NotSoZen YogaJen

A Bad Week Drove Me To Bikram

Posted on: December 9, 2010

I had a bad week last week.  Like, it was bad.  I was going through stuff.  And on top of that, I was getting hit with alternating waves of depression and anxiety.  All I wanted to do was have a nurturing, peaceful, quiet couple of days so I could deal with my stuff and heal.  I wanted to rest, relax, veg out watching DVDs, and be alone in the soothing sanctuary of my home.  But then, my plumbing started to fall apart.

Let me just say, that even when I have no stuff to deal with and I am calm and centered and at my very best, plumbing issues make me very anxious.  I find it extremely unsettling when foundational elements of life like plumbing aren’t functioning.  And then there’s my Post Traumatic Plumbing Stress Disorder.  Because this happened to my bathtub a few years ago, and the following year this happened to my toilet, and now every time there is the smallest sign of drain blockage or the first drip of a leak, I get flashbacks involving days of cleaning up black sludge, and am instantly filled with dread.

Last week I was not calm, centered, or at my very best when my bathroom sink clogged.  The plumber fixed it.  I cleaned up the black sludge that was left behind.  I felt drained, but also, some sense of relief.  Like, OK, this week is bad, my sink clogged, but I dealt with it and it’s over.

That night, I turned on my kitchen sink, and it was now clogged.  So the plumber came back.  I cleaned.  I felt stretched too thin, having stuff and clogged plumbing and black sludge to contend with all in the same week, but it was Friday.  This week really sucked, but it was behind me.  The weekend was here.  I could finally rest and relax, and get back to my regular routine on Monday.

On Sunday I went to a wonderful brunch with a good friend.  I came home feeling even more relieved.  Every thing was fixed.  No more clogs.  No more messes.  No more scheduling plumbers to fix pipes, and days lost to work being done in my apartment and cleaning up.  Ahhh….

And then I heard a loud hissing sound coming from my bathroom.  I went in to investigate the noise and saw that the heating pipe was leaking water and shooting out steam.

This.  Was too much to deal with in one week.  And like my plumbing, I fell apart.

On Monday I didn’t get back to my regular routine.  Plumbers were back at my apartment again, and they fixed the pipe.  Then I trudged to the grocery store for the third time to buy more cleaning supplies, feeling like I was trapped in a time warp of never-ending plumbing malfunctions and bathroom cleaning (and let me just say, that I don’t enjoy cleaning my bathroom even when I am calm, centered, and at my very best).  It was cold and dark and gray out, and I made my annual self-diagnosis of Seasonal Affective Disorder.  Things could not continue like this.  It was time for drastic measures.  It was time for yoga.  It was time for Bikram.

I’m a Vinyasa girl, but Bikram yoga got me through a hard time earlier this year and the way things felt like they were piling up on me, I was craving it again.  So on Tuesday night, I walked through the cold Brooklyn streets to the Bikram studio in my neighborhood.  I stepped into the hot, dark room.  I sweat, a lot, and I had a few moments of nausea.  But there’s something about Bikram that kicks my butt so hard it literally knocks all the thoughts out of my head.  Which is helpful, when the thoughts are of the everything-sucks-and-it-will-never-get-better-downward-spiral variety.

After class my face was bright red and my skin was glowing.  My mind was empty(ish) and clear.  I felt like my body was being flooded with waves of energy, hope, and optimism.  I sipped Vita Coco, and reveled in my Bikram bliss.  I slept better than I had all week, and the next morning I woke up feeling rested at last, and already craving my next Bikram fix.

I’m not ready to abandon Vinyasa, but I think I might become a seasonal Bikram yogini.  Because there’s nothing like Bikram to get me through a hard time, a bad week, fucked-up plumbing, and the long, cold, dark New York winter…


6 Responses to "A Bad Week Drove Me To Bikram"

Whew I love it! That’s exactly how I feel about Bikram. I got addicted to it during a really rough point in my life, but by the time things got back to normal, I was hooked!

Oh, Jen! Sorry things have been sucking for you 😦 I get the whole S.A.D. thing– I was thinking I had it too because the relentless parade of cold, grey, rainy day’s– not my thing either. I was driven to get broad spec. light bulbs and turn on every light in the house, electric bill be damned!! I haven’t tried BIKRAM, but if this cold keeps up, I will just to feel my toes again! Miss you, hang in there. Want some bulbs? IA in Jan.? xo Deb

Ay, plumbing PTSD on TOP of a mountain of negative emotions? Jeez, I’m going through a slog of stuff myself right now and couldn’t imagine a plumbing nightmare on top of it. I hope your plumbing gets and stays fixed. I am all-too-familiar of the healing power of Bikram yoga. Its ability to contextualize your own suffering is so powerful.

I can soooo relate to having a week like that! Family, work and personal issues all at once caused such stress on my body that I was able to relieve at Bikram. LOL @Post Traumatic Plumbing Stress Disorder. Keep ya head up Jen.

@Joslyn – Bikram is so great for the rough times! And I guess that means that Bikram always makes it on to your To Do list 😉

@Deb – Thanks! Sounds like you have a great anti-S.A.D. system! I definitely recommend Bikram to warm your body and elevate your mood out of winter blues.

@Yolk E – Thank you! For some reason plumbing difficulties (especially with my PTPSD) are so hard to deal with on top of any other problems! Love the healing power of Bikram. And it’s so powerful to be able to counteract even plumbing stress 🙂

@Mary Lou – Thank you! And funny you should mention keeping ya head up. “Things Are Gonna Get Easier” by Low Motion Disco was my theme song last week, which reminds me of “Keep Ya Head Up.”

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