For some reason, I thought it would be the best use of an hour (and $20) to cluster with a bunch of strangers in a 108°F room and align my chakras, or whatever, while trying not to pass out.
I arrived with the ripped, blue yoga mat that somehow appeared in the back of my closet years ago and an open mind. I mean, my third eye was wide as hell. I was ready for this experience.
We all sat in uncomfortable silence for the ten minutes waiting for the class to start. Some of us savasana-ed (re: sleeping) while the rest of us awkwardly stretched and checked out the competition’s flexibility.
When the instructor arrived he came in wearing what amounted to boxer briefs…and nothing else. At first, I was judging him but by the end, I was regretting not wearing something similar as my cotton tank top stuck to my disgustingly moist body. Yes, I said moist. That’s how gross I was.
I’ve done yoga before, so normally I can hold in my eye rolls while the instructor tells me to “find my inner peace” and “open up my hips to release stress”. However, I cannot express the rage I felt towards this man’s vague accent and hippie sayings while shaking in an eagle pose in a damn sauna.
When I think back on it, the thing I remember most vividly was the sweat. Obviously, I knew there would be sweat, but I was not prepared for just how much. I was picturing a little sheen to clear the toxins and negativity out of my body. I did not picture falling out of a downward-facing dog because my hands were sliding through the puddle of my own sweat that filled up my mat or needing to take multiple breaks to rub furiously at my eyes to clear out the burning, salty drops that have leaked into them.
The other thing I didn’t realize is that the heat tricks you into thinking you’re more flexible than you are. The whole time I was keeping up pretty well with the suck-up at the front in a matching bra and yoga pant set who kept looking at the instructor to make sure he saw just how low her chair pose could go. I’m usually pretty flexible, but even I was surprised by my Gumby-like abilities. Turns out. I’m not Gumby. I’m just an idiot with really warm muscles who paid dearly the next day. I was pretty sure my back would never stop feeling like it was going to fall off.
After almost an hour of lightheadedness and near-death experiences due to sweat, we settled into final savasana. I was forced to lay in a puddle of regret for not bringing a towel while Mr. Underpants launched into a speech about how to live your best life. I already knew what was best for my life, and it was for the clock to hit 8:00 pm.
I was already half-way out the door before he could finish saying, “Fell free to stay in savasana for as long as you need and come up when you are ready.”
Savasa-nah I’m good.
So how do I feel about the hot yoga experience? I loved it. It was awesome and I would do again. Yea, I don’t get it either. It’s probably some yogi brainwash tactic.