I’m going to kick myself when I read this in January but here’s the truth: It’s too hot for hot yoga.
Up until three weeks ago, every Tuesday night was cleared to make room for my hot yoga class. The studio is right around the corner from my office, so I’d stay a little later at work, change into my duds in the bathroom, and head off to class with 15 minutes to spare. Hot yoga was my savior during the winter and into spring, especially those evil April days when it would rain cold rain for hours and end with a blast of chilly wind. Thank god for hot yoga, I’d think, walking into the heated studio wearing sweatpants and a hoodie to “keep myself warm” before stripping down to capris and a tank.
Three Tuesdays ago, however, things changed. First, it became July. I walked out of the office that Tuesday in my yoga gear, and I was so happy to be warm. Yay, summer!, said the cold-blooded yogi. Then I entered my car, which had been sitting in the unshaded parking lot for the past 8 hours.
Sitting in a 100-degree tin can is no motivation to drive yourself to a yoga studio that’s 5 degree hotter.
So I drove home. Now, I wasn’t being lazy. I ended up doing a 90-minute Jivamukti podcast in my yoga room upstairs. The room was hot, but it wasn’t intentionally set to eyeball-melting degrees. I rose from savasana feeling sweaty but not saturated.
Last Tuesday, it was still July, but now it was creeping into mid-summer, which adds a new element to the mix: Humidity! I had gone outside earlier that day for a 30-minute lunch walk and knew right then that I would not be going to hot yoga class that night. I felt bad–I was now missing my second class in a row–but again, I wasn’t taking the lazy person’s way out. I went home and did yet another Jivamukti podcast. Still sweated, but not to the point where I’d absolutely need a shower afterward (which is pretty much standard after every formal hot yoga class).
And so we come to today. I pretty much knew at 7 a.m.–when it was already 81 degrees outside–that hot yoga was out of the picture. That’s when I had just returned from a relatively mild 20-minute walk covered in sweat. Things did not improve throughout the day. I went out to lunch with my department and ate a giant turkey burger that put me into a post-meal stupor. Then the air conditioning in my office broke, which made that turkey-burger stupor even more difficult to overcome. It got so hot inside that we were actually permitted to leave early, at which point I drove home in my 100-degree tin can and collapsed on the living room floor, red-faced and kind of stinky.
However. Although I didn’t make it to class for the third week in a row, I still committed myself to yoga. I found a new podcast on iTunes (an 80-minute vinyasa flow) and went upstairs to my yoga room…which was pretty much a hot yoga studio in itself at that point on this sweltering day. I sweated, I dripped, rubber mat bits stuck to my slimy feet, stray strands of hair were plastered all over my arms and neck, and, by golly, I needed a shower when it all ended.
On this third week away from the yoga studio, my guilt about not attending class is finally dissipating. As a regular student, I tend to get all kinds of anxiety if I have to miss class. I’m afraid of upsetting the instructor, of unintentionally making the studio owner think I hate her business, of tricking myself into thinking I’m lazy. But it’s none of the above–I’m just hot, and I don’t want to do yoga right now in an even hotter room.
This same studio started offering Saturday morning classes, and at first I was really excited. I went to one class and had every intention of making it a regular thing–until it became summer. And then I had a 5Rhythms class one week. And then I slept in the following Saturday because I had gotten to bed really late the night before.
I feel bad because I was once a yoga teacher and know how it feels to see someone one week and not the next. Or the next. All kinds of crazy things spiral through your mind–Did I say something offensive last time? Was my class too hard? Did I touch her feet during savasana and maybe she has a weird foot thing? She thinks I’m a dork. A diva. A doofus.
But sometimes (most of time), it’s just life that’s keeping us from the studio. Or the weather. Up until three weeks ago, my body craved hot yoga class. I’d be in my cubicle at 4 p.m., thinking Yay, yoga class in two hours! When my body doesn’t do that, maybe it’s time to take a little break and try something different.
I slept in again this Saturday, and then on Sunday I tried something totally different (and terrifying)–I went to a new yoga studio! (Ahhhhh, yoga studio anxiety kicking in again!) It’s just a 15-minute walk from my house, so I went over there on foot, took what turned out to be a challenging but manageable and fun vinyasa flow class in an un-air-conditioned (warm but not hot–just perrrrfect in my book) studio, and came home feeling great…until my yoga high (and the caffeine in the iced coffee I grabbed for my walk home) caused me to dance uncontrollably for an hour in my living room, to the point where I was almost as sweaty as my husband after his 4-mile run.
So even though it’s too hot for hot yoga, I guess it’s never too hot for a yoga-induced dance party. 🙂