The Hot Yoga Report:

Cats and Cows I can do... after that things get a lot trickier.

Cats and Cows I can do… after that, things get a lot dicier. (Since none of these people look drenched, this is obviously not a hot yoga class.) 

I think I am in a rare group – I am completely ambivalent about hot yoga. It seems like there are two camps – those that love it, and those that think it is one of the levels of hell in Dante’s Inferno, (the level for those especially bendy.)

I don’t mind the heat as much as I thought I would. It’s over 95 degrees in there and they really work you. (This is not the soft-voice-pose-and-hold yoga that I took 10 years ago.) The sweat pours off you in buckets making the matt so slick it’s hard to even hold a downward facing dog without ending up on your face. When we are done, we all look like we just got out of the pool – our hair is soaked, our yoga clothes are dripping and beads of sweat cover our arms. It sounds fairly gross, but it isn’t. Everyone is in the same damp, drippy, humid boat.

Yoga is hard for me. I am definitely not bendy. For forty years I lived completely in my head, it’s only in the last year I have even attempted anything physical. I don’t know my body. What I do know is that I am stiff. I can hold a plank like anyone’s business, but when it comes to tying up in a pretzel knot, my limbs resist. The heat helps with that, of course, but there is only so much it can do. (Seriously, I struggle with siting flat on the floor with my legs straight out in front of me. As for being able to touch my toes… not happening.)

There is, however, a release in being really bad at something. The fact that my triangle looks more like an octagon doesn’t bother me. There is no competition, and if there was, I know where I’d rank. I am totally okay with that. That doesn’t mean I don’t try, I try really hard. But the beauty of being at the bottom is that there is so much room for improvement. If I can get “my sit bones a little higher” or “turn my heart in” a bit more, I’m happy.

What I love about yoga is being with my sister. We crack jokes beforehand and afterwards when she gives me a ride home. (I walk there, but there is no way Ms. Drippy Mc Dripperson is going to walk her sweaty butt home.) We text about it during the week. We’ve had 3 classes so far, and we were both sad when we realized our Groupon only had 2 more classes left on it. (We’ve already talked about finding another studio offering a beginner’s special – this place is too expensive for regular practice.)

If my sister wasn’t going with me, or I didn’t have a good deal through Groupon – would I go? Probably not. I like learning the yoga, but there are a lot of other options, even right in my neighborhood, that are more in my price range. The heat doesn’t bother me, but I’m not in love with it either. So, we’ll finish up these two next classes over the next two weeks and then see what other fitness adventure we can explore!

 

Photo credit: GoToVan on flickr

Advertisements

I Signed Up For What?!?

Fitness classes.st Michael's

I’ve never thought of myself as a fitness class kind of gal. Art classes? Love them. College courses? You bet. Online courses in Archival Study and Genealogy? Been there, done that. But those kinds of classes are all in your head. You might be learning with others, but it’s basically a solitary experience. (As you might guess, the idea of “group work” makes my teeth curl. In my real world, hoity-toity job, we work solo, not in groups.)

I have several friends who love classes, but I’m a DIY loner kind of gal. That’s why I like the exercise I like – biking, kayaking, weight lifting, walking, and running. Sure you can do them with other people, but you don’t have to. (And I don’t.) When I think of fitness classes I think of activities I don’t enjoy, namely: sports. I know that isn’t true, I took yoga for a little while some odd years ago. While we were all in the same room together, we didn’t work together, and yet, I still equate fitness with high school gym classes. And I equate high school gym classes with hell.

Yet, here I am – signed up for a whole bunch of classes. Well, maybe a “whole bunch” is an exaggeration… I am signed up for 4. Four whole classes. (Which feels like a whole bunch to me!)

One of those classes is Intro to Boxing, of course. I met with a trainer at that gym yesterday. They have a deal for new customers where they will sit down with you and “help you figure out your fitness goals.” I knew what my goals were, so it turned out to be more of an informational session on the different classes: what they are, and which ones might fit my needs. It was helpful, she suggested one or two I wouldn’t have thought of taking. I am still mostly interested in their boxing classes, but I might try out some of the others too. We’ll see. Those aren’t the other classes I am signed up for though –

The other three are the fault of my sister. She wants to go to Hot Yoga. The idea of getting all hot and sweaty in a room packed with other people while trying to pull off yoga poses… it sounds terrible.

Then I asked her what she wanted for her birthday. She said, “To take Hot Yoga classes with you.” I laughed. I got her makeup instead.

I asked her what my brother-in-law wanted for his birthday. She said, “For you to take a Hot Yoga class with me.” I threw something at her.

I mentioned that her anniversary was coming up. She said, “You know what would be great? Hot Yoga passes for you and I.” grrrrr…..

Then two days later there was a Groupon for Hot Yoga at the place everyone in town raves about, which is also conveniently located right by my house. And the deal? It was a really good one. $30 for 5 classes, which is a savings of $70. I sent her the email and said, “Let’s do it.”

Why did I say yes? Well, most importantly because my sister wants to hang out with me. I love her so much, but we are both busy women and I don’t get to see her as much as I would like. I look forward to any opportunity to spend time with her, even if it means sweating my butt off while doing it. And that’s the other thing – when I was heavier I hated sweating. I hated anything that made me sweat – exercise, summer, warm rooms – anything like that. It made me feel gross. Now that I am exercising, and running on hot summer days, the sweat doesn’t bother me quite as much. I also like heat more than I used to. A couple of years ago I would get out of work and climb into my black car and immediately roll all the windows down while swearing like a sailor. Now, I leave them up and think, “Actually, that feels kind of nice.” Nowadays I am chilled in air conditioning, so heat actually feels… good. That’s something I thought I would never say.

So, we poured through our schedules and class offerings and picked 3 different classes at wildly different times. Her suggestion was that we try a little of everything and see what we like, then we can pick the next two classes.

Hot Yoga. I still can’t believe I said yes.

…I’ll let you know how it goes.

 

Photo credit: Charlie Dave on flickr