By Ed Staskus
There are 26 poses in the 90-minute Bikram Yoga sequence practiced in a room called the Hot Room. It is no laughing matter. It is sometimes called the Torture Room. Somewhere somebody is asking, are you kidding me?
1) A man walks into a bar and announces he’s got a terrific Bikram joke to tell. But, before he can start the bartender says, “Hold it right there, buddy, I practice Bikram Yoga.”
And the man says, “Okay, I’ll tell it very, very slowly.”
2) One evening after dinner a seven-year-old boy asked his father, “Where did Mommy go?”
His father told him. “Mommy is at a Bikram Yoga class.”
The explanation satisfied the boy only for a moment, but then he asked, “What’s a Bikram Yoga class, Dad?”
His father figured a simple explanation would be the best approach. “Well, son.” he said. “That’s where people squeeze all their muscles with all their might standing half-naked on one leg while someone tells them over and over to try harder in a room lit up like Wal-Mart in front of big mirrors in 105 degree heat and steam like that Jungle Cruise at the Magic Kingdom – so that they can be healthy.”
The boy burst out laughing. “Come on, Dad! What is it really?”
3) A Bikram Yogi walks into a bar with a large green and yellow parrot on his shoulder. The bartender asks, “Where did you get that?”
“In California,” the parrot says, “there are a million of them.”
4) The lookout on the Battleship Bikram spies a light ahead off the starboard bow. Captain Bikram tells him to signal the other vessel. “Advise you change course twenty degrees immediately!”
The answer comes back, “Advise you change course twenty degrees immediately!”
Captain Bikram is furious. He signals, “I am a captain. We are on a collision course. Alter your course twenty degrees now!”
The answer comes back. “I am a seaman second class, and I strongly urge you to alter your course twenty degrees.”
Now Captain Bikram is beside himself with rage. He signals, “I am a battleship!”
The answer comes back, “I am a lighthouse.”
5) Why don’t Bikram Yogis drink?
It interferes with their suffering.
6) Bikram is praying to Krishna. “Krishna,” he says, “I would like to ask you a question.”
Krishna responds, “No problem. Go ahead.”
“Krishna, is it true that a million years to you is but a second?”
“Yes, that is true.”
“Well, then, what is a million dollars to you?”
“A million dollars to me is but a penny”
“Ah, then, Krishna,” says Bikram, “may I have a penny?
“Sure,” says Krishna. “Just a second.”
7) For the final exam the philosophy professor plopped a chair on his desk and wrote on the blackboard: “Using everything we have learned this semester, prove that this chair does not exist.” Fingers flew, erasers erased, and notebooks were filled in furious fashion. Some students wrote over 30 pages in one hour, sweating up a storm, attempting to refute the existence of the chair. One member of the class, Bikram, was up and finished in less than a minute.
Weeks later when the grades were posted the rest of the class wondered how he could have gotten an A when he had barely written anything at all.
His answer consisted of two words: “What chair?”
8) “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,” said the Bikram Yoga teacher on the podium.
“Until the hammer comes down,” muttered the Bikram Yogi in the back row.
9) Her doctor tells a woman she has a fatal illness and only six months to live.
“Is there anything I can do?” she asks.
“Yes, there is,” the doctor replies. “You could take Bikram Yoga every day for the next six months.”
“How will that help my illness?” the woman asks.
“Oh, it won’t help your illness,” says the doctor, “but it will make that six months seem like an eternity.”
10) What’s the difference between Bikram Choudhury and a philosopher?
About $7 million a year.
11) When Morty hit fifty, he decided to change his lifestyle completely so that he could live longer. He quit smoking, went on a diet, and went suntanning. A friend suggested the 30-day Bikram Challenge, which Morty enthusiastically made into a 90-day challenge, amazing his friends.
In just three months he lost thirty pounds, reduced his waist by six inches, and expanded his chest by five inches. Svelte and tan, he decided to top it all off with a sporty new haircut. Afterward, while stepping out of the barbershop, he was hit by a bus.
As he lay dying, he cried out, “God, how could you do this to me?”
And a voice from the heavens responded, “To tell you the truth, Morty, I didn’t recognize you.”
12) Standing on one leg in Bikram Yoga doesn’t make you a yogi anymore than standing in a garage makes you a car.
13) Bikram, the famous yoga master, who was known for his miraculous cures for arthritis, had a long line of students waiting outside the door of his studio when a little old lady, completely bent over, shuffled in slowly, leaning on her cane.
Bikram gently approached her and led her into the back room of the studio and, amazingly, she emerged within half an hour, walking completely erect with her head held high.
A woman waiting at the door of the studio said, “It’s a miracle! You walked in bent in half and now you’re walking erect. What did Bikram do?”
She answered, “He gave me a longer cane.”
14) What do Bikram Yoga and an apple peeler have in common?
They both take you to the core.
15) One day Bill complained to his friend that his elbow really hurt. His friend suggested that he visit Bikram who lived nearby. “Simply leave a sample of your sweat outside his door, and he will meditate on it, miraculously diagnose your problem, and tell you what to do about it. It only costs eighteen dollars.”
Bill figured he had little to lose, so he filled a small jar with sweat and left it outside Bikram’s door. The next day when he came back, there was a note waiting for him that said, “You have tennis elbow. Soak your arm in warm water Avoid heavy lifting. It will be better in two weeks.”
Later that evening, Bill started to think that Bikram’s “miracle” was a put-up job by his friend, who could have written the note himself and left it outside the door. So Bill decided to get back at his friend. He mixed together some tap water, a yard sample from his dog, and urine samples from his wife and son. To top it off, he included another bodily fluid of his own, and left the concoction outside Bikram’s door with eighteen dollars. He then called his friend and told him that he was having some other health problems and that he had left another sample for Bikram.
The next day he returned and found another note that said, “Your tap water is too hard. Get a water softener. Your dog has worms. Get him vitamins. Your son is hooked on cocaine. Get him into rehab. Your wife is pregnant with twins. They aren’t yours. Get a lawyer. And if you don’t stop playing with yourself, your tennis elbow will never get better.”
16) A woman reports her husband’s disappearance to the police. They ask for a description and she says, “He takes a Bikram Yoga class every day, he’s toned, tall, amazingly energetic, with thick curly hair.”
Her friend says, “What are you talking about? Your husband is five-feet-four, bald, lazy, and has a huge belly.”
The woman says, “Who wants that one back?”
17) Three friends are killed in a car accident and meet up at an orientation session in Heaven. The celestial facilitator asks them what they would most like to hear said about themselves as their friends and relatives view them in the casket.
The first man says, “I hope people will say that I was a wonderful doctor and a good family man.”
The second man says, “I would like to hear people say that as a schoolteacher I made a big difference in the lives of kids.”
The third man, a Bikram Yogi, says. “I’d like to hear someone say, ‘Look, he’s moving!’”
18) Bikram walks into a bank and says he wants to borrow $200 for six months. The loan officer asks him what kind of collateral he has. Bikram says, “I have a Rolls Royce. Here are the keys. Keep it until the loan is paid off.”
Six months later Bikram returns to the bank, repays the $200 plus $10 interest and takes back his Rolls, The loan officer says, “Sir, if I may ask, why would a man who drives a Rolls Royce need to borrow $200?”
Bikram replies, “I had to go to Europe for six months, and where else could I store a Rolls that long for $10?”
19) A dinner guest at Bikram’s house asks, “How do you prepare your chickens?”
Bikram says, “Nothing special, I just tell them they are going to die.”
20) At a staff meetting at Bikram’s Yoga College of India an angel suddenly appears and tells Bikram, “I will grant you whichever of three blessings you choose: Wisdom, Beauty – or ten million dollars.”
Immediately, Bikram chooses Wisdom.
There is a flash of lightning, and Bikram appears transformed, but he just sits there, staring at the table. One of the staff people whispers, “Say something.”
Bikram says, “I should have taken the money.”
21) Bikram Yoga can’t buy happiness, but it sure makes misery easier to live with.
22) A man arrives at the gates of heaven. St. Peter asks, “Religion?”
The man says, “Methodist.” St Peter looks down his list, and says, “Go to room twenty-eight, but be very quiet as you pass room eight.”
Another man arrives at the gates of heaven. “Religion?” “Baptist.”
“Go to room eighteen, but be very quiet as you pass room eight.”
A third man arrives at the gates. “Religion?” “Jewish.”
“Go to room eleven, but be very quiet as you pass room eight.”
The man says, “I can understand there being different rooms for different religions, but why must I be quiet when I pass room eight?”
St. Peter says, “The Bikram Yogis are in room eight, and they think they are the only ones here.”
23) A man asks a Bikram Yoga teacher, “Can you teach me to do the splits?”
“How flexible are you,” the teacher asks.
“I can’t make Tuesdays,” the man says.
24) Bikram is sitting next to lawyer on an airplane. The lawyer keeps bugging him to play a game by which they will see who has more general knowledge. Finally, the lawyer says he will offer Bikram ten-to-one odds. Every time Bikram doesn’t know the answer to one of his questions, Bikram will pay the lawyer five dollars. Every time the lawyer doesn’t know the answer to one of Bikram’s questions, he will pay him fifty dollars.
Bikram agrees to play, and the lawyer asks, “What is the distance from the earth to the tenth nearest star?”
Bikram says nothing, just hands the lawyer a five-dollar bill.
Bikram asks the lawyer, “What goes up a hill with three legs and comes back down with five legs?”
The lawyer thinks for a long time, but in the end has to concede that he has no idea. He hands Bikram fifty dollars. Bikram puts the money in his wallet without comment.
The lawyer says, “Wait a minute. What’s the answer to your question?”
Without a word Bikram hands him five dollars.
25) On a transatlantic flight, a plane passes through a severe storm. The turbulence is awful, and things go from bad to worse when one wing is struck by lightning.
One woman in particular loses it. She stands up in the front of the plane screaming, “I’m too young to die!” Then she yells, “Well, if I’m going to die, I’m want my last minutes on earth to be memorable! No one has ever made me really feel like a woman! Well, I’ve had it! Is there anyone on this plane who can make me feel like a woman?”
For a moment there is silence. Everyone has forgotten his own peril, and they all stare, riveted at the desperate woman in the front of the plane. Then a man stands up in the rear. It’s Bikram. He starts to walk slowly up the aisle, unbuttoning his shirt. “I can make you feel like a woman,” he says.
No one moves. As Bikram approaches, the woman begins to get excited. He removes his shirt. Muscles ripple across his chest as he reaches her, extends the arm holding his shirt to the trembling woman, and says, “Iron this.”
26) A good yogi dies and goes to heaven. He asks St. Peter if they have a yoga studio.
St. Peter shows him the most beautiful Bikram Yoga studio imaginable, sparkling mirrors, completely microbe-free carpets, and color-corrected fluorescent lighting.
One older man in particular is practicing with impeccable grace and form, blending strength and balance.
The yogi says, “ I’ve only seen one man practice like that, but I thought Bikram was still alive – what’s he doing up here?”
St. Peter replies, “Oh, that’s God. He just thinks he’s Bikram.”
Click here to see more writing between fiction and non-fiction by Ed Staskus