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“Your heart beats faster, your blood pressure is high, skin flushed and you may feel a little nauseous.  The same sensations you have when you fall in love.  Fall in love with yourself.”  Those were the words of our Bikram teacher as we did a backward bending pose that flexed the spinal column, called the camel pose.Ooh what a great concept.  I was all smiles.

When I first opened the door to the yoga room, I had to fight the heat waves just to walk in.  Colorful mats lay side by side, each with one large towel on top and a small one to the side. I’m gonna pass out before the class ends. Our instructor walked in just as I was wondering:  How hot is it in here anyway?

“Make sure you drink plenty of water.” She announced.  The room temp is kept at 105 degrees throughout the 90 minutes.”

Mother of God.   Who can last 90 minutes in that?

But like anything else in life, how would you know if you don’t try?

About ¼ way into the class droplets of sweat started pouring down with such ferocity I had to double check to make sure my body parts hadn’t melted in a pile.  I had no idea I could sweat this much but at least my face had a nice glow to it.

Like any physical activity the fun lies in realizing how much your body can do when you put it to the test.  It gets even better the deeper you get into the movements and you do with practice.  Your body bends and twists in ways you never imagined possible.  Every time you do a move you couldn’t before, it feels like the first time you finally got a hang of riding your bicycle.  Remember how thrilling it was?

Let the experienced practitioners give you something to strive for.  Get inspired by the pregnant woman who does the whole class, or the 76-year-old who is on a 1000-day challenge.

No matter where you go for Bikram, you do the same 26 poses, half the class you do standing poses and the other half, seated.  Start at your own pace and let your body surprise you.  Fall in love with yourself.

A word of advice (from experience), don’t eat starting two hours prior to class or else on the day you risk it, Murphy’s Law will prevail.  Your teacher will stop the class to look at how well you are holding one of the poses while you focus, with all your might, to keep the food that has pushed out of your stomach, at least in your esophagus.

Those who live in my area, try Bikram Yoga in North Andover.  bikramyogamv.com