Hot Chess.

Original thought is rare. Even our brightest and best try to form the future from the familiar; working with pieces of the past and present. Rarely does a blank sheet of paper or a flash of insight figure in the equation. We re-arrange rather than re-invent. Evolution triumphs over revolution.

Take Yoga.

Hot-Chess-AcademyIt dates back to long before Christ assumed the pose of the Sacrificed Saviour on the Cross but basically, not much has changed. A Cobra is still a Cobra and a Corpse is still a Corpse. A Downward Dog remains a stretch. There are several schools of Yoga teaching essentially the same thing with gentle tweaks designed to make them seem completely different from each other and worth spending $1,000 a year for the privilege of lying on a mat in an empty room.

It’s getting harder and harder to distinguish one Dragonfly pose from another. Eventually you can’t tell your Vinyasa from your Jivamukti and begin to crave something clearly different and seemingly credible. Something you can buy into without reading a book and having your entire lifestyle criticized. Also without spending the kids’ inheritance at Lulu Lemon.

And so we have Hot Yoga.

In this recent version of an timeless discipline, twenty-six poses are painfully performed in a room with the thermostat set at 104 degrees. The idea is to make like a ‘Cat’ or ‘Dog’ while sweating like a pig. The heat is claimed to increase flexibility. It is proven to increase deodorant sales.

There is no scientific or medical evidence surrounding the merits of assuming the Sukhasana in a sauna, but no one cares, either. Advocates of Hot Yoga are as passionate as they are masochistic. They claim it has changed their lives and the rest of us are prepared to believe it as long as they change their clothes before they tell us.

Hot Yoga is the invention of Bikram Choudhury, who practiced Hatha early in life before he failed dramatically at weightlifting. During his recovery, Bikram went rogue on Yoga; turning up the heat on a timeless tradition in his quest to shame the doctors who said he would never walk again.

Today, Bikram Yoga defines Hot Yoga and Choudhury has a patent to prove it. His moves have a copyright. For all of it, there’s a simple explanation for the ‘hot’ part. Bikram was simply trying to simulate the climate of India.

To us it feels like Hell. To him it feels like home.

What is the point, here?

Simply this:

I’m certain that many time-worn activities can be refreshed and fortunes are to be made with the simple addition of heat. At the turn of a thermostat dial, chess can find new mates and ballet can be kept on its toes. Even debating clubs can enjoy more heated arguments.

Of course, not every activity will be suited to a high degree. Ice fishing is out. Every opportunity will have to be thoroughly thought through and considered on its own merits.

We can’t just run off helter-swelter.

11 years ago

1 Comment

  1. Oh come on, they are totally different. In Ashtanga you wear shorts, in Kundalini you wear white, and in some other form of yoga you wear – nothing. Oh and some do headstand at the beginning. And some at the end. Both for very valid reasons. 😉

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *