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Hot for Bikram’s world

Alison Berkley

Dude, I am so hot. I mean it. It’s only because every day, I stick myself in a 110-degree room for my beloved Bikram yoga class and sweat my little butt off for an hour and a half. I haven’t been this addicted to something since I started reading all those celebrity tabloid magazines. Often referred to as “hot yoga,” the Bikram series is conducted in a studio heated to around 100 degrees. The class is 90 minutes long, with the same sequence of 26 postures every time, like a routine. There are no surprises beyond the shock of manipulating your body into positions you never thought possible.It’s sort of like working out in a sauna. You sweat so much you wish you could strip off all your clothes because whatever clothes you are wearing start sticking to you like glue after the first 20 minutes. The good news is most of us are at least half naked, which, believe-you-me, is entertaining in and of itself considering the beautiful bodies on full display in there. Suffice it to say not much is left to the imagination when you’re watching little beads of sweat roll down the shoulders and back of the “hot” guy lying on his towel next to you.Our teacher is a German woman named Caroline who wears her long, jet black hair in a braid thick as ropes and has the kind of flawless beauty that’s hard to swallow, so just looking at her is like biting off more than you can chew. Her husband Jamie calls her “the velvet hammer.” She’s tough, but in a way that lets you know it’s for your own benefit. I so totally love her. I’m the biggest teacher’s pet ever, a role that’s very unfamiliar to me to say the least. I spent a good part of my childhood in the principal’s office, in detention, and sitting in the corner of the room with my face against the wall for being “disruptive.”But in Bikram I’m front and center and would do just about anything to impress my teacher. Whenever she comments on how well I’m doing a posture, it takes all the restraint in the world not to smile like a two-year-old and start jumping up and down shaking my fists over my head in victory and screaming “I am the best!” at the top of my lungs. Sometimes she’ll cruise around during certain postures and give us these awesome massages and I have to bite my tongue so I don’t raise my hand and go, “Pick me pick me pick me!” This is a side of myself I’ve never known before.The coolest part is I’m able to see improvement. Like the first time I saw someone do eagle pose, I raised my hand and said, “Um, excuse me. My limbs are too short to do that.” But over time I sort of figured it out, gained the flexibility and strength I needed to tie myself into these crazy cool knots. There are mirrors all around so if you get a good spot, you can see yourself from every possible angle. Now I know how I look when I’m bending forward, upside down and backward with my legs and/or arms splayed in various directions. Not to be crude, but I do think it could be somewhat liberating for my future in the sack.You’re supposed to “look at yourself in the front mirror” so you can adjust yourself correctly because “form proceeds depth” or whatever. They suggest you look at your “third eye” in the middle of your forehead (I won’t even go there), but I always look at my belly button ring. Not only because it sparkles when the light hits it just so, but because I want to make sure my stomach isn’t pooching out. If you recall, it was during that class that some skinny biatch came up to me afterwards and said, “How is it doing this when you’re pregnant?” Hello, it was the fourth time some random person expected me to be expecting. I’m not sure what to do with that. So I’m real attentive to holding my stomach in like I’m supposed to and “arching my spine” which makes my thighs look skinnier. Aside from the discomfort of having sweat drip into my eyes and nose when I’m upside down, I really love that ruddy glow I get and have often thought about how I could try to duplicate that look from my makeup drawer. I’m also a big sucker for this Bikram dude. He’s some cute little Indian yoga champion who is still alive and well and living like a king in Los Angeles where the Bikram World Headquarters are located. I guess he still teaches and runs his worldwide empire of yoga, which is all licensed and trademarked in the true spirit of American capitalism. I’ve listened to his CD and he’ll say things like, “Would you rather suffer for 90 minutes or suffer for 90 years?” with that funny accent. He’ll laugh and say, “Are you dizzy? Nauseous? Neck hurt? Back hurt? Then you must be happy.” He says yogis don’t eat, don’t sleep and are never sick. He says you could conquer the world if you have a strong spine. Good to know! For a while there, I thought it had everything to do with getting bigger tits.I love the idea of doing this yoga until I’m like 90 years old and would be the coolest grandma ever because I’ll finally be able to do full cobra and bend my back so far that I can put my head through my knees.In the meantime, it must be doing something good for me because I know that no matter what, I always have a hot date on Friday night.The Princess knows she has totally become one of those yoga freak chicks she used to make fun of. E-mail your hottest wishes to alison@berkleymedia.com


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