My friend SparkleDaisy has been doing Moksha yoga for the last few months and she has been loving it. The studio is right beside where our girls dance so we have been trying to schedule a time for us to go to a class together. Scheduling this has been akin to scheduling a world summit amongst the political elite. Between our jobs, families and the holidays we have been trying to do this for about 6 weeks. This week, the stars aligned, and lo and behold, we had a date. This yoga studio has a great online site, where you can register ahead of time and fill out the waiver so that when you get there you don’t have to waste any time. Great website and process! I had asked SparkleDaisy a bunch of questions before about what to wear and bring and I am glad I did as she gave me some great tips. She told me to bring a towel to put on top of my yoga mat, an extra hand towel to wipe off any sweat, a big bottle of water, and to wear something made for sweating, not cotton. I kind of thought the list was a bit weird, but I did follow instructions. I kind of rolled my eyes about the extra hand towel – I mean who has that much sweat? (turns out I do – but we’ll get to that in a minute).
So even after all the questions I had asked, turns out I didn’t ask any of the important questions. When they say hot yoga, they mean HOT yoga. HOT like when you walk in the room a wall of heat hits you like on a +45 day in the summer and takes your breath away. HOT like it actually felt like I was in a sauna. It even had that sauna smell. I actually thought I may pass out from the heat, it was so HOT. Like it turns out there is NO talking in the yoga room. So when you get there 10 minutes early, you lay your mat out in silence and then just lie there very quietly waiting. I am guessing normal yoga people are using this time to get centred, but since I am not even sure what that means, I spent the time wondering if I could spend 75 minutes being silent. People who know me well will wonder if I succeeded. (I did, thank you very much)
Then the class begins and the instructor says “Good evening” to us and we all just sit there silently not responding, which felt incredibly rude, but I was scared I would get tossed if I said hi. She immediately starts running us through the yoga poses and it is all verbal, so I am trying to watch the people around me to figure out what they are doing. It is a good thing I have done yoga before (not a lot, but just enough) so I recognized all the poses and names. I think most people just instinctively know their left and their right, I am not one of those people. I actually have to think about it each time. So as the instructor gave out verbal instructions, I was always facing the wrong way until I looked at the person beside me. I am guessing this will get easier with more classes under my belt.
Can we talk about the heat again? I had no idea I could sweat that much. I was literally dripping, as was everyone in the class. I was totally using that hand towel to mop myself off. Even more so because you are trying to contort your body into crazy positions and you can’t get any grip because you are literally soaking wet. If this is all a little too graphic for you, imagine how I felt in the midst of it. When we were done at the end of the class even the towel covering my yoga mat was wet. There was one point where we were doing a pose that had my hand in the air and my head near the mat and I realized that my chin was actually sweating. I was so grateful for that little hand towel! I should have brought 5.
When it was over and we were all lying on our mats, I was pretty proud of myself for surviving the class. There is something very comforting about the warmth of the room, and the dim lighting. It is an interesting way to get a work out. I never felt like a beginner, even though there were definitely people around me who had been doing this for a long time. I felt very energetic and revived when we left the class and walked out into the real world. And to end it off perfectly, SparkleDaisy invited me over for a cup of terrific mint tea.