I Tried Hot Yoga For The First Time & Wow, I Have a Lot of Thoughts

This article has been syndicated from Daily Cup of JoJo, an InfluenceHer Collective Member. Read the full post here.
 
Okay, so let me break it down for yo
u: on a hot summer day in Las Vegas, my mom and I decided to try something new and take on hot yoga. Specifically, we went for Bikram yoga — 90 minutes, 26 postures with two breathing exercises, 105 degrees with 80% humidity. Bikram is the one of the most challenging and rewarding physical practices you can put your body through.

We walk in

I walk into the Bikram yoga studio with what could have been a camping mat. It was probably 10 millimeters thick. The first thing the receptionist says, "Let me get you a proper mat. You'll topple over with that much cushion. You really want to have a mat anywhere between 3-5mm." Luckily, we both have a towel and a water bottle with us. We are at least semi-prepared.
 
We step into the hot room. HOLY HELL. I am instantly smacked in the face with the heat and humidity. There is also a distinct smell. Not bad, but not great. I mean, it's a room where people work out, sweat, and breathe, all while in high moist temperatures. What can you expect? We place our mats down "on the line", like we are told, and got the heck out of the room. We wait outside until the last possible second, then the instructor escorts us all in.
 
"Any first-timers here today?" the instructor asks, as he's standing on a mini pedestal at the front of the room.
 
Two timid hands rise up into the air. My mom's and mine. The instructor then explains that we need to watch the people around us as he does not do the stances, only talks us through them. Take a break anytime you need to. If you feel dizzy it's okay, you're supposed to. Awesome.
 
*pause for dramatic effect*
 

The class begins

"Let's get into it. First is the breathing exercise, Pranayama Breathing, deep breathing. Good for your lungs and respiratory system. Feet together nicely, toes and heels touching each other. All ten fingers interlocked under the chin, full grip. Always your hands touching the chin like glue. Nice and relaxed shoulders. Swallow a couple of times. Look in the mirror. Concentrate. Meditate..."

 

"INHALE…"
 
They guide us with precise placement of every single limb of our body so we know exactly how the posture is supposed to look and feel. After the first breathing exercise, my shoulders and neck are burning. I don't think I did that right. My skin is glistening with sweat. I can’t keep my arms up for the length of the pose. I feel so weak. After about the 4th pose, we are able to take a drink of water, AKA Party Time. From that point on we can sneak in sips of water between poses.
 
Honestly, most of my struggle came from the positions, not the heat. You kind of tune the heat out because you are so focused. The heat is just there to make you more limber. We did some balancing poses. My balance was good. My posing was not. I couldn't concentrate. There was so much sweat dripping everywhere. When it was really quiet, you could hear the beads of sweat splatting on the mats.
 
I must've missed where they said it was a 90-minute session because an hour in I am so excited to be done... but then we aren’t. The clock keeps ticking, the instructor keeps talking, and I keep wishing. The class is getting harder. I’m getting dizzy. I’m extremely focused on the heat. My water bottle has only hot water left. I am crashing. I lay down on my mat for the remainder of the class. I feel nauseous and dizzy. We do an energizing sit-up between postures and I try to do that, but I let myself give up. 
 
Finally, the lights click off, the fans click on (and remain on), and a voice says, "Namaste." Which apparently means we have concluded the class. I roll my mat up and run out of there. I remember thinking there is a special place in hell for people who go to this class every day.
 

The aftermath

As soon as I get out of the room, I feel fine. I am 100% okay. All my symptoms subside and I feel fantastic. I've never had a better workout in my entire life. You know that saying, "You'll feel like a million bucks"? Well, now I know what people mean when they say that. I worked every bone, joint, and cell in my body. Even sitting out the last few poses, I felt so great about myself. There is a sense of accomplishment that comes after a Bikram class.
 
I went back the next day because I wanted to try all of the poses and they tell you to come back within 24 to 48 hours otherwise you never will. I was AMAZED at how much easier my second class was than my first. Now I'm a lifer.
 

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