I'm not sure if you know this or not, but I'm somewhat of a hippie....Or I guess, rather, I have a hippie heart...or something like that. Either way, I embrace my inner tree hugger and get on with my life, spreading my views when I can. I started meditating daily about six months ago and that's something that has truly brought inner peace and self-love into my life. I'm not sure if meditating can 100% contribute to my new state of happiness, but I believe it has played a huge part in it.
When my friend Sheridan mentioned she was going to try this new place in town called Raja Hot Yoga, I knew I had to go with her. I've done yoga many times on my own and have always loved it. I've heard about hot yoga and the whole thing intrigued me, but I always had some excuse as to never go an try it out. Well since living with my new found attitude, I texted her and we made plans to go a few nights ago.
I want to start off by saying I really did enjoy this experience and plan on going back at least three times a week. I am, however, going to tell you the true story of my first hot yoga experience in my very own and goofy way.
I am the first to arrive between Sheridan and I, and since I hate going new places alone, I blow up her phone to see where she's at. She tells me she's on her way, so I suck it up and go inside the lobby. I only needed to place one foot inside the door to know I was going to be pretty miserable. I knew that it was hot yoga and that I would most likely be really, really hot. What I didn't realize is that is would be SCORCHING. Like, might-as-well-let-your-entire-body-melt-off-your-bones-because-there's-no-chance-you-can-mop-up-all-the-sweat-that-is-about-to-pour-off-of-you hot. And I was only in the lobby!
I immediately text Sheridan to let her know just the lobby had me sweating my (imaginary) balls off. That's when I realized, I forgot a towel. I'm thinking to myself, really? How does one go to hot yoga and grab everything but a towel? Thankfully, this whole place is awesome and you can borrow towels! Whew!
Sheridan finally gets there and we get our stuff ready to go inside the HOT ROOM, which is aptly named, because they keep it between 99-100 degrees the entire time. By this time, I've already got sweat pooling in undesirable places. We find a spot once a very nice woman scoots over and makes room for both of us to be next to each other. We observe everyone else in the room and follow their lead by laying our towels down on our mats, which by the way, mine is pink. Did you expect anything else?
We sit for a few minutes while we wait for our instructor, Sarah, to begin. The entire time, we're giggling about how fricken hot it is. Finally Sarah begins, and Sheridan and I only exchange a few more stifled giggles before we both get really into it. Some of the poses I knew from doing yoga at home and others I couldn't even mimic if I tried. Our instructor was really awesome and came to help me out a few times. I also learned I needed a big towel because you're slipping and sliding all over your mat if you don't have one that cover the entire thing. This would be because you become a human salt lick with the amount of sweat that emerges from your pores.
I feel like you may think I'm over-exaggerating, but I'm not. It was hot and humid. Like when you walk outside from your AC in the summer and you almost gag because it's so hot and stuffy outside. It's like that, except, you're breathing deeply and moving slowly and trying to concentrate on yourself, all while sweat is beading all over your body. I honestly think I could feel the sweat pushing it's way through my skin and dumping off of me. It was that hot.
I finally start to get really into it. I'm falling all over the place when we're supposed to be balanced, but Sarah keeps telling me it's okay and that whatever I can do today is just perfect for me, and I'm eating her words up, because they're inspiring. I'm so connected with myself and I'm not even thinking of the butt sweat I probably have going on, until Billy, the owner who has been doing yoga with us on the front pallet, goes down into this crazy arm-stand thing and Sarah tells us we can do the same. And then I let out the most obnoxious sound of disbelief from my mouth. And I am immediately embarrassed. But let me show it. It looked like this over here. Yeah, you see that? It took him all of five seconds to make his body do that and I couldn't even stand on one leg for more than twenty seconds. I questioned real life at that moment.
I did feel amazing throughout the whole session. I love listening to someone talk about all the valves I wish to embrace, like pushing yourself to attain your goals, overcoming adversity, empowering yourself to be who you wish to be, and being strong. That's what I want to be - all of those things. It really puts your mind someplace else. It was awesome.
Once we make it through all of our poses and are allowed to lay back and bask in the glory of our sweat, Sarah takes over with her amazing words again. We are rewarded with a cold, wet washcloth that at this time feels like someone just handed me the keys to a walk-in freezer. I couldn't get it on my face fast enough. I spent the next fifteen minutes soaking up the essence of the cold rag and practically fall asleep until the session is over and I'm forced to peel myself up off the floor.
Afterwords, I felt spectacular! I wanted to go conquer the world! Despite feeling like hot lava was oozing out of my body, I loved it, and I'm actually on my out the door to go to another session as I type this! If you are looking for something new, different, and empowering - do some yoga. I mean it. Try it!