I tried yoga once a very long time ago. I hated everything about it. I hated the way I had to put my body in ways I didn’t think was natural. I hated the way I had to clear my mind and be present. Everyone who knows me, knows I have squirrel brain. I especially hated the whole “ohm” thing. No way, sister. No way.
I am not a serious person. I could not get through that yoga class without giggling. That day long ago, I promised myself that I would never ever step foot inside of a yoga studio again. Ever.
So, when my friend asked me if I wanted to meet her for some hot yoga, my first inclination was to say “NO.” It was on the tip of my tongue. But she had a coupon. 2 weeks of unlimited classes for 20 bucks. If someone gave me a coupon for free cow balls, I would take it.
“Sure,” I said to my friend. “I’ll go, but if someone farts, I’m out.”
After I grabbed one of their mats, I chose a spot at the very back. I was so pushed up against the wall, the teacher reprimanded me. Something about not being able to stretch out properly. “Horse shit,’ I said to myself. Although I quickly came to realize that she was correct.
That first day was on New Year’s Eve. It was cold in my town. Below freezing with the wind chill. You’d think I would have welcomed the hot air after coming in from that cold, but I didn’t. I felt like I was suffocating. Remember, I’m peri-menopausal. Anything above 65 pretty much makes me break out in a hot sweat. I swear the thermostat in there was set at 790 degrees.
It started out with the instructor telling us to breathe and release the tension and worries of our day. She wanted us to clear our minds.
I peeked out of one eyeball, looking around the room. Everyone seemed to be doing it. So, I closed my eye again and tried to follow suit. Somehow, my mind went from “how long have we been here” to “I hope A. makes that really awesome pineapple infused vodka tonight” to “hmm, I wonder if pineapple is even in season?” to “I should have moisturized my feet better.” Squirrel.
So, we’ve established that I cannot clear my mind. Next.
The dreaded “ohm” moment came. Like I said, no way, sister. And I didn’t. I totally faked it. Which was fine because the guy next to me was so into it, his ohm’ing was the only ohm’ing you could hear for miles. I refused to look at my friend, because I knew I would start giggling. I know, very disrespectful, not to mention childish. But I held it together.
Then the contortionist shit came. I heard words like upward dog, downward dog, child pose, warrior 1, warrior 2, warrior 3, triangle, wheel, tree, something about achunga or muchinga or whatever. I was off-balance and extremely ungraceful. Like Honey Bob-Boo trying to do a pirouette.
Day 2 I had to borrow their mat again. I did have one at home but it’s thick and one corner of it got attacked by a dog. And I don’t even have a dog, so go figure.
I brought my doggy bitten mat on Day 3 but it got kicked out of class because it was slipping a little. Although I think they are just mat snobs. “Oh, I don’t think this is for me,” I kept saying to myself.
On Day 4, I had to borrow their mat again. Day 4 was also a transitional day for me. I actually left there feeling that I could possibly get into this yoga thing. Possibly. When I told my friend this news, she nearly fell over from a heart attack. Even though I said “possibly.”
I don’t know how it happened. The stretching felt incredibly good. The deep breathing is amazing. The heat? I could do without the heat. I swear to you, I was sweating more than a pig on a spit. No lie. You could have filled a bathtub with my sweat. But the best part? I think I may have burned 350 calories. That right there is a margarita and a half my friends.
By day 4 I was able to get into some of the poses. Not wheel or that half headstand thing where you rest your knees on your elbows, but I could stand on one foot without falling over like an anorexic caught in a stiff breeze.
I can honestly tell you that I’m pretty sure I will never, ever be able to move my body like that. If I do, I’ll let you know. You might want to purchase tickets to see it. It will be that much of a mind blow.
So, will I be going back? I think I will. After I get my own mat, of course. But do you think they could turn down the heat just a tad? What did you say? Oh, is that why they call it HOT yoga? Never mind.