Back to Yoga

I took a 1 month and 1 week break from the States to head over to Taiwan in December 2014 plus a quick stop in South Korea for a couple of days for old time’s sake. To prepare for this rather big event (it’s for the wedding reception for hubby’s side of the family), I took a three-month break from hot yoga.

In truth, I have a love-hate relationship with it, and yet I still kept going back – even with the relatively high cost to both my wallet and time of keeping up with it. So, after having had a pretty long break from it and coming back for about a month now, I had come to my conclusion in regards to this form of exercise.

The following is my take on hot yoga thus far. Take it as a weak attempt of a half-organized case study of some random female who took hot yoga for almost a year. Continue reading

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Hot Yoga: The Verdict

It’s been two weeks since my first hot yoga class and within that two weeks, I made it to ten classes. It’s been a pretty interesting journey and though I have a long way to go, ten sessions is a good mid-way point to get my thoughts on hot yoga across.

First thing, they weren’t joking when they say you have your good days and your bad days. I’ve had days where I walked in and was completely gung ho about it only to have a class where I just couldn’t balance very well or I couldn’t get through a pose (like that camel post? My body seems to have a vendetta against it because it’s. Then there were days like today, where I have a sore throat and am perhaps on the verge of getting a cold but I do better than the past three classes. It makes no sense, but like one of the instructors likes to say: tune in to your body that day. There will be days where you will be more tired and days where you’re made for hot yoga. Either way, as long as you keep on trying, you’ll still reap the benefits.

Secondly: yoga is for people of all shapes and fitness levels. I like that. All it takes is practice. Half of the people I see in class are married and a good amount of them are middle aged or even grandparent aged, but they have these awesomely lean bodies, despite the fact that the lack of collagen due to aging gives way to wrinkly/droopy skin. There are some who are normal, though. Same with the younger people in class. Last weekend, there was a new person in class: she was tall, French, and had an amazing body despite the fact that she looked like she was in her mid to late-40’s. It was the first time someone had to leave the room before the 90-minute class was over. It made me feel better about myself; even though my first day was far from the best, at least I stayed. However, it seems like the people who do this regularly have the means to do it (there are some normal cars like Hondas and Toyotas, but there are your fair share of luxury cars as well).

Third, weight loss is still a steady work-in-progress. Since I began, I have lost about 5 to 6 pounds. I still eat (especially on the weekends) and I drink around 60 ounces of water a day, but the practice helps me a lot with keeping the weight down once I get to the weekday. It’s not a drastic change, but it’s a gradual one.. and gradual weight loss is a good thing. A part of me still wishes there was a more intense component, but this hot yoga thing is always challenging so I like it even though I’m not sure what it does to build muscle mass. Plus, it’s not cheap so I will go as many times as I can.

I’ve been getting more and more flexible! I love it. 🙂 After class, my legs always feel a little unsteady and the next day, a group or two of muscles are a little sore (and sometimes it feels like I pulled something from stretching too far) but I feel more flexible. I can’t do the splits yet, but perhaps I can with time. I can say that compared to the beginning where almost every muscle felt sore to some extent, now, it’s just a little here and there. I hope my body isn’t getting used to the constant stretching and pulling and sweating.

Speaking of sweat, at the beginning, I didn’t sweat as much. Now, my shirt (and shorts) are quite literally soaked once class is finished. I think it’s because I can push myself further and I can do more of the poses with shorter breaks. Also, starting from the second class, the sweat I sweat doesn’t taste like sweat – it tastes like water. I’m serious: I have my butt in the air and my face is almost touching the floor and I wonder why it seems like something liquid is running across my vision. It’s my sweat and it doesn’t sting. It quite literally feels the same as if you have water running into your eyes. It might as well had been my tears. It’s a little baffling but cool at the same time. According to my friend who did hot yoga before, the sweating is supposed to take out all the toxins in your body. Essentially, this means that I’m [almost] toxin-free!

It’s halfway through my first month and I already wonder if I should continue with the second month. I miss cooking and eating hot meals regularly, but I also admit that adding hot yoga into my routine isn’t a bad thing either. Other than the fact that my time at home has been cut quite a bit on the weekdays so I have less time to tend to the household aspect of things and when I do, I’m on a time constraint. The main thing here is if I can afford to continue it. There is a discount if you renew before the end of your first month, but it’s still not a small amount. Perhaps I will see how I fare the closer it gets to the end of the month and I’ll make a spontaneous decision… like I usually do.