Some Like It Hot
If you talked to me six months ago, and asked what I thought of hot yoga, I’d have shrugged and said it’s not for me.
It seemed silly to be in a super hot room, sweating through a flow. I mean, what if I overheated and passed out? I had zero interest. Zero. But the minute I say “No Way”, the Universe brings me to the table and asks, “You sure?”
I was taking a hot yoga workshop at Indigo Hot Yoga, led by my friend, Stacy Rosales. I was terrified. I brought her all of my fears (yes, fears… I was really reluctant). She explained that the room is set to a specific temperature, and at a specific humidity level. She talked about why we wait to drink water (to allow the body to heat up), and why you shouldn’t walk out in the middle of class (the extreme temperature shift can be shocking). As she explained all of this, it became clear that the practice was safe and things were thought through. I thought maybe I was overreacting juuuuust a little bit.
As we moved through Stacy’s workshop, I noticed that I felt good. I was focused on my own practice and not worried about anyone else. I also loved that I wasn’t concerned with how my body looked, which is a real thing for me in a yoga class (or anywhere, come to think of it). I was in the zone. Stacy’s workshop piqued my interest, and my excitement. Just a few weeks later, while visiting Charleston to host breathwork circles, I dropped in to a hot yoga class at Urban Yoga Charleston. Stepping into the room felt right. As Krista Block guided us through the flow, the heat brought my focus to my practice. I checked my form, stacked my body, and as I aligned, I took a deep breath. Yes. I am whole. I am connected. I am. I am. I am.
I came home hooked on hot, but it took about a week before I could find the time to take a class. I joined my friend Stacie for Happy Hour Hot Vinyasa Flow, led by Rob Von Schalscha at Nirvana Wellness. I am just getting over a week of being sick and hoped that I would make it through the class unscathed.
As he opened the class, Rob started by talking about the breath, turning inward, and tuning the world out. His talk was deep and spiritual. It pulled me in. As we went through the flow, I found myself feeling my muscles, seeing the beads of sweat start to appear on my extended arms. It felt good. Deeper into the class, as we went into a downward facing dog, a drop of sweat landed on my mat. My sweat, my work. Detoxifying my body, clearing space in my mind. Each asana more beautiful than the next.
I left feeling alive. I don’t know if it’s an adrenaline rush or what, but it’s so cool. I am hooked on hot. I am finding classes that fit with my schedule and committing to them. While self-care is definitely taking baths, reading books, and resting, it’s also honoring your body enough to commit to move it.