My first experience with hot yoga was Bikram, and I was not a fan.
The intensity of the room at 104 degrees made me feel claustrophobic. Plus I didn’t like the static nature of the series. I’m more of a move and groove kind of girl so that sequence along with the heat was not a good combo. The only thing that stuck with me after that experience was the urge to throw up in hot yoga.
That was in 03.
Now, after one thing led to another (and a great introductory special!), I found myself back in hot yoga. This time it was at Modo, or Moksha as it’s called in Canada, where the brand began.
It’s been my 3rd week practicing at this studio, and though I was pretty resistant at first, I now understand why hot yogis become so obsessed.
I’ve always loved sweating with exercise…it’s like the confirmation that your body is working. Hard.
In hot yoga, you don’t just break a sweat. You get drenched. As in I-just-came-out-of-the-swimming-pool wet. This is the part that sort of freaked me out at first because with so much sweat (and a packed studio) it gets a little stinky and germ-y. And it makes going to yoga a production. Since you’re so sweaty, a shower is mandatory afterwards. Like right away. There’s no running around in my yoga clothes to school pick up, or running errands. It’s straight to the shower which requires planning.
Also with so much sweating, I’ve noticed that my skin is looking better, even a little glow-y right after class. It’s the sauna / steam room effect taking place.
As mentioned above, I’m sweating a ton. But the little things, not so much. Like wearing only a bra top.
In yoga, I usually cover my midriff with a tank, tee or whatever. But in my 2nd week in hot yoga, I realized wearing less is better. So I lost my tank and starting sporting just the bra top. I’m not usually one to worry about my weight. BUT I did birth 2 children. And breastfed both. So you do the math on what that does to a woman’s body. In hot yoga, I don’t care how I look. Got mascara running down my face? So what. The women next to me does too. (Which by the way was Katie Holmes.) Oh, there is one small thing I still sweat — when someone else’s sweat gets on my mat…that may always skeeve me out.
You’ve probably heard of fitness junkies or Soulcycle junkies…well I think hot yoga has its junkies too. It becomes this addiction of working your way through class which can be a struggle (and in 100 degrees most things do become a struggle!), but we do it for the physical accomplishment and mental clarity that is achieved once it’s over. And, unlike unhealthy addictions where a tolerance decreases the pleasure, in hot yoga my tolerance to the heat makes it better. It allows me to go even deeper into the poses without all the mind chatter (which at first said I hate this I hate this I hate this). So it’s that feeling of coming out on the other side that makes me want to go back for more.
I’m now a little obsessed.
Want to know more about hot yoga? Checkout my write-up on class at Modo here.
What do you think about hot yoga? Have you tried it? Would you try it?