Serenity in a Sauna


Last week, my dad and I had some father-daughter bonding-time.  I bet your first thought for father-daughter bonding is something like fishing or playing hockey… possibly something involving beer.  Well, I like fish, but fishing seems dull.  Doodle fulfils the ‘sports-son’ role to my dad – I have zero interest in any sports.  And I don’t like beer.

Instead we went to a hot yoga class.  The first one, in a groupon-deal of 20 classes!  My mom intends to come as well, but as of this moment, she’s 100% incapacitated by a mysterious neck-ailment.  Until she can shake her head ‘no’ and nod ‘yes’ without whimpering, and until she can sneeze without crying on the floor in the foetal position, no downward dog for her.

A fellow first timer tried to find out the temperature in the room – the teacher would only reply, “It doesn’t matter,  don’t worry about it.”  That’s not ominous at all…

kind of like this... though he claims his beer belly acts as a fulcrum to help him.

There was a huge age and fitness range in the class.  And there were men!  I know this seems like a silly thing to point out about a class, but there are far fewer men in yoga than women.  My dad’s been doing yoga for nearly 15
years.  You should see his Locust Pose.  Even now, in non-hot-yoga classes, he’s very likely to be the only guy, which almost ensures that whatever woman ends up in front of him or behind him feel very self conscious.  So, it was really great that he wasn’t the only guy in the class, and that he wasn’t the only guy over 40 there.

Let me just say, I failed entirely at the pre-class-prep necessary for hot yoga.  The instructions were simple:  drink LOTS of water the day of, and don’t eat in the three hours before class.  Well, don’t-eat, I could follow, but in the afternoon, in my prime serious-hydration timeslot, I was out on a construction site.  It isn’t the ideal place to super-hydrate yourself.  I got home less than half an hour before we had to leave for the class, and drank as much (ie, not enough) water as I could without over-doing it.

The class was excellent and exhausting.

None of the yoga moves were particularly difficult, in and of themselves, but there is such a HUGE difference between doing them at a standard room-temperature and doing them in a sauna-like environment. There was a huge focus on breathing and the poses were split up into multiple shorter durations.

I had to sit out a few standing poses.  I recognised those little black/purple specks in my visionfor what they are, and didn’t really want my first class at this studio to be the one that traumatizes the teachers.

My dad sat out a few poses nearer the end, and modified some of the poses to suit his injured knee.  The way he explains it:  Every morning, I wake up and think, ‘yup, I was in a serious motorcycle accident in my 20’s’.  However, he commented that he was able to do a lot more poses in the hot yoga class than he’d been able to do in his regular-temperature class this fall.

By the end of the class, I was slippery as a greased pig, beet red, and my entire gym outfit was completely soaked through.  It was soaked in the same way it would have been if I had stood fully dressed in the shower for 10 minutes.

Hopefully we’ll do better adjusting to the heat when we go again on Tuesday.  Even after just one class, I recommend trying it out.  Just… drink lots of water throughout the day ahead of time.  And if you aren’t planning on showering at the studio, bring a towel to cover your car seats on the ride home!

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9 Comments

  1. Good for you! I tried Yoga on the Wii….that was a joke. I can’t even sit still, never mind stand balanced!

    Although I might be able to sit in a hot room…..

    • It’s a lot easier when there’s an instructor (not just some wii character guiding you through), if only because they can point out how to improve things. The wii thing is hard, though – you can really see how shaky your poses are 😛

  2. TheIdiotSpeaketh

     /  October 3, 2011

    You’re a brave lady and a good daughter….. I cannot still get the thought out of my head of sitting in a hot yoga class with my father…..all sweaty…. bending….stretching….sweaty……. this disturbing image is gonna haunt me for the rest of the week….. thanks! 🙂

    • haha, well, i wouldn’t suggest focusing over-much on your dad doing yoga! I followed along in the class with the crazy-pretzel-lady in front of me (though at a lower level of bendiness 😛 ), and only checked in on my dad to ensure he was still conscious, not dying, and not curled up in the foetal position 🙂

  3. I just kept thinking OUCH! the whole time I was reading this. I’m not nearly limber enough!

    • it’s amazing how much more flexible you are when in a hot yoga studio… the heat/moisture loosens everything up. it’s like going from novice to advanced stretching in one class 😛

  4. Hah, that sounds great 😀 this blog seriously uplifted me from the one I posted today, even if you DID call me the son of the family 😀
    I’m glad that Dad seemed to have fun, and it’s good to see that your enthusiasm for situations that get you soaked in clothing is still as strange as ever. Keep an eye out for stuff in Ottawa–or else send me a link to this site o that I can try looking for myself 😀 Miss you all 😀

    • Not the son of the family! haven’t i ever told you my theory? Dad’s got all girls. ALL. GIRLS. you fulfil the role for him of ‘sports son’, I fal into the roll of ‘son to watch scary/action-ey/gory movies with’, and peanut… well, she’s ‘the girl’. it makes perfect sense.
      i didnt’ see any events happening that weekend, unfortunately, but we’ll do some hiking or something near ottawa without a group event.

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