So tonight I went to hot yoga. If you have been following me at all, you’ll know that I do this often enough. I got home from work, pulled my fav pair of lycra shorts (sans underwear, cause that’s how I roll), and a sleeveless lycra shirt. Pulled on some socks and runners, and grabbed the yoga mat and was out the door.
Today I went to a different gym – a 7 pm class. When I arrived there was a small line up. The 5.30 class had not yet finished. Soon enough it was time to go in and get set up on the mat. It was quite busy. Seems like everyone is doing yoga these days.
My shirt comes off even before the class starts. I have my block, water bottle, and strap. There are two candles lit either side of the teachers mat, and there is a fragrance that I can’t put my finger on but I know its pleasant. Is that cinnamon mixed with something floral? I take a few moments before the class to sit cross legged and meditate.
Soon enough, class starts. Its normally always a meditation exercise to start. Its where we might set an intention, but to be honest I did not set an intention I was just really happy to be there, in that space, I made it. I got my day at work done, drove the 15 minutes, and got in to class in time.
As class started it felt like the heat was set on ‘tropical’ but nice. We made our way through the regular assortment of flows – plank, chattaranga, cobra pose, downward dog, hop forward, full fold, inhale half fold….
As the bodies in the small space began to warm up, so did the room. It went from ‘tropical’ to sweaty. We continued to move through various flows mixed with minor contortions of limbs that my body can only partly achieve. As the session wears on, my muscles shake in some poses (side plank, anyone?), and sweat runs off my body. I realise: its fucking hot in here! I sweated soooooo much. Really.
Its normally at this point my rational mind says something like “hey, you don’t do well in heat, this is probably going to make you feel ill, did you notice that, you were a bit wobbly coming out of tree pose, I think I might collapse if we keep going.”
But this is where you need to give in to the yoga, to truly be in the moment, to defer any thoughts about not being able to get enough breaths, while your torso is twisted or you have your head somewhere between your knees.
And that, readers, is where the yoga gets spiritual. Your mind is slightly altered, you have to go with the flow, literally. You cannot hold on to your bullshit worries when you are in lizard pose, with sweat running down your back and off your forehead.
Its like any profound human experience, it transcends words. I can’t tell you how it feels, other than intense, and challenging, and liberating. Ok maybe I can come up with a bunch of words but the overall experience is beyond words.