We are now five months into 2017 and I can't remember a time that it felt like the world was collectively stressed out. We are living in a time where we can witness the loss of life on our mobile devices, groups of people are negatively targeted by the powers that be, and everything we do or say is scrutinized. The rise of social media platforms has assisted in full-blown fights and attacks whether in person or keyboard with anyone that doesn't see our point of view. Not only are adults caught up in the world wind of chaos, our children are spewing the sentiments that we project out loud to their peers. No matter the side you're on, there has to be some release and I found it through Bikram Yoga with Deirdre 'Misty' Smith.
This isn't your regular 'Nam Myoho Renge Kyo' soft, and calm yoga. OH NO! NOT HERE! As you enter the room, Misty greets everyone with a broad smile and hello. Her small frame, toned build, mocha complexion is warm and inviting. AH HA! It's a trick and it's too late! By the time she calls out the third position; sweat is dripping from creases and crevices that you had no idea existed on your body - and it's only been 2 minutes. Either you're going to love it or you'll spend the remaining 58-minutes cursing your mother for birthing such a poor decision maker. I find myself thinking of illnesses that are pity worthy but none come to mind other than death. Before you know it, you've slipped into her trans. Your body is swooping from position to position and nothing can stop you! It's truly a mind over matter experience. I've learned to ignore the distractions of itching and the need to wipe the sweat so that I am fully in the moment. Her classes are invigorating and energized - just perfect if you're easily bored like me.
The roar of, "Raise Up More Boo Boo!" to the one person that has the entire class panting and stuck in the Downward-Facing Dog position searching for a hydrant - then without taking a breath her voice transitions into a calm praise, "There you go Boo Boo!" with a smile. Week after week the room is filled with students ready for sweet sweat torture.
I did say Bikram Yoga right? Which means HOT! As described in Merriam-Webster, Bikram Yoga is If you can't take the heat, this class is NOT for you. The temperature is around 90 degrees and a humidifier is used to keep the atmosphere moist. Couple that with 10 - 15 bodies inside of a closed room and varying postures to make the magic come alive. When you see the physical changes of your peers, and hear that someone is no longer on their medication, it puts things into perspective. There are many health benefits to Bikram Yoga but those whom practice boasts:
-Alleviates chronic pain from arthritis
-Tones the body
-Relieves stress and calms the mind
What I love most about Misty is her passion for educating and healing of the community through her studies and expertise. You will often find her providing dietary and mind-health advice. I've come to learn that your eating habits and mindset are essential for a healthy lifestyle.
You may also check her out at the Bikram Yoga East studio located inside of Anacostia Arts Center. There, you will be able to expound on her meditation, massage and Ayurveda techniques at a great price. You still have time to get Mystified for Summer '17 with the One Bad Bikram Yogi herself!