Your Body on Hot Yoga: First 9 Hours

This post is part of my January 2012 30 Days of Hot Yoga series. This month I’m taking on a personal challenge to complete 30 sessions of hot yoga at Baptiste Studios in 30 days in celebration of my 30th birthday. Wish me luck!

I wanted to include an update on what has happened following my first session and remark on what I’m in for in the next month.

I left my first session totally exhausted, yet energized, feeling a sense of pride in my accomplishments. I was able hold more poses than I thought and, following the instruction of our teacher, started my practice from scratch – assuming no prior expertise and completely open to re-learning every pose. I didn’t judge myself or have grand expectations, greeted each pose without judgement, and kept an open mind to see where I could go.

After class I went home to an apartment filled with friends just waking up following our New Years Eve event and Chris in the kitchen prepping brunch. I had a sense of pride and strutted my way in through the doorway to greet everyone lazily lounging on the couch. I smiled, yoga mat in hand, and prepared for the grand moment where I could satisfyingly show them up for ever doubting me. With a sly ‘I told you so’ grin, I walked into the living room to be greeted by a friend says “wow, you actually did hot yoga this morning? You look like hell.” Well, there you go. I guess that’s what I get for trying to show them up in the first place. My balloon deflated. I retreated to the shower.

In the hours that followed, I ate and drank brunch as normal and enjoyed a bloody mary despite the small voice inside of me that would have preferred lighter fare. Naptime pronounced itself quite suddenly sometime during the first quarter of the Patriot’s game and continued for a solid 3 hours. Upon awakening, I pooped, drank a gallon of water, had a snack, and pooped again (common side effect of hot yoga – lots of twists are great for your digestive tract! more on twisting in this article). By 6pm, the Patriots had long since won the game (with 49 unanswered points!) and I finally felt human enough to clean myself up, get fancy, and head down south for a night out with friends.

I was certainly thankful for starting this effort with a day off. Not sure if I really would have been able to do this without having a lot of down time.. mostly because of the sleep deprivation and drinking, of course! But as I head out I wonder how my choices tonight (yoga rule: you will be reminded of what you previously ate and drank during class) will affect me tomorrow and with one more day off before the start of the workweek, I take comfort knowing that tomorrow comes without obligation. If I were to take a lesson from the experience so far, it would be that everything seems so much easier when you relax expectations and allow yourself to be a part of each moment as it comes. Now if only I could actually apply that to the rest of my life…

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