It’s hot as hell in here

– Contributed by Big L

I have my mat, water bottle and large towel in hand. At my regular yoga studio I use their mats, so having to bring a kit bag with all of these supplies, plus a change of clothes, feels like a fair bit of effort. Hmph. Plus, my yoga mat isn’t the fanciest. It’s OK for at-home use, but I don’t know how it’s going to hold up in the sauna. We shall see.

I leave my socks on for now, because everyone’s bare feet padding around from the washroom to the sweaty studio and back again kind of grosses me out. It reminds me of my many days spent at the pool. But we wore shower sandals on the pool deck, because many feet makes for many germs. Yucky.

I crack open the door and step inside. Holy mother of god. It’s as hot as hell in here. My lungs tighten. My stomach gets a little closer to my throat. Is this for real? I glance over at Wee C, wide-eyed, and she gestures to a spot in the corner where we can put our mats side by side. I lay down as quickly as possible, trying not to over exert myself already.

My heart is pounding. I can hear it in my ears and feel it pumping in my arms and stomach. It’s several minutes before class begins, thank goodness. I need time to pull myself together. Deep breaths. In for 1….2….3….hold….out for 1….2….3.

My mind is reeling.

“You can do this. You like the heat. Imagine you’re on the beach. In Barbados. It was bloody hot there. You like it.”

“Focus. Deep breaths. Calm the hell down.”

In for 1….2….3….hold….out for 1….2….3.

“I feel queasy already. Crap. How long would it take me to dart to the bathroom? Has that ever happened to someone? Surely not everyone can manage to exercise in a sauna? I should have ate less at dinner. Crap.”

In for 1….2….3….hold….out for 1….2….3.

“Why don’t they give you a warning? Shouldn’t they have said something, like ‘drink lots of water’ or ‘go into child’s pose if you feel lightheaded?’ Something?”

In for 1….2….3….hold….out for 1….2….3.

“OK, cut it out. You can do this. You know the poses. Just settle down, concentrate, breathe, listen to your body. You can do it.”

The teacher instructs us to roll over into child’s pose. I wonder how long it’s going to take before I start sweating. I don’t sweat much. This should be interesting.

Slowly, she leads us through a sequence of familiar poses. And good thing, because they’re not explained in nearly as much detail as I’m used to. She explains how to enter and exit the pose, but not where you should be feeling it, and where you shouldn’t, and how to make adjustments. And there’s no Sanskrit being spoken, sadly.

I try to recall the things my brilliant teachers have taught me over the past six months. I try to self correct and adjust. All the while, being on the look out for any wooziness.

About half way through, I start to think maybe I’ll make it. Maybe I won’t pass out or puke. That’s nice. I’m also sweating by now. All I can smell is the onion, green pepper and garlic I had in my pasta sauce. Yuck.

“How many people actually know what this pose is supposed to feel like? Is this the only yoga they’ve ever learned?”

With that thought, I realize the appreciation I have for my fave studio, where the girls are extremely knowledgable and talented. I’m in awe of how much they know about the human body. It’s fascinating, really. And I much prefer that over this.

But nevertheless, I concentrate and make it through. Being grossed out by my pasta sauce smell along the way. And wishing I didn’t hate shorts so much, because it’d be reeeal nice to be wearing them right now.

I stay very concentrated on my own activities and personal space. I don’t want to know how other people are huffing, puffing, sweating, or smelling. I pretend I’m the only one in the room.

And then, it’s over. I realize I made it. And actually, it wasn’t so bad. Not really.

So after navigating around the tight quarters and naked bodies in the changing room (not the most fun), I sign up for a 30-day trial pass. In part because it’s cheap and because I’m looking for added motivation to be working out on the regular. But also, because that’s what 30 Things maintenance is all about. Once a month, I still need to push myself to have an open mind and be open to new experiences. So I will try this sweat lodge yoga thing again. Just to experiment. But after that, I reserve the right to never do it again.


4 responses to “It’s hot as hell in here

  1. My first hot yoga experience was much the same, only I was far more focused on what might happen if I were to actually throw up and/ or pass out. It was pretty much the worst 90min of my life.

    So clearly, I went again the next night. And by the end I was enjoying it and now my body almost craves it or something. Sure, there are a lot of short shorts, and tight bodies and the feeling of sweat running from places you didn’t even know you could sweat from takes some getting used to…. but try it again… the next class will be better.

  2. Hilarious! You painted a perfect picture! Good luck with try #2

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