Fear of the Week: Hot Yoga Might Kill Me

Photo from FunnyWebPark.blogspot.com

One of my BFF’s used to be an aerobics instructor. She’s 4’11”, buff as hell, and about 105 pounds on a bloated day. If she wasn’t so awesome, I’d hate her.

Her newest kick is Bikram Yoga, the hot yoga I’ve heard Kristen Lamb rave about. After all that raving, I bought a package of 10 yoga sessions in December.

I told the ex-Aerobic Goddess about it and over the weekend, she sent me a link from Mind Body Green (an incredible site for yoga and wellness). 

Here is the link to the full post – I highly recommend you click it when you’re done here. The comments are priceless.

My Dilemma

After reading the timeline below, I’m a bit terrified (OK, completely freaking out) that this hot yoga business is actually the 7th level of Hell. I’ll be interested to hear your opinion.

p.s. The guy who wrote this ad should be reaping fame and fortune – if anyone finds out his name, send it back to me so I can buy all his books.

Below is the Seattle Craig’s List ad highlighted at Mind Body Green. Put your beverage down before reading! (Don’t say I didn’t warn you.)

Yoga mat for sale. Used once. – $1 (Bellevue)

Yoga mat for sale. Used once at lunch hour class in December 2009. Usage timeline as follows:

Register for hot yoga class. Infinite wisdom tells me to commit to 5 class package and purchase a yoga mat. I pay $89.74. Money well spent, I smugly confirm to myself.

Open door to yoga room. A gush of hot dry air rushes through and past me. It smells of breath, sweat and hot. Take spot on floor in back of room next to cute blonde. We will date.

I feel the need to be as near to naked as possible. This is a problem because of the hot blonde to my left and our pending courtship. She will not be pleased to learn that I need to lose 30 pounds before I propose to her.

The shirt and sweats have to come off. I throw caution to the wind and decide to rely on my wit and conditioning to overcome any weight issues my fiancée may take issue with. This will take a lot of wit and conditioning.

Begin small talk with my bride to be. She pretends to ignore me but I know how she can be. I allow her to concentrate and stare straight ahead and continue to pretend that I don’t exist. As we finish sharing our special moment, I am suddenly aware of a sweat moustache that has formed below my nose. This must be from the all the whispering between us.

Instructor enters the room and ascends her special podium at the front of the room. She is a slight, agitated Chinese woman. She introduces me to the class and everyone turns around to greet me just as I decide to aggressively adjust my penis and testes packed in my Under Armor. My bride is notably unfazed.

Since I do have experience with Hot Yoga (4 sessions just 5 short years ago) I fully consider that I may be so outstanding and skilled that my instructor may call me out and ask me to guide the class. My wife will look on with a sparkle in her eye. We will make love after class.

It is now up to 95 degrees in the room. We have been practicing deep breathing exercises for the last 8 minutes. This would not be a problem if we were all breathing actual, you know, oxygen. Instead, we are breathing each other’s body odor, expelled carbon dioxide and other unmentionables. (Don’t worry, I’ll mention them later.)

It is now 100 degrees and I take notice of the humidity, which is hovering at about 90%. I feel the familiar adorning stare of my bride and decide to look back at her. She appears to be nauseated. I then realize that I forgot to brush my teeth prior to attending this class. We bond.

It is now 110 degrees and 95% humidity. I am now balancing on one leg with the other leg crossed over the other. My arms are intertwined and I am squatting. The last time I was in this position was 44 years ago in the womb, but I’m in this for the long haul. My wife looks slightly weathered dripping sweat and her eyeliner is streaming down her face. Well, “for better or worse” is what we committed to so we press on.

The overweight Hispanic man two spots over has sweat running down his legs. At least I think it’s sweat. He is holding every position and has not had a sip of water since we walked in. He is making me look bad and I hate him.

I consider that if anyone in this room farted that we would all certainly perish.

It is now 140 degrees and 100% humidity. I am covered from head to toe in sweat. There is not a square millimeter on my body that is not slippery and sweaty. I am so slimy that I feel like a sea lion or a maybe sea eel. Not even a bear trap could hold me. The sweat is stinging my eyeballs and I can no longer see.

This room stinks of asparagus, cloves, tuna and tacos. There is no food in the room. I realize that this is an amalgamation of the body odors of 30 people in a 140 degree room for the last 55 minutes. Seriously, enough with the asparagus, ok?

140 degrees and 130% humidity. Look, bitch, I need my space here so don’t get all pissy with me if I accidentally sprayed you with sweat as I flipped over. Seriously, is that where this relationship is going? Get over yourself. We need counseling and she needs to be medicated. Stat!

150 degrees and cloudy. And hot. I can no longer move my limbs on my own. I have given up on attempting any of the commands this Chinese chick is yelling out at us. I will lay sedentary until the aid unit arrives. I will buy this building and then have it destroyed.
I lose consciousness.

I have a headache and my wife is being a selfish bitch. I can’t really breathe. All I can think about is holding a cup worth of hot sand in my mouth. I cannot remember what an ice cube is and cannot remember what snow looks like. I consider that my only escape might be a crab walk across 15 bodies and then out of the room. I am paralyzed, and may never walk again so the whole crab walk thing is pretty much out.

I cannot move at all and cannot reach my water. Is breathing voluntary or involuntary? If it’s voluntary, I am screwed. I stopped participating in the class 20 minutes ago. Hey, lady! I paid for this frickin class, ok?! You work for me! Stop yelling at everyone and just tell us a story or something. It’s like juice and cracker time, ok?

It is now 165 degrees and moisture is dripping from the ceiling. The towel that I am laying on is no longer providing any wicking or drying properties. It is actually placing additional sweat on me as I touch it. My towel reeks. I cannot identify the smell but no way can it be from me. Did someone spray some stank on my towel or something?

Torture session is over. I wish hateful things upon the instructor. She graciously allows us to stay and ‘cool down’ in the room. It is 175 degrees. Who cools down in 175 degrees? A Komodo Dragon? My wife has left the room. Probably to throw up.

My opportunity to escape has arrived. I roll over to my stomach and press up to my knees. It is warmer as I rise up from ground level – probably by 15 degrees. So let’s conservatively say it’s 190. I muster my final energy and slowly rise. One foot in front of the other. One foot in front of the other. Towards the door. Towards the door.

The temperature in the lobby is 72 degrees. Both nipples stiffen to diamond strength and my penis begins to retract into my abdomen from the 100 degree temp swing. I can once again breathe though so I am pleased. I spot my future ex wife in the lobby. We had such a good thing going but I know that no measure of counseling will be able to unravel the day’s turmoil and mental scaring.

Arrive at Emerald City Smoothie and proceed to order a 32 oz beverage. 402 calories, 0 fat and 14 grams of protein — effectively negating any caloric burn or benefit from the last 90 minutes. I finish it in 3 minutes and spend the next 2 hours writing this memoir.

Create Craigslist ad while burning final 2 grams of protein from Smoothie and before the “shakes” consume my body.


Have you done Bikram yoga? If so, what did you think? For the Bikram Virgins, does this man’s account make you feel gung-ho or, like me, does it make you want to avoid the Hot Room? Enquiring minds need  to know these things here at More Cowbell!

Happy Monday!!

About Jenny Hansen

Avid seeker of "more"...More words, more creativity, More Cowbell! An extrovert who's terribly fond of silliness. Founding blogger at Writers In The Storm (http://writersinthestormblog.com). Write on!
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76 Responses to Fear of the Week: Hot Yoga Might Kill Me

  1. oh my gosh… I will NEVER do Bikram Yoga now!! I am glad I put my beverage down before the “crab walk scene”…
    This is priceless… 🙂


  2. shawna88 says:

    ::laughing my ass off::

    Jenny – I would never be able to do this. I am currently running the very gentle “Couch to 5K” program using my android phone and what little gumption I can muster. I call the lady who gives me orders from my android “THE BITCH” and “THE MEAN LADY” and occasionally “STUPID”. So far I’ve worked up to week four and feel pretty proud of myself.

    I’m going to conquer that mean lady, stupid bitch if it kills me.




    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Kristen Lamb swears by this, but now I’m gonna have to throw it down on Facebook and find out if she has a master plan to kill us all. 🙂

      p.s. I hope you conquer the stupid bitch…


  3. OMG, that is hilarious! Is it really a real ad? I have wanted to try this type of yoga, but I don’t want to spend the money to take a class. Yet. Plus, I know that if I do spend the money for a gym or anything, it’ll go to waste. If I don’t go to the class/gym right after work, I don’t go, and I’d rather workout at home (I have quite the growing little workout nook!)

    I think I’d love it though. I love yoga, and I love sweating. It shows I’m working out hard. And I grew up dancing. No, our classrooms weren’t a million degrees, but still…I don’t know. I’m always cold, so the idea of being hot doesn’t scare me. 🙂


    • Jenny Hansen says:

      April, I hear the best stuff about it. Everyone says if you can stand the heat and the smell, it is amazing. I think if I found an extraordinarily WELL-VENTILATED studio, I might (emphasis on might) give it a whirl. But he scared me.

      According to the yoga site, this was a real ad.


  4. I have heard of this Yoga! I want to try it! Yes, even after reading that hilarious horror story!

    I might meet my future ex-husband XD


  5. I state with authority. I did not know about Blahdy-blech* Yoga until I read this post.

    *It’s a B word, and I chose not to scroll up for the real name, because…

    I do not WANT to know about, try out, or sweat over Blahdy-blech Yoga.

    But, I AM glad the guy who wrote that journal tried it once. Otherwise, I would still be waiting for my coffee-spew-read of the day. Too FUNNY!


  6. Carrie says:

    Sorry, I wouldn’t be able to stand the heat! Currently I’m cursing Bob Harper on a regular basis in the comfort of my own living room. He’s a cutie, but that doesn’t stop him from getting the finger from me occasionally! =) In a nice way of course.


  7. Stacy Green says:

    This is awesome. I laughed so hard I nearly peed, lol. I would never be able to do Bikram as I despise heat and humidity. And to be honest, I never thought about the smell. No thanks. But this ad is the funniest thing I’ve read in a long time – thank you for sharing.

    And I’m totally going to check out Bob Harper…


  8. Laura Drake says:

    Oh yeah, like I’m going to sign up after reading THAT!!
    Did the ‘other kind of yoga’ guru pay you to post that?
    Screw it, I’m hitting the chocolate stash.
    I burned off calories laughing, and I’m feeling a little weak.


  9. amyshojai says:

    O-M-G that’s hilarious! And NO NO NO I would never ever do exercise on purpose. Getting too healthy will kill ya! It’s enough to walk and run (aka “be towed-by-leash) with the Magical-Dawg. I like the cat’s aerobics better (snoooooooze).


  10. LOL @ Amy Shojai’s comment. I’ve tried yoga–and yoga won. I admit defeat, so it’s the treadmill and exercise bike for me. Hubby put some handweights nearby. I wonder if he’s trying to tell me something?


  11. Um, I was thinking of trying this since Kristen and Elena Aitken swear it’s fabulous. An hour and a half? That’s torture! Is there a speed Bikram class? Maybe 20 minutes or so, just enough that I can get a good stretch without all the sweat and icky stuff. I hate sweating. I got nauseous just reading this! That guy is a riot, though. I loved the progression of his relationship with the hot girl.

    If you go, props to you, my friend!


  12. Sharla Rae says:

    Too funny Jen. No way would I subject my bod to this torture. I have stairs in my house. Think I’ll just wear out the carpet going up and down.


  13. O.M.G. DYING!!!
    That is awesome…but if I were you, I’d be afraid…very afraid!! LOL!!
    I have a girlfriend who is about 4 foot nothing and BUFF who swears by hot yoga as well. But there is no way in HELL you’d ever get me signed up for that class. Unless perhaps I had become a regular yoga mastered first. LOL!!
    I wish you well and here’s to trying something new – there’s something to be said for pushing outside your comfort zone. And hey, maybe it won’t be that bad. LOL. I can’t WAIT to hear how you make out!!


  14. K.B. Owen says:

    Even before this I knew Bikram wasn’t for me. I hate to be hot, and I hate to sweat! And I certainly don’t want to be experiencing other people sweat that up close and personally, LOL. 😉 Thanks for the laugh, Jenny!


  15. Elena Aitken says:

    Such a funny ad!
    I LOVE hot yoga. I was a true yoga hater until I tried it. Now I can’t get enough.
    But…sometimes it’s totally like the ‘ad’ says! Minus the wife…


  16. Catherine Johnson says:

    That was absolutely hilarious. I managed not to laugh out loud until the juice and crackers part. Too funny!!!! I have a power yoga video that hasn’t seen much sunlight *sigh*


  17. Kristen goes for a session on her way to WWBC meetings. Most Saturdays she can walk in under her own power, but I think it costs her to do it.


  18. I am so scared of yoga. Period. I tend to stick to Pilates. I would love the courage to try this though….


  19. Lena Corazon says:

    Ummmm… yeah. Basically rolling on the floor, laughing my guts out. I’ve been tentatively contemplating attempting Bikram, but after that, I am more than slightly intimidated. Hai-larious!


  20. Omigosh! I just about peed myself laughing. I’m not sure I could handle bikram yoga. One year we were moving in the summer. I had to clean out the garage and it was about 106 outside. No ac in the garage of course. Don’t even know how hot it was in there. I sweated like a…well, a really sweaty person. Anyway, that’s as close as I’ve been to that kind of yoga. That might be close enough for me. LOL


  21. That was hysterical. I’ve been thinking about doing the bikram, but I never thought about the possibility of that much odor. I think I would gag.


  22. On my goodness – I haven’t laughed that hard in forever. And EVER! While I have a yoga mat that I use *almost* daily, I’ve never braved the Bikram classes. Call me chicken-shit. I’m totally cool with that.

    I CAN’T WAIT to hear how your classes go!!!


  23. tomwisk says:

    Loved the post, hate yoga. Tried it my forties and discovered that the human body cannot be bent and twisted into the positions required. You have to have the genes to do yoga. I ain’t got ’em. Right now I’ll go to my favorite meditation; how to prepare chicken breasts so they’ll be flavorful and tender. And if they’ll be a part of dinner on another day.


  24. Brinda Berry says:

    I’m glad I wasn’t drinking a nice beverage at my desk while reading. I will pass on the B**** yoga. I attend Body Pump and an occasional Zumba class when I want to sling sweat on someone. 🙂 Good luck with that.


  25. Good grief Jenny, how did you find that ad? And the dog! LOL!!!

    I’ve done a little yoga in the past and they say it is great for circulation. Well this sounds like yoga on crack! I think I’ll stick with my elliptical thank you very much!

    Let us know how it turns out for you. Btw, didn’t we already know that Kristen was a little wacked? 🙂


  26. Julie Glover says:

    That is some fabulous cowbell! Some people are hilarious — you and this guy both. This is why you should exercise with line dancing instead. 😉


  27. Author Kristen Lamb says:

    LOL…too funny. I always go to the front of the room so I don’t have to smell anyone. What I love about Bikram is you don’t have to do anything to get the same cardio workout as a run. The heat kicks your heart rate up to aerobic levels so even if you just sat on your mat and endured the 90 minutes, you would still burn a crap load of fat.

    Actually as long as you hydrate well before going in the heat isn’t that bad. Why it sucks for a lot of people is we don’t drink near enough water so we go in already dehydrated. If you are going to do Bikram, a minimum of 110 ounces the day before. I also chug 30 oz of water and electrolytes an hour before. It is tough the first couple of times, but it does get to where youy need the heat.

    I did the Bikram 60 day challenge–60 days of yoga in a row. I lost 25 inches. If you want to shred fast, Bikram will do it and it will heal old injuries and is good for your joints. For writers it is perfect. We need to take care of our backs and joints.

    Thanks for the great laugh. I am passing this on!


    • Jenny Hansen says:

      A-HA!!! You admit that there is a serious stink factor! That knocks at least half the More Cowbell Posse out right there, if you read any of the comments. This ain’t no pro-stinky crowd.

      I saw that you did the 60 day challenge (which is part of why I bought the 10 sessions) – I did not see that you lost 25 inches!!

      Water is a huge challenge for me so I’m a bit worried about that one…but I WILL TRY this (stupid) hot yoga. Dang it.


  28. I think I will stick with running and rock climbing 🙂 I don’t do well with odors, haha.


  29. I like yoga but this sounds more like torture to me. Recommend you do not purchase the guy’s mat, though, Jenny. 🙂

    So will you post pictures of your classes so we can all share your joy/pain. Yikes. Good luck!


  30. Melinda says:

    OMG…I had to stop reading three times because tears were streaming so hard and heavy I couldn’t see the words lol. Too funny!

    I love yoga, and wish I could go to class now but the closest thing to me is one of those heated yoga places and I just wasn’t sure how I’d do in the heat. I hate being hot. And now that I’ve read this…I’m not so sure I’ll ever find out how I’d do in there.

    Ah, thanks for the giggles!


  31. Debra Kristi says:

    This is hilarious! Love this post. I haven’t tried Bikram, but my exercise program included an 1 ½ yoga workout. I like the idea of the heat getting your heart rate up to aerobic levels like Kristen mentions. And if you can avoid most of the smells by going to the front of the room, I’d say you have a winner. You can do it Jenny! If it burns fat like that, you’ll become addicted. 😀


  32. I’m right there with you – I would totally buy anything this guy wrote. I felt like I was sweating just reading it. Fabulous! (You KNOW you’re writing a blog post after you take those classes. I have to know if it’s really the 7th level of Hell.) …Good luck. 😀


  33. Emma Burcart says:

    That was hilarious! I have thought several times of trying it because I love heat and humidity. And I love being sweaty. But the problem is I don’t actually like yoga. I’ve tried the regular kind and I just don’t like it. If I could just sit in the hot room myself once everyone’s stank has worn off I would be do happy. I’m getting tired of standing under the heat lamp and boiling water on the stove all day. Maybe I’ll try a class and just lay down on my may for a nap. They might not notice.


  34. OMG, I nearly spewed. what a great post. I have been to hot Yoga. while not so dramatic as our writer, I did not enjoy it very much. that having been said, I’m game to go again – at least once.


  35. Piper Bayard says:

    What a hoot!

    I’ve done yoga, but never bikram. I want to try it, though, after Kristen’s experience with it. Thanks for your blog.


  36. OMG, that is hilarious! I woke my snoring husband up (not an easy task) because I couldn’t stop laughing!

    I love yoga, but have never tried this particular variety of torture. After reading this, I think I will stay with that plan! 🙂


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  38. Kate Wood says:

    OMG…how I didn’t inhale my breakfast during this, I have no idea. This was hysterical. Who IS this guy????
    I did Hot Yoga for about 9 months. I found it exhilarating….although I can totally relate to what this guy says LOL I stopped going because I just couldn’t get up at 5:30am anymore. Now I go to the gym at a respectable 6pm ;p


  39. Ha ha, yes this guy should be making a fortune off this ad. I had a ballerina room mate who was doing Bikram yoga. She also did Jillian Micheal’s 30 Day Shread with 10lb weights so I decided to know my limits and avoid the yoga.


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  42. Hilarious. Definitely steering clear of Bikram.


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  44. Lara McGill says:

    Jenny, how’s the Bikram going?


  45. Alex says:

    I have honestly wet myself laughing. I did a Bikram class this morning, and felt like that (almost)
    Have to say my face is redder than anyone’s and I sweat like I am in a shower. But…… Im addicted. I used to have panic attacks on the drive there. How crazy am I? Some days I have a bad session, other times I feel like I rock, but I can honestly say it has changed my life. I feel like I can take on anything, I no longer have miserable back pain, and my frozen shoulders are a little better every month. Its almost like a drug. The only thing I hate is what it does to my very wavy, dry hair. I look like I am a mad woman most of the time.
    Honestly give it a go Jenny! there is also a blog by a lady who suffers from AF, and she says it has been amazing for her.


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