A Guide to Bikram in 10 Easy Steps
There’s an awful lot of sh*tty stuff going on in the world right now. Many people close to me are also going through hard times. Whether it be money, work, relationships or illness—it seems to be a hard time for many people. Keep your chin up and keep chugging—so easy to say, so difficult to do.
I’m fortunate, I guess. No matter how bad my head is, I really am fortunate. I know I come across as an ungrateful whinging sod sometimes but it’s just my head speaking. As I’ve said on many occasions, my head is out to get me. So I thought what better way to tackle the world’s social problems than doing a blog about “A Blokes Guide to Bikram Yoga.”
I’ve been practicing Bikram off and on for several years. I have a rather love hate relationship with it and my anger has gotten me into trouble. “The Day I Was Barred From Bikram Yoga” has been my most popular blog to date. So, on the request of a few people I have put together a mini-blokes guide to Bikram Yoga. Here it is:
1. Getting Started: The First Step is the Doorstep.
Actually getting in the door to do a class is the hard bit. Blokes don’t like to take direction or orders. Therefore, standing in a class with a teacher ordering you into 26 different postures is as appealing as an evening with Freddie Starr and Dave Lee Travis. Why do Bikram Yoga? Most blokes like to practice 2 postures: laying down in bed and standing in the pub. Anything else is generally considered “a waste of time.” Bikram Yoga offers flexibility, peace and calorie burning to get rid of the beer gut and man tits. Most importantly, it offers a six females to every one male ratio. These statistics alone are enough to drag the blokest of blokes to the studio
2. Male Pride and Becoming Teachable: How to Do It
Most blokes will have the catchphrase, “I know that.” A bloke never likes to be seen not knowing how to do something. Even if it means doing it totally wrong, they would rather eat their own piles than ask someone how to do it. This is male pride, or as women commonly know it, stupidity. Blokes are generally dumb it’s just most of us don’t like to admit it.
We don’t like walking into a class full of strangers, particularly in front of women, and being a novice at something. It affects the male pride and effectively renders you c*ckless.
Most blokes will ask their girlfriends lots of questions first or ask “on behalf of a mate,” trying to glean as much information as possible before taking the plunge.
Men can’t quite bring themselves to say, “I’m frightened of looking like a twat,” so we will mask this with lots of bravado and put it off.
There is no getting around it boys. You have to take the plunge and make a knob of yourself for the first few classes until you get the hang of it. My tip is not to do what I did and leave an absence of five years between your 1st and 2nd class. It makes it hard to remember the 26 postures.
The final tip is to go to a “mummy” shift class. One at 10am when the only women in the class are exhausted mummies who couldn’t give two f*cks about you anyway.
3. What to Wear
Clearly it depends on what kind of shape you’re in. It is a well known fact that most blokes are lardy. Too long spent down at the pub talking about doing things takes it’s toll. If the gut and man tits are too large and blokes feel self conscious, then clearly the outfit has to be a baggy t-shirt and shorts. It’s not very yoga or chi, but it gets the job done.
However, if you are buff and a totally self centered show off then you’ve got to go for the speedo’s or c*ck jocks. Clearly you have to be a brave man to wear these. However, there is some logic seeing as though you sweat more than Freddie Starr at a Scouts convention, it means less washing. A quick rinse of the budgie smugglers after and it’s a job done. There is no sopping t-shirt, shorts or tracksuit bottoms to worry about and you’ll get a good 15-20 wears out of them before a proper wash—bloke washing tips.
Warning, prolonged yoga can make you look like this—shameless speedo action.
4. The First 10 Classes
Blokes like a deal and would rather spend money on beer, stereo equipment or gadgets than their health. Therefore, it is a good idea to hook the bloke in when he feels he’s onto a bargain.
It is important to make use of this and not give up after the first class as I did. Get the full value and do at least five before making up your mind. Obviously by the 10th class blokes egos tends to kick in and you think you’re now a pro yogi. You may feel the need to instruct others on what to do and drop in yoga words to your lingo. “Namaste” being a favorite one, usually followed by ‘”pint of stella.”
By 10 classes blokes will have a rough idea whether they will continue or go back to their usual exercise of XBox 3.
5. Timings of Classes
This is crucial as blokes can get it so wrong. Obviously it depends on work, family, kids and life schedules but don’t let that get in the way of a good class. I suggest an early evening class as it’s packed with post work crumpet. Early mornings over the weekends is also a good clunge spot, as girls like to get Bikram out the way before endless shopping for yet more clothes or nail products.
The other advantage to an early morning Bikram class over the weekend is that it is an effective hangover cure. Clearly the rules of Bikram will state not to turn up after you’ve hoovered up several grams of Columbia’s finest and drunk Kronebourg out of business. But if you’ve been on the piss the night before and are looking for a hangover cure, a massive sweat is perfect. Of course you run the risk of dehydration and ending up in emergency room, but since when have blokes followed medical advice?
Once completed you feel fresh and ready for an all day session again—perfect.
6. Teachers and Not Reading the Wrong Signals
Picking the right teacher for you is important. Clearly you want to go for a teacher who wears hot pants and takes no sh*t. The older ones are good for a relaxing class. The high energy ones can also be good for a pick me up. The male Nazi’s are ones best to avoid. The best ones are the teachers who show you lots of encouragement, adjust your position and lean over in front of you.
Be careful boys not to misread the signals here. Most blokes think that when any woman that looks at them, talks to them or shows them any attention fancies the pants off of them and that they’ve “still got it.” I hate to break this to you boys but they don’t.
Any bloke that thinks a woman would want to look at a sweaty bloke in a yoga class with his gut hanging down, bogeys gathered around the nostril and sweat pouring down his face needs his head examined.
They are doing their job—let them
This is another important one. After a few classes you will get the hang of it. Blokes usually don’t talk much anyway so to be silent for 90 minutes is not a problem. Most blokes are actually grateful for the peace as women find it much harder not to yap away for 10 minutes let alone an hour and a half.
I would suggest standing towards the back, not for any other reason than you can then take in the full totty scope. Standing at the front is tough as you are then in the firing line for both the teacher and the rest of the class. Unless of course you’re vain and self obsessed, then you should stand at the front and can look in the mirror uninterrupted for 90 minutes.
It’s best to do as suggested in class—most blokes don’t like this. However failure to do this can result in a slanging match in class and being kicked out of the studio—no one wants to see this happen. From personal experience, I’d advise against it.
Farting or belching are also not encouraged though if you are going to squeeze one out make it’s when the teacher is speaking and in the floor series when you can hide it much better. If you’re in a packed class you have to pray like f*ck it’s not smelly. This can lead to being ostracized. Though most blokes haven’t got a clue what that means.
I would also advise not going after a heavy curry or a long lunch. Yoga is not the place for you.—the Red Lion is.
8. Posture, Body and Benefits
Don’t be alarmed if you see changes in your body. For instance, you may be able to start touching your toes and not walking at 10 to 2—a new experience for most blokes. For people who tend to talk a lot of sh*t most blokes have weak legs, arses and core. Bikram highlights this and actually makes blokes stronger.
There has to be a pay off for doing it right? Blokes need a return on their investment.
Well, good posture and core strength along with increased flexibility and a trimmer body can lead to increased nookie. Not only will you be more attractive to the opposite sex but doing regular Bikram yoga improves stamina and results in you being able to last longer than a Bison on Viagra.
For anyone wishing to go even deeper, getting into breathing, meditation and yoga techniques, this can lead to a tantric situation where you can go for hours and deliver multiple orgasms. This however requires a lot of energy and patience.
9. Discipline and Continuation
This is a hard one for blokes. Most blokes are as disciplined as a naughty boy in the naughty school of naughty town. It is not something that comes easily. Unless we are genius at something in the first few goes we give up citing it as “bollocks.”
Yoga is something that continues and evolves which goes against the male psyche.
The only thing that grows on most blokes is nasal hair and most blokes are only interested in growing their bank balance, bed post notches or Marijuana plants.
To continue with yoga requires discipline and patience meaning the benefits that come from step eight are crucial to keep them going and the female ratio continues to outnumber male. Blokes are essentially stupid and require a carrot to keep them interested—Bikram has the right balance to do this.
Bikram Yoga can have many positive influences on a bloke’s lifestyle. Mind, body and soul can all be nurtured. It can help to alleviate stress, make the body more flexible, lower blood pressure, lose weight and feel better in general. There are many health benefits.
But one of the main lifestyle benefits is that it looks great for your nookie. If you’re online dating for instance and you list your hobbies as yoga, it makes women think you are caring, compassionate and not a lager swilling football bloke. You instantly become more appealing and your chances of scoring are much higher. Yes, us blokes are that shallow girls. Now where’s my nearest studio?
Nick Evans is a 40 year old recovering alcoholic. 11 years sober & living in London. He is single, doesn’t have any kids, mortgage but he does have a bag full of life experience. He is a double Ironman triathlete, six time marathon runner, Part time personal trainer. He has changed radically from an overweight lager swilling drinker to a slim chamomile swilling man. He still has a negative head though and his challenge is to not listen to it. Apparently having just turned 40 he is now grown up. He runs a monthly comedy club and is passionate about making bad situations funny, open in talking about them and helping people grow and change. He is committed to helping people affected by alcoholism, addiction, obesity, mental health problems—oh and apparently he looks like David Beckham and Gordon Ramsay. You can follow his daily blog at http://nickevansmarathon2012.blogspot.com.
Editor: Maja Despot
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July’s Full Moon in Capricorn: The Heart wants what it Wants. The 4 Stages of a Good Divorce. How to Love a Woman who Scares You. Our Soulmates are Rarely Who We Expect. I Still Think of You. Men, Let’s Stop Fooling Ourselves: Size Matters. To the One Who Tried to Break Me. An Open Letter to the Fixers. How your Stored Memories in the Amygdala can lead to PTSD. How My Sister’s Death Transformed my Self-Perception.