'I was drowning in my sweat'

SINGAPORE - There I was in the heat, attempting to pose like an eagle, all the while sweating profusely.

Fresh from my fourth sprained ankle in under two years - thanks to a friendly game of football - I was hesitant about trying out Bikram Yoga.

It was barely four days since I could walk without crutches again, and I didn't know how much strain my ankle was going to be put through.

Within the first 15 minutes, every misconception I've ever had about yoga evaporated in that oven of a studio.

I've been doing all kinds of sports for years, but Bikram Yoga was like nothing I've ever done before.

The amount of sweat soaking my clothes was unbelievable.

The worst part was that it was supposedly good for you because it helps your body to "cool down", which means you're not allowed to wipe any of it off.

I felt close to drowning in my own perspiration.

In the past, the only stretching I did was to warm up before the 'real' exercise.

As I attempted the standing bow pose, I realised how stiff my body is. And then there's my attempt at balancing. Picture a foal struggling to find its legs.

I had plenty of 'foal' moments. It also took a lot of focus to hold the poses.

Long hours at the gym in the past had me accustomed to zoning out, entertaining myself with random thoughts.

This time round, there were no fantasies of Liverpool winning the English Premier League.

My mind was totally occupied - half on keeping myself upright, half figuring out how the woman next to me was keeping her balance so effortlessly, especially with her body contorted that way.

I guess that's why they say that yoga helps you to stay focused.

When the class ended and I staggered out into the air-conditioned corridor, I was greeted by a blast of freezing air.

Yet there was a definite sense of satisfaction and pride at finishing the whole 90 minutes. I even looked forward to going back for more.

That said, don't even get me started on how good the shower felt later.


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