I’m a strong believer in exercise. It’s a great way to blow off steam, cope with stress, and manage the guilt that comes with eating an entire cheese cake. I’ve had fantasies about becoming a runner, but that’ll never happen. I have bad ankles and despise the feeling of my wobbly bits bouncing around and making a scene in public. I give full props to anyone getting their butt to the gym and ‘pumping iron,’ because personally, I find weights boring as hell and hate the fact that my hands are left smelling like a combination of wet metal and protein powder. If I wanted that, I’d add whey powder to a margarita, and drink it out of a tin can.
I had basically come to the conclusion that I had serious fitness commitment issues, until I made a discovery five years ago. Title of my upcoming New York bestseller – “How Hot Yoga Saved My Life.”
For those of you that are unfamiliar with this type of yoga, each class is 60 to 90 minutes and practiced in a room heated to one hundred and five degrees fahrenheit, with forty percent humidity.
- you sweat your ass off,
- struggle to breathe, and
- fight to maintain consciousness while an instructor melodically guides you though a set of poses that cause your body to violently shake and make you wish you were never born.
Yet somehow, it’s the greatest thing I’ve ever done!
This week, Jenn got us a month’s pass for Moksha Yoga LA, a new hot yoga studio in her area. I was completely thrilled with the opportunity, as I was once an avid practitioner, but let’s be honest, it’s been about a year since my ‘avid’ days. Needless to say, my first experience back was… enlightening?
First of all, it was hot.
Like, I’m sporting a parka while power walking through the Gobi desert, hot. Like, I’m wearing a full length mink coat while participating in a triathlon on the fucking sun, hot.
Within the first five minutes I became brutally aware that I did not drink enough water that day, and the waffles I had for breakfast? Poor choice. I was completely soaked, sweating like a beast by the ten minute mark, and my thighs and entire core were on fire and threatening to call it quits, by minute fifteen. I found it next to impossible to ‘find my focus,’ with sweat dripping into my ears, and almost gagged when it crept its way into my nose and eyes during downward dog. There I was, blind and choking in a sea of my own filth, far too mindful of the garlic I ingested the night before. And friends, I don’t care how waterproof your mascara says it is, it’s lying to you, so don’t even bother. You’ll never look cute leaving a hot yoga class. Never.
Now, I know yoga is supposed to be anything but competitive, but when there’s a sixty-year-old woman next to you in a swim suit, no cellulite, and a sticker in the middle of her forehead, bending in half like she’s a fifteen-year-old from Cirque Du Soliel, I start to feel a little competitive. I yoga’d hard. Shit got real.
The consequence of my ego? An inability to use stairs for three days, raise my right arm above my chest, or stand fully erect without muttering such obscenities you’d only hear in women’s correctional facility, while the inmates are PMS-ing.
That said, even though Jenn and I left the studio looking like ass, we both felt like a million bucks! We’ve decided to drink more water, accepting that a third cup of coffee does not apply as a substitution, and I will be practicing at home between classes, to improve my form. Either that or sitting on my mat in yoga gear— while watching The Food Network. Feeling fit is sometimes equally as important.