January 20, 2014

getting my yoga on....

While the little one was napping, I practiced some yoga. This photo was done using a slow shutter speed ( - I left the shutter open for 5 seconds to capture the movement).

I recently started ramping up my exercise, not so much for the sake of getting in shape, but more for the endorphin high I get from working out. I've been taking three 90 minute hot yoga classes a week and thought I'd write to you about my first experience with it, in case you're going to give it a try.

For my first class, I walked into a quiet, darkly lit room that's heated at 105 F (40 degrees C) and lied down on my mat, like everyone else was, in Savasana (corpse pose). I don't want to brag, but I was nailing this. Apparently, I'm really good at lying in the dead body pose. It was incredible to feel the heat warming my entire body, in the chill of winter. I was really loving lying in the heat, when in entered, what I can only describe as, a prison guard. He was jingling what sounded hundreds of keys, and it took all my zen like restraint not to pull my sweaty corpse pose body off the floor and shove the keys where his chakras don't shine. Didn't he see the Quiet sign on the door? Who did he think he was? And exactly how many doors is he responsible for? But I focussed back on my practice and breathed out my anger at mr. bo jangles.
I knew going into this class that it would be 26 poses over 90 minutes. But for some reason, when we finished our standing series and lied down in Savasana, I thought, Ok, it wasn't that bad. I mean, there were a few sketchy moments when I couldn't see because of the sweat pouring into my stinging hot sizzling eyeballs, but all in all, for my first time out, I felt like I possibly just might have nailed the shit out of it.
Then the teacher announced that it was time to start our floor series and congratulations, we were halfway there! There is no talking in the class, or at that moment I would have verbalized the sentiment running through my head which was something along the lines of, "what the F*#@! Mother F#ING all that is holy, how is this only the halfway mark!?!" Perhaps I had a funny expression on my face that captured all that I was thinking, because she said, "remember to smile!" I'm sorry, I thought smiling was a natural trigger to indicate that I was happy. But I digress. We did our floor series, which includes a pose where you arch your body right back to the floor (Camel Pose) - during which, the instructor explains, your body sends a rush of blood to your heart, and might trigger some memories/emotions. For myself, the pose triggered vomit, which I managed to contain in my mouth. Something about being upside down in the heat can do that to a gal. But by the end of class, after holding my own in the Dandayamana Bibhaktapada Paschimottanasana pose, or what you laymen may refer to as a forward bend, and after contorting myself into a locust, rabbit, cobra, camel and tortoise,  I was lying down in my Savasana pose reflecting on how amazing I felt. You feel like the Savasana you get at the end of class is so well earned, for challenging yourself for 90 minutes. You are a champion for bravely wearing short shorts in front of a room full of strangers. 
Since regularly taking hot yoga, I've noticed a huge increase in my flexibility, and the classes seem to fly by compared to those earlier days. It's a workout where you definitely ask more and more of yourself with each passing class. I hope you give it a try and enjoy it was much as I do now! xo

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