An American Girl in Washington

Bikram for the New Year

Posted in AG Goes Veggie by AGinDC on 6 January 2013

I live down the street from Bikram Yoga Capital Hill and I’ve been walking past it daily for almost a year now. I keep meaning to try it and once even went so far as to walk in and talk to them, but I’ve never taken an actual class. However, now that I’m preparing to turn 30 in 10 months, I’m not only still working on the whole weight loss thing, but I’m also gunning for inner peace at full speed. I was going to start running again and started Couch 2 5k a few weeks ago when I suddenly remembered why I stopped in the first place. I have bad knees, ankles and shins and running on concrete is the worst thing for me. In addition, running is not generally a peaceful thing for me. I blast my iPhone with punk rock or really bad girly pop or, if I’m angry and hate the world, Jay-Z, and my brain runs at full speed and it’s just not a process that leads me towards Nirvana. And then there’s the fact that I almost never stretch and running has never once, in my life, led me to lose a single pound, so it’s really just all bad, all the time.

Enter: yoga. I’ve tried yoga a few times. I never really make it through. It seems boring and painful for no reason. I get that a lot of people really love yoga and find inner peace and all and that’s great. But I’m more of a high-impact, super competitive, no-pain-no-gain kind of girl and yoga just makes me want to die of pointlessness. But, there’s a lot about it that seems useful, and I’ve been wanting to find a way to like it. Which is why I tried Bikram. The whole hot yoga thing sounded promising, since sweat is obviously good for you in more ways than I probably know of and I figured it was worth a shot. I thought it would be like normal yoga in a sauna so going in I prepared myself for lots of meditating and downward facing dog and awkward stretchiness. Wrong!

It turns out, Bikram is like the Nascar version of yoga. It’s really hot, the moves don’t last more than 30 seconds or so each, you’re constantly moving, and the instructor talks faster than I do, which is quite an accomplishment. In fact, if the role of yoga dominatrix doesn’t work out for today’s instructor, Kendra, she has a promising career as a Southern auctioneer.

Bikram is incredibly painful and really really sweaty and it’s possibly the least cute that I have ever looked, which is saying something. But it is also really athletic, which was exactly what I was looking for, it’s incredibly challenging and the competitor in me loved that I could compare myself to everyone else, wonder “How do they do that?” and then push myself a little harder. By the end I was both glaring at Kendra, who I began to regard as an evil apparition sent down to torture me, but I was also really glad that I was there and couldn’t wait to come back again. So, for now, I’ll stick with it. But just twice a week I think. I don’t think I can handle much more than that.

photo (3)After what felt like a long walk home, I made a kale banana smoothie (I’m in for the day) and drank it while I made a red potato version of my new ratatouille standard. I’m desperate to find a healthy way to eat potatoes since they are quickly becoming a staple of my diet and I would like to refrain from frying them. So I made them with broccoli, green beans, red pepper, onion, garlic, carrots, rosemary, thyme, cumin, salt, pepper and veggie broth. Yum. I’m going to listen to Prairie Home Companion and recover the feeling in my legs and then chow down. One thing’s for sure, I’m way too tired to get much work done.




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