From the Designer’s Desk: That’s a novel idea. Add extra heat to a workout
I have never once had a workout and thought, “Do you know what would make this great? A space heater.”
But apparently someone at some point did, and I can only assume that’s how hot yoga was invented.
The point of hot yoga is to help you sweat, which detoxifies your body. It is even thought to assist with weight loss, and after my first experience with it this week, I can assume that’s true — at least temporarily — given how much fluid your body loses during the one-hour class.
Overall, though, I enjoyed sweating profusely more than I expected.
The instructor began by saying that the class is a journey between you and your body. Do what your body feels like it can do.
That sounds comforting, but most of the time my fingertips don’t even feel like reaching my toes unless my knees are bent, so I wasn’t sure how many of the positions I could handle.
But that was OK. My goal was to try it with an open mind and a positive outlook. With most things in life, I got what I put into it.
So here’s some advice for my fellow yoga newbies:
• If you have long hair, a tight bun on top of your head is the only appropriate hairstyle for hot yoga. You may try to start out with a cute little braid, like me, but that will last for about five minutes before you have to take a quick break to fix that mess.
• I also suggest investing in your own yoga mat. In my class, there were mats available to borrow, which I believe is the case for most places. However, you don’t want to be thinking about how many other people sweat all over your mat while you’re doing a downward dog. (To ease the minds of my fellow germaphobes out there, we did disinfect them after the class.)
• Also be sure to bring a towel to help dry your hands and wipe your face. Said sweaty mat will become a slip-and-slide before it’s over. I also recommend bringing water, and drink plenty of it before the class as well. You’ll want to stay hydrated.
As the class wore on, I was feeling pretty accomplished. I felt like I kept up overall, and I even managed my first headstand (with the help of a wall) for the first time since as far as I can remember.
Then toward the end of the class, our instructor told us to go into our Savasana.
And I thought, “My what?”
I later found out that this is known as the “corpse pose,” where you put your body in a neutral position. It is considered to be a very important part of yoga. This is where you lie down in your most comfortable position for about five full minutes and clear your mind — which I may have been better at if I wasn’t spending the first half of it wondering how long this was happening and what exactly I was supposed to be doing.
I now like to think of Savasana as an outlet, or a comfort zone — a time to just relax, free your mind and let go.
A Savasana is important at the end of yoga, and to me it’s representative to outlets being important in life. Unfortunately at the end of each day, most people do not have a life coach to remind them to unwind and relax. But maybe we should start.
Overall I’d say that I learned a lot from my first-ever experience with hot yoga and would definitely go again. With that said, I realize that hot yoga may not be for everyone, but if it’s not, I would at least encourage you to find your own little personal piece of “Savasana” in your life.
This is a weekly series about following through with a New Year’s resolution to have a new experience each week. To suggest topics or experiences, email email@example.com.