In the two and a half years I've been practicing Bikram yoga various things have happened to me at points during class; I've felt dizzy, nauseous, light-headed, experienced pins and needles IN MY FACE, and felt like time has slowed down as I'm trying to move (a bit like the wormhole sequence in Star Trek: The Motion Picture; actually, a bit like Star Trek: The Motion Picture in its entirety). Despite that, what I've never had to do is leave the room, which is basically a big no-no unless you're on the verge of spontaneously combusting.
Until today, that is (I mean leave the room, not spontaneously combusting).
Because today, at around the halfway point of class when we were practicing Locust pose, I succumbed to what I can only describe as epic bum cramp.
I knew something was up from the moment I raised my left leg into the correct position, but I thought it was just a little muscle ache and it would pass quickly. It did not, however, and I was left with a pain that felt like I'd been repeatedly punched in the left arse cheek. Now usually with a cramp the best thing to do is stretch it out. Unfortunately, though, I don't quite know how you'd stretch out your bum at the best of times, let alone when you're lying on your stomach in a room full of around 50 or so people.
Instead I did what I thought at that point in time would be the next thing: I started, um, massaging it.
In hindsight, though, what it really looked like was me lying on my front kneading my bottom like some sort of sweaty, bottom-massaging pervert. And to make matters even more unsettling, it actually wasn't doing any good. So I did the unthinkable - I stood up and walked out of class (which sounds more heroic than it actually was because have you ever tried walking with a cramping bum cheek? It's REALLY difficult). Anyway, I wasn't exactly sure what I was going to do to rid myself of the cramp, so I hobbled into the men's changing rooms and walked in circles for a couple of minutes looking like I either had some weird OCD compulsion or I was practicing my Charlie Chaplin walk impersonation. Fortunately this had the dual effect of both reducing my spasming bum pain and making me miss one of my least favourite postures (erm, hurrah!).
And as if that wasn't enough of a WIN I subsequently returned to the studio and nailed the rest of the sequence *punches air*.
But that's not the end of it. Because I went back to the studio this evening for a posture clinic (which was brilliant, thanks for asking - I got to help out at one point; basically I was the Debbie McGee to my teacher's Paul Daniels), and as a result of me being rather brutally honest about my earlier ailment in reception immediately after class and subsequently across both Twitter and Facebook, it now appears that I have a new nickname. Yes, everyone appears to be taking incredible satisfaction in calling me Bum Cramp.
If it happens again I'll just lie and say it's a pulled hamstring.