As avid a yogi as I am (try saying that 3x fast!), I do not frequent hot yoga. I used to be a hot-yoga-non-understand-er, so I made myself go a few times so I could formulate my own opinion. It was a very scary, interesting, enlightening experience. I kinda get it. So now I go once every year or two. It’s nice to sweat it out. And seriously, do you sweat. You sweat more than you ever thought you could sweat. Sexy, I know.
A friend of a friend was holding a special hot yoga class in support of her Relay for Life team, and I’m always quick to support other people’s great causes, so I actually jumped at the chance to join my bff for a sweat session when she asked if I wanted to go.
It was fantastic. And yes, still scary. As a project manager, I’ve been trained to take the lessons I’ve learned from past experiences to enhance new ones. Here are the lessons learned that I took to this class:
- Don’t eat risotta the night before. No one wants to practice with an onion-ini.
- Don’t use a metal water bottle. Hot water for refreshment is yucky.
- Wear capris, not shorts. I need the traction for tree pose as my legs get too slippery (that’s the sexiness!). Plus my junk doesn’t fit in those booty shorts.
- Follow your breath. It’s easier to do when you’re not in a heated room, but this was especially useful when I felt my heart beating so strong and fast that I thought it was going to burst out of my chest. Which is the scary part. My breath helped me get over that fear.
- Don’t be surprised by emotional release. This was more from past yoga experiences, not hot yoga in particular. The class was a fundraiser for the fight against cancer, and when she had us think of who we were there for, I thought I was there for my bff. At that moment, I also realized I was there for a very special family member who her lost her fight against cancer 7 years ago. While I was not close with her, I have seen how much she touched the lives of everyone in our family, how deep their love for her is, and how she lives on everyday in each of them.
- Visualize. While she led us through crazy ab exercises, instead of “grabbing my rope”, I grabbed cheeseburgers. I often think about food during yoga. It’s awesome.
So there, I survived. And I loved it.