Is it true that hot flow yoga (or just hot yoga) really is the best way to sweat your life away?
I’d say so, and add that it’s also the closest to entering samadhi you will ever feel.
The first time I tried hot yoga, and I know most of you will relate, I had NO IDEA what I was getting into! For sure I knew I was going to sweat and get a great stretch but I wasn’t prepared for what it really did.
Here are my thoughts when I tried hot flow yoga for the first time.
1. Everyone is wearing tiny shorts
I entered the room in my usual yoga attire, a tank top and leggings and started to look around at men and women ALL wearing small shorts. It didn’t matter how small or big, old or young, everyone was wearing tiny shorts. I thought I didn’t get the memo and it’s not in their FAQs! Immediately a flood of ideas of why my choice of clothing might prevent me from having an awesome experience came on. Breathe, I said. You will be fine.
2. Was I supposed to bring a towel for my mat?
After my outfit fiasco I realized I didn’t have a hot yoga rug for my mat. Did you know you can get a yoga mat specifically designed for hot sweaty yoga? All these accessories for class weren’t my usual. I crossed my fingers and hoped I wouldn’t do a slip and fall and had to use the “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” quote or that I skid off my mat and knock someone else over. Ok! Again focus and breathe.
3. Wow, it is really really hot in here.
Balmy is great, but I am doing yoga in a sauna. Holy sh*t it’s really really hot in here. I am sweating from places I didn’t know sweat lived or could escape from. You know when it’s really cold and you can see your breath in the air, the similar effect was happening, I could see my breath evaporating every exhale. Hot is an understatement yet secretly I am enjoying it fully. The focus my mind experienced was pretty amazing.
4. I forgot my water
Now it got real. 30 minutes into the class and I am afraid of dehydration and or passing out, I realize I don’t have my water and the last person who left the room got the stink eye from the teacher. I braved through and proceeded to drink 1 gallon after class. Reminder: bring water next time, preferably in a bottle that will keep its cool even when you’re struggling to.
5. Rubber band?
I’ve seen tons of photos of hot yogis bending in half, of being in Guinness Book of World Records for most flexible yogi (not sure that’s true but can only imagine). Not a newbie at yoga but I know my back doesn’t bend in half backwards… let’s see what happens (hint look at thought number 7).
6. I might die
The room is 105 degrees, this is like practicing in the sahara on a cool day. Several times I thought, am I going to make it? Obviously , did as I am writing this article but there was doubt and secretly I enjoyed being on the edge of life and nirvana.
7. Stretchiest day ever
I was wrong! My body expanded in ways I was thrilled about. I knew I was pretty flexible, but to my belief I was able to touch parts of my body I only dreamt about! The heat really opens you up and give you super yogi powers.
8. This can be addictive
After feeling the bliss and suffering of the class I can understand how it can be totally addictive. I can imagine the transformation that will happen after committing for a few more classes. Such an intense practice and experience will be a great addition to my regular yoga class.
9.Best savasana EVER
After bring close to death, not having water, feeling sweat come from my eye balls, the minute the class was over, I was light as a feather. The body was pushed to it’s limits and I understood what real integration and full relaxation meant.
10. I love this
Hands down, even though I was apprehensive, I loved my class. I was pushed to my limits in strength, focus and tolerance. I understood finally what the rave was all about. I will be back (I actually purchased a membership) and I can’t wait to see the transformation it brings.
Namaste and happy hot yoga!