From the Beacon Hill Branch:
Since writing in August there are two things that I've fallen in love with: Hot Yoga and Unschooling. I try to regularly do Hot Yoga six times a week to “reap the full benefits” as my favorite instructor would say. I practice at the Northgate and Kirkland Hot Yoga Inc. It all started with their 10 for 10 special; Hot Yoga Inc. provides an excellent deal of 10 classes for 10 dollars. The only catch is that you have to use it within about 30 days but I used mine in a week and a half. Now I want to say that I had never had a background in Yoga before this class aside from the casual YouTube or On Demand Yoga in my bedroom. The closest thing I had to experience was Pilates which, admittedly, was pretty close. Nonetheless practicing in studios (aka “joining a catty pageant mom’s club”) had never really sparked my interest.Dipping My Toes In:
The first class was exactly as it sounds- hot. I had shown up early to scope out the place and meet instructor before class. Even though I was admitted it, I’m sure she could tell that it was my first time. She was confident that I would do well and gave me some tips from one yogini to another which was nice.
The heaters in the room run vertical on the ceiling and to be honest, you don’t really notice them if you’re not looking. Upon entering the “Hot Room” I realized a couple of things:
- I was going to need the entire gallon of water that I carried in there.
- I was certainly and most definitely the person with the most clothes on (to this day.)
I did what any logical beginner would do and ran for a spot in the back where I could hopefully be invisible since I was obviously an outsider. People generally get to the studio early so that they can pick out their spots and lay in what is called Savasana (Corpse Pose) until class starts. The purpose of this is to get used to the heat, relax, and really rid your mind of anything but your practice. Yoga, when practiced outside of its original religious context, is about focus, strength, balance, depth, and growth.
At this point, I was just laying down because I kind of needed to and everyone else was doing it so why not? The ambiance in the room was really relaxing; some nice music played and the lights were dimmed. With my eyes closed and my body slowly getting used to the heat I started feeling like this wasn't going to be so terrible after all. A few minutes passed before the lights slowly came up and the instructor greeted us. This is the part where you open your eyes and sit up but I didn't do that. All I saw when I opened my eyes was a big black piece of machinery attached to the ceiling. It ran vertical to the studio just like the one on the other side of the room. Anxiety came like open floodgates as my mind flashed back to my one-on-one with the instructor before class. Her most important piece of advice:
“You’ll do great just don’t place your mat under the heater.”To be continued.