Falling in Love… with Hot Yoga
After my first experience with Pure Barre, I was sore for days. So sore that just turning over in bed would wake me from my muscles aching. At that point I decided it was time to try a kinder, gentler exercise program. I have tried regular yoga in the past with not-so-pleasing results. I always felt stiff and strained, like my muscles and joints were screaming in protest the entire time. So I started doing some research into Hot Yoga. Not to be confused with Bikram Yoga (which is 90 minutes long, super hot, fast paced and practiced with brighter lighting) Hot Yoga classes I looked into were in 95-98 degree studios at CorePower, which conveniently has locations close to both home and my office. So, my friend Cara (the yoga MASTER) took me to a class during lunch 2 weeks ago. And…well… In the past 2 weeks I have been to 8 classes. Needless to say, I’m a bit hooked.
This is something I never would have expected. I’m a plus size, inflexible girl in a room filled with ballerina-like women and hard-bodied men. After taking an un-heated Beginner’s Intro on a Sunday afternoon, I braved Hot Power Fusion on a Monday, which is a more advanced flow done in a 98 degree studio. I started sweating the moment I walked in (not sure if it was nerves or the actual heat… but I’m going to guess it was mostly the heat since the seasoned veterans around me were also glistening). The most important advice I received from the instructor when I said I was brand new: LISTEN TO YOUR BODY. When class started and I started moving into some of the poses, I noticed that everyone around me was in their own little space, focused completely on themselves. This made me feel a lot more confident, and I made modifications to each asana as needed. Even though I was covered in sweat very quickly, I noticed that the heat warmed and protected my muscles, making me feel more flexible and able to do and hold poses I never would have thought possible. When others around me started doing headstands and more complicated poses, I went into child’s pose and simply allowed myself to relax and breathe. The whole experience was amazingly challenging, purifying and relaxing at the same time. Which is why the reason I went back for several days in a row. The instructors are also great, very friendly and willing to help you work on proper form, or show you modifications.
My free trial ends tomorrow, and I believe I will be signing up for a membership. There is also a 60 day yoga challenge that starts on June 1st, which involves going to at least 30 classes in 60 days. I have not decided if I want to sign up for the challenge yet, but if I truly am as addicted as I think I am, 30 classes may not be so bad.