I did it!
I returned to where it all began -- my (new) old Bikram studio. Quite an experience!
Got there about 15 minutes prior to class. After filling out the necessary forms and meeting the instructor (an affable gentleman named Michon), I met up with the owner, Tammy. She welcomed me back with a hug and wished me a Happy Belated Birthday and told me how happy she was to see me back. Tammy was an instructor under the previous ownership but now she runs the place. She then stopped me and told me, "Hey, take it easy in there. Have fun."
The lobby is now a nice boutique with clothing, mats, water bottles, and the like. Works of art most of which are for sale) adorn the walls, and the place has a definite Southwesten/Old West vibe. Very nice indeed. The hot room was just where I left it -- only with a darker mix of colors and an extra ceiling fan or two. The carpet was different -- I did have a little trouble trying to keep my feet from sliding out from under me at times. here are four lines across the room instead three in the former configuration. That said, I set up in about the same place as when I took my first class.
Michon teaches a very brisk class. His delivery is good but fast, and he stays very true to the dialogue. Still, it was easy to keep up for a while. I am proud to say that, while I missed a couple of situps, I did not sit out ANY postures. Fell out plenty of times, but never sat. Even in Triangle, I was able to get back in after falling out.
1) Any posture involving a forward bend was torture. From Hands-to-Feet all the way through Rabbit, my gut got in the way and made breathing difficult. I would pop up, take a breath, and try to bend forward again. Hopefully, with a better diet and more Bikram, that will improve quickly. Also, my balance was atrocious. In Standing head-to-knee, Standing Bow, and Balancing Stick, wobbling and falling out was the order of the day.
2) I listened to my body and stopped where necessary. In Camel, I could bend back and grab my right heel, but when trying to grab the left heel, I had to stop because I felt a grab in my back. Before that, in Fixed Firm, I could not get my shoulders to the floor. I didn't feel bad about it -- I know that in time I will get back there. Michon even called me out during Camel, letting me know it was OK if I could not express the posture fully -- "You're doing what you can today. Next time will be better. Good work." I must admit that made me feel at ease.
3) There was one familiar face in the class, but at times I admit I was reminiscing. I could hear the voices of past instructors, I could see the room as it was before, I thought of struggling alongside Sweetie and other people that we got to know through the yoga. I did feel a wave of nostalgia at one point.
4) I was shocked at a) my breathing, and b) how little water I drank. My breathing was actually good. Very few times did I gasp for air. The only time I drank water was at Party Time, which floored me. I did feel thrst near the end but by then I decided it could wait.
And then, it was over. The lights were dimmed, Michon thanked us for attending and even said, "Welcome Back, Mark. Good job today." I stayed a while and soaked in as much heat as I could, then showered and departed. Before leaving I was reminded that I am still eligible for the $49 intro special.
Next payday is next Thursday.
I think I'm back.