Sunday, April 3, 2011

Yoga Me

I have been lucky enough lately, to have found some time for myself. This is very important if you want to keep your sanity as a mom, wife, business partner, housecleaner, chef...should I go on? What I wanted to do with this time was concentrate on getting myself fit again. It's been a long winter, very long. I have typically been the type of person who needs guidance or a little push to keep on track. Personal trainers are perfect but in this time in my career, way too expensive. I thought maybe a class with a few great friends would keep me motivated to go and with an instructor present would keep me honest (no slacking). So with the help of LivingSocial who happened to have a 50% off on yoga near me, I took advantage of the manna from heaven - which those group coupon sites really offer (except when all you get is teeth whitener deals).

Yoga is not what you would think of when thinking of getting fit, but if you choose the right one - and yes, there are a lot to choose from and not all are my cup of tea, but we'll get to that later {wink} - I have found the muscles can be just as sore the next day. I have tried yoga before so I thought I was little more experienced than the beginner course they offered, so my first class was Hatha. This type of yoga was originally practiced to focus on getting your body prepared for deep meditation. It is extremely beneficial for stretching your muscles and "opening" your joints. There is more meditation in Hatha than I want for truly getting back into shape but this is wonderful at the beginning of your weekly workout or yoga routine. I would like to try a more intense yoga like Vinyasa, where you are constantly moving from one pose to another in time with your breathing. 
Dominic meditating in Sedona, Arizona
One of my very good friends and gym sauna buddies, Shawnie, asked me if I wanted to try Bikram yoga or Hot yoga. Her bubbly personality and winning smile had me at "Hot" - Ohio has not been playing nice lately and the thought of anything warm had me saying - "Okay, sure!". If you've never heard of this type of yoga, it's where a few crazy people practice slower paced yoga poses in a room set at 105 degrees.  If I had REALLY known what this was like I might have laughed hysterically at her, but I'm a trusting friend. She wasn't going to kill me...was she? 

My first thoughts when entering this sauna of a room was "aahhhh - I could get used to this." Then the instructor explained we would be in there for 90 minutes. Hmmmm. That seems long, but I'm doing okay so far. Five minutes in I felt this odd sensation. Is that a bead of sweat making its way down my arm? Fantastic! Never felt that before. First pose and my heart is beating pretty heavy. I can handle this. After about 30 minutes my eyes are starting to roll back in my head. I look at myself in the mirror and I see no dry spots on my clothes. There is a woman in front of me that looks like a mountain in spring, water pouring off of her. Unfortunately, because this is a high concentration effort to maintain your breathing and your poses, you cannot stop to wipe off or get a drink until the "designated" (yup) breaks. 

I can no longer stand. I have to sit down and catch my breath but there is no relief. I feel suffocated. The heat is so oppressing I start to feel a panic attack coming on. I look at Shawnie and she is on the ground too. There is NO way we are making it the full 90 minutes. What were thinking? I could say the next thing we did was a wimpy, weak, no intestinal-fortitude (4th grade gym class teacher word) move. But honestly, I think we were the only sane ones there. We raised our hands like good students, asked to leave, and booked it out of there. I swear the woman by the back door moaned when we gave her a little breather as we opened the door. "Once you leave, there is no coming back." -our instructor said. Like we wanted to! Hahaha! We were free! We were definitely the smart ones of that test group. No more Bikram for me, but I can say I did it, like swimming with sharks. Once is enough.


  1. Marvella McCluskeyApril 3, 2011 at 5:00 PM

    That really sounds like a great way to shape up. I died laughing at your sauna commentary. How funny is that! Well, you'll look great on the beach in St. John anyway!!!!! :)

  2. Mary, your MIL ;-)April 7, 2011 at 11:31 PM

    I would pass on the "hot" yoga as well! Yoga is a great exercise tho'. A wonderful stress reliever. I don't remember that photo from Sedona. :-)

  3. DOH! (Sorry... ;-) I like you comment about swimming with sharks. LOL If ever given the choice between swimming with sharks and Bikram. No brainer! Shall we Vinyasa this week?