hot yoga — i’m completely addicted! if i could go every night i would. i’ve been attending classes a couple times a week for the past couple months, and it all started with a random conversation on the train. the girl i commute with on the train with said she wanted to go to a hot yoga class and i thought, “well that sounds like it could be fun.” tribalance yoga is close to my home and they offer late classes after the kids go to bed so i don’t miss my momma time.
hours before class i started to get nervous. what if i wasn’t good enough? i had been to a studio once before years ago and felt like a pterodactyl. right now i do yoga in my basement with a DVD, but this was different. this was yoga, in a studio, with other yogis, with an instructor…hmmmm. would they be silently judging me? what do i need to bring? what if i passed out? worse then that, what if i barf? panic started to set in. i began to google hot yoga…which came up with a few “interesting” sites with scantily clad women. but after more searching, i started to get some insight on what exactly i was in for. i looked again at the studio’s schedule and noticed i wasn’t going to hot yoga, but rather om zone conditioning…how different could that be, right? i went to the class description page, but that particular class must have been new, so nothing had been written….hmmmm.
i meet my girlfriend in the tribalance parking lot. we bravely walked through the door and signed in — i’m excited and nervous all at the same time. we receive a tour of the studio from a nice gentleman named tim and are shown to the locker room. i put my gym bag and glasses away (google told me not to wear them even though i could no longer see where i was going), grab my mat and smart water, and i walk towards the room. upon opening the door, we are immediately hit with the hot humid air…and man is it hot! the air hangs with the smell of sweat and incense. the room is dimly lit and we make our way to the back corner to set up. i suddenly feel like the poster child for lululemon…i’ve got my tank, shorts, mat, towel, headband and top knot…all the essentials to help you look like you know what you’re doing, right? i lay down in savasana and notice that even the floors are heated. i start to sweat and think to myself, “girl, what were you thinking.”
suddenly there’s the booming voice of a male in the room. he tells me to stand up, mountain pose, hands to the heart, sun salutations…ok, i can do this! music starts to kick in (seriously, this studio rocks it out) jump back to plank, chaturanga, into cobra, downward dog. right leg up. i’m upside down and the sweat starts to run down my cheeks, into my eyes. i glance at my glistening arms and think to myself, “i’ve never sweat like this before in my life and i’m only 5 mins in, crap.” i’m told to stand up and run in place, faster, run it out. i feel like i’m playing a deranged version of simon says. no wonder there was no description of om zone conditioning. the devil himself has set his ass crack down on my yoga mat and is telling me to now do 20 push ups, 20 sit ups and 20 lunges. someone, please, make the bad man stop. he continues with his up, down, up, down instructions and i can feel tunnel vision beginning to kick in. the reality of why they asked for an emergency contact upon signing in is dawning on me. i’m going to be the one they haul out of here on a stretcher.
i curl up on my mat in the fetal position and hear the man say, “whatever feels good for you” from the far side of the room…dude, this feels good, this feels really, really, good right now. up, down, up, down, his voice is getting closer, i quickly get back into the groove and think, ya, i’ve got this. the booming voice says, “this is just the warm up, and then the real workout begins! getting stronger together”…hmmmm, ya, maybe not. i look at my girlfriend, and she looks at me. I just shake my head and tell her i’ve gotta get out of here. i hang my head in shame and start to roll up my mat when suddenly, that booming male voice it right above me. shit. this is the first time i’ve gotten a clear look at him…you’ll remember i said i put my glasses away…without them i’m blind as a bat. i meekly look up at this bare chested tattooed man and whisper the words, “i can’t” as i stand up. he looks me in the eyes and says, “yes you can, don’t give up now, you’re almost there! you only have 8 mins left.”
somehow he has given me the strength to unroll my mat. i start to run in place, tattooed simon says stop running, tattooed simon says get into a big circle and hold hands, tattooed simon says do squats, tattooed simon says do lunges, tattooed simon says sit on your butts with your feet in the air, tattooed simon says flutter kick your legs, tattooed simon says get up and do more squats, tattooed simon says go find your mats bravo you’ve completed the workout, smile and honor yourself just for being here. thank you sweet baby jesus! i lay down on my mat and start the cool down. I find my breathe and smile. i just made it through something i thought i couldn’t. i lay in savasana and relax, my whole body flush; hotter then its even been before. i did it!
when we walk out to the lobby, the booming voice tells me he is proud i stuck it out and introduces himself to us as corey. he tells us after the 6th class it will get better and he hopes to see us again next week. i don’t know if it was the endorphins, but to be truthful, i couldn’t wait.
2 days later i was jonesing to go back. this time for hot yoga with a lovely girl named becki. i was somewhat sore from the previous evening. she stretched me out and helped me work on flexibility, strength and balance. at tribalance, i don’t feel pressured into doing the perfect pose although she did reposition me a few times, but i never felt like i was “doing it wrong”. nor did i fell like a pterodactyl. i feel really blessed to have found these people. i’ve embraced yoga and found something within myself i never knew i had. it is such a chill and relaxed environment that i’ve come to love. namaste.