Yesterday I counted up the number of cups of coffee I have been drinking per day on this trip and it is way more than I care to admit. Perhaps this is the reason I got it in my head to try a little something which lives up to it's name...HOT YOGA.
In all honesty, I did not know I was going to a hot yoga class. I was just craving yoga. Since I have been on my trip I have been doing 3-4 forty minute sessions on my own. But yesterday I just needed an intensive, live, fantastic yoga practice. In comes Corepower Yoga http://www.corepoweryoga.com/, and with the intention to get the most from it that I could I walked into the studio in Fort Collins and was greeted by attentive, extremely knowledgeable staff. Being the skeptic I am, that was a check off my internal list. Next, the actual yoga instruction.
When I opened the door to the room, I was greeted with a waft of hot, thick air. Oh lord, I thought, hot yoga? Really?? I might actually die. I HATE being hot. Ugh. However, being the good sport that I am-and also because I would feel like a moron walking in and then up and leaving-I set up my mat next to the least-likely-to-sweat-excessively person I could find and tried to relax. Have you ever noticed that when the air is thick and hot (like being in Texas in July) you almost begin to panic because it is more difficult to get air, or is it? Well, it feels like it to me. It is like the snorkeling effect-when you first put your head in the water and realize you can only breathe from your mouth; almost without fail you suck water into your nose and end up flailing-not gracefully-to the surface where you try not to embarrass yourself while you spit and sputter out the inhaled water. Yes, this is how I felt for the first five minutes.
I watched as more and more people filed in until the instructor proudly exclaimed that there were forty of us and, "isn't this great! And we could fit more." I thought she was crazy, I was already feeling a little claustrophobic (I like my space) but kudos to her for the enthusiasm. She began the class with a Buddha quote, it went something like this, "Holding in anger is like holding a hot coal next to your chest. All the while, you wait for the right moment to throw the coal at the offender but in the end, you are the only one that ends up being burned." I thought to myself, what if it's yourself you are angry at? Then you had the intention of getting burned all along.
Fifteen minutes in I was getting used to the heat and actually marveling that I was hardly sweating. No sooner had that thought crossed my mind than my pores literally opened up and began POURING sweat. Within seconds I was soaked. My mat was drenched, there were pools of sweat on the mat and the floor. My sweat! I couldn't believe it. And let me tell you, I am not a sweater. It took all I had to focus on my practice and not on the sweat. Although it was tough because I was slipping all over the place. At the same moment
I was loving it. Even while I was grabbing tissue from the box near the back of the room to keep my dripping hair from running into my eyes, I was enjoying the odd, surreal feeling that comes from yoga in general but which was intensified in this setting. Seventy-five minutes later and probably a couple gallons of sweat, I was vowing to do it again but next time, I'm bringing a towel.