I have always been curious about hot yoga, but apprehensive to actually try it. I can sit in sauna’s in hot tubs for about ten minutes, but longer than that and I become very uncomfortable. Feeling too hot makes me feel sick and anxious. When I’m really anxious the one thing that can quickly calm me down is cold air. I love yoga, but Hot Yoga sounds scary.
However, Zoey found a deal for a week of unlimited Hot Yoga for $27 at Bikram Yoga. I never pass up a good deal, so we both signed up and attempted Hot Yoga together. It’s always best to try new things with a friend. Zoey has actually done hot yoga once, and I thought If she can do it, I can do it, right?
We entered the steaming hot room (105 degrees Fahrenheit to be exact), laid out our yoga mats and towels, because you must have a towel on your yoga mat. Why, you may be asking…you’ll find out soon enough. I was fully prepared with two bottles of water, an extra small towel and minimal clothing (sports bra and booty shorts are common Hot Yoga attire). We were about ten minutes early and before we walked in there was a lady in a handstand and another in a backbend…neither of which moved until class started. At this point we knew this might be a little too serious for us.
Class began and started off fairly simple. I am fairly flexible and able to do most yoga poses so I started off feeling good. About ten minutes in I was feeling extra flexible, all that heat and sweat really increases flexibility! About 15 minutes in I started feeling woozy…then dizzy…then very anxious. My immediate reaction was to run for the door, but exiting class is frowned upon in hot yoga, and I have a bad habit of being a good student and couldn’t bear the idea of disappointing the teacher.
You may remember from previous posts about being a brat in group workout classes that I am extremely competitive in these classes. I look at my peers as competitors and secretly compete with them during class…I want to be the fastest, strongest and sweatiest. Now, keep this in your mind when I tell you I had to sit down in hot yoga. I had to sit, breathe and close my eyes for almost half of this very long 90 minute class! Hot yoga is hard. It is harder than Insanity! A lot harder.
To keep from vomiting or losing my mind I tried talking to Zoey. I needed to keep my mind off of passing out. We whispered back and forth a bit… Zoey had to sit too and we reminded each other that “it’s mind over matter” and giggled a bit at the amount of sweat pouring out of us. I was starting to feel a little better when the teacher snapped at us. “No talking in yoga ladies. No talking at all. Do not disturb everyone in class that’s trying to stay focused.”
Geez Louise, we can’t even whisper?!
My next idea was to focus on the people around me. I was pleased to see I was not the only one who had to sit. I was shocked to see just how much everyone sweats. My own towel was completely drenched and I was barely moving. The man in front of us was sweating so much that he could have been peeing and no one would have known the difference. For all I know everyone standing could have been crying, but with all that perspiration, no one would be able to tell.
The teacher reassured me by saying that the first time is hard and that if I’m feeling dizzy and nauseous then I’m doing it right. Towards the end we got to lay down between every pose. I thought this would be nice, but I could feel my heart pounding into the floor every time we lay back. I had to switch to my side or just skip savasana all together.
The relief I felt when the class was finally over was indescribable. I have never sweat so much or been so hot in my entire life. I felt like a big cooked noodle, very relaxed, a little woozy and extremely proud for lasting the entire 90 minutes. I promised Zoey we would go to class every day for the next week and felt excited to find out what it will feel like by the end of the week.
Then, I got the flu. I have yet to go back and my week-long deal is over tomorrow. Oh well, I gave it a shot. Maybe I’ll even get another week-long deal next time one comes around.
Anyone ever try hot yoga?