Heavenly Torture

I have been in the exercise doldrums lately. My body has been yawning at everything I threw at it, so I decided to try something new this morning. I wanted to go to Hot Yoga. Everyone seemed to be talking about it so why not give it a try?
First, I have tried yoga before and the only practice that kept my interest for an extended period of time was ashtanga, or power yoga. The other styles were just too slow. I mean, I guess I am exercise impatient like a lot of other folks. I want a work out to feel like a work out with no time in the middle to fall asleep. I like fast sports and running, so it was hard to understand how somehting so slow and quiet was going to benefit me.
I knew I was reluctant to go when I forgot my purse at home two times, but finally I made it to the studio. I opened the door and the heat hit me in the face. It has been well over 100 degrees here for quite a few weeks, and today was the first cool day in a long time. We got down to 80, but my skin almost burned from the heat coming out of this place. I was greeted by a very calm man behind the counter. He smiled at me and asked me to sign in, then pointed me to the room where the class was going to be held.
I looked around the room and felt like I stood out like a sore thumb. I had on bright blue exercise pants that made my non-yoga butt look HUGE in the never ending mirrors. But I guess it was hard to blend in anyway, being that I was the only tallish, black woman with RED locks in the room. I spread out my mat like the others and tried to be calm. I was in now and stuck for an hour and a half. My lungs stung as they tried to grasp at the hot air, and then the instructor joined us. It was the same man from the front and he still had his pleasant smile. He told us what the theme for the class was.
"I would like to quote Winston Churchill," he said. "If you are going through hell, keep going." At first I thought he was referring to the heat int he room, but as he started to guide us through the class and my otherwise strong legs started trembling, I knew I was in for trouble.
Lawd have mercy, Jesus, Mohhammed and Buddha! What had I gotten myself into? You would think that would have been my cue to run screaming from the room. But I did n't, I stayed and chanted Om with the rest of the folks.
And it was hard, but it was good.
I discovered quickly why the website said bring a towel. Unfamiliar moisture started to appear on my skin. It dripped down and wet my mat, ran into my eyes and made my exercise shorts transparent. I was confused at first. And then it hit me. I was sweating. You see, there are a couple of things I don't do. I don't flatulate (or that's what I tell my kids, mothers just don't do that), and I don't sweat. Or at least if I do, I do so very gracefully, on my back or underneath my clothes, places people can't see. But the water was running off me so fast I felt like I was going to cause the next great central texas flood.
Halfway through the practice, the room felt suddenly cooler. I'm not sure if they turned the heat down or if I was just so hot that the room temperture cooled in comparison. The instructor told us he felt the energy in the room. I just felt hot. Whatver he wanted to call it, I was getting the best workout I'd had in awhile. I gulped water, then chanted om some more. This was some amazing stuff. Why hadn't I discovered it before? I'm sure I lost 3 pounds in that class. The instructor saluted the divine in me and I saluted the divine in him too. I felt skinnier by the minute. Several hours later, I am still feeling full of energy, and I know my arms are going to hurt like the dickens tomorrow. It was absolute torture. And you know what? I liked it, and I'm usually not into pain. And if I can still walk tomorrow, I'm going back. That hurt so good , can I please have another? Namaste.

Comments

Rose said…
I know I need to find me a different kind of exercise.. Everything else seems to bore me. Glad you got a chance to work out...first time reader of your blog...visited your website too. Coincidence, have read all your books...picked up today...Marrying up..
Anonymous said…
just wondering, any guys in the class besides the instructor?
AALBC.com said…
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Speaking of Yoga. I took my first Yoga class a couple fo months ago. I consider myself pretty strong and flexible from my gymnastics days, but man I did not find the class easy. I had difficulty could not relaxing in many of the positions. It looks a lot easier than it is -- it is not like benching pressing a couple hundred pounds or doing chin ups.

As I get older I will probably more more toward yoga tme activities to stay in shape it is less stress on the body and I hear it also help one relax.

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peace

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