Today, I went to free Yoga in the park. It was hosted by The Better Good Yoga in Saskatoon. There was a really large turn out. The sun was shining, and its warming up to be a hot one in this beautiful prairie city.
First time for outdoor yoga for me. The sun filtered through the trees above. I put my hands up in some poses, partly to block the suns rays in my line of sight, and partly to absorb some of the wonderful energy beaming down on us.
When we were instructed to set an intention for the practice, as usual, I decided to focus on practicing compassion, and giving and receiving love, as much as possible.
I went to hot yoga last night. Man, was it sweaty…. I had my work day done. I was tired, like nodding off tired when I was at work. I was ho-hum about going to yoga last night. When I opened up WP and saw some comments and felt a little more connected with the ‘blog-fam’ I got a little boost and decided to pull on some lycra and get my arse over to the gym.
I went to the same class as last Tuesday, at the other main gym. It was moderately busy. As soon as I settled in I felt how warm it was, and I knew this was going to be a hot session (of yoga – this is not one of ‘those’ stories..).
So we got through the regular movements etc. Normally, about 2/3 into the session I am starting to ask myself about whether I’m going to make it through the session, as sweat absolutely pours from me, and my muscles tire from the 10th chattaranga/cobra/downward dog flow in a row.
But I got through it. Even felt pretty good after the session.
In other quirky news, my car – the little silver bullet, busted a windscreen wiper blade yesterday morning. After yoga I popped down to Walmart to grab a replacement and fitted it right there in the parking lot. It had been raining a lot yesterday, and driving when you can’t clear your windscreen is no fun.
Also, the door locking mechanism with the key (as the remote button doesn’t work…) is super temperamental. It decides whether to lock, or not when the key is turned. Lots of times I try to turn the key to lock it and it doesn’t lock, until like the 8th attempt. The other night I gave up because it wouldn’t lock at all. Then, mysteriously, it started locking on the first go. And now, for the moment, it works. Too weird eh?
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.
Tonight I did hot yoga. It was a really hot session. Of yoga. I’ve done hot yoga maybe 20 to 30 times. I remember the first times that I did it, I was nervous about how the heat would affect me. I don’t handle the heat to well and many times in the past I have had heat exhaustion – particularly living and working in Australia underground in the mine or after working in the hot sun all day.
Thankfully, I found hot yoga to be fairly agreeable with my physiology. I sweat a lot. Tonight the temperature was up to 40 C for the most of the session. Sometimes, I find myself in a kind of mental haze, just going through the movements and allowing the heat to affect my body and mind. You have to give in to it. There might be moments when you feel a little feint, or week or woozy, but so far I’ve never had any ill effects during or after the session.
It provides for a kind of a physical and mental purge. There is meditation and breathing at the start, and also at the end. These are opportunities for reflection and setting an intention for your practice. I normally set my intention to allow love into my heart, and to give love outwards to the world. That goes along with letting go of any frustrations, anxieties, guilt, anger, resentment, etc. It’s impossible to hang on to these kinds of feelings when you are holding a downward dog, or moving through a flow of plank to cobra, to downward dog.
Another couple of significant developments for me – I had a good discussion with my boss. I was able to open up about what is going on in my life, to provide some context (not justification or whatever) for the types of activities that I have been engaged with at work. This allowed me to explain myself in a non adversarial way. It was a good discussion, and he asked if there was anything he could do for me. I felt much relieved, like I’d been carrying a burden that was relieved.
I also had a counselling session. This too was very beneficial. Just to talk to someone, to share my thoughts and feelings and to get feedback. I felt much more… human.