You guys, I hate being hot.
Don’t get me wrong—I love the beach, patio drinking (duh), and frolicking in the sunshine, but I loathe being sweaty, swamp ass-y, shiny-faced, frizzy-haired, and swollen. Also, sometimes when I get too hot, I almost pass out. One time I was in the shower with my ex and things literally got (too) hot and heavy, I almost fainted, and he had help me out of the shower, sit me down on the bed, and feed me a Pop-Tart. It kinda’ killed the mood. BUT I DIGRESS.
For these reasons, I was deathly afraid of hot yoga because I knew there would be no one there to towel me off and feed me a Pop-Tart lest I get overheated and fainty.
But I braved my first class a few months ago with my friend Nikky and the worst thing that happened was someone farted and we almost broke into a laughing fit because we are 12.
My first class was “traditional” (read: Bikram, but I hate saying his name because of this) in Atlanta’s steamiest space at Red Hot Yoga. It was slow moving but still challenging, and an incredible, 90-minute sweat sesh. My clothes were soaked and I felt rejuvenated afterward. I walked out thinking, This is going to be a body changer. And where’s the closest sandwich?
A week later, I went to the Power 1 class, which is faster, Vinyasa flow in a hot room (but not AS hot as the traditional one). And….I. Have. Never. Sweat. Like. That. In. My. Life. It was one of the most challenging physical workouts I have done, and I loved it. Ever since, I am completely addicted to the power classes and have noticed so many positive effects on my body. I am stronger, more limber (love that word), don’t have the upper back/shoulder pain and hip tightness I used to, run longer and faster (EVEN WHEN I’M TAKING SELFIES), and have been able to do yoga poses I couldn’t do before…
So I like to show off on Instagram after drinking vodka on the beach.
When I started talking and posting about my newfound love for hot yoga, I realized how many other people were obsessed with it, too. I think everyone should do at least one yoga class a week and will notice differences in all areas of their bodies (not to mention sleeping better and being calmer/less stressed in general). If you think you can’t handle the heat, you can. If you think you’ll need to take a break during class, you can. And if you think you’re not “good” or flexible enough, just grab a spot in the back and do what your body allows you to. In case you didn’t know, yogis don’t give a shit about what anyone is doing except themselves. I also love yoga because it’s cheaper than a lot of fancier workouts. Red Hot is inexpensive as it is, but I just bought a Groupon (what is this, 2007?) and got 20 classes for $60. You do the math.
Lastly, I want to talk about mats because as much as I enjoyed that first hot power class, I didn’t have the proper mat situation and thought I was going to slip and break my groin during warrior poses. (Can you even break your groin? During sex, maybe?)
Unless you’re some non-perspiring freak of nature or you wear gloves and socks (EW!), you will need to put something over your mat during a hot power class. I use the Yogitoes towel ($64) and it works ahhh-mazingly. You lay it on your mat, the grippy things (official name) ensure it doesn’t slip and slide, and as you sweat, your grip becomes even stronger. It may bunch a tad, but a quick adjustment once or twice isn’t going to affect your practice. After you soak it to the core, throw it in the washing machine and it dries quickly. Plus, it’s great for traveling.
HOWEVER, I have found the best mat in the world, and I can usually use it for the first half of a hot class before I start slipping in my sweat puddles. They are the premium, high-performance, environmentally-friendly Jade Yoga mats, introduced to me by the lovely ladies at Atlanta Activewear. They are sold there (along with the Yogitoes towels), so if you’re in Atlanta, I highly recommend stopping in. Or shop Yogitoes online (head over via the graphic below for special offers like a free water bottle with purchase through April!):
I also really like the Gaiam Sol Dry Grip Yoga Mat ($70) because it’s thick (read: easy on the knees), has decent sticky grip, and works like a charm for non- or semi-hot classes (or with a towel over it for hot classes).
And now, back to practicing my scorpion (that bitch).