There was no running water in the studio. That meant no toilet and no showers, which for me is not that big a deal (at least when I haven't overhydrated). It also meant no water to pump into the humidifier. During the standing series, it was around 30% humidity, but by the end of class it had dropped to 23%. Miranda pumped the heat up to 107, and it still felt cold. I came out of the room with barely a sweat.
Zeb said that the target is a certain heat index, something like 120 degrees, which is what you get with 105 and 40% humidity. For a long time I wondered about that. The heat is supposed to make your muscles and tendons more pliable. I couldn't figure out why the humidity would matter. And I'm still not sure, but one person said today that he thinks high humidity helps the heat penetrate into the muscles. There might be something to that. It's sort of like doing a speed defrost by sealing the thing in plastic and dropping it in water. The water sucks the cold out of something frozen much faster than air can.
The upshot of the low humidity is that I pretty much zoomed through class. It's amazing how much difference the humidity makes. But then, while if felt like a strong practice while I was doing it, I don't know if I feel as great after as I usually do. One thing I will say for sure though: lower humidity makes the back strengthening series much easier to do. I got height in Full Locust that I never thought I would. I actually thing its kind of strange to be talking about height in Full Locust to begin with. That's the one at the beginning where I struggled just to get my chest, arms and legs barely (maybe a couple of centimeters) off the floor.
The downside of today's class, and the low humidity, is that it seems to have done little or nothing for my knee. I was aware of the knee all through standing series. Forward bends definitely hurt the back inside tendon, at least if pushed too hard. Toe Stand is impossible now. The only standing pose that stays fully clear of knee soreness is Triangle.
Floor series only has a few poses that suffer. Fixed Firm is at an all time low, or I should say that my hips in Fixed Firm are at an all time high. I'm back to the Leaning Tower of Duffy in Japanese Sitting Position. Sit-ups are OK, done slowly.
I'm still thinking that I should be able to work through this. I mean, Bikram famously fixed his knees doing stuff that became this series. Mine is just a little soreness and tightness, nothing like crushed kneecaps. But I'm also afraid that focusing on this nagging soreness could take over my entire practice. One of the bloggers at teacher training had a sore knee, and a staffer told him that its easy to become attached to an injury. The thing to do is treat it with respect but not to obsess over it. That would be nice, but right now its sort of like having lost filling in a tooth. Much as you want to focus attention elsewhere, your tongue just keeps darting and exploring that gaping hole in your tooth. That's sort of what every pose is like now with my knee. I should be focusing everywhere else, but then my knee, in my head, is like 10 times bigger than it actually is.
If the situation doesn't improve in a few days, or if it gets any worse, I may have to take a break. Right now, however hurt I am, its not interfering with anything in my daily life. But I shouldn't risk it getting to that point.