Hot Yoga Conventional Wisdom

Hi Bloggers, I have a mild shoulder injury from some other sport that I was playing recently, so I’ve made an effort not to work out to hard. Its a minor irritation but I am concerned about it becoming a major issue so I have to stop myself from pushing to hard with the weights etc.

I got down to hot yoga yesterday. There is a session that is a lighter type of work out. The room is hot, like 40 C. There are a lot of stretches, a few flows, some balance poses, and some meditation/breathing exercises as well.

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I wore my grey powermesh hot shorts over my man thong. Totally comfortable in the hot conditions. I got myself a new cork lined yoga mat too. I have an issue with slippery surfaces. I can’t get the traction with my feet or hands. I can’t say that cork is a way better option. Once I get a bit of sweat up I have to use a towel for the traction.

I find static poses can be quite challenging. The effort required to hold a pose when your muscles are tiring can be as challenging as any big weights work out. I give kudos to a lot of the people who do yoga because its tough to hold some positions. But I also know that you get used to it and that strength improves with yoga conditioning.

Well into the session, the sweat is running from my body. I see myself in the mirror. Tattooed. Muscled. Sweaty. My tree pose is a bit wobbly. I can’t get the arms to interlink in eagle pose. I need to let my arms down after an extended warrior sequence.

At the end of the session, I am feeling hot and sweaty, yet energised. I complete the final Savasana, and as others ready to clear away their mats, I stay. After some time I find myself kneeling, legs folded down on my ankles. I take my hands to heart centre. I say a prayer. It’s more of a reflection/thank you statement than a prayer.

Sometimes we get so caught up in our own ‘shit’. I find its a constant state of internal tug of war over what we think we are deserving of, what we should expect of or accept from others. I’d like to think that I have a truly balanced view in which I was not affected by my own thoughts, opinions and expectations, but that’s just total bullshit. The reality is that we should be saying where we are dissatisfied or uncomfortable, and we should also be ready to listen to others for what they have to say too. 

I am grateful for those who have helped me, grateful for my health and wellness, grateful to be alive. Mostly, just thankful. Very thankful.

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Hot Yoga, and other Manic Thoughts From the Yoga Mat

Hi Bloggers,

Been a while, eh?

Guess what? I’m not fucking dead yet! Whooo. Ok what a year. It has been a total turn around for me. 12 months ago, things were looking bleak, tentative, I was just holding on. My ex wife and kids moved back to Australia and I was embarking on a new life. Well, here I am, I am doing it, and generally speaking I pretty pretty darn good!

It’s had its challenges, no doubt about that. New job, new living situation, new friendships, its all part of the big experience. Life.

Ok, so today, I got myself down to the yoga studio for some –hot yoga– oh yeah! If you have read any of my blogs, you will know that I love hot yoga. It feeds the soul, quietens the mind, and works the body. It is spiritual. For me, it is about giving in to the pose, the position, the situation, the heat. Omg. The heat….

It wraps you like a warm blanket. It puts you in your place. It tells you to shut the fuck up, because for the next hour and ten, I own your arse. I sweat a lot. I drink a lot of water. If I haven’t been yoga-ing too much lately, I can’t hold the positions the way I want because my arms get sore, etc. I know things improve with conditioning, because that strength and conditioning returns. I do a lot of weights and swimming, but those are different uses of the muscles.

Ok, it wouldn’t be a blog from me if there wasn’t just a bit of um, ‘me’ in it. I did my hot yoga some time about 2 weeks ago, and I wore some heather grey cotton lycra bike shorts. Very comfortable, not for the shy, but gladly, that’s not me! Today, I wore some grey powermesh hot shorts, and a man thong under. They are mesh so they are a bit see through (ohhhhhhh), just a bit. That was awesome fun. Guess what? No one cares!

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Disclaimer – this is NOT me (I am way more built and handsome), but it could have been me in one of my many yoga pretzel poses. Oh, and my shorts are smaller and tighter, and grey and just a little opaque 😉

Yesterday I was working out in the gym, and a guy asked me where I got my black lycra hot shorts. He wanted to get some for himself! Right on. Wow. First time for everything, eh?

I just gotta be me.

So I’ve discovered something along the way. I talk to a lot of people. I talk to people everywhere. I’ve noticed that I find it easier to talk with men. Although at times I have thought that there can be a tension – a kind of macho chest thumping thing between guys, there is also a surprising amount of acceptance.

This has surprised me somewhat, because the reality is that I think I have spent too much time in the past not talking to men, because of my perception that they are potentially threatening, or unfriendly, or something else. What I have found is that most times, when you take the time to say hi to a stranger, they are willing to be friendly and chat. Very rewarding in itself.

I have lots more to discuss, but I don’t want to spoil you all by spilling my guts here at the moment.

Be kind, share the love. Happy holiday season.

Namaste.

Hot Yoga 4 – got sweat?

Hi Bloggers,

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?

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These are not my feet, I use a different shade of nail polish. 

 

The importance of hot yoga 2 – feeding the spiritual side.

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.

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OK, the hot yoga was not naked, this is just a gratuitous pic of me! 

 

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.