Putting The HOT In Hot Yoga


Putting The HOT In Hot Yoga

I love a good workout. Well…let me rephrase that. I hate working out, but I love how I feel afterwards: accomplished, strong, energized, confident. There are SO many fitness options these days, but I want to focus on one specific type: hot yoga!

If you’ve never taken a hot yoga class before, let me forewarn you: they’re not kidding about the hot part. It’s a yoga class where temperatures are cranked up, usually to 95-105F degrees. Walking into a hot yoga studio feels not much different than I would imagine traveling down the inside of an active volcano would feel. Upon opening the door, the heat smacks your face like all those times you’ve opened your oven too close to your head. Once you recover and catch your breath that was just taken from you, you whip out your trendy (or cheap) yoga mat; no judgment here. As you stretch or lay down while you await the beginning of class, your skin quickly glistens while quite literally feeling like you’re butter melting in a skillet. The dimmed room conflicts with the normal bright sun you’re used to squinting through when you’ve been in this kind of heat before. Then, for 60-90 minutes (class lengths vary), you stretch and contort your body while dripping copious amounts of sweat.

If I haven’t won you over yet with my awesome descriptions and analogies, just wait!

When I arrive home after a hot yoga session, my kids say things like, “Wow, mom, you look hot!” And my husband sees a glistening body, sculpted arms, face red with excitement, heart throbbing and a towel wrapped around my neck. You could pluck me straight out of an ’80s fitness magazine.







Just kidding. I look like this.

Just imagine 50 drops of sweat on my face. The second I walk out of the studio, the cool air evaporates it all.

Now don’t let this nightmare of a photo fool you. Yes, I look miserable, but I feel great! I took several classes when I was in my 20s, thinner, fitter, sans kids. After a 12-year hiatus and truly missing it, I tried it out again in my current mom-state: 40s, thicker, three kids, back problems, less flexible. I can tell you, I liked it both ways. I leave hot yoga feeling better than when I walked in every time. The heat alone loosens up my joints and ligaments, allowing a bit more flexibility in the moment.

Besides the 95F degree room, you know what else is hot?

  • Releasing those nasty toxins out through every pore of your body
  • Emitting oxytocin aromas around your partner
  • Making yourself more flexible
  • Improving your health
  • Pushing your body to its limits
  • Releasing stress
  • Feeling good about yourself

Some tips:

  • Don’t wear makeup unless it’s all waterproof. When I got home after my first class, I realized I had major mascara rings all around my eyes. And I had been talking to people after class!
  • Bring a small towel. I don’t like sweat dripping into my eyes and mouth. I wipe my face no less than once every few minutes. The sweat is no joke.
  • Don’t set your stuff up next to a speaker. Some teachers play quiet soothing music, but some like loud motivational music and if you want to hear the teacher’s instructions, I suggest you stay away from the speakers. Head towards the middle of the room.
  • As always, check with your doctor before adding a new form of exercise. If you have heart conditions, faint easily from heat or are pregnant, this may not be the best match for you.
  • Just Google “hot yoga near me” and you’ll see what’s available in your area.

As you consider this new hobby, just remember these motivational quotes:

”Sweat cleanses from the inside. It comes from places a shower will never reach.” — George Sheehan

“Nobody ever drowned in his own sweat.” — Ann Landers

“That’s not sweat. I’m just leaking awesome.” — Unknown



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