I tried Bikram Yoga like 12 years ago in a skanky community room someplace in Noe Valley. A second floor joint with the rankest carpet in the wealthy enclave. The smell was so nasty, something like mushrooms and ass. Desperation let me push through the foreboding scent greeting and try anything. That's the best thing I got from the darkest place I've been. I got so miserable that I would try anything. Fear dissolved in the heat of my self-imposed hell. So dramatic. Eh, there it is. I'm wearing a fur coat right now. Not to brag.
It's kind of amazing to go back to the hot room in the total absence of desperation and how fear came right along again.
Imagine you are in a hundred degree room, trapped, for an hour and a half. One person talks. You listen. You try to do what they say. The instructions are bordering on impossible, often painful, but you cannot speak. You eye your measly 16oz of water like a sad hound. The sweat pours off your body, a small river falling off the tip of your nose. You cannot leave. There is no leaving. You gulp your heartbeat down. You are a rhino in a room of gazelles. This is your brain on fear.
It is 8:15 on a Wednesday morning and you are at Bikram Yoga again.
Imagine it again: you are in a room, sheltered from the cold and rain outside, the room is hot, assisting you in the stretching of your tight muscles. You have time to hurl the ropey things out over the bones, ripping through the poisons accumulated in the stagnation of routine. A woman guides you through a series of movements, eventually moving each and every muscle group you can think of, plus ones you didn't think of. Because you forgot you had them. You sweat toxins out of your skin, move out the blocks and make room for possibility.
Same place, 12 years later.
Also, smells better.