Monday, 9 January 2012

Day 1.

It was standing room only in the Ballroom at the Radisson Resort at the Gold Coast today for Bikram's first day of Beginner and Advanced classes. All up it was five hours of intense yoga. Yes, five hours.

Here is the room as people were still arriving and before cameras became prohibited:

When the Beginner's class started you really couldn't see any carpet as it was obscured by mats - mats as far as the eye could see. The room was mirror free and heated by a gas blower at one end of the room so it wasn't bakingly hot yet the obverbearing humidity more than made up for it. It was punishing.

Bikram directed the class from this stage seated on this chair wearing a high cut Speedo and a black sweat band tied over his forehead (you'll just have to conjure up the complete picture in your minds eye):

Bikram said that Pranayama Breathing sounded like a swarm of locusts descending whereas to me it sounded and felt like being sucked into the vortex of the torture chamber. Wow it was hard yet Bikram serenaded us and recounted bizarre annecdotes throughout - he told the class that he lost his virginity on his 28th birthday.

The Beginners series runs like a well oiled machine. If you've done Bikram Yoga then you've heard the words before - today they were in an Indian accent by the man himself. According to Bikram they are going to make a film about his life story and either Francis Ford Cuppola, or George Lucas or Steven Speilberg is going to direct it.

When the first class finally finished after two long hours we had a fifteen minute break where I sloped back to my room and had a shower - I felt like throwing myself into the pool, but there was no time for that.

Then it was time for the Advanced series where things became much more free form. Both of this year's reigning Yoga champions were on hand to demonstrate and wasn't that a mindpopping show. We were also introduced to such postures as the Mountain and the Cock - as if. I spent a lot of time sitting on the floor incredulous. I wish I could do Lotus pose. Maybe tomorrow.

When it was finally all over I couldn't help giggling at the hoard of sweaty, dishevelled and barely dressed people who surged through the resort reception, past all of the uninitiated families on holidays, on their way back to their rooms.

And have to get up tomorrow to do it all over again.


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