Health nuts are going to feel stupid someday, lying in hospitals dying of nothing. ~ Redd Foxx
Last night my buddy Gareny and I decided to check out the 'new' yoga studio and it's hot hatha yoga class.
I'd been to hot yoga only once before. It was a place located in the city and it had carpeted floors. I made sure that no part of my flesh ever touched the carpet and held my breath whenever my face came near the floor. Gack.
I'm happy to report this studio was very clean and did not have a carpeted floor. (Seriously, who does that?!)
The hatha yoga is a class where you hold a series of poses, rather than do a flow like movement of them. I think I like the flow style better, but the poses in this class were definitely a good challenge.
Of course the first thing you notice when you enter the room is the heat and humidity. For some reason I think she said the room was heated to 150C...my logical brain now thinks that is an incorrect number and 150C was just how it felt in there! It took me a bit to not feel like I was suffocating.
Garn and I were in the front of the class literally looking right at the wall. There were three rows of people with only about 6 inches between our mats. Think can of sardines. Nothing like a lot of people breathing and sweating to make a classroom all cozy!
As we were discovered to be new to the class we were sent to the middle row. Not a biggie, but this meant Garn and I could be not beside each other and really, when you are taking a new class you want your friend right there with you so you can roll your eyes, make squeaky 'I'm dying' noises and whatnot. So that part did suck.
The positions we were holding were pretty challenging. Most of them I think I've done at one time or another, some I hadn't. Within about five minutes of the class sweat was dripping into my eyes, nose, mouth and on the mat. Nothing like holding some sort of inverted pose and feeling sweat slowly trickle into your nose. Ick. I bet the inventors of water torture took a hot yoga class first and thought 'AHA! I know a new torture technique we can use!'
The hardest part of the hot yoga, other than the smuthering heat, is trying to keep a grip on yourself. How the heck is one supposed to stand on one foot, bend the other knee and grab the foot or ankle then extend that leg straight out in front of you with sweaty hands and sweaty ankles?? I NEED the friction of skin gripping skin in order to do moves like that! Wait, maybe that's cheating? Still - I NEED the help!
After all the standing poses we got into the mat or seated/lying down stuff. This is where our instructor became the shivasna tease. After all the standing poses she said to lie in shivasna. My mind thought 'Ah yes, I did it. I survived hot yoga...' Unfortunately, within 30 seconds of shivasna we were to do a sit up, roll over and 'strike a pose'. Dang. More to go.
In between all of the mat poses we held shivasna. And every time she called that my mind was tricked into thinking we were done, only to find out I had another contortion to do. I was ready to yell out 'TEASE!' to her, but figured perhaps that wouldn't be the best thing in a mindful yoga class.
The worst pose, although not the hardest, was the camel. This is where you are on your bent knees but sitting straight up. Then you lean your body backwards. Apparantly this opens up the heart shakra and if you have any issues going on you will feel dizzy, or nauseaus, or like crying..
Within a second of holding this of pose I thought I was going to hurl. Wave after wave of nausea hit me. My only thought, CHILD POSE AND DO NOT CHUNDER! There is just not enough space in the class for chucking cookies!
I tried the pose again as instructed, but again, huge vomitus feelings arose, so I just stuck with child pose and repeating the mantra, 'do not puke, do not puke' oh and 'never drink chai before the class, never drink chai before the class'.
After 1.5 hours of heat, stretching, sweating, contorting and nausea we were done. I was soaked, my hair looked like a rats nest (mental note, next time put it in braids and clip braids together - pigtails are not sufficient), and I was still feeling queasy.
I sat outside the class and waited for Garn. I think my face said it all - or perhaps it was the colour of it?! Garn laughed at the sight of me. The class kicked my butt. Was I to be defeated? Heck no! I've done Ironman dang it! In the famous words of Ahnold 'I'll be back!'. Only next time I'll skip the pre-class chai tea....
A footnote to my hot yoga saga...I must have a TON of toxins in my bod because I was feeling queasy most of the night and into the morning till I ate. I also could really 'feel' the workout I got, which is a good thing. I'm hoping this will help heal the ol' glute/back issue as well.
Until next time I shall consume vast quantities of water in preparation for the challenge that is hot yoga.
Namaste my beautiful friends!