably one of those crunchy types that shuns footwear in favor of barefooting it through the grocery store.

Once the instructor, ya know, got off my feet, I was able to fully focus on how much I was sweating.  I am quite a sweater in my regular, daily existence.  This is always magnified by exercise and is something I have come to accept about myself.  However, this sweating was other level sweating.  It was the self-actualization of sweating on Maslow’s Hierarchy.  My shins were sweating.  My ears were sweating.  At one point, due to the position we were in, I sweated into my own nostrils and eyeballs.  I could have drowned.  Meanwhile (and I can’t make this shit up), there was a women 2 mats down wearing a FLEECE.

Clearly, I survived to write this blog post.  I have heard people say, “all is well that ends well.”  (I think they are the same people who say, “it is what it is.”)  That phrase probably does apply here considering that survival alone is to be commended.  And it wasn’t all bad . . . there was a hilarious moment when I did not understand the pose that were supposed to do and decided to follow Conrad out of the corner of my eye.  Everything was fine until we looked around at the rest of the class and found them doing pretty much the exact opposite of what we were doing.  If only someone had been standing on my feet, that would have made it all better.

I am happy for the experience, but I think the next time the yoga bug bites, I’ll just pop in a DVD, open all the windows, and aim a fan right at my face.

now for a random picture of a dragon-y thinger from the lower deck at shangri-la!

and one from the upper deck . . . it's been so hazy over the Pacific for the last couple weeks which is completely interfering with my blue whale watching.


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. alicia
    Sep 26, 2011 @ 16:15:13

    Heather, You are just too funny!!! Try gentle yoga like I attempt twice a week!!!


  2. alicia
    Sep 27, 2011 @ 17:42:35

    It really is–everyone ohmms and we do Laugh Yoga which is hysterical! Oh, by the way, I had a dream about you last night. I NEVER dream so what’s that all about??? Anyway, the only thing I remember is that it was your wedding day and your gown was BLACK!! Weird, huh?


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