I did hot yoga and I didn’t die

I am not an athletic person. When I was in school, I used to say my primary forms of exercise were running late and skipping class. I’ve since learned to be prompt and have improved my attendance record but not much else has changed.

Since I started writing full-time, I knew the dangers of being sedentary so I bought a treadmill and a Trekdesk (for the record, it’s awesome.) I now walk for 2 hours every day. Surprisingly, it’s also helped my back. But I know I need to do more, and I figured that yoga would be a non-competitive, low-impact activity unlike, say, dodgeball. Also, I don’t have the patience for competitive sports. In yoga, there is no “winning”, and if there is, you’re definitely doing it wrong.

Why hot yoga? It was the only class that fit into my schedule. Truly.

So I bought the pass and the yoga mat and the super-huge re-useable water bottle since I’d basically be working out in a sauna and I headed to class. My first attempt at yoga had been ten years earlier and I found it very relaxing. The other students didn’t. Apparently snoring is frowned upon. They didn’t say that at the start of the class.

This class wasn’t horrible. It was hot, yes, about 110F/44C. It was a beginner’s class, so it was mostly stretching and only a few real yoga poses. At least, according to Hollywood there weren’t many poses. I didn’t have to stand on one leg or anything. Fortunately I had a really good instructor and I took it all slow and when the sixty minutes was up, I wasn’t dead. They haven’t yet invented a word for that level of sweaty though. An unexpected but interesting side effect? My skin felt fabulous. Over all, I’m calling the class a success but it will be a lot of work – I’m going to be washing clothes after every class.

I was definitely dehydrated by the end of class. I drank about 400 ml of water in the hot room, and finished the other 600 ml in the change room. Then I came home and showered to cool off and drank another 500 ml and I still had a headache. I hope this isn’t a regular thing. I don’t handle full sun well (I’m always in a hat) but heat itself shouldn’t be a problem, I hope. If it is, I only bought a 10-class pass.

So, take it from somebody who went in a complete newbie. You too can do hot yoga and survive. Your water bill – not so much

2 thoughts on “I did hot yoga and I didn’t die

  1. Holli

    Good for you! I tried a couple of hot yoga classes and they were a disaster. I love the heat, so I figured no problem. But the classes were challenging, and whenever I tried to get more air, there was no air to get…imagine hyperventilating in a sauna. Not fun. I kept getting dizzy and having to leave the room, which I’ve since found out you’re not supposed to do.

    Oh well. Yoga is one of those things I feel like I’m “supposed” to do but dread. I’ll stick with kickboxing.

    1. Elle Post author

      I am glad my class was “gentle yoga”. I didn’t have to stand up in the heat. All the poses we did were either sitting, or on our knees. I think I would have been really discouraged if I’d taken a more advanced one and then had to leave. I made it through this one, so I’ll stay there as long as it takes to get my confidence to the point where I can stand.

      You go kick butt, and I’ll get flexible enough to kick my own 🙂

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