As many of you know, a few weeks ago my neighbor and I purchased 3 hot yoga classes at a semi-local studio. We skipped going last week and last night was our third and final class.
We arrived early and headed straight for the room to “claim” our spots for class. During our first class we were a little late and were stuck in a back corner with little room to move and we were right next to the steam machine. Our second class we ended up separated and on the right side of the room, it was super hot and you couldn’t feel the steam, so last night we decided to try the center in a quest to find balance. Little did we know when attending last nights class that we would have a different instructor…a crazy instructor…who I think was trying to boil us without us knowing, a la the old Bugs Bunny cartoons.
As we were sitting there waiting for class to start, I noticed the beads of sweat already starting to form on me. I thought it was because I didn’t drink enough water and tried to chalk it up to my really not wanting to be there, but I began to notice it on other people as well. Class started and it was ran a little differently because of the new instructor, so I found I had to pay closer attention. That was hard to do because I couldn’t get over the heat…plus I had sweat pouring into my eyes and I kept feeling dizzy.
Before long, I noticed I wasn’t the only one unable to hold poses or having to drop down into child’s pose to regain composure. It was happening all around me…even to the “advanced” students who I have looked to when I was unsure of how a pose should look. Everyone just looked exhausted and unsure of what was going on. The yoga instructor seemed to keep turning the heat on and off too and even opened the door to let cool air in a few times but nothing seemed to help. I mean, you know something is up when the yoga instructor has sweat pouring off her as she is only walking around making sure people are in the poses properly.
I made it through the standing balance poses….barely and with lots of breaks, and thought I’d be okay once we reached the floor portion, but I was wrong. With about 15 minutes left to class I had to tap out. I felt dizzy and like I was going to puke, plus I also ran out of water and needed cool, fresh air badly. I quietly got up from my mat, opened the door, and found 3 other students in the hallway, all bent over and looking like they were either going to pass out or puke as well. We sat there joking around, talking about how crazy class was this week and enjoying the cool night air from the window I opened, until class let out.
EVERYONE (save for one guy who seemed to enjoy being steamed alive) came out and complained about how hot it was. One of the guys I was talking to actually went back in to check the thermostat and said it was at almost 130 degrees! What the deuce, lady!!!
I am so glad that was not my first adventure in hot yoga, as it would probably be my last. While it felt good to sweat out the toxins in my body, I was unable to do most of the poses and that just defeats the purpose of the class to me. If I want to just sweat my ass off, I’ll go sit in a sauna for 90 minutes.
Will I return to hot yoga? I don’t know. I’ll most likely do a class here or there, however the nice weather is almost here (well, it actually is here right now as it is in the 70’s all week) and I’d much rather walk the fitness trail, enjoy the cool, fresh air and beauty of nature.
P.S. – I shall also admit here that after class, my neighbor and I went to Five Guys for a burger cause we were starving. I at least only got a little burger and I skipped the bacon and fries. I know this was not ideal “post workout” food, but damn was it good!
2 responses to “My Last Class Almost Killed Me”
That’s definitely waaayyyy too hot Nicole!!! Flat out dangerous, and many people (teachers included) overlook danger for the sake of their own egos. It’s also dangerous to practice yoga in a cold room so there are some studios that find a middle path…they keep it warm (80-85 degrees) to help the muscles soften and release without boiling people alive. If you enjoy yoga I’d keep looking around and find something a little less crazy! But at least you can say you tried it. :)
I can’t say I have done a lot of research about this, but I don’t think the benefits of the heat are worth the risks. It doesn’t “detox” as much as one might think, and the heat works against your body’s cooling mechanism, again without much of an upside. Personally, I do yoga with Tony Horton and “the kids,” and I turn the fan on when I start to sweat. :-)
P.S. I am Canadian, so maybe that is part of my prejudice against heat?