Being Naked with Bikram Yoga

As the title reveals, I’ve just started my first session of Bikram Yoga yesterday. I have to do something because I’ve been gaining weight since I moved to the Netherlands. To be exact, I’ve gained 5 kilograms. That’s alot for a year! Okay, maybe more than a year but it is still a lot.

I reckon I’d better do something about it before I have to change my blog description to “A HUGE girl in a BIG lowland” or “An Enormous Gigantic Monster in a BIG Lowland”. Either way, I am so not going to change that! 🙂

To be honest, I was a little worried about this Yoga session. Because it is not just Yoga, it’s HOT yoga. This also means you practice Yoga in a room with a temperature of about 40 degrees Celsius. The last time I did Yoga leisurely was merely one session during my holiday break in Bali. That was practice in a normal room temperature but was already killing me. I had to laugh even thinking about it.

Surprisingly, my first lesson went really well. I made my way to Bikram Yoga in Rotterdam after work. I brought along my usual gym bag containing – a t-shirt + a short + my pink towel + a water bottle & my Adidas running shoes. My point here is, quite honestly, I only need towel and swim wear. But I brought a whole bag of unnecessary items. A little blonde here I know. But well, I have no idea what Bikram Yoga is all about prior to this!

Before I went for the big challenge, I already read that I should go in an empty stomach, I’m not suppose to consume any food 2 hours prior to the lesson. I didn’t understand why but I follow instructions anyway, just to be on the safe side. But damn, I was hungry just before the lesson!

Like I said earlier, I brought a t-shirt with me but when I enter the room, everyone is dress like this:

And then I recall reading about the room being 40 degree Celsius! So I asked the very friendly receptionist if my t-shirt will be too warm. She explains that it depends on how I feel wearing the same t-shirt during hot summer. And I immediately thought about what I would wear in Singapore, not this, I thought. So, I purchased a little yoga top (almost like a sport bra) at a discount of 30%! I had to, because I don’t wanna get dehydration and faint in the room. That would be too embarrassing! But Jos would say “this gives you an excuse to buy new clothes!” which is not true of course. 🙂

The receptionist happens to be also the instructor! During the session, she repeatedly explains how we should position ourselves. She would say “Stretch your legs and point your toes to the ceiling. How high can you go?”  After a while, it already sound like a rhythm. But I listen to every word she said because it is very important that we not do the wrong move.  until now, I still have her voice ringing in my head! 🙂

While I tried hard to focus, I saw from the corner of my eyes a lady next to the lady beside me wasn’t feeling so well. She lie down for a very long time and before I know it, she vomited in a towel! Now, I know why we should not consume any food before the lesson.

After about 20 mins, I start smelling sweats. Every one is dripping with sweats, well including me. Although the thought of it is kinda gross, but I’ve never felt so good sweating. It makes me feel like I’m really working out.

Some of the moves is very challenging, especially when you need to stand on 1 leg. and I learn the trick is really to keep the thigh muscles tight and keep your balance.

90 mins seems longer than it’s suppose to be. Finally, when the instructor finally went silence and everyone lie on their back on the mat, I know the lesson is over. We lied there for 3 mins and then I followed the crowd to the shower room.

The Shower Room – That is possibly the one thing I dislike. I’m a private person when it comes to being naked. Call me conservative but I am not used to undressing in front of total strangers and be totally naked. I also feel uncomfortable watching them being naked!  Although i’ve gotten kinda use to watching nakedness, I’m not so used to being naked myself.  I was trying to find a private corner but it was no where to be found. There is no cubicles, no shower curtains, nothing! The shower room is open concept with 5 shower taps standing next to one another! 20 ladies squeezed in one little shower room is abit too much I think.

I sat and ponder for abit.. “I had to shower or at least change, I cannot go out like this. But there is no way I can change without undressing in front of everyone right?” So I just had to join them but I realize, no one is really watching me. Nobody cares. So I took a quick one and ran out.

So, few things I learn after the first lesson:

1) Wear as little as possible. My shorts is not good enough. It has to be short like a swim shorts.

2) Hydrate yourself as much as possible one day before the actual lesson.

3) Don’t be ashamed of your body, no one really cares. Every one is too busy focusing on themselves. 🙂

And last of all, I think I’m addicted! 🙂

Till next time…

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A Tribute To A Dedicated Korfbal Player

Ever heard of Korfbal? Well, now that you read this post, you will. Before I met Jos, I have no idea what Korf Ball is all about. Although this sport is also played in other part of the world, it is originated from the Netherlands and most commonly spoke about in the Netherlands. Therefore, if only you asked a Dutch, otherwise, if you hear Korfbal, you would probably think it is Golf Ball like I did. Only to realise they are so completely different. Korf in Dutch really mean Basket; as such, it really means Basketball. But no, it isn’t the traditional basket ball, it seems more like Netball but the rules of the games and technics are completely different.

I’m not gonna go into details of the difference in the technics between Korfball and basketball but there is one very obvious difference… this sport is the only team sport that requires a mixed gender – 4 males & 4 females against the opponent with 4 other males & 4 other females. The female are usually dressed in very short skirt just like the female tennis player.

A Korfball Match

Once I asked a dutch male friend about Korfball and he told me; man who play Korfbal wants to find a girlfriend. Now check the comic below: (LOL!)

Why play Korfbal?

The last one tickles me. It reads.. Even with a head like this you can get a girlfriend … if you join korfbal!

Jos has started playing Korfball since he was 5 years old. More than half his life, he has been involve with the sport and have always enjoyed playing them. And no, he don’t have a head like that although his ex-girlfriend was indeed from the same sport.

When I moved to the Netherlands, he had announced that he will quit the sport altogether because he wanted to do some other sports with me and also focused on his speed cycling. I reckon that must be a disappointment to many of his team mates since he is (in my opinion) one of the very good player in his team. I’ve been to watch him trained and played in matches a few times and he never fails to charm me with his every move. 🙂 He is always into the game, focus and hold on to the professionalism of being a team member. There were days he feels really tired because of work, although he would prefer to lie on the couch and recuperate from a stressful work day, he would still drag himself out of home and get to the club for training and yet coming back feeling good. He is committed to the game and all team members twice weekly and never fails to turn up unless he is on overseas trip.

Those days when we were living apart, I remember he would send me text message of how many goals he made every Saturday. He is always eager to share the results of the match and is always very proud of the outcome. The enthusiasm and positive attitude of someone that has played for such a long time; in my opinion, is rarely seen. To top that off, I’ve not heard from him that his team lose in a match so far; how cool is that?

Besides being a committed team member, he also made many good friends from the same club that has lasted a long long time. The chemistry within the team is easily spotted without much trying. Quite honestly, I marveled the loyalty and commitment he has for all these good friends. And there are not one but quite a handful. He is always ready to give; always ready to help; no matter how busy he gets, he find time for his friends and never asked for anything in return.

Today was his last home match before he retires from the sport altogether and he had insisted for me to be there to watch the match. Although I always prefer for him to go to the match on his own but being there to see him play for the last time was not something I want to miss. Thankfully, the weather today is close to perfection. Full Sunshine, no sight of any dark clouds with light cold breeze of which I easily manage. I put on my summer dress and get ready to cheer for my man!

Today’s match was one very competitive one towards the end. The first half of the match, Jos team was leading with 4 goals and towards the second half, opponent start scoring up to a point where Jos’ team were only 1 goal ahead. In the end, they still won with a phew! And yes, as always it was really enjoyable to watch.

All I’ve written may be something I observe as someone close to him. No one has to agree with me but I believe if I ask any of his friends, they will agree with two hands up. Although he might not play in the same team with these friends anymore, I’m sure he will always be there to help if anyone asked.

Ik ben trots op je Schatje! x