Tuesday, April 3, 2012

I Survived Hot Yoga... Just Barely - Slice of Life Tuesday

A friend of mine has been very serious the last few months about being healthier, and one of the ways she is accomplishing this is through yoga.  I have been taking yoga classes at another studio for the same time-frame, and love the zen feeling I get from stretching, breathing, and posing, but thought it might be fun to take a yoga class with her.  I decided going to her yoga class would accomplish three things: I would be able to compare the two classes, I would get a good workout, and I would be a supportive friend.

It was made very clear to me beforehand that this was a "hot" yoga class, and I needed to come prepared with plenty of fluids, a sleeveless top, and a towel to soak up all the sweat.  From the minute I walked in the studio, it was apparent that I hadn't been steered wrong.  All the heaters were on, going full blast, another class had just wrapped up, and the studio was so hot and humid, it was hard to breathe.  But since we got there early, I got to sit on my mat, chat with friends, and become acclimated to the heat and humidity.

Or so I thought.

The instructor came to her mat, and started the class.  In the beginning, as we assumed easy poses and thought about our breathing, I was good, even though breathing was difficult in the oppressive heat.  But then the instructor started to "flow" through poses, none of which were simple for me.  I could do many of them, but not at the pace and the stamina of the rest of the class.  I was fine with that; it wasn't a contest for me, but the harder the "flow" became, the more I sweated, and the more I sweated, the more difficult it was to maintain good breathing techniques.

At several points, the heat become so oppressive, I actually thought I was going to be ill.  But here's the thing -- I didn't.  And even though I couldn't do every single pose, or if I did get the pose, I wasn't able to hold it for the duration, I kept my body moving the whole time.

It wasn't pretty, but I made it through the entire class.  By the end of the hour-plus, sweat (definitely not perspiration) was pouring off my body.  I couldn't towel myself off fast enough, or drink enough fluids.  When I walked into my house afterward, my husband asked me if I had been running through sprinklers; I was that gross and wet.

But what a great learning experience for me.  Sometimes when things get too difficult, it can be easy to give up and just quit.  But I didn't do that, and except for the slight nausea, I had an exercise high after the class (actually, I continue to have the high even as I am composing this post).  I pushed some limits for myself athletically and that helped attune my mind to my body's capabilities.  And more importantly, I accomplished all of this with support from the two friends with whom I went.

I'm going to chalk this experience up as win!  So yes, I survived hot yoga, even if just barely.


I'm thrilled to be joining the friends I met while doing the Slice of Life Challenge, and am looking forward to meeting even more folks on Slice Tuesdays.  As always, thanks to Stacey and Ruth at Two Writing Teachers for hosting Slice Tuesday!

14 comments:

  1. You must be a good friend to go through that!

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  2. Hopefully after your yoga high, you'll come back sometime soon. It is way more fun for me to be miserable with friends, rather than alone:-)

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  3. Well, you accomplished what you set out to do - well done. Like you I was pleased it was SOL Tuesday - a chance to see what members of our community have been doing

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  4. Wow! I have taken yoga many times but never hot yoga. I'm not sure I could do that. Good for you!

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  5. I also love yoga but have not yet tried hot yoga. Your description is exactly what I thought it would be like...but like you I would not quit either. In fact, my class last night was very difficult and while I couldn't complete all the moves, I kept trying. It is a great accomplishment when it's over..and yes the zen feeling is awesome! Thanks for sharing I will have to try it soon.

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  6. I too love yoga but have not tried hot yoga yet. Your descriptions are exactly what I thought it would be like. It's true even when the moves are difficult if we keep moving and trying we have accomplished the goal. I may be trig it soon...thanks!

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  7. Wow, congratulations, Karen, in sweating through the hard stuff! I am proud of you for sticking to it, and like Franki says, doing hard things with friends is way better than alone! Nice to see you here on Tuesday!

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  8. I did hot yoga ONCE when I lived in New York. I thought I was going to die during it. I was shocked I survived after the class. If I remember correctly I found the nearest Tasti D Lite and ordered something large and frozen once I was finished. I've moved on from yoga to Pilates now. It's still mind-body, but a lot cooler!

    Alas, good for you for doing it!

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  9. Congratulations on surviving hot yoga. I applaud you for even trying it. Now I feel hot and sweaty!

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  10. As I read through your post, it really felt that hot yoga was a metaphor for getting through the tough spots of life!

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  11. Congrats! I used to do hot yoga. You do get a high after the class - and a shower :-) Hang in there!

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  12. Congrats on making it through your first hot yoga experience! YOU DID IT! It gets better. I've been doing hot yoga for about 6 years and I remember getting dizzy the first few sessions. Now, I crave the heat of class at times. Drink a lot of water today and tomorrow!

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  13. That Franki Sibberson is one funny lady! Her comment made me LOL.

    I love the connection to learning. I love even more that you didn't quit.

    You are just too cool.
    Ruth

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  14. Wow - good for you for "stick"-ing with it! I've actually never hear of hot yoga, so this was new to me. Not something that I think I'd be attempting to try, but I'm glad you shared your experiences!

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