Thursday, June 16

hurts so good

I started going to a new hot yoga studio this month called I Love Hot Yoga. I've been doing yoga fairly regularly for just over a year now and don't see myself stopping any time soon, but sweat-til-you-die yoga is another story. Allow me to elaborate...
The thermostat was set at 121 degrees* in a gross attempt to keep the hot air flowing into the room. The official temperature of the room climbed to a stifling 110, and my breath grew shallow, which unfortunately completely defeats the point of practicing yoga. Large droplets of sweat raced up (yes, up) my cheeks and into my eyes as I tipped upside down into Down Dog Pose. My light purple mat now had awkward splotches of darker wet purple smeared over the places where my sit bones, breasts, and forearms had pushed into its now slick surface. I reached back for my metal Klean Kanteen water bottle, only to bring a sensation of heat to my lips, followed by warm water. It didn’t fully refresh, but it started to quench. The unfamiliar warmth in my muscles allowed them to elongate and lengthen without the usual pullback and tightening. I fiddled with my sweaty, limp ponytail, turned my left heel out at a 45-degree angle, and lunged forward over my right knee into Warrior One Pose. Later, after hanging my head in a rag doll fashion for only 15 seconds or so, there was a ringing in my ears from the pulsating blood vessels in my head. While half the class rose into Tree Pose, I joined the other half in a recovery pose known as Child’s Pose, so I could regain my hearing and grab a towel to wipe as much sweat off my face and neck as possible. I felt no shame in taking a 10-second “break.” High-intensity, physical exercise in Sub-Saharan conditions is almost a joke. Someone stepped out of the self-made sauna halfway through class to use the restroom, and as the door opened and let in a gush of cool air, I realized that I had literally flung my arms toward it. 
I can tell you one thing, I have never deserved frozen yogurt from the shop next door so much.

*This post is dedicated to my dad, who has always preferred freezing temperatures and probably thinks I'm losing brain cells for doing this. 


wildchild said...

ha i love the detailed play by play. but goodness, that sounds torturous. yet wonderful all at the same time. i wanna try.

[Anna] said...

Oh man... I love it when someone has to take a bathroom break during hot yoga or bikram. That rush of normal air is so amazing - one time I almost said "oh sweet goodness" out loud.

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