I started writing this blog in my head as I was sweating my ass off and struggling through my first hot yoga session in over a year. My little monkey brain wrote out the whole thing pretty much, so here it is, in written form!
Yoga is not a regular practise for me, as much as I would like it to be, I never seem to make time for it. The last time I went to a class was in this awesome studio in Edmonton Canada, and I had a great class. On this morning I was determined to stick to my plan and finally attend a class here in Perth.
There is nothing like the shock of looking at yourself in a mirror, in a hot sweltering studio, trying to contort your body into positions it has not been in for too long, to give yourself a wake up call. There is something about looking at yourself in the mirror for an extended period of time, to really give you a new perspective on life.
My back had been aching and stiff and totally inflexible, yawn boring, I know no one cares about ailments; I certainly don’t. But I felt that hot yoga could be a good way to stretch it out. I certainly did stretch, and sweat, and get dizzy, and nearly faint, and rather than feel relaxed I felt jolted from the sound of an abruptly loud clap, repeatedly, to throw myself into a sit up. Fucking calm down yoga man. I just want to lie down, enjoy the heat, have a little stretch and chill the fuck out. But no. That didn’t quite happen.
The class started with this weird neck stretchy thing and elbow raising, I hated it. It did nothing for me. And then everyone around me was breathing heavy, and loudly, like a nightmare pack of sex workers, except it didn’t sound sexy, it sounded very disturbing, and the word cult came to mind. Okay, what have we here? I breathed normally, like a normal person, because I am mostly a normal person. I sure did feel way more normal than my heavy heaving hoeing and arrrhing yogis. Or perhaps I just didn’t get it?
I followed along as best as I could. I watched enviously at the perfect shape of the woman to my right. She was older than me, but wore literally a black leotard, and that was all, and just looked in perfect health. Well that was something to aspire to! She of course contorted into all the required positions going beyond normal stretch abilities, and entering the ‘impressive supreme athletic’ zone that regular yoga participants reach. Respect.
I tried to get into my calm zone. But quite seriously, the man running the show didn’t seem to want to let us relax, isn’t that what we were there for? I sure was. A sweaty hot dizzy kind of relaxing that you pay good money for. I realised I was totally out of shape. It is amazing how quickly you can totally lose your physical health. It made me rethink my lifestyle, and for a quick blip imagine a life totally different. One where I cycled across country, or walked for a year, or lived rurally and had to be outdoors all day long. Our urban sedentary lives really does destroy our bodies.
As I inhaled a block of chocolate and a cup of tea later that afternoon absorbing the latest trash in Woman’s Day(honestly this is one thing that calms me down), I realise my weight loss progress will be slow. I am slightly delusional like that. I want to embrace my curves, my lumps and bumps, my greying hair, but on the other hand I want to feel good, healthy, light, fit and agile and flexible. Embracing our body issues, a first world dilemma, I hear ya girlfriends.
What has been your yoga experience? I will return, and try a different class, hopefully one with music, more relaxing bits, less clapping, and please stop with the weird loud breathing chants!