Not for the feint of heart!
I’ve been practicing yoga for about 12 years, I even worked in a studio in Texas for some time, but I had never tried ‘Hot Yoga’ until recently. I heard it would be addicting, like the challenge of persevering through the entire set makes you stronger, or that you would feel like you were gonna throw up, or that it’s so hot and humid in the room that claustrophobia sets in and you begin to panic.. Let me tell you, it was absolutely everything they tell you it will be.
I graduated yoga teacher training this summer and made so many beautiful life connections. One of which, my dear friend who graduated with me, auditioned for the hot class at a yoga studio near Denver. She taught us the sequence the week before so that she felt comfortable on her audition. Honestly, I’m grateful because the sequence is a little different, there’s a ‘fake’ savasana toward the end, but it’s really necessary since you’re working so hard in such extreme conditions.
Ok, so the room is 108 degrees and humid as fuck! It’s like walking through a thick wall of hot jam. We set up our mats and water bottles, and I immediately had to take my tank top off. Wearing my yoga pants and a sports bra I tied up my hair and began to attempt to acclimatize my body to the situation. If I could offer any advice it would be to BREATHE and if you need to, open mouth exhale to release extra heat!!!! Especially through the uncomfortableness. My friend settled at the front of the room to invite us in and set the tone for the class. Within the first fifteen minutes, I felt like I was going to die, the heat and humidity was so intense, but just like during my daily meditations, I kept bringing it back to the breath. If you're going to take a hot class, remember that in these conditions, you’ll likely be more flexible, so proceed with caution. Not to mention you’ll be drenched from head to toe - Slippery when Wet! By the time it came for our first savasana, which literally translates to little death, we were all breathing heavily and it and if definitely felt like I was about to pass out. We caught our breath and finished the sequence with a few more poses to balance the body. The grand finale was a cold lavender eye cloth, whew, and that made it ALL worth it!
I loved this class so much, the high heat and humidity reminds me of the days I lived on the beach in Texas and was a warm, welcomed change to the dry temperament that is Colorado. Drenched in sweat, I hobbled to the women’s locker room and immediately stripped naked and hopped into the shower for a cold wash. It felt so good to clean off all the sweat and toxins right after such an intense class. So our hOMie got the yoga teacher position, of course, and a mandatory, celebratory smoke sesh was absolutely necessary to congratulate her!
The yoga was amazing, I mentioned before, but it’s definitely one that you should plan a little for. Drinking water and staying hydrated in everyday life is super important to living a life of health and wealth, but if you choose to do a hot yoga class, remember, you’ll be sweating your ass off so staying hydrated and replenishing your body with electrolytes is top priority. I would highly suggest bringing a towel for class, another one for showering afterward (trust me, you’ll want to) a change of clothes, and a refillable water bottle. The great part of this and many other hot yoga classes is option for modification, and taking a moment to gather yourself should you begin feeling some type of way is recommended and encouraged. Heat and humidity can take a lot out of you to begin with, add an intense yoga practice on top of that and you’ve got a recipe for super detoxification, so treat your body right. Eat nourishing, simple foods, not too much salty or sugary treats, and I honestly can’t stress drinking water!