Sunday, April 10, 2016
Yoga Journey 1,000 hours in a hot room
This is the chronical of my first week of hot yoga:
Day one - It was hard and scary. Heart pounding, hard to breathe scary.
Day two - I thought I knew what it would be like, but it was still a very new experience. Not as scary, but still very hard and heart pounding. Felt pretty drained afterward.
Day three - Fear of it is gone, but it still requires a lot of effort. I am wondering if this is for me. Wiped out and going to bed early with a headache. My appetite is greatly changed and diminished. I want more veges and more water. Less sweets and meat.
Day four - I talked to the instructor before class. I commented that I didn't have a favorite part yet. It was all like some form of torture. She said that she focuses on how strong she is and tells herself how well she is doing. I did that throughout class and I did feel strong and proud of myself for sticking with it. Still tired early in the evening. I am more aware of my skin and it feels good.
Day 5 - I asked before class about getting any kind of added energy benefit from the practice and was told that everyone is different. I will find what there is in it for myself. I went into class ready to tell myself how strong I was again. I did that a lot, but I also felt as though I was going to spontaneously combust. It was very difficult to stay with it for 90 minutes, but I did. My heart rate was not as uncomfortable and breathing was easier. I was just extremely hot.
Day 6 - Major breakthrough. I found the joy. After the initial breathing exercise and during the first series of asanas (I think that is what they are called - I don't want to say "poses" because I don't think of them like that) the instructor, Justice, said "squeeze your biceps with your ears." That cracked me up and I laughed all through the first series. I cannot even describe the feeling of laughter mixed with the physical practise of this yoga. It was like a magical combination. Instead of my sweat feeling like a gross toxic bath, it felt like a beautiful cooling shower. I felt a love and acceptance for myself. I was able to deepen some of the moves. I felt glowing and beautiful and I was hooked. I felt pleased and happy afterward and not tired like the previous 5 evenings.
Day 7 - I went into class prepared to focus on feeling strong and joyful. I was able to do more than before. Toward the end of class I felt like some new pathways opened up. Like the inside of my body was having a party. All of my cells are bubbly and sparkling inside. A new energy source is revealed inside of me.
Day 8 - For the first time, I felt that this practice - even in the heat and the demands of 90 continuous minutes - can be relaxing. My breathing was easy, my heart rate steady. I feel a kind of heat and energy inside my body now and a cool, clean sensation on my skin. I see how people want to do this every day. I feel like this is one of the best things I have ever done for myself.
I did do 30 classes, one every day in that first 30 days. Since then, I have backed off to about 4 days a week.
About a thousand hours later:
The photo above was taken after class today. I remember this being one of the asanas that I thought impossible when I looked at Bikram's Beginning Yoga book. Now it is one of my favorites. I think of my feet and ankles like a Barbie's feet, moulded and plastic, perfectly capable of holding my whole body on pointe. Now you know my trick. The room is still hot. I still sweat my brains out. But I don't get headaches from it. I recommend hot yoga, even if it scares you at first. You could come to love it like I do.