I've been away from email, Twitter, Blogger.com, FB, and reality in general as I just spent a week on a cruise to Alaska. On the one hand, it was fabulous. I spent the week seeing glaciers, whales, and exploring new towns and hiking spots. I also spent it lazing about the cruise ship with a marvellous traveling partner, taking long naps in the afternoon, indulging in tasty treats and 9:00 twilit jaccuzi baths. That's all well and great, but man, I missed the yoga. I missed the normalcy, the routine, the lack of stimulation. I missed suiting up and marching into the hot room, icy water bottle in tow, and knowing that my body would be bent and pulled into many sweaty directions. I missed getting up my heart rate and nourishing the organs and ligaments that just don't get the attention they would on the cruise ship's poorly-functioning treadmill.
There were a couple of quiet moments, however, in our massive floating Vegas-style city on the sea. After a particularly long day of hiking and deliberating over what the buffet of endlessly stomach-turning yet oddly appealing food choices, I woke up the next morning, went for a run at a rickety gym treadmill that rocked with the swelling seas, and then I took 20 minutes or so and ran through part of the Bikram series. Even that much was a relief was a relief to my over-stuffed body and over-stimulated soul. Eagle, Awkward, spine-strengthening, triangle--they all felt so good, like coming home to friends. The portability of Bikram yoga is appealing--you don't need mats, and the poses don't even look "weird" to other people desperately trying to burn off the buffet in the ship's tiny gym.
A highlight of the cruise was balancing in part 2 of Awkward as the ship was heaving on the open ocean--now there's some balancing skills! (Photo to come?) The stillness Awkward pose pt. 2 requires is tremendous--boats were rocking so much that the runners had to grab on to the handles of the safety bar at moments! But those toes, man. They can grip the floor!
So, I love Bikram yoga. Take Bikram yoga with you on your vacations! And don't forget to look at the view now and then. You never know what you might see!
Glacier Bay, AK