In the spirit of trying new things and keeping it fresh, I thought I would try out a Hot Yoga class.
Now let’s give some background here; I have been practicing yoga for about 13 years & I just starting teaching in 2009. I first tried Hot Yoga in 2003 but was hurt by an enthusiastic teacher who thought my hip could open further. It could not, and consequently I couldn’t sit cross legged for three months. So understandably I was a little nervous heading to Yyoga on Sunday night to try out Brant Forrester’s YHot class.
My first question upon entering Flow Wellness on Burrard Street was rather personal; during my moon cycle should I be practicing Hot Yoga? The guest experience member at the front desk was very helpful. She stated that there are many schools of thought but practicing on your first day of your cycle is not recommended, nor are inversions. Good on both counts, I head in.
The Build up
Seated in the waiting area before the Fire room I asked a few yogis why they practice Hot Yoga. One yogi stated that he liked the cleansing aspect of the deep sweat.
Another yogi stated that he was on his 30 day challenge; having missed one day, he was catching up by taking two YHot classes. He professed that he loves the challenge and is now addicted.
Marcie, another yogi, seated with us stated that she has a very active mind and that Hot Yoga offers her the challenge she needs.
Everyone warned me I would sweat a lot. They recommended I bring a change of clothes for afterwards.
Here we go
Finally allowed to enter the studio, we set up our mats & got ready to move. First I have to say the room wasn’t as hot as I expected. It was warm but not unbearable. Although the room didn’t get any hotter, I warmed up considerably with all the movement. There were definitely times during the practice that I felt the need to leave the room. But I just got closer to the ground in Child’s Pose and used my breath to relax.
Brant was very reassuring as he stated immediately that Yoga is your practice. As with all types and levels of yoga; do only what you can, only what your body feels is okay, not what your mind expects of you. There is no competition in yoga, especially not with yourself.
Starting us off in a deep yogic breath; Brant allowed us to get centered and comfortable with the room. Once we were comfortable, he encouraged us to try our Uyaji breathe; preformed by creating a soft sound at the back of the throat while inhaling and exhaling through the nostrils. This sound can help with focusing the mind.
Brant guided us softly throughout the practice using a combination of laughter and encouragement. Starting with postures that remained closer to the floor, we gradually worked into standing poses and balancing postures. Brant challenged you yet also let you decide the level of exertion.
The Deep Satisfaction of Accomplishment
After going through a nice sequence of postures we were back on the ground to do some stretching. Sensing the end was near I was pleased that I had made it. I have to admit that I have never felt a deeper sense of satisfaction than when Brant encouraged us to prepare for Savasana (Corpse Pose). I felt calm and relaxed; no tension anywhere in my body.
I would encourage anyone to try out a Hot Yoga class. The fear that had held me back was unwarranted, and I am glad to say I am now a big fan of Hot Yoga. I hope you will become one as well. And if not, at least you can say you tried.