Bikram Yoga: Trikonasana-thon

So we went to yoga at London Bridge and the teacher was one of our favourites from the other branch we go to 😉


“Hey guys! So nice to see you here!” she said, when she saw us as she walked around the class during the Pranayama breathing exercise.  Oh it’s so sweet she remembered us!


I’m going to keep this one short.  This teacher is loved by many and she does change things up a bit in class sometimes.  So when she decided that she would hold a “Trikonasana-thon” (on the second set, on the left hand side) during Trikonasana, it wasn’t  a surprise and I thought, “Hell yeah, I’m gonna win this challenge!”

The challenge was – the person to hold Trikonasana the longest would get a coconut water…  This is the Trikonasanathon.

Now I didn’t really want the coconut water, I just wanted the kudos of being able to hold Bikram Choudry’s (supposed) favourite pose the longest.  Crazy?  Yes,  but I thought I could do it and I convinced myself that it’s “all in the mind”.  Besides, I thought it would only be about 4 mins and I knew I could hold it for 3 mins already so I thought yeah, I’ll win this easily.

So… just like Barney Stinson I declared, “Challenge Accepted!” and so I did my Trikonasana for 3 mins, 4 mins, 5 mins……

and then…. I started to shake… By this time Tony had long given up and was kneeling (properly with his hands on his knees and his back straight… yes he made me write that) on the mat.  He had a weird smile on his face that I could see from the corner of my eye.  What was he smirking at?

Joy whispering: Honey, I want to get up now…

Tony:  No, you can’t!  Don’t you dare!

Joy:  aaaaaahhhh (whinging sound, no longer breathing properly) I need to get up! I’m shaking!

Tony: NO! You can’t! Just keep going, not long to go, not long to go, you’re almost there.

Joy:  but I’m shaking! My leg hurts! I don’t know if I’ll be able to get up!

Tony: JUST STAY THERE (still with that smirk on his face)

I found out later that the smirk was just because, he was really proud that I was kicking butt.

5.5 mins into it… it was starting to feel like torture.  My left leg was burning… who’s crazy idea was it to do this in the first place?  Why the hell did I accept this challenge? It’s a friggin’ coconut water! and it’s not even a 1L bottle!  I swear I’m getting up…

It was only me and another person left…. the teacher started counting down, I started shaking more… I was stretching up for dear life but all I wanted to do was rest my fingers on the floor or just get up.

All I was thinking was… why isn’t that other person giving up already?? Give up so I can get up!!!

Because it looked like neither of us would get up any time soon (oh little did they know), the teacher counted it down and we both got a coconut water.

Teacher:  “How do you feel?”

The other person replied “Good!”

Me… in my head… “Good?? GOOD???? How the hell do you feel good after THAT??”

The teacher asks me… “Joy, how do you feel?”

My answer… “Shaky”

I had no idea if I could get through the rest of the class.  I was just after all recovering from a cold and it was the day just before my period (and I was totally bloated from PMS).

I was grateful it was over and surprisingly got through the rest of the class without sitting out any postures… phew!  I felt unbelievable after that class, like I’d accomplished something.  I just felt really proud of myself.


Afterwards, Tony told me what I was competing against.  Apparently her thigh wasn’t even parallel to the floor and her arms weren’t at 6 o’clock but more like 8:05.  Also, her chin was nowhere near her shoulder.  Apparently she remained quite upright.  WTF?? I held a bloody Trikonasana for 6 mins against someone who wasn’t even in the pose properly??? ARGHH!!

This is why Tony refused to let me get up.  He said that compared to everyone else that did the pose properly, I totally kicked butt and stayed much longer.  However, this person was still standing and he just didn’t want her to win.  He reckoned that this person was quite new so the teacher didn’t want to put her off by telling her she was shite.  Also, she was doing the best she could do (or we think she was)…. no wonder she felt good afterwards, there wasn’t a lot of effort involved with her pose.

I can’t say I was doing the pose properly, I know I started lifting my leg just to ease the pain when it started burning.  Also the teacher kept telling me off for putting my “armpit” to my knee instead of my elbow… a slight exaggeration but I know what she meant… I had to fight the urge to rest my arm.  At the end of the day, I had a better looking pose so he couldn’t let me get up, I had to beat that chick.

Do you know what the repercussions are of holding that pose on one side for way too long??

My left leg hurt (dull ache in my hamstring) in every class for the next week!!  I’m about back to normal now, finally!  I’m not quite sure if that ache and pain was worth the coconut water.

I’ve always felt pain on my left hand side Trikonasana so I know it’s my weaker side but I think that challenge just helped me balance the sides out.

I don’t think I’ll be taking on the challenge again any time soon.  I don’t have any issues with having to hold a title.  I’m just happy that I did it!

Next time, it’s Tony’s turn!

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