10 Ways in Which Your First Time at Bikram Yoga Is Pretty Much Identical to Taking the London Underground at Rush Hour in July

The only way to mentally and physically survive both hot yoga and taking the tube through the belly of London in the sweltering summer heat is to keep calm and not allow yourself to question why you’re even doing this in the first place.

“Next stop: Oxford Circus…”


1.  You are forced to contort yourself into positions far beyond acceptable levels of comfort and decency in the punishing 105-degree heat.



2. There is a powerful and pervasive odor of sweat.



3. Absolutely no one, repeat, no one, is enjoying this.



4. If you do not have a bottle of water with you, make no mistake: you are in the deepest of troubles.



5. Announcements are overly long and muffled, but everyone listens out for that all-important word: “change.”



6. Eye contact is immediately broken and wildly inappropriate.



7. Should you even begin to talk to someone, you will be silently shunned and scorned.



8. Your journey of varying stages of acute pain is, in a cruel twist of irony, punctuated by the most whimsical of names: Bow, Standing Bow, Half Moon, Barking, Balancing Stick, Triangle, Euston Square, Tree, Mudchute, Full Locust, Half Tortoise, Elephant & Castle, Burnt Oak, East Ham, Rabbit.

I’m pretty sure this list sums up most of the 26 poses and also the entire Bakerloo line.



9. Every so often a prayer will be answered and a window will open or a fan will be switched on. And then, a breeze. A glorious, wonderful breeze!



10. And just like that, it’s over. You collapse into the outside world; buildings, sidewalks, birds, traffic, the sky. Drenched in sweat, you emit a half-chuckle, half-whimper of relief. You don’t know whether to laugh or cry.