Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Hot Soccer/Hot Yoga

While playing soccer at high noon in the 28 degree weather last week, sporting an unbreathing polyester fitness bra and two sweaty neoprene knee braces underneath all my clothes, I started to get delirious from dehydration and question the wisdom of what I was doing. Why on earth were we playing in such hot weather, and at that time of day? It was almost unbearable. We quit early – and we never do that. And then I began to think about the millions of people who do hot yoga. They exercise in the hot, hot heat by choice.

No, hot yoga is not called that because of all the scantily clad cute babes who practice it– it’s where people of all shapes and sizes contort themselves into weird poses in a humid, 40 degree room. Why? Apparently, according to its founder Bikram Choudhury, it’s ‘rejuvenating’. Hmm. From what I understand, it’s also riotously farty. (There’s even a pose called the Wind Removing pose.)

I know I’m not the only one who is suspicious of hot yoga’s popularity. Even the writer of Bikram Choudhury’s Wikipedia page displays admirable, ample skepticism, as evidenced by his or her repeated use of the word ‘claims’ in describing hot yoga’s benefits. (Choudhury “claims the heated studio facilitates deeper stretching and injury prevention”; “claims that his system stimulates and restores health to every muscle, joint, and organ of the body” and “claims this helps in the prevention of heart disease and organ failure.”) Choudhury also declares that he has worked with NASA, Richard Nixon (no one has been able to prove these assertions), and the Beatles-- in 1959-- somehow, miraculously, the year before they even formed.

Even though I don’t know much about him, you can probably tell I’m not a Choudhury fan. Perhaps it’s just the influence of my parents’ working class upbringing, but I am leery of people who collect Bentleys and who are openly giddy about how much money they’re making.

But.....I also know there's probably something legitimate about this yoga thing. A lot of talented, respected athletes do hot yoga. The list of devotees includes Kobe Bryant, John McEnroe, Wayne Gretzky, David Beckham, the Williams sisters and last but not least, my beloved Pele. Actors and performers like hot yoga too – apparently George Clooney and Lady Gaga are fans.

I like to picture them all in a Bikram yoga class together. Lady Gaga is in the front row, all superior and ignoring everyone else, wearing a headband made out of meat. Becks is only half into it, mostly distracted by his sweaty, glistening tattoos, which he looks at with quiet awe. Next to him is pasty Richard Nixon, struggling to bend any limbs at all. Lennon and McCartney are elbowing each other, fighting for mat space, while nearby Ringo just lies on his mat, not even pretending to try. The Williams sisters grunt loudly whenever they finally get the hang of a new pose. Just when it finally gets really quiet, George Harrison rips a really loud fart, prompting McEnroe to yell “You cannot be serious!” and Gretzky and Pele to giggle quietly together. Clooney winks suggestively at Kobe, and flashes his killer smile.

Wait, what was I writing about again? Oh yes, hot soccer. Let’s just say I’m glad the weather’s cooling off a bit. Those of us who exercise outside like to get sweaty purely from effort. Namaste.


  1. lot of athletes do cocaine as well...

    man of skeptiscism

  2. The requirements of yoga clothing that is loose, elastic and cotton-like fibers, so you can keep the more relaxed and alive. The measures in the practice of yoga is very hard and will definitely make you sweat.