in an attempt to keep this post shorter than britney’s denim jorts, i’m going to make this as concentrated as possible: i’ve been practicing yoga for a while, mainly vinyasa classes here and other classes on my own via here.
while i find amanda’s vinyasa classes thoroughly challenging, the next step in my yoga journey, and the point of this post, happened last weekend: my first hot yoga class. since i moved back here i’ve been looking for an excuse to try the studio at hot yoga louisville. if you’ve been thinking about trying hot yoga, i hope you find my experience informative. i decided to try their hot fusion class (vinyasa class in a hot room) since i have found a love for vinyasa classes (fault #1). i underestimated how long it would take to get to the studio, so i arrived rushed and stressed (fault #2). the first thing i noticed when arriving to the studio was how beautiful, bright and clean it was. then i noticed how nice and inviting the instructors were. i was really nervous as this was such a big step into an incredibly challenging world, but i felt at ease as soon as i checked in. i just did a drop-in class, which was $15 and i found that totally reasonable, especially considering they have very clean (and very cold) showers for after class.
i grabbed two towels, my sigg and headed into the studio. holy hot desert, batman. 105 degrees, to be exact (i looked). i think i can honestly say that i’ve never been in such intense heat in my life. onward ho, i picked my spot and sat down. and sweat. i noticed everyone had water with ice (fault #3) and a vitamin water (fault #4). carrie came in, started her playlist (of CONTEMPORARY music, thank GOD) and began class much like a drill sargent, which i kind of liked. as soon as that happened, i knew i was done for. this class was not to be relaxing or time to think about rainbows and ponies, it was time to WORK. and SWEAT. during the hour and 15 minute class, i had to leave twice (fault #5), which after the 2nd exit i was informed i should stay in the room if possible bc my body needs to get used to the heat, much like getting used to altitude. i was amazed at how my muscles responded to the hot room. not only was i more flexible, my balance exceeded any other class i’ve done. i had to take plenty of child’s pose breaks, but i am very proud of myself for completing my first hot class.
it wasn’t until after i had showered and pulled my skinny jeans (impossible task when your body won’t stop sweating) back on that i realized i probably should have done a true bikram class first, before i challenged myself with a hot vinyasa class. bikram focuses on 26 set poses, while vinyasa is more of a cardio workout….in a 105 degree room. side note, while looking for some facts i stumbled upon a calorie counter site that informed me i burned approx 650 calories during my 75 minute class. wowzers.
ok so my reaction: i loved it. i sweated like i never have before and i felt AMAZING after. i felt amazing because of the practice as a whole, which left my body singing (and sore for 4 days) and i was so proud for myself for pushing my mind and body harder than i ever have. i spent that day and the next drinking more water and gatorade cocktails (half water/half gatorade) than a hung over college kid and also dealt with some very, very sore muscles.
meanwhile, however, my mom is saying hot yoga is bad for me, which lead me to do research to prove her wrong (what else do daughters do best?). there are pages upon pages of sites which mention the benefits of bikram yoga and a few that talk about the cons. most of the negative warnings come for people with pre-existing illnesses, duh. but i am a healthy, relatively in shape 26-year-old so i see zero reason i should stop. just some of the benefits are:
- the heat of the room speeds the warming up of the body naturally (you wouldn’t run a marathon without warming up first, so the room does it for you)
- sweating detoxifies the body
- as the blood thins, the circulatory system is cleared.
- the output of cells which fight infection is increased, therefor increasing your immune system
- weight loss is made easier because your muscles are warmed and can burn fat more easily
- it is widely known that practicing Bikram yoga enables many of your bodily systems and functions – digestion, respiration, endocrine, lymphatic and elimination – to work in harmony
so with all that said (sorry, tried to keep it short), will/would i do it again? absofreakinglutely. i can’t wait to do it again. however, i will make a few adjustments: arrive earlier, bring a nalgene with ICE and a vitamin water, i’ll do bikram rather than vinyasa and i’ll stay in the room the entire class. oh and i’d love a yogitoes towel rather than a bath towel, as i was doing the slip and slide on my mat. and another warning, the one thing i DID do right was wear proper clothing, like that should come as a surprise. i wore simple, tight yoga shorts a tight yoga tank. two key words in that statement: tight and spandex. be appropriate, people.
Betsy’s Hot Yoga Louisville
4414 Shelbyville Road, Suite 201
Louisville, KY 40207