Thursday, April 21, 2011

Yoga flame

That’s one of the skills of Dhalism of Street Fighter, but that’s a whole different story. I’m talking about plain old Yoga.

I’ve been working, still for the same financial institution, though there has been some change in my designation, but the point is, I haven’t been doing anything else. Zero physical activity. Nil. Thus, I have been starting to feel unhealthy and been wanting to do something new which would push my body aiming for a healthier lifestyle.

Tried jogging around the village, even got new earphones for my iPod, but I just find it very boring. I even tried to do some jogging-biking mix in one run just to spice it up a bit, quite funny, but still it was pretty boring. Used to work out in a gym a few years back, did it almost everyday, and yes that was good for me. It’s just that I don’t have the luxury of time anymore to burn a few hours a day in a gym, and working out once a week is just useless (for me that is). And so my pursuit to find something to do began.

Read a lot about Bikram Yoga on the Internet and some magazines, and been wanting to try it out. Plus a new studio just opened in Alabang. It’s on the same building as Army Navy, Yellow Cab and Frutti Froyo. I’m sure everyone familiar with Alabang know where that is. Anyway, I even discussed it with my friends, girlfriend, brother, I don’t know who else, and everyone said to go ahead and try it out. I had some reservations on if I should go for it. Some of which is that I know Yoga has been perceived as an activity quite “soft” especially in the Filipino culture, or at least the environment I’m surrounded by. I knew that some would find it queer of me to do. Sounds really immature but I did think about it, and if it was something I really want to try out. So, I began to Yahoo my way into getting myself informed of this so-called Bikram Yoga (“Google” my way would be dishonest cause I usually use Yahoo, haha)

Found out that Bikram Yoga helps one find his/her “center”, I don’t know what the fuck that means but moving on…. Some literature said that this type of yoga was created by some dude for the physically adept. Found out a number of martial artists, even MMA fighters do some sort of Yoga, not necessarily Bikram, so I was like.. oh hells yeah ima try this shit. With the stuff I read and seen on YouTube, I just thought, why the hell is this then perceived as something peculiar for a guy to do?... fascinating how culture works.

Going to Bikram Yoga Alabang (BYA) was brewing on my head for a couple of days, maybe reached more than a week, then boom, something divine exposed itself on my computer monitor. had a 10-session package at BYA for only P3,450 against the posted P5,500. So I said to myself, damn stupid, grab that coupon. So I did. (Sorry Patser, Jacky, I went ahead already, now it’s your turn, I think I get a discount if I get you guys to buy a package, so please do come with me.. hahaha)

Just a sec.. gotta take a piss.

And now I’m back.

One Friday afternoon, was able to get off work early (this doesn’t happen often) and was able to get a ride with Maximo going home. Got home early enough to catch the 8pm class, and so I got ready.

Grabbed my Yoga mat ohh yeah.. back pack, couple of towels, a tumbler of water, and so I went.

First thing Adam the yoga master asked me was “so, do you have any experience with Bikram or any other type of Yoga?” I answered a very honest “no”, he then asks “none at all?” this got me quite nervous, and so I replied “zero”. Quite nervous now, but then he goes “great, even better”, damn that was a relief.

Haven’t even started yet and I was already sweating like shit. The room was so fucking hot already. Adam goes “Nikkolas, just try to listen as much as you can, look at what the others around you are doing and try to do as much of the positions as you can”. I replied with a humble nod.

15 minutes in: damn this is tough.

20 minutes in: hmm.. I can do this…

25 minutes in: it’s getting hotter in this room… looking like shit already…

27 minutes in: fuck.. I’m feeling dizzy… I kinda feel cold sweat… I need water… don’t pass out fucker.. that would be embarrassing.. suck it in. Adam utters “if you feel like you need to take a knee.. go ahead.. it’s alright…” but I thought I didn’t need to, none of the students were taking a breather.. so I didn’t want to…

31 minutes in: fuck.. I gotta take a knee… and down I go. I was feeling so exhausted already.. took a glance at the clock.. “punyeta.. 1 hour pa?!” Drank water, already finished half of the tumbler, thought to myself.. “I gotta save this… there’s another hour to go”.

38 minutes in: I’m back up.

40 minutes in: I’m back down.

45 minutes in: I’m back up. This time, I was feeling quite better, just focused on my breathing, made sure that I was getting oxygen up my head… I can do this…

60 minutes in: I’m back down…

65 minutes in: I’m back up…. And seemed like I was just doing all the wrong positions… I couldn’t focus well anymore… tried copying what the others were doing.. still was getting them wrong.. Adam goes.. “Nikkolas, right hand over the left…. Yeah.. no.. you already had it… the other way… there it is.. perfect”. Whoo… damn… I don’t want to fucking die.. don’t pass out… jahe… just sit down if you can’t handle it…. I can do this.. suck it up..

75 minutes in: fuck, I couldn’t even do the positions wherein we were on our backs.. I was so exhausted already.. looked at the clock… 15 minutes.. kaya toh…

80 minutes in: konti nalang.. you can do this shit…

85 minutes in: cant even do the breathing exercise.. don’t pass out… 5 minutes more.. don’t fucking pass out!

90 minutes in: “that was a great class everyone.. let’s give Nikkolas a hand”.. and everyone claps… this felt awesome… I was so proud of myself.. that I didn’t just run out of that hell room.. everyone clapping for me felt so good.. and I accepted their cheer… whole heartedly.

Still was feeling quite dizzy… grabbed a bottle of Gatorade and just chugged it all down. After that bottle.. was feeling much better..

Afterwards, I felt really good.. felt all the tension, all the stress in my body were just flushed out. Got on my mobile and called my girlfriend and just talked about how good I felt.. I was really happy about it.

Things I learned:

· If you feel like giving up, just take a knee, it’s not something you should be ashamed about, be ashamed if you decide not to get back up.

· Listen. Listen to people trying to guide you. Even if times are so fucking tough already and you feel lost, listen to them; they won’t let you get into shit you can’t handle.

· Be aware of the people around you, observe and learn from them.

· There’s always some sort of gratification, relief once going through something tough. This feeling is priceless.

· Don’t fucking give up.

Photos from: DealGrocer

BYA Facebook Account


  1. Hi Nikkolas, came across this post and I must say, I was quite entertained. I'm Ginger, BYA studio director and instructor as well. I haven't bumped into you at the studio yet. I loved your narration especially since it reminded me of my first few months (yes, months) of doing Bikram yoga, and even my present practice from time to time. I'm sure a lot of people can relate to your story, as a matter of fact=) 5 years down the line, I still struggle every now and then. The funny thing about Bikram yoga is it doesn't really get any just learn to handle yourself better as you practice. I hope to meet you soon. Thanks for giving me a good laugh over your honest experience. Just keep coming!!!=)

  2. Hey Ginger, we just met moments ago. Quite embarassed that you saw this post. Haha. Just like when the owner of pepper lunch made a comment on my post too. Hope i didn't screw up membership (as if this blog gets around) oh and sorry i didn't say much earlier.. Come on.. You spoke to me after class.. My mind was afloat.. Drove home without the headlights on.. Haha! Anyway, thanks for class, really felt good.. Tough on the first part, but all good.. See ya around! -nikkolas