Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Hot Yoga - Thoughts So Far

No, hot yoga hasn't killed me. Yet.

As of today, I have three full classes (and two skipped classes)(oh, shoosh!) under my proverbial belt.

To give you some background, what I've been doing so far has been "Bikram style" hot yoga. That means we do two each of these poses:


Of course, refering to them as "poses" is kind of a misnomer, since most of them are a small series of poses. Some of them (4, 5, 6 & 7, for example) are as small as doing the pose twice for each side (working the body in balance). Others (2, 3 & 9, for example) contain variations within the series.

For example, pose 3, "awkward pose", starts with normal, flat footed, weight's in your heels chair pose. When you come out of it, you go up on your toes and then back down into chair pose on tip toes. When you come out of that, you come up onto the balls of your feet, knock your knees together and then sink back into chair pose.

"Hot yoga" means, at this studio, that the yoga room is heated to 105 degrees with humidity ranging from 30 to 60%.

So. Kind of like Sacramento in the summer time.


Ninety minutes of that while having your ass handed to you by a style of yoga that, even after a year and a half, is still foreign to you is quite an experience. I will totally own that I tucked into the bathroom* for a breather during the final 20 minutes of class.

Holy cool breath of fresh air, Batman!

I ended up deciding to skip not only my long run (it was a timing issue, honest) but my afternoon session of hot yoga (which, actually, was a different style, probably closer to what I'm used to, with an instructor that, as I discovered the next day, I really enjoy)(in other words: bad, bad yogi).

My second session, the next day, I managed to get through the whole thing without feeling the need for respite, however momentary. My third session, though, had me doubting my ability to close the class out without puking. I did. Thank gawd.

I woke up this morning feeling tired, slightly queasy, and like a rest day would not be the worst thing in the world for me. Tomorrow I get my second chance at the non-Bikram style class and I'm excited about that.

Thoughts so far:

It's hot. And it's hard. But, like all yoga, it's forgiving and accepting and embracing. Challenging and encouraging and nurturing. The students are widely varied in their body frames and skill levels. The instructors, so far, have been knowledgeable and encouraging about posture modifications and the use of blocks and yoga straps.

Honestly, I'm having a good time, even though I sometimes question whether this is a good idea, if I'll ever get better, if I'm actually going to puke or if I'll be able to make it through a class.

I'm a little worried about what happens when my "introductory special" to this studio runs out, because it really has the best schedule for me (hello early morning yoga!). I guess I have time to figure that riddle out.

*For reals, I totally ditched into the bathroom twice. I'm not even (very) embarassed to admit it.


ragemichelle said...

Wow..this is great information. I've been thinking about trying it out..I don't know if I'm physically ready yet..and it's been a few years since I've taken ANY yoga classes

the Citizen Rosebud said...

I don't think I could do it, esp on a hot day like today. So extra kudos to you. I hope you treat yourself to extra helpings of fro-yo.

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Wine Dog said...

It does get easier, unless you have injuries like mine and then every day is an adventure. Sometimes it's awesome and sometimes you want to cry. I also have no flexibility and never had. It's certainly helped that. OTOH that breathing in the beginning has hurt my neck before.