Friday, August 12, 2011

Hot Yoga

I decided to break out of my BackCountryBelle mode, by heading out of the back country and taking a drive to the big city in search of doing something new and exciting.  I debated with myself on shopping or exercise, that's usually a no-brainer, but I settled on what I needed rather than what I wanted, and yoga was it!  I didn't settle for standard yoga,  I went for the gusto and chose to go to Hot Bikram Yoga with my sister-in-law, Lisa, who's much more experienced with yoga than I.

This is how it went...

I have to admit I was a little nervous about subjecting myself to the 'hot' part of Yoga since I'm not really a fan of hot saunas and overly hot Jacuzzi's, but I needed to find out what the HOT was all about! 
Before going in, I admit I was nervous about what I was getting myself into.   I was picturing a room filled with hot steam billowing out of some type of boiler machine, where the heat would be so intense I would feel as if I were choking and gasping for cool fresh air.  I pushed those negative thoughts aside and quickly changed my thoughts into a repetitive mantra, saying under my breath, "I need this-I need this-I need this."

The moment we opened the doors to the Yoga studio I was pleasantly surprised at the relaxing scents of citrus and lavender  wafting through the air.  Walking inside, I noticed the overall feeling was that of a Day Spa, with dark tiled floors, soothing earth tones painted on the walls and everyone was smiling and friendly; I felt really welcome!  The nervousness left my mind when the instructor came up to me and introduced herself and explained in detail what would take place down to where we should lay our yoga mats in the room.  I liked having the details so that were are no surprises down the road.

Going into the yoga room, I immediately noticed the room very was hot, similar to a dry-air sauna.  I laid down on my mat next to Lisa and excitedly smiled at her for the last time before class began.  The doors were closed, lights dimmed, and the heaters were turned on as the instructor began explaining the poses in a gentle toned voice. Not knowing the poses, I watched my fellow classmates for the how-to's with each new movement.  Within three minutes I was sweating out of every pore in my body.  Within 10 minutes I was engulfed with sweat.  I felt like I had been sprayed with a garden hose, literally, but I was feeling good and keeping up with the class.

After 30 minutes,  I came to the realization of why people subject themselves to hot yoga, it is, in a sense, a challenge to withstand the heat, perform the poses, stretch muscles and joints that feel good, not painful, and relax the mind and body.  The heat was exhilarating and wearing at the same time, but I managed it with thoughts of how good it was for my body.

At the end of the of the class, I roused myself from a relaxed state and peeled my drenched body off of the mat, and stood up feeling tired but energized and grounded.  I walked out with feelings of accomplishment, gratitude to the instructor, and appreciation to Lisa for bringing me to hot yoga.

I loved it!  
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