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…
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!