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So this week while I was visiting in Edmonton I took an opportunity to try out some hot yoga!
… and I have to say it was a truly beautiful, mindful experience.
This was my FIRST yoga class EVER. I had no idea what to expect and because I hadn’t even tried “room temperature” yoga before, I was really curious about just how “hot”, hot yoga was going to be.
Couldn’t be hotter than Cambodia right?
Well friends, I have lived through a hot yoga class to tell you.. it was a pretty sweaty experience.
But I’m painting the wrong picture here. Hot yoga was a WONDERFUL ADVENTURE. Not only was the entire journey warm and peaceful,it was also all on my own. Even though I was surrounded by a handful of other people, I felt like I was still on a personal, little magic carpet ride. Hot yoga made me feel confident and connected with myself. I felt like I was seeing the class from the four walls of my own mind.
Some Things You Should Know About Hot Yoga
- You’ll have a better experience doing a class with the RIGHT person -You will enjoy yourself more if you attend a class with someone who is open to yoga. It’s a silent room and some of the words and moves are actually quite tricky. You want to go with someone who is going to be silently supportive in this type of environment. It’s nice to have a friend to make you feel more comfortable for the first few classes. After that… it’s all you. Yoga can be a great solo activity as well.
- Prior knowledge of some “Yogi” lingo would be super helpful -The instructor did use a few words that had me like ??? Certain common poses they just say by name and I also heard “Chaturanga” often… which I had no idea what that meant (kinda sounded like some sort of Mexican dance off). So before you go… read up on some yoga lingo for beginners. It will be helpful! Click Here for Some Beginner Yoga Lingo
- It’s friggin’ hot in there so strip it down friends -One of the most beautiful parts of this class was the freedom of everyone’s bodies. It is common to see men arrive shirtless and woman to only wear sports bras and shorts. The instructor prompts you to breathe deeply and complete poses and not worry about what your body looks like to everyone else during them. I felt very comfortable in this environment about exposing my body… which was great because trust me when I say it is hot!
- It should go without saying, you sweat A LOT -Like a lot… you will see the sweat falling off of everyone and you will feel it start to fall off you. It’s a good idea to bring a towel! The sweat will bead over your shoulders and this is completely normal and purifying. All of the toxins in your body are being sweat out during a hot yoga class, leaving you feeling amazing after. Don’t forget to bring and drink lots of water before, during, and after class.
- It’s tres expensive -My drop in class cost me $18. This to me is a little steep, however, I am unfamiliar with normal yoga class rates. Moral of the story is… take advantage of any discounts or deals. My friend got her class for free because it was her birthday. Some locations even let you try your first class for FREE. There are usually memberships you can buy and always ask for any promotions! I %100 felt like the class was well worth my money by the end of the class. I kept myself open to making the most of the new experience, so keep that in mind when you attend your first class too.
- Yoga is hard.. like actually -Without having any previous knowledge about yoga I was honestly surprised about how difficult it really was. Some of the poses and flow movements required quite a bit of strength. At some points during the class I did feel like I was at the point where it was almost too much. The difficult parts do end however, and it makes certain poses feel amazing after the hard ones. So be prepared that yoga isn’t a walk in the park like the Yogis make it seem. It requires patience and practice like learning anything new also does.
- Breathing takes practice? -It’s amazing how often I was forgetting to breathe during the hot yoga class. I was so focused on getting the poses right that I would find myself biting my tongue and holding my breathe. Unfortunately, this will somewhat take away from the mindfulness of yoga. But once you are more comfortable with the poses and general flow, you will be able to focus more on your breathing than what you are supposed to be doing. This takes practice!
- Ultimate euphoria follows you from the class – You feel so good after! I can honestly say I was completely at peace after the class. I felt purified… and ready for a good sleep. Yoga is the connection of mind, body, soul, and I truly felt like I had succeeded in finding that connection, even if only a little. That feeling is enough to get hooked on… a priceless feeling really.
In summary… hot yoga classes are awesome. They help bring you right into the present moment and leave you feeling completely and utterly refreshed. My advice? Try a hot yoga class today, your inner self will thank you later.