A few weeks ago I attended my first hot yoga class and very quickly, I was a hot mess.
I have determined that they call it hot yoga because you feel like you are in hell.
It. Was. Terrible.
However, in retrospect, it was a pretty comedic tale. Let me tell you my story:
I arrived 20 minutes early to find the studio and get situated. It took less time than expected and there I was sitting in the 105 degree room 15 minutes early. I rolled out my mat and put my yoga towel over it, then rotated between sitting up, laying down, or hanging out in child’s pose until the instructor entered the room. By then I was already a sweaty mess and nothing had even started yet.
The class started and as per usual, we began by focusing on our breathing. Except this instructor made us do weird arm motions along with that, some sort of symbolism for our lungs or something, but that just gave me time to get distracted. It wasn’t like a usual class where you just focus on finding your own center and grounding yourself, with no extra motions required. Now all I could focus on was the heat and how I would possibly get through another hour and a half of this.
The first stretch started and seeing as I hadn’t worked out in a couple of months and it had been a solid year since my last yoga class, I was already setting myself up for failure. A few seconds in and I was reaching for my water, but I was told that it wasn’t time for water, “That will be in a few minutes.” I proceeded to roll my eyes. Who controls when you can drink water in a yoga class? Like seriously, I’m standing in the corner, already a hot mess. If people weren’t distracted by me already, they wouldn’t be now. They probably already found their center.
I went back to my pose and once again tried to find my center but to no avail as sweat was literally pouring off of my body in places I didn’t even know I could sweat from. I couldn’t find it. I had lost my center.
To hell with it: I reached down for my water and drank it anyway. Screw you lady, I’m dehydrated and all the fluids I had in me before are seeping quickly out of my skin. I lasted maybe a minute longer before I took my first break to sit. I quickly wiped any sweat off of my face attempting to try to see again, but then was corrected yet again by the instructor. I shouldn’t wipe it off of me, the sweat will just keep coming and will cool my body. Yes, she was right, but I could barely see. Lady, focus on finding your own center please.
I got up and started again in the pose we were previously in. The instructor must have worried that she would soon have a dead body in her studio so she came over to me and turned on the fan above me. Thank you. Finally something that would help. Although… it didn’t really help. The first second was a nice breeze then after that it was sucked into the humid room.
Finally, as my eyes became hazy and started to blur over, I sat down and guzzled more water, hoping that would stop me from my impending doom. I gained the ability to see again but my entire body was shaking and I felt like I was going to vomit.
That was it.
I was done. I promptly decided just to make my escape. I had to be fast. I rolled up my mat as quickly as I could, but it wasn’t quick enough. I saw the instructor leave her mat. Oh no.
I was told that all first time students should stay the whole class even if they were just sitting. I panicked. Was she going to make me stay? Could she do that? No, that is illegal, stand your ground.
“I’m asthmatic and have anxiety. I feel like I may pass out so it’s best I go.” She looked at me, still not fully convinced. I wasn’t having an anxiety attack, and yes it was harder to breathe, but not a full-out asthma attack.
I looked at her once more and said words that would seal the deal: “I’ll come back.” With that, she let me leave and went back to her mat. I would never go back, and I will never do hot yoga ever again.