Let me preface this story by stating a few things:
- The last time I tried a yoga class was about 10 years ago
- I have a hard time relaxing and getting my mind to stop going 100 miles an hour
- I have zero flexibility
- I hate the heat
All of these things would make me literally the WORST candidate for Hot Yoga, but we just joined a gym, and I decided to give it a try with my mother in law since she was in town and we had received guest passes for our family. I dug out my old yoga mat that I’ve used ZERO times, and we went to the 5:30 Hot Yoga class.
First of all, we were late to this particular hot yoga class. I blamed this on #momlife, because that’s what I blame everything on now. It’s a good excuse, covers just about every possible potential disaster (big or small), and also invokes at least minor pity with the majority of women, and sometimes men, if they have kids or a wife who seems mildly disheveled at all times.
Everyone was in this really dark room, and there were a TON of people in there. Mostly women and one man, along with a male instructor who came right over to us barking a command to leave our shoes outside. In my typical very awkward I’m-New-I-Don’t-Know-What-I’m-Doing manner, I forgot to take my socks off, so I was the only one practicing yoga in invisible sneaker-socks. My saving grace was probably that no one could tell I had them on since the lights were out; all the yogis were in their own yogi-mental-zone, and/or if they DID notice my socks, maybe they thought I had special expensive yoga socks, or at the worst, that I had a very bad case of contagious fungus on my feet.
The socks weren’t humiliating, though. Even if I did have a huge fungus I was trying to hide (I’m not), my socks were the least of my problems. First, the room was a million degrees. I’m sure I sweated off a pound out of plain perspiration, along with humiliation that made me sweat even more. The instructor rang out his orders in Yoga Language, and I had zero idea what was happening or what these poses were. A whole circuit was built around about 10 different poses, none of which were demonstrated…not like I could see anyway with the darkness of the room (thank GOD… my belly fat kept muffining over my yoga pants and was clearly visible thanks to my t-shirt that kept getting stuck in my under-boob-fat and pulling up past my belly button), but I kept trying to slyly check out the women around me doing all these poses and who were clearly understanding immediately what chaturanga, reverse warrior and five point star meant (and those are only a few of the ones I remember).
As I basically tried to bullshit my way through this hot, humid insanity, someone let out an enormous fart, which of course stank up the entire room. I went from smelling the Bounce dryer sheet that I had rolled my yoga mat up in, to the stench of rancid poopy odor, and hoped no one thought it was me (it wasn’t). I finally gave up on breathing in clean air and doing the poses right, and eventually just gave up and did my own poses. I kept looking at the clock wondering when in God’s name this thing would END…and in the middle of all of it, realized that I am just NOT cut out for yoga of any kind.
I tried to enjoy my own little yoga poses (aka sitting there pretending to stretch, occasionally throwing in a plank or two…), but my mind wandered and I wasn’t able to focus the way the rest of the Yogis clearly were. Perhaps it was that I’m not well trained (ok, definitely that I’m not well trained), but also I’d like to blame it on the fact that the instructor had really random songs playing during the class. Since when is Cake By the Ocean a Yoga song?! Where’s the Yo-Yo-Ma and Mozart? Isn’t this supposed to be mega relaxing?!
At long last, we were winding down, and as I attempted whatever the pose is called where you throw your legs back over your head while you’re on your back, I decided I wouldn’t be trying another class. I heaved my gargantuan ass and legs above my head, which in turn crumpled my boobs and belly fat right up to my face, and I just realized that
Hot Yoga Yoga of any kind and I would never mesh.
At long last, the instructor brought out some towels. Everyone had their eyes closed in major focus, probably super relaxed, with blank, refreshed minds, but I could only watch the dude as he passed out the towels and think “oh my God YAY TOWELS! I hope they’re cold. Wait. This is hot yoga. What kind of cruel joke would that be if those towels were hot? Please be cold, please be cold, PLEASEBECOLD”. I told you, I just can’t relax and not think a million things ALLTHETIME.
Turns out the towels were cold, felt amazing, and were also dunked in an essential oil blend, which I inhaled so deeply I broke out into coughs, which likely disrupted everyone’s chi, but oh well. I was so grateful for the towel I didn’t care. It was just great to smell something that wasn’t farts!
To end my little Hot Yoga tale/experience, I would say that just because I suck at Hot Yoga and really don’t think it’s for me, doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate the deep thought, concentration and flexibility that others in the class had. All the power to you if you’re a huge yogi. Just like Cross Fit, TCX or HIIT isn’t for everyone, neither is yoga. As for me, Namaste in the other classes that cater to people with hamster-like brains that can’t relax…but maybe I’ll see about borrowing some of those nice cold towels if I ever get a chance!! 😉