I decided to try out the 10 days for 10 euros deal that the bikram yoga studio next to the Goethe Institut has. I got up nice and early so I could give my breakfast time to settle down, put on some nonrestrictive clothes, and headed on over for the 9:30 class. The changing/show/coat room I was directed to had a man in it. I quickly closed the door and looked for somewhere else to put my stuff. In the next room, two women were changing. Apparently that includes changing underwear. I decided to wait a bit before going in.
After safely packing away
my bag and jacket, I went up the stairs to the yoga room itself. Now,
until today I didn't actually know what bikram yoga was. Thus, I was
rather unpleasantly surprised by the blast of hot air from the room. My
baggy t-shirt and full length sweatpants were starting to look like a
really bad idea. What is more, I unthinkingly chose the spot right in
front of one of the heaters in the room. Just lying on my borrowed mat,
the sweat began to prick through my pores.
class actually started. The woman leading it spoke quickly and a lot,
mostly in German. I understood when she said to come out of a pose, when
to inhale, exhale, and when to do something with my feet or hands. That
was about it. However, my German understanding did not concern me so
much as the nausea slithering through me. I had done most of the poses
before and had never found them particularly strenuous apart from the
balance challenge. This time, though my muscles said go, my pulse and
stomach said no. Half way into the 90 minute class, I was done. I sat in
the cool lobby, lay down, drank water, and finally recovered.
I'm going back tomorrow.
This evening, I attended a performance by the Staatsballett Berlin at the Komische Oper
called "The Open Square." It was fantastic. The music varied between
sharp and violent to rhythmic and wild, to understated and melancholy.
At one point, the musicians did nothing but clap, which the choreography
played off of well. The dances were hardly traditional. I don't think I
saw a single leap or pirouette. Instead, the twenty or so men and women
moved in calculatedly unnatural ways. Half the time, they looked like
robots, the other half like puppets, and I mean that in the best of all
possible ways. After all, the repeated theme of the show was
individuality versus conformity. During a particularly hilarious dance,
where a group of men hopped about like jack-in-the-boxes, one dancer
separated himself and started shaking it for all it was worth. The other
men quickly sorted him out with a kick to the backside.
I could prattle on and on about the performance, but I do
not have the energy or the time to do so. What I will say, however, is
that my German must really be getting better. I understood everything
that was said during the ballet! ;)