How Yoga and Hot Yoga
Made Me A Healthier Person
I’ve always been interested in doing yoga, so when my sister invited me to try it I thought I’d try it out. To my surprise, I was instantly hooked! We went to this great studio close to her apartment. I knew we were going to the class, so I went and shopped for my new yoga outfit. I figured that stretchy yoga pants and a tank top would be a good outfit to do yoga in. She said they had mats at the studio, so I skipped buying my own mat for the first time. I wanted to see whether I would like yoga. A part of me definitely doubted whether yoga was all it was cracked up to be.
Fortunately, after my first class I was pleasantly surprised! It was a level one class designed for beginners, so I didn’t have to know what I was doing. The instructor was really nice and walked us through all the poses, even stopping to correct me a couple of times! Normally this would have embarrassed me, but the instructor said that the correction was all about the class finding the right pose so that our flow would be correct.
I was shocked at how much I actually enjoyed doing yoga. Once it started, I was thinking about my day and in a state of higher stress. However, once the class got going, all of my worries and cares melted away and I was in the moment. I liked it so much that I got a monthly pass to go in and do yoga whenever I wanted! It was really fun.
Regular yoga classes focus a lot on the poses and your transition from one pose to another. The instructors guide you through where to move and how you should be breathing for each one. I went to more classes and even got myself a yoga mat! As I attended more classes, I started to get more poses down and become more confident in my abilities. I started to look forward to every time I went to yoga. Not only was it such great exercise, it was allowing me to achieve a clarity of mind that I never would have thought possible before I started trying yoga.
Before I tried yoga, I never went to the gym. Occasionally I would go for a walk, but that’s about it. Exercise wasn’t really my thing. Eating fast food and watching ten episodes of a show in a row on Netflix was a more typical Friday night for me than heading off to a spin class. I hate to say it, but doing yoga made me a believer in health! Before I knew it, I was eating salads for lunch and walking to work instead of driving. Well, I would still drive to work, but I would park further away and walk the half mile. For me, that was a big improvement!
I thought I was the queen of yoga until my sister called me and asked if I wanted to try hot yoga. I paused. Hot yoga? That sounded pretty intense. But at this point, I was feeling pretty confident, so I said I would try it out with her. After all, I still had that monthly pass to the studio.
I showed up for the class and we set up our mats and blocks. I have to admit, I thought hot yoga would be no big deal. I had already mastered regular yoga in my mind — how much harder could hot yoga be? It turns out that hot yoga was a whole new level of yoga that I had never imagined in a million years.
I have to tell you that you sweat in hot yoga. You sweat more than you would ever imagine. Each pose requires focus and discipline. It’s like you’re doing yoga in the center of a volcano. That being said, once I was done hydrating like my life depended on it, I felt ridiculously cleansed after. Sure, I took a three hour nap once I got home, but I felt good. I felt really good!
Why yoga is so healthy for you has not been determined by science, but the positive results have been documented. Yoga is exercise, and it can help you lose weight, breathe better, feel happier, and be more centered. I experienced every single one of these benefits and five months later, I’m down four pants sizes and feeling more energetic than I ever have in my life.
If you’re considering doing yoga or hot yoga, I highly recommend it! Just bring a change of clothes if you decide to do hot yoga. After all, you never truly know how much you can sweat until you’re in that studio with the thermostat cranked up high.