Good evening. For this segment, we are going to resume the Alternative Workout articles that Steph started.
To start off with a little bit about myself, I am equal parts iced coffee and pure wit. I love soccer and Kanye West and also salmon. Big into salmon. Talents include procrastination and binge watching Always Sunny.
For this edition, yours truly sauntered on over to the local YMCA for a hot yoga class. Based on my observations in this class, I could pinpoint a few different types of people. There is the “what you know bout nirvana?” expert who injected herself with a shot of liquid zen before she got here. There’s the “my suburban wife dragged me here” middle aged man who would very obviously rather be cracking a cold one with the boys. And then there is little old me, all ready to go with my rental yoga mat, eyes wide and bright with the blissful ignorance of a dog hanging his head out the window on the way to the vet.
Once we got the class started, let me tell you: we were not in Jersey anymore. In a matter of minutes, the room transforms from a third-floor ballet studio into a roasting sauna bringing forth the wrath of a thousand suns (aka the Houston Dash’s BBVA Compass Stadium on a hot July Game Day).
You know how people say that grief comes in a few painful stages? Well so does hot yoga.
STAGE 1: Overconfidence; the “it ain’t so bad”
Everyone starts a hot yoga class the same way. Thinking that you’ll do great, it’s not that hot in here, it’s not too bad, you can do this. BUT. Honey, don’t fool yourself, you are just catching a glimpse of the toasty oven that this room is about to morph into. The instructor starts you off nice and easy going on a little journey with breathing and nature. You feel alright, maybe you can do this namaste thing.
STAGE 2: Wiggly Limbs, the “oh chic are my arms shaking?”
You have now been in Downward Dog for 14 minutes straight and are really regretting those few (hundred) times you made your sibling carry the groceries inside while you sat and ate your pineapples in the backseat like a MF queen. The X Ambassadors song, “Unsteady”, just came on the stereo and you feel like your instructor Chelsea is tossing some shade at your arms’ inability to hold a plank. You look down and see a droplet on the mat, then another one fall from your chin. Are you face-sweating? Yes, yes you are. Are your feet starting to slide down the mat? Yes, yes they are. Did you leave your dignity at that last set of chaturangas? Yes, yes you did.
STAGE 3: Rotisserie Pig, the “I’m sweating like a pig at a BBQ”
You have now entered the fiery gates of hell and you wonder if you'd rather pull a Salem witch hunt and be burned at the stake than tolerate one more minute of sweating it out with these strangers. This mat is definitely laced with wax because you’re sliding around everywhere. You look like Bambi on ice except you are a human being and this is an exercise class and Chelsea is giving you some hardcore side-eye. Chelsea also said to get into a pose called, The Crow, but all you see is a bunch of ladies and middle-aged men try to get into fetal position in mid-air upside down.
STAGE 4: Wool Sweater Post-Rainfall, the “is this what dogs feel like in the bath?”
My gosh that was dank. The heat is turning off and you’ve finally stopped sweating. You’re done with all of the hard stuff and it’s time for Shavasana. I find it to be the most ~elegant~ pose:
Laying there sweaty and exhausted, you feel like a hamburger freshly pulled off the grill and chilling on a cold plate waiting for the suburban dads to put down their cold ones and fetch you some buns.
Real Recognizes Real:
On a serious note, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND hot yoga, although it caused a lot of unwelcome sweat, you got a damn good work out in and you feel zen AF. Over time you will definitely start to feel changes in your flexibility and your arm strength. Not to mention one day you just might be able to one-up “Namaste Nancy” over there with the freshly imported Persian yoga mat.