The Joy of Hot Yoga

Today I did my first hot yoga class … and I’m happy to report that my body and self esteem survived intact … although I’m not so sure about my t-shirt and shorts.

For those of you who’ve never done hot yoga, it’s pretty much like regular yoga, except that you’re in a room where the temperature is quite warm. For today’s class, it was a sizzling 113 degrees Fahrenheit!  Now that may not seem very hot to those of you who live in Arizona or somewhere near the vicinity of the equator, but in Canada in mid-January, I can assure you, it has the intended effect.

Prior to the class, I was feeling a little apprehension.  Would I be able to handle the heat? Would I embarrass myself in front of all these seasoned yoga people, or whatever you call them? Perfectly reasonable questions to ask, I’m sure you would agree.

However, upon arriving at the studio I discovered that I wasn’t the only newcomer, and so with rented mat in hand and brimming with confidence, I entered the yoga room.

Expecting to be hit by a wave of stifling heat, I was pleased to discover that the room didn’t feel that hot at all…I failed to take into consideration that, with the door opening and closing, the air temperature near the door is somewhat cooler than the rest of the room. Duh!

We were first instructed to lay down on our mats, close our eyes, relax and breathe. This was great. With each inhale, I could almost hear my muscles say, “thanks Fred,” as they fell deeper and deeper into a relaxed state. It was quite tranquil.

And then the lesson started.

We began with a series of poses that were challenging enough to test my balance and flexibility, but not enough to send me into panic mode, and for the next 20 minutes or so I felt quite comfortable. Silly boy!

After the second or third drink break, I started to notice it. The heat. It was subtle alright, but it just kept coming.

Then all of a sudden, BAMM, as if it occurred spontaneously, I realized my entire body was bathed in sweat. And there was no stopping it. It just kept getting warmer and warmer and I just kept getting sweatier and sweatier.

I first knew I was in trouble while trying to do the tree pose.  My hand kept slipping off my knee, like a cowboy on a greased pig. Next, while in raised plank, sweat dripped relentlessly from my forehead, nose and chin.  Even my ears were dripping sweat and didn’t think ears could do that. I watched helplessly as each bead of perspiration fell from my face and disappeared without a trace into my poor mat.

My tongue, dry as a bramble on the desert, cried out for water, as I panted wildly like a dog in the hot sun. With each subsequent pose my thigh, calf and butt muscles screamed in agony, as the sweat continued to pour off me like an angry river.

“Only 30 more minutes,” I heard the instructor say, cheerfully.

“What!” I said desperately to the guy beside me displaying the demeanor of a Buddhist monk relaxing leisurely on the beach.

He just smiled.

Clearly, I was on my own. I would have to muster up the courage to carry on and finish this endeavour…and I did!

Several gallons of sweat lighter, soaked from head to foot, my t-shirt and shorts completely saturated, I walked triumphantly from the room. I felt good!

Later, upon arriving home, I was feeling full of life, when I looked in the back of my truck and discovered that my t-shirt and shorts were now frozen solid and stuck to the truck.

Can’t wait for my next class!

Have an awesome day!

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4 comments on “The Joy of Hot Yoga

  1. Good one Fred!
    It will get easier as you go along…at least thats what I’ve heard, having never set foot in a yoga studio. 🙂

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