Well, I did it. It is done. 30 hot yoga classes in 30 days. Actually, since I didn't go Sundays and there was one Saturday I couldn't go, I did 30 classes in 25 days. That's right, you heard me.
I did that.
Can you even believe it?
Nor can I. Seriously I can't. After the first week I thought for sure I would melt up and turn into some kind of bendy gelatinous goo. Like gumby. But all melted-like.
Then week two came and I began to feel the love. For the hot yoga and pretty much not for anything else in my life. The timing of this challenge was serendipitous. I needed it.
Week three was more of the same but I could do poses deeper and harder and longer. I was able to move it to the next level and then some. Just try, they would say. And I tried. My hands didn't hurt so much, at all actually. And my feet were not angry anymore in warrior pose. I started to think yoga was the way, the truth and the light.
There is one instructor who is the epitome of ultra zen yoga teacher and he said all the time "Breathe. Be happy. Do yogaaaaaaa."
He cracks me up.
Anyway, week four and I was worn out. Every single day (except Sunday) and sometimes twice a day I am there, sweating profusely, bending my body, breathing, quiet in my mind, amazed at others and sometimes even at myself.
But I was tired. I wanted a break. But.....no breaks for the wicked. I mean committed. I pushed through and finished it up.
I thought I would do a pros and cons list for you and answer some FAQ's.......if you are interested to know my thoughts on such things.
The pros of hot yoga:
1. It's a tough and intense workout. In all honesty, and I mean this to the very core of my being, hot yoga was the hardest (next to carrying four babies in my belly) thing I have ever done. Exhaustion. I'm sure that was the 30 day challenge but man, oh man........
2. Strength. I have never ever ever felt so strong and put together in my entire life. It amazed me how after one week I felt stronger than I ever have after a week of anything. And strong everywhere. I could feel every muscle in my body working and changing and loving it. I never worried about going too far or injuring myself. Even my hands are strong now. I'm not so clumsy anymore. Good news, says the man.
3. It was somewhat spiritual. It's so peaceful. Despite the 3 litres of sweat that pours out, in that quiet darkened room, breathing so strong, so powerfully, I felt in tune and connected. To what? Well I think that is a separate and personal thing. But I felt like I was doing something deep and meaningful for me. There is no music blaring. No tv's mounted on the wall to help distract you from the pain. In fact, there was no way you could be distracted. Focus was easy to attain, hard to avoid. Wandering minds were a thing of the past. I was there, in that moment. Breathing deep. The stresses of the world melted away, literally. This surprised me the most. And it was this that I came to rely on the most. I needed this focus and break from the stress of life.
4. Appreciation that everyone is different. Many people have said to me over this past month things like: "I could never do yoga in a room with experts." And "I just couldn't do that in front of other people." This is so not the case. Everyone is different and it is so obvious when you are there. I never once felt like I was trying to keep up or that I stood out in anyway. You just do your best and if you need a break you take a break. If you need water you drink water. This attitude of taking care of your body, listening to it, not going too far or too hard, appeals to me like no other. I never left feeling like I didn't work hard enough. I never felt like a let down. Brand new experience, for me.
5. Gentle progression. There was one point, while I was trying to do a pose that I found painfully uncomfortable, when the instructor came over and gently told me I wasn't ready for what I was trying to do and that I needed to back up a step and stay there until my body told me it was all right to move forward. I thought this was ridiculous. I needed to push through. No pain, no gain, right? I decided to listen to her, to really test out the theories behind yoga. Go at my body's pace and not my mind's. She was right, as the month progressed I could see daily the changes my body was allowing. During the last week I did that particular pose and my body allowed it. The progression is steady and gentle and I love the idea that we let our bodies tell us what is okay instead of us taking our bodies to the gym and telling them they have to do things that hurt. That they aren't earning anything until they have felt pain.
Whoever came up with the saying 'no pain, no gain' is NOT a yogi.
Cons to hot yoga:
None. There is none. And that is the gosh honest truth.
Okay, maybe the price but that's it.
Seriously, it was an amazing experience. One that I would do over and over and over if the funds allowed. Maybe after November's goal I can think about it but November's goal is nutso and I think I'll be supremo busy!
Two FAQ's that I have been asked over and over this month are:
1. Did you like it?
YES, I loved it. More than I can say. This would be my new form of exercise if I could justify the expense at this time in my life. When my dumb house sells and I get my life back I will definitely be taking it back up. Or, at least, that's what I want right now, 30 minutes after my last class.
2. Did you notice any difference?
I'm not really sure what this question means or what the askers are asking. Did I notice a difference in my weight? No. But I ate like there was no tomorrow all month. Am I more flexible. Hells YES! Sorry for the language but seriously, I can bend in ways that I never knew were possible. Do I feel better? Absolutely. I feel calmer and more relaxed. I know how to breathe to calm myself in any moment. And there have been many moments this past month where I wanted to cry/scream/bang my head due to the not feeling calm. I feel as though yoga is a good thing. You know, like eat your vegetables and drink your water kind of good.
One night, I was standing outside the hot room waiting for a class to open up I heard two ladies talking behind me. This was their brief conversation:
"Isn't this a nice studio?"
"Yes, it's the nicest in the city. I've been everywhere and I like this one the best."
Are you wondering where I was?
It is called Breathe Hot Yoga and it is in Avenida Village just off Macleod Trail in SE Calgary. 321, 12445 Lake Fraser Drive SE.
AND........... here comes the giveaway part.........
the owner of this fantastic studio has kindly offered to donate a 5 class pass to a lucky reader of my blog. That's an $80 value!
So here's what you do:
leave a comment if you want it for you or to give to someone you know (stocking stuffer, maybe?) Then if you refer anyone to my blog for the purpose to win the prize or even to read my awesome blog and they leave a comment and ALSO says who referred them and they will get an entry and I will enter your name again. If you do this 1 million times, you will have one million entries. I will keep this open for one week and make the draw Monday November 7th.
It's a beautiful studio, clean and calming and hot hot hot!
But that chilly lemongrass cloth they give you at the end of every class to put on your eyes and forehead? I would knock little old ladies down to be the first to get one of those.
And so should you.
October was a great month. It flew by. It was awesome to challenge my body in a way I never have before. I loved it. I really did.
Breathe. Be happy. Do yoga.
P.S. Come back tomorrow if you want to know what insanity November brings. It is insane. Seriously.
Another p.s..... I was not compensated in any way to gush about Breathe Hot yoga. All thoughts are my own.
And also....sorry, I know this is dragging on....please go vote for me. I am getting pwned over there.
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