Suffering: Is Hell Hotter Than Hot Yoga?

March 14, 2017

Why did I hate me? Why did I hate me enough to prepay for three months of this? This is not the place, the promised land of yoga or even remotely close to "sure, it's alright." But the money, dang it all. How much suffering should one endure to get your money's worth? If I'm considering sweat equity for this investment, two sauna yoga practices wring out as more than ample.

First hot Bikram yoga class. Thirty-five minutes in. Me: a sweat-soaked rag doll folded onto my mat. Nevermind everyone else in the class is still up in some demanding standing pose as the militant instructor counts down the time. Even though I’ve been doing vinyasa yoga for a while now and even though I drank enough water the night before that I was up peeing in the middle of the night, I was now sitting, sacked out. Mop the floor of this sweatbox studio with me, my head started spinning and I was spent.

Like I said earlier  I set some really doable goals for myself this year. Drinking more water and exfoliating. It’s March and I’m doing well. It’s even safe to say at this point that these goals have softened into my regular routine.  My lips aren’t so dry (I hardly need lip balm ever now) and this exfoliating peeling gel has changed everything. Hooray for healthy habits, but I have one more I didn’t mention that I’m still at work on. Yoga.  In an effort to reset and recharge this year I swapped my regular running in favor of yoga practice. Also, January was really cold and rainy and the enticing invitation to stretch and center myself in toasty yoga studio seemed like the perfect antidote to the weather. Plus, my friend, Heather, agreed to embark on the yoga studio trial tour with me. I mapped out a plan to move from one new student special to the next until we’d seen the town’s offerings and settled on the yogi’s promised land.

The first month could have been that promised land. Candles, free mat use, helpful instructors and a clean bathroom. Then the trial period ended. This is where the suffering begins.

I couldn’t compete or even keep up with the experienced students working through the set of poses. My head was spinning off my body into a thick fog of the  1000 degree rainforest that innocuous yoga studio had become. I spent a portion of the class on my towel covered mat, both of us soaked in my torrential and profuse sweat in sukhasana or easy pose. In front of me, women continued on to the orders of the instructor, their bodies now running faucets of sweat. I didn’t know people could lose that much water weight and live.

My gut said we could leave now. My wallet said we prepaid (with no refunds) for this torture. So I went back for more.

Day two was more of the same. Hot. Sticky. Suffering.  Had hot yoga been invented yet, I’m sure Dante would’ve written one more circle into the Inferno.

Why did I hate me? Why did I hate me enough to prepay for three months of this? This is not the place, the promised land of yoga or even remotely close to “sure, it’s alright.” But the money, dang it all. How much suffering should one endure to get your money’s worth? If I’m considering sweat equity for this investment, two sauna yoga practices wring out as more than ample.

So, I haven’t been back since. But I still have two-thirds of the trial remaining to try and return if I get cold enough or if I start getting into self-flagellation, it’s just the place.

In the meantime, I’m still making it on my goals to make yoga a new habit. But I’m doing it from home with my new YouTube friend Yoga With Adriene.  I’ll just have to light my own candles and keep my own bathroom clean until I’m ready for another new student trial somewhere else in town. At least for now. the travel time from my bedroom to my living room is convenient.

Some mornings I wake up and think, maybe I should go use more of that trial period I paid for. And then I think about YouTube yoga at my not so hot house and think: Nah, I’ma stay right here.

Namaste.

Have you paid for something to instantly, comically know it wasn’t for you? 

P.S. Apparently, I’m not the only one who has come to this conclusion. This slightly crass but hilarious craigslist ad for a yoga mat will have you rolling.

March 15, 2017

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