Tonight was the first time I have ever done yoga. Now over the years of intense football lifts and experimenting with different types of exercise, I can honestly say that hot yoga kicked my ass. I have never had to move my body into so many different – not to mention difficult – positions ever. It was just one after another after another of just bending my body and stretching muscles I don’t think have ever been stretched before.
The room was fairly small with very dim lighting and fake candles aligned the walls of the room, it made for a very peaceful and not distracting environment. It was fairly warm when I first walked into the room, but not even close to as hot it felt upon departure. I don’t exactly remember the chronological order of the poses, but I do recall opening the class with the sequence of downward facing dog, low plank, and then cobra. The instructor predominantly used the americanized terms of the different asanas, however she did use some sanskrit words toward the end.
The instructor did not exactly explain the poses, however she would adjust you or tell you if your pose was incorrect. Before some of the poses she would tell the class what muscles were being stretched and what experiences we may undergo. For example, she told us that during one of the back bends, we may feel much more energized and alert. We did a series or warrior poses for a good portion of the class, which I really enjoyed. I had never felt so connect to the ground before, like it was assisting me to keep my balance.
Toward the end we ventured into more difficult balanced based positions. We had to rest our legs on our elbows, which I believe she called the crane. We then did a series involving extending the leg behind the body and balancing on one foot. This was fairly difficult for myself, however once I really focused on the muscles being used and my breath, I began to stay steady.
The amount of perspiration I produced in that class was ridiculous. Honestly, this hot yoga may not be for me. It was very fast paced and at times I felt as though I was falling behind and had to catch up with the class. This caused me to have a lot of anxiety, making me forget completely to focus on myself and my breathing. The teacher did not talk as much as I’d hoped about breathing techniques. I was out of breath for a good portion of the class which really made me have little care for how I breathed, just as long as I didn’t stop.
The most notable, and my favorite part, of the class was the corpse pose at the very end. The instructor referred to it as Savasana and told us to feel ourselves breath and reflect on any burden in our life. This pose truly was something different. Not only was my body physically exhausted but my mind felt like it was in a million different places at once. However as soon as we layed down and lights were shut off, everything just seemed to disappear. The experience was awesome and really wrapped up the night nicely.
Lastly, when I finally emerged from the basement studio, my body felt renewed. It honestly felt like I was in a newly formed suit of skin where my every movement was fluid and every thought was pure. I am very excited to go back next week, now that I know what to expect, I will try to focus my energy on my breathing and my own poses.