Today, I got my booty out of bed very early, raced in my car in the pouring rain with all my yoga supplies, and walked into my first Hot Yoga class since I’ve moved to Florida. This was a vacation day, and I really wanted to sleep in, but I knew that this was going to be so much fun. And, despite the excruciating workout, this class was worth it.
When I lived in Nashville, I attended a hot yoga class at least once a week and loved it, especially the power flow classes. Yoga is a personal challenge for me, as you have to shut off your mind to the craziness of life and truly concentrate on the poses, so that in my case I don’t fall flat out on my face. Sometimes, even a forward bend can catch you up. There are a few times when the classes are a little too serious for me, especially when we do breathing exercises, but I’ve learned how important they are to the class and have embraced them. And, you have to be able to laugh at yourself. You are not going to look like your teacher at first. Get over it.
I’m assuming you all know about Hot Yoga. Just for a refresher, this is a yoga class to the extreme. The pump up the heat to make the room 90 degrees, and yes, it’s hot! But, the heat makes students so much more flexible. I find I am able to stretch my muscles for a deeper challenge throughout the class. Call me crazy, but I’m also a big believer in sweating out my impurities. I’m not talking about just negative thoughts, but also that big glass of wine I gulped down last night.
Today I was not as uncoordinated as I thought I would be, even without going for two years. I have been practicing with a few yoga classes on YouTube, so I wasn’t completely lost. But, my balancing poses were not beautiful and I could not hold them for more than a few breaths. And there were several times I looked in the mirror confused at a few new bulges on my body. But, I kept reminding myself not be discouraged by that image in the mirror, because that’s why I was there. Not to be skinny, but to be healthy.
Also, being still is very hard for me, especially when your body is slick with dripping sweat.
I survived it, and can’t wait to go back.
If you have ever been interested, you need to give a shot. Here are a couple of quick tips:
- Bring your own mat, and clean it before and after. You are probably going to sweat ridiculous amounts, and I prefer those to be the only impurities on my mat.
- If you get dizzy, or too hot, get down to child’s pose. You can always get back into the practice once your body has calmed down a bit. We’ve all done it. I came out of poses a few times today, but got right back in them!
- Make sure you have a big towel for your mat. I use YogiToes because they have these cool grippers on the bottom side, so I’m not slipping. I mentioned the problem with balancing and being still…this helps me!
- Bring a big bottle of water, or you will be completely dehydrated by the end of the session. Try to drink a few sips before you start.
- I always bring another hand towel to wipe my face, arms, legs during breaks.
- Make sure you have given your feet a good scrub, because your face will be where your toes were a few times throughout the practice.
- You might want to bring a towel for your car, for after the practice. If you are like me, you will be soaking wet.
- When you get home, throw everything (minus the mat) in the washing machine. That way, all your supplies will be clean for your next practice!
Hope you will try it out in a studio near you!