Hot Yoga Journey
This last week I somehow injured my hip talk about inconvienent. I will be the first to admit I’m not a religious stretcher at all but as I get older my natural limberness has become non existent. Embarrassed of my lack of flexibility and frustrated with my injury I decided to take up hot yoga. I was pretty naive on why someone would do yoga over taking a spin class, bootcamp, TRX or strength training that would get your heart rate up and burning calories. Naive yes, as yoga does get your heart rate up and strengthens not only your muscles but your bones.
After attending Yoga Level 1 for the last 4 out of 5 days I’m kicking myself for being so naive this long. My yoga journey this far has been a very humbling experience. Remember in PE during grade school where you would sit on the floor with your feet in front of you and you were to reach for your toes? Well in yoga that’s not the goal, instead the focus is to get your forearms on the ground. – I can’t do this!
Downward – What?
I had driven by a yoga studio near my home a few times called RENU. The building and logo were aesthetically appealing to me so when I decided to give hot yoga a try they were the ones I looked up first. Booking my first class online was simple and the pricing was pretty amazing so I signed up for not just one class but for two weeks!
My first day was something I was really looking forward to because I was banking on yoga to help me with my injury. Plus as I mentioned no longer could I use the words limber or flexible to describe my current fitness status. The instructor, softly spoken, begins class and asks for us to get into downward-facing dog, as a beginner to yoga I had no clue what this meant so I did what any other person would do, looked at what everyone else was doing and did that. Downward-facing dog was not the last of the animal poses that were called out. Over the next hour I was also to pose in cat, cow, and lizard. Truly I needed to google yoga poses for beginners before going to my first class. Besides putting my body in several animal named poses I ended the class drenched in my own sweat in Savasana . Let me tell you that Savasana was amazing I almost fell asleep I was so relaxed!
Following Yoga Days
Still being new to yoga I didn’t want to look like a rookie and bought myself a yoga mat so I didn’t have to keep borrowing one from the studio. I felt pretty proud when I walked in to the next class with my own mat (thank goodness for Amazon Prime). Still unsure of exactly how I injured myself I was cautious in doing certain movements. I believe I have a hip labral tear and it turns out to prevent a hip labral tear is by conditioning the surrounding muscles with strength and flexibility exercises. Would have been great to have started yoga prior to the injury but I’m doing it now! Yoga is certainly helping my injury where I no longer have pain and I have resumed working out at the gym. From the first day to now I’m closer to brining my forearms to the ground during stretching, I feel more relaxed, and my balance has improved. Although these are great benefits there are so many many more.
The NOT So Hot Part Of Hot Yoga
1. Stinky feet in your face
2. When relaxed some may pass gas
3. Sweaty body order; not just from armpits
4. Dripping sweat
5. There is no reason to wear make-up or do your hair because you are going to look like a Hot Mess
…it’s all worth it though because the benefits out way the not so hot part of hot yoga.
The Major Benefits I’m looking Forward To
- Improving Flexibility – I have a goal to be able to do the splits again
- Building Muscle Strength – have you seen some of the advanced yoga poses– craziness and AMAZING!
- Betters Bone Health – as we all do age so do our bones and I’m not looking to suffer from osteoporotic fractures
- Release tension in your limbs – we don’t always recognize where we are holding tension for me I hold a lot of tension in my jaw.
- Protects your spine
You can find the many other benefits here and I would highly suggest reading it and giving yoga a try if you haven’t yet. Don’t be naive like I was.