I’ll Try It: (Very) Hot Yoga

My sister is a total yogi. I’ve gone to a few yin classes with her, which, for those of you that don’t know, is basically a type of yoga where you sit and do really easy stretches for five minutes at a time, and then after class you hit up the frozen yogurt place next door because, wow, what a great workout! I’ve always been hesitant to go to any really hot yoga classes because A. I am a self-conscious exerciser and feel like everyone is judging my lack of form in downward dog, and B. I am a subscriber to air conditioners and fans and don’t totally understand the concept of making someone swelter in a small room full of other sweltering humans.

That said, I occasionally go through these periods of wanting to become “healthy.” During these frequent-yet-short-lasting spurts, I’ll pretty much do whatever in the name of KICKING WEIGHT AND TAKING NAMES. So, on one fateful Saturday morning, I changed into my lulus and pretended I wear them everyday for exercise and not Netflix marathons, and announced to my sister that we were hitting the gym (aka yoga class). My mom, who was visiting us, decided to join in as well. And I was so pumped, thinking we were about to become the three musketeers of the local yoga studio.

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All these photos are courtesy of Bean. I was too busy suffering from heat stroke to even consider taking Instagram worthy shots.

I wasn’t just in to trying yoga, I was pretty convinced I was the next Elizabeth Gilbert yoga spokesperson. I was ready to sign up for a month membership and commit to the studio’s Thirty Classes in Thirty Days challenge (no one ever tell me I have commitment issues, okay?). Luckily, my mom was there to be like, “Hey Rosie, maybe try the class before you make such a big decision.” Of course, I shook my head all annoyed, like, c’mon, mom. This is going to be a breeze and I’m going to be the cutest little yoga star and probably get a part-time job at LuluLemon and buy loads of sports bras with my new discount. But, because she’s my mom and generally a fountain of wisdom, I decided to wait until after class. (THANK YOU, MOM.)

I get into the studio, and immediately I’m shooting my sister dagger eyes, because it’s ONE HUNDRED DEGREES IN THERE, but she can’t see because her own eyes are closed as she meditates peacefully on her mat. Within five minutes of the class, I’m already certain I will never, ever return. Like, in my head this yoga joint is Voldemort come to life aka The Studio That Shall Not Be Named. Remember the sirens that used to play at the start of that 98 degrees album? That was basically my internal thought process throughout the whole class. You can reminisce here:

There came a point in the class when I was really nauseous, but I saw my sister was still confidently chilling in Warrior Two even though it had definitely only gotten hotter, and my mom, who was also a first time yogi, was looking like she’d hit nirvana. She was the next Elizabeth Gilbert, I realized somewhat resentfully, as I planted my forehead into my sticky mat. I spent a few seconds in child’s pose, even though everyone else has moved onto caterpillar or butterfly or spider or some other insect pose.

Then, I did the one thing the yoga teacher told us not to do, I stood up, crawled around the maze of yoga mats, and left the room. Maybe the teacher was glaring at me, I have no idea, because I was on a serious mission: find the bathroom and throw up.

I won’t go into details. I mean, we’ve all had the flu before. I threw up, lay on the bench, called my brother, sent some text messages, watched a few cat YouTube videos, tweeted about how yoga is so not for me, and then, when my core temperature had lowered back into a moderately healthy range, I ventured back into the room. Obviously I strategically planned the timing of my re-entry and arrived just as the cool down was beginning. (But can I just say, I have real problems with the use of the expression“cool down” when it was still an Arizonian summer day inside.)

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How can something so artsy be so torturous?

We all “cooled down” together, and I avoided my family’s curious glances as I pretended to be really into that pose where you lay flat and pretend you’re meditating while actually thinking of everything you need to pick up at the grocery store and whether or not you remembered your wallet. Savasana? Yeah. That’s it. I love that pose. In fact, I do this pose for eight hours every night. Occasionally for a few hours after work on the couch while I stream Veronica Mars. It’s a very useful pose to learn.

The teacher placed cool cloths on our foreheads as we lay there, and for about seven milliseconds I understood why people come to this class. Then, my raging body heat warmed up the cloth, and I was back to being claustrophobic. Good times!

As we were getting ready to leave the studio, and I was examining all their adorable Inner Fire activewear (and actually wishing I had been more into the class so I could justify a whole closet overhaul), the teacher came up to me to ask why I’d disappeared in class. She wanted to know if everything was okay. Obviously she wasn’t aware that her classroom was hotter than the hottest Canadian summer day and that I was probably going to launch a formal complaint to the Prime Minister of Canada against this so-called “practice.” I nodded, and made up some lame excuse about really having to pee. She gave me this sort of disapproving glance that made it totally clear actual yogis don’t just “have to pee.” They meditate away the urge to pee.

So, should you try really hot yoga? That depends, do you enjoy eyebrow waxes? Long flights with no air-conditioning? Being beaten up on the playground by an eighth grader who wants your lunch money? Yeah? Well, hot yoga is for you, you weirdo masochist. Enjoy!

If you don’t like those things—well, there’s a fro-yo shop next store. I highly recommend the peanut butter with Oreo and banana on top.

xo – Rosie

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