Arriving in Albania, I was coming off a good run of yogi commitment by attending a weekly class offered after work, as well as, regular classes at my gym. For clarity, there is a significant difference between “gym” yoga and private studio yoga and I prefer the latter. Gym/Palester yoga tends to be less personal, less forgiving and less effective in the whole mind-body-soul experience thing. But when I’m already paying for a gym membership… frugality trumps preferences. And doing something is far better than doing nothing.
What a convenient segway… recently, I’ve been more in the doing nothing category when it comes to my fitness. And well, no big surprise here… there are effects of my lethargic ways. General soreness, tight muscles, lack of flexibility and the fact that my abs are looking less and less like a Victoria’s Secret model. (If you are asking….Did they EVER? Just trust me, OK!? Everyone’s a damn skeptic…) Not to mention the mental malaise that accompanies inactivity. So, I was due, or even overdue, to get back into a healthy routine.
This past weekend/fundjavë e kaluar (when I finally pried the crochet needle out of my hand) I dusted off and rolled out Old Faithful, my yoga mat. It was during the summertime pushim (think of the Spanish siesta…2-4pm when its too hot to do anything so life shuts down for a mid-day snooze!) and my neighborhood was peacefully quiet. Since I’m between major project work, no pressure of deadlines. Conditions were perfect…. and so I got started.
It felt great to stretch again, twisting to align my spine, opening up my shoulders, and just getting moving again. I was connected to myself and feeling centered (yes… I believe in that spiritual kind of talk, if you don’t… go ahead and roll your eyes. But beware, Kharma’s a bitch!). I was in a zone, flowing through poses, using my oooo-gjah-eee ocean-sounding breathe and then something changed. I could feel a bead of sweat/djersë rolling down my spine… a few moments later, another and then another. It’s quite distracting when you realize it’s so f@#*ing hot that sweat is not only being released from your pores, but in such a magnitude that it pools and then rolls off the body. Wouldn’t you know….I’ve just created my own accidental *Bikram Yoga experience!
Temps in my “hometown” Elbasan have been hovering between 37-39° Celcius/98-100° Farenheit for the past few weeks with no end in sight. And it’s STICKY too. And just like winters….my apartment in the summertime is just about the same temperature INSIDE/brenda as it is outside/jashtë. Which means, I’m also now becoming practiced in the art of Bikram Dish-washing, Bikram Typing, Bikram Web-browsing and my personal favorite, Bikram Napping. Who knew the franchise could have such a broad range!
So the way I see it…. if I keep up a moderate yoga practice and if I continue to sweat like a whore in church simply in stillness….then those abs I mentioned are gonna be back in Gisele Bündchen fightin’ condition real quick! (You’re welcome, Jason.)
Peace, Love and Mercury Rising
PS… While the included photos may not adequately represent the amount of sweat produced, it does represent some other interesting routines:
Cupboard doors left open - That’s my dish drying-rack. I leave it open to help prevent mold.
Multiple water bottles - Well, duh, Mama gotsta keep hydrated, what what!?
Tomato on top of the frying pan - Not really a routine at all… just that’s where I put it, but it seems embarrassing now that its captured on digital, so I felt like I had to acknowledge it.
*Bikram Yoga, named for founder Bikram Choudhury, is ideally practiced in a room heated to 105°F (≈ 40C) with a humidity of 40% and is the most popular form of hot yoga.