Sweat. And Facing Fear on a (Hot) Yoga Mat.

While sitting beside the softball field yesterday afternoon (once again, shocking, I know), I received a text message from a good friend. She was inviting me to go with her to a Hot Yoga class last night.

Hot yoga, if you are not familiar with it, is a yoga class that is held in a really hot room, hence the name…Hot Yoga. I’ve been interested in trying it for a while, but wasn’t sure that I would like it. I typically have issues, that look a lot like claustrophobia, when it comes to smallish spaces that are really, especially if there is, as I would describe it, “no air in the air.” I don’t usually do well in spaces where I feel like the air is not moving.

I will never forget the almost panic attack I had on an airplane once, sitting on a runway in Dallas Texas, waiting to take off. There was no air conditioning and no air movement and we were traveling with the girl child who was only nine months old at the time and who was getting more and more agitated by the minute. A few more minutes of that and I would have been the person on the 6:00 news being “escorted” off of the plane by the Federal Marshall on board.

And still, fears of claustrophobia and panic attacks aside, I’ve always wanted to try Hot Yoga. It sounds so cool and hip. And I still want to be cool and hip most days. I’ve also been doing a lot of talking about trying to add yoga into my routines, so I responded with a resounding, “Yes! When and where and what do I bring?”

Time for a … “little less conversation, a little more action!”

So a few hours later, I found myself, walking into a cool, hip yoga studio, In Balance, with a bottle of water, a towel and a yoga mat (a pretty blue one just purchased for $7.99) tucked under my arm. As we stepped into the room, I immediately felt the intense heat and I’m pretty sure I said “Wow!” out loud. I started thinking, “It’s just like the beach. Just like the beach on a really, really hot day. Except that there are no ocean breezes, no ocean to jump in and cool off. Just like the beach. Just like the beach. Just like the beach.”

I set up my mat and sat down and started trying to turn the mirror at the front of the room into an ocean. “Just like the beach. Just like the beach.” was my very zen-like mantra. Fortunately, I didn’t have a lot of time to think about it, as the young, cool, hip yoga instructor came into the room and got things started in a hurry. She was quick. And with a “vinyasa” this and a swan dive that, it was on.

I was too busy warrior posing and being my own tree and downward dogging and being something like a cobra that I never caught the word for, to notice that it was so hot in the room. As a matter of fact, there were two ceiling fans, so while I never felt a breeze, at least I knew the air was being moved around just a little.

I never felt panicked. I never felt self conscious. I never felt overheated. Actually, I felt strong. I felt accomplished. I could feel the sweat rolling down my back, along with a ton of stress and all of my typical worries and concerns. I felt energized. I felt detoxed. I felt thankful for friends who introduce me to new things.

I felt like I need to do this again. And often.

Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Do one thing everyday that scares you.” It doesn’t matter what the one thing is…applying, asking, accepting, or warrior posing…just do it.

Let’s all, Go. Do that.

And … Namaste, too.

photo credit: GrahamKing via photopin cc
photo credit: GrahamKing via photopin cc

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