adventures in yogaland

They don't call it "Hot" Yoga for nothing.

If you like sweating like a mexican on a hot summer day, losing your balance, enjoying the smell of TOMS feet and having your body contorted into strange and awkward positions, hot yoga is for you.

For those that are curious, hot yoga is just a regular, hour long yoga class. However, you are enclosed in a room that tops off at about 110 degrees. 

Now you might be saying, "What the heck?! Thats crazy. Why would you do that? That sounds like death." But actually, the heat helps promote relaxation of muscles and nerves, which helps your muscles expand in a safe way that prevents injury. The heat also helps de-toxify your body, it increases metabolism and circulation, and it boosts your immune system. All of this = rapid fat loss and muscle growth. Doesn't sound too bad now, huh? 

Thats what I thought, too. I'm not gonna lie, I was pretty nervous throughout the day leading up to my first yoga experience at Yoga at Tiffany's. I came prepared with a yoga mat and towels, dressed appropriately in leggings and a light, baggy tank, and seated myself next to a tan, blonde twenty-something girl who looked nice enough and like she knew what she was doing. 

As the class began, I was really thankful for all the hours I had logged on Wii Fit Yoga. Luckily, I knew what Child's Pose, Downward Dog, Warrior 1 and Sun Salutations were. The rest was easy enough to follow. 

After about ten minutes, the sweat was pouring. Thirty minutes in, my hair (which was in a pony tail) went from straight to curly because of all the sweat and my fingers were so wrinkly it looked like I'd been swimming all day. By the end of the class, the towel on my mat was soaked through and my feet were slipping every time I went into a lounge. The forty-something guy next to me smelled weird, like peanut butter and chocolate, and constantly made sexual noises.... that was interesting. We went into downward dog position a lot, in which your butt is high in the air, and I couldn't help but wonder how many people had to fart...... I also smelled a lot of body odor and often questioned whether or not it was me (it wasn't, I checked, but still, yuck). I came to really appreciate the Jillian Michaels workout DVDs I've been doing lately. Who knew all those squats and time in plank and stork position would be useful?! I had to reach way back in my muscle memory to my days as a ballerina when it came time for the one-legged balancing act, but don't worry, I dominated it. 

Overall, I think Hot Yoga was a success. It was challenging, yes, but just the right amount. I never found myself saying "I can't" (except when I was supposed to balance upside down....), but I was still really glad to hear the words "Namaste," meaning class was over. Afterwards, we lay on the floor of the studio with our eyes shut as our bodies cooled down, and all I could think of was laying out by the pool and the refreshing feeling of diving into the cool water (I think the last time I was that hot and sweaty, it was the hottest summer on Texas record and I was determined to get a good tan). Luckily, the Oklahoma winter came to the rescue as the cool air hit me walking to my car. I'll take what I can get.

I was really proud of myself, I kept up with the class, managed to not embarrass myself by toppling over, I didn't suffer from a sports induced asthma attack, I didn't look like a contestant on the Biggest Loser, and best of all, I don't think I stuck out like a yoga newbie. Good for me, right?!
All that aside, the phrase "I'm drained" has never applied so perfectly. Last night I literally felt like my body was drained of all energy, but my mind was at peace and emptied of stress; a workout success. Today, I'm feeling it. Every muscle in my body is noticeably sore, but not to the point of being painful. I also feel incredibly energized, refreshed, and healthy. I definitely think I'll be making Yoga a regular activity. I'll be balancing upside down in no time. If you're wanting to change up your workout routine, try something new thats challenging but not deadly, give Hot Yoga a shot! 

Amanda's Tips for Hot Yoga Success:
  • Don't stuff your face with carrot cake cupcakes beforehand (lesson learned).
  • Savor your water, make it last!! (And drink LOTS of H20 before and after class).
  • An extra application of deodorant before class never hurts (especially with all that downward dog, your head is in your pits a lot....) 
  • Do not wear TOMS or UGGS for long periods of time beforehand. Sweaty, bare feet are prevalent, and I know you'd hate to be THAT PERSON who makes the whole room stink.
  • Girls, shave. Especially if you're sporting a tank and cut off leggings. No one likes hairy pits and legs.
  • Guys, no matter how sweaty you are, don't take your shirt off unless you are rocking some Channing Tatum abs. Not everyone wants your sweaty flab in their face. However, if you have said abs, be my guest!


Cindy Sharp said...

Wow.....not in my wildest imagination can I picture myself doing that. Glad you had fun.

Anonymous said...

First off, your thoughts during Downward Dog mirror the exact thought I have every time I've gone to Yoga. There should be a poll over that.

Secondly, I wish my corner of Kansas had cool workout classes like Hot Yoga, but we don't... it's a bummer.

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