The first time I did hot yoga I absolutely HATED it. I swore that I’d never take another hot yoga class. What’s more, I thought the people who liked hot yoga must be insane.
See, I was used to vinyasa yoga, where you flow from posture to posture in concert with your breath. Sun salutations, down dogs, forward bends, high to low planks, shoulder stands. That sort of thing.
The postures in hot yoga were unfamiliar and seemed just plain WEIRD. Plus, at 105 degrees F and plenty humid, the Bikram Yoga studio was waaay too hot for comfort. My little 12 oz. water bottle was empty in no time.
Sweat poured off me. I was afraid that I might actually die right there and then. I wanted to escape. But I stayed in that hot, hot studio until the class was done. I did not want to be seen wimping out.
I did not go back.
Then I started taking heated vinyasa yoga classes, where the studio temperature is set to 95 degrees F and humid. I loved the way those classes made me feel: strong, flexible, calm, and quietly powerful. I got used to really sweating in class.
Giving hot yoga another try
Weeks passed. I decided to try hot yoga again, just to see if I’d still hate it… or if I might not.
I drank lots of water ahead of time, grabbed a big bottle of water and headed to the hot yoga class. The postures and breathing exercises still seemed unusual, at least compared to vinyasa yoga.
But wow! I felt FABULOUS afterward.
I went back for more. I love the way that hot yoga–the heat, the postures and the slow, steady deep breathing–bring mental focus and calm. I love the way my body feels after class… like I am floating, instead of walking.
One of my instructors says that if you can survive hot yoga, you can better manage just about anything life dishes out. I agree.
Anyhoo, I now love hot yoga! This means I am officially one of those people I previously would have considered insane.
Maybe I am insane to enjoy hot yoga. But I feel more calm, flexible, healthy and strong afterward. And there’s nothing crazy about that.
Have you ever tried yoga? hot yoga? If so, please leave a comment about your experience. If you’ve never tried it, might you? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
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