Tuesday, July 17, 2007

A Fond Farewell to 'Hot Yoga'

I gave it up... 'Hot Yoga' that is.

Why, you ask?

Allow me to explain...

After my last scheduled class on Wednesday, I was reminded that it is encouraged students attend classes in between the regularly scheduled course. Knowing it would be a good 5 days before the next regularly scheduled class, I decided I'd better keep myself limber and take one of the filler classes. Since BNB's (Brand New Beginner Classes) are only offered on Monday's and Wednesday's, every other filler class is for the Experienced or Mostly Experienced yoga student. So the class I attended on Saturday morning is what's known as the SS class or Stationary Sequence. The following is a description:

Stationary Sequence - This class is great for those who have taken the BNB. This class is a full body sequence for beginners (yeah right!) to advanced practitioners focused on developing good alignment while fostering deeper levels of concentration (masochism).

Allow me to explain that the BNB classes involve a lot of stopping, 'learning' a position and then applying what you've learned. So, your doing roughly 50 minutes of yoga during the 1 and 1/2 hour session and the rest of the time you're watching a really thin, unbelievably agile instructor perform the next position correctly. SS class on the other hand is constant, no holds barred, get your ass in gear, non-stop yoga... And we're talkin' KILLER positions we beginning hadn't learned yet. But that's okay, I was game, I wasn't aware... After all the description said "for beginngers." I went in there with a winning attitude, having experienced a rather positive yoga experience on Wednesday evening. I even entered the 100 degree room a good 5 minutes before class began so I could relax and 'Find my center.'

Since the class began at 9:30 in the morning and being diabetic I HAD to make sure I ate something before I went. Hmmmm? What to eat that would carry me through the physical extreme of 'Hot Yoga', but not be too heavy? I knew jell-o wouldn't cut it so I had my usual bowl of oatmeal with cinnamon, splenda brown sugar and skim milk (I decided to for go my regular cup of tea as it might be too much.) Not a lot of food, just enough to keep me from a crashing sugar low. Needless to say, halfway through SS, it was all I could do to keep my breakfast intact and not spewed all over my sweaty yoga mat. This is what the 'Helpful Hints' handout they gave us at our first class suggests:

Try to stay in the hot room. In the beginning it is tempting to want to leave the hot room. However, it is better if you stay. With your first few classes you are awakening and stimulating every system in your body. This is amazing, but can be a little scary too. You may feel light headed from all the blood pressure changes and even nausea from the flushing of toxins from your system. These sensations will pass with a few classes. Listen to your body and simply go into child's pose for as long as you feel necessary.

I don't know, it must've been roughly an hour and 10 minutes into the class I went into child's pose and mentally, I think I'm still there. I was sucking air to keep from hurling my 'Quaker Oats' across the sweat laden tile floor. Here's another part of the 'Helpful Hints' handout I'd like to share:

It's normal to feel certain emotions during yoga class. This yoga is very powerful and works on many different levels to heal us. You may even feel the sudden urge to cry at what seems to be an inappropriate time when really the opposite is true. Your body holds emotional energy on a cellurlar level. The stress of this emotional energy in your body can cause disease and illness. The practice of yoga is releasing this trapped energy to cleanse and heal the body and mind.

Whilst struggling to keep my breakfast down, sweating profuse buckets of perspiration and trying to get into a pose I found physcially impossible, I began to lose it... Not the pose, but my composure. This is the point when I grabbed my hand towel, buried my face in it, went into child's pose and wept. I tried desperately not to sob for fear of embarrassing myself beyond all reason, but I'm almost positive the perfectly toned, oh so bendy blonde next to me heard the high pitched whines I tried so hard to supress. Thankfully, her face seemed to hold the same distant detached look with which she entered the room. However, I'm pretty sure that 2 hours later over her green tea at Starbuck's she had a good laugh with several equally bendy, cute blonde friends about the chubby woman keening next to her during what would've been another relatively boring yoga class.

After a while even 'Child's pose' got to be uncomfortable. I made half-hearted attempts at other poses but by that point my breakfast was near the halfway point in my throat and I knew my days of hot yoga were numbered. So I rolled onto my back and willed myself to stop crying, not leave the room and above all not lose my breakfast.

When class at last came to it's blissful end I walked with quivering legs and pale face out to the blessed coolness of the lobby. I sat and tried to recover somewhat. The instructor came by and told me I did great for my first SS... They're paid to tell you stuff like that so you'll come back.

When I got home I took a shower (duh!)... Every article of clothing touching my hair or skin was soaked. After my shower it was all I could do to pull on my underwear and bra. I collapsed in the chair in my room still trying to shake off the nausea. I dozed briefly before my daughter suggested I finish getting dressed and lay down for a nap. My sweet angel brought me a large glass of water and closed the bedroom doors so I could sleep. After sleeping for an hour or so, I realized both my hands were still numb since the class... Since I didn't think numb hands are the sign of a 'Good' workout I began to wonder if maybe this 'Hot Yoga' thing could be detrimental to my health? The nauseous feeling that followed me the rest of the day was probably another sign.

Today I called my endochronologist and spoke with the nurse about the symptoms I encoutered post 'Hot Yoga'... I was encouraged to quit. She said, "Yoga IS a good form of exercise but yoga that makes you sick, lethargic and numb is not recommended."

So, Goodbye 'Hot Yoga'... You kicked my ass!
Hello my 'Yoga for Dummies - DVD'... How 'bout we make a standing date for my bedroom floor at least 3 times a week? I think I can take you on and I've got a sweat stained yoga mat to prove it!



Blogger Whiskeymarie said...

I kind of feel better knowing that other people give up on stuff like this too.
Limber and bendy is soooo overrated.

11:21 AM, July 20, 2007  
Blogger Margee-Martha-Marsha Pick-One said...

It gives me great pleasure to be a 'trailblazer' for you... And yes limber & bendy are waaay overrated.

9:55 PM, July 20, 2007  
Anonymous Christy said...

OMG!!!! okay, in my eyes, you are REALLY brave for even trying that (I'm afraid of hot yoga!) I don't care so much about limber and bendy, I just want skinny! Okay, well, at least average. Average would be okay.

7:21 AM, December 04, 2008  

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