An Indian Love Affair

I’ve been spending a lot of steamy time lately with a certain hot Indian. Not to be too politically correct, but the way my heart races! The fluttering in my stomach! The sweat pouring off my shaking frame!

Not quite there

That Bikram yoga challenge* is, in all seriousness, doing some good. Today was class 38 of 60. I’m down a couple pounds, have newly discovered muscles in my stomach and an empowered state of mind that I can imagine is highly annoying to those who spend time with me outside of the sweat lodge yoga studio.

Recent observations:

1. If there is an instructor you truly dislike, it is probably because he/she pushes you to be better. Give in. Suck it up. Keep taking his/her class.

2. Figure out where the scapula is on your body and keep this in mind. I’ve taken plenty of science classes and had no idea . It’s pointed out as an area you should be thinking of about 10,000 times per class. Scapula = shoulder blade. Got it.

3. If you are taking an afternoon class, eat at least 4 hours prior. (Better yet, just take the morning class.) Otherwise, the first Dandayamana-Bibhaktapada-Janushirasana** — Standing Separate Leg Head to Knee Pose — will result in revisiting your lunch. I haven’t yet figured out the best timing, which means I’m eating less; nothing is worse than vomiting in public.

4. My car smells like yoga. My closet smells like yoga. The workout clothes I wore last week and have since washed twice smell like yoga. It is a particularly distinct combination of sweat, feet and incense. Sounds disgusting, but in a very weird way you begin to love it.

5. Coco water is just about the most refreshingly powerful thing I’ve ever drank. After class, I sip one of these 60 calorie containers and it’s like someone plugged my battery back in. The potassium is high so you don’t cramp and it is all natural.


6. Aside from the physical and flexibility stuff I can do all of a sudden, the mental side of this challenge has been a bit of a roller coaster. There are weeks where I am so fired up. I race in the door, throw my sticker on the 60-day challenge chart and burst into class ready to namaste it like the best of the spandex-clad monkeys. And there has been one week in particular where it took sheer grace to get my completely exhausted frame to class each day, pushing through one sore pose to the next. Thankfully, I didn’t give up.

I couldn’t.

There are stickers.

And a chart.

And if there is one thing this type A spandex-clad monkey loves, it’s public accountability and a challenge that seems pretty insane. Even if I have nightmares where people randomly shout “LOCK YOUR KNEE!”

yogi in training,


* I almost titled this post, “Namaste that, Bitches!”

** Trying saying that three times fast. Jeez, Bikram. I bet you rock at Scrabble.

16 Replies to “An Indian Love Affair”

  1. You continue to inspire me Kelli! I have been considering taking a yoga class. In fact, my big thing this year is to find physical activity that I love. Winter time is always hard because it can be so darned cold outside. So far, geocaching, and going for a walk with my ipod are topping the list. I would like to expand into experiences, maybe rock climbing, snow shoeing and even though it makes my knees knock with fear, down hill skiing and snow boarding.

    I so enjoy reading your blog and keeping up with your life. You are an amazing woman. Thanks for sharing your life.

  2. Good for you!

    I always find the timing of yoga and eating to be a challenge as well. Morning is definitely the best for the eating schedule, however, I’ve realized that I’m so stiff in the morning, that I’m much more likely to injure myself.

    So when I do yoga it’s right after I get back from my walk at noon or so. That way I’m all warmed up and much more flexible.

  3. Dandayamana Bibhaktapada Janushirasana just about kills me — me of the tight hamstrings and butt muscles. Though, now that I think of it, not as much as it used to. Progress?

  4. Kelli,
    Congratulations on hanging in there with the Bikram Challenge! You’re almost 2/3 of the way through! I’ve been doing yoga for two years now. How do you remember the Sanskrit (?) names of the poses? I would like to understand yoga better and not just do what the teacher tells me (although I have a very good teacher).
    By the way, I gave up chocolate for Lent and added in an extended time of silent prayer with my church family. I always encourage them to add something to their Lenten journey, not just sacrifice something.
    Grace and peace, Linda

  5. Is this supposed to inspire me to accept your evite….?

    Jokes aside, Ryan and I are starting a 3x/wk yoga class because of you. THANKS A LOT. Hahaha no seriously…I’m stoked 🙂 I love yoga!

  6. I love this post Kelli. Ten years ago I got into yoga for the physical side of it – help with my severe siatica but it soon turned into a more serious mind, body and soul thing. I am now living a yogic lifestyle (or trying to as much as possible).

  7. I think it’s so totally cool that you are doing this. I really like regular yoga, but the idea of being in a hot steaming room doing it is NOT appealing to me. On the other hand, maybe if one day I did not-Bikram yoga for 60 days, THAT might make me feel like a rock star, too.
    By the way, I think you are one.
    And not just because of your yoga.
    Your meals make my body hunger.
    Congrats again; you’re totally rocking this.

  8. What dedication! I’m inspired!

    I don’t think the sticker chart would motivate me, however. Well, maybe if I could trade them in for fabric or skeins of yarn.

  9. Kelli, I love this. I am an old yogi(been doing it a long time and and old in years). I have been really impaired with radical shoulder surgery and have avoided Bikram (although not other forms of yoga). I was/am afraid of people seeing what I cannot do. You have inspired me to come back and give it a good old college try. Thanks beautiful young woman!! This old bird appreciates you.

  10. Kelli, I am 8 days into a 30 day Bikram challenge and Jennie mentioned to me that you had done 60 days. I’m exhausted!!! I love it and hate it. I’m so glad you made the comment about the ‘one’ instructor…she’s hard core! I’m curious…did you really do 60 days in a row??? And how much weight did you lose? So far I’ve put on 2 pounds. :0(

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