I think fate tapped me on the shoulder and said, hey, you should blog about yoga this week. A few things happened recently.
- Julie and I got our caricatures done, as pictured above. (The guy was this close on the blog name. If only we’d switched seats.)
- I made a scene in my favorite Bikram studio on Thanksgiving morning.
- My mom turned to me afterwards and said, “hey, you should blog about yoga this week!”
It’s been a while since I wrote about yoga. (Check out http://hannahdoingyoga.com for some old posts about back sweat and inflexibility. Sometimes I’m funny.) I’ve really missed it, actually. I could talk about yoga for hours. Jules could too. Just ask anyone we’ve ever met at a party.
But the real reason I’m writing this post is because I almost died in the Bikram studio the other day, and I’d really like to tell you about it. Other people have told me tons stories in which they faint or come close to fainting. My vision started to go out, they say, everything went black. And this does sound really scary. But, like I said, it happened to other people, so part of me couldn’t help but be like, it’s definitely not that bad. I’m way too special to faint, anyways. Fainting was just never on my radar, you know? As a child I caught a lot of colds, had a lot of anxiety about going to the movies (scary trailers did me in), and puked off of an impressive number of chairlifts, but I never passed out at the doctor’s office or anything. Fainting only happened in movies, probably.
All of these idiotic thoughts were still living in the back of my head when I walked into the Bikram studio at 7:55am on Thanksgiving morning. The room was a toasty 105 degrees, one of my favorite instructors was teaching the 8am class, and I was ready to get sweaty. And fifteen minutes into the practice, I almost fainted.
I say almost because I didn’t actually hit the ground, but I have to imagine that I was close. We were in our second set of this pose, hands-to-feet: (I look just like this, I swear)
And when I released my heels and came back up to standing, the world started fading out. It was like when you stand up too fast and see dark spots, except the dark spots didn’t go away. They got bigger, drifted around a bit, and then they turned yellow.
The world started to go dark, but the darkness didn’t fade in from the corners like it always does in Harry Potter movies when he falls off his broom or something. Shadows moved randomly everywhere I looked. I couldn’t see myself in the mirror, two feet away. I was definitely going to throw up. And even though she was standing less than ten feet away, I couldn’t hear our instructor anymore. Her voice was replaced completely by a loud ringing in my ears and a very anxious inner monologue.
I’m dying. I am definitely dying. This is it, Hann, this is how people die, in hot rooms with weird yellow vision. It’s a stroke probably, or a heart attack, or maybe shell shock. Shell shock makes the least sense, but you never know, right? It’s going to make for a strange headline in tomorrow’s newspaper for sure. But I won’t be able to see it, because I will be dead.
After a few minutes Laura looked at me and said, “Hannah, would you like to go grab a Gatorade outside? You look a little pale.” I nodded and started walking towards the door, past a sea of sweaty, blurry people. I tapped my mom on the shoulder on my way out and said something along the lines of, “heymomcanyoupleasecomewithmeIdontfeelsogood,” like all sophisticated yogis would if they knew they were dying in the middle of the yoga studio. My mom waited five minutes—she had to finish the warm-up series, after all—then came outside to check on my survival status. (She claims she would’ve come right away if I’d actually hit the floor. But I have my doubts.)
Somehow, I survived. This wasn’t the first time I’ve said that I was surprised to be alive after a Bikram practice, but it is the first time I was actually surprised to be alive after a Bikram practice. I really thought it was game over there for a second. Like, red ring of death on your Xbox and your mom said she’d never buy you another, game over. (That’s still a thing, right?) My Thanksgiving dinner tasted like sweet potatoes and second chances.
So, to all my friends who have ever told me stories about fainting, I am sorry for being such an arrogant dumbass. You never knew it, because it was in my head, but I was. And now I’ve learned my lesson. Fainting is fucking nuts.
Final note: finals are rapidly approaching. (Pun intended.) Julie and I probably aren’t sleeping until Christmas. Stay tuned.