I Did Hot Yoga & Saw Myself In A Totally Different Way
I’ve never really been into yoga… I’ve always preferred higher intensity type exercise (ie. Running, spinning, etc). With all of the spinning I’ve been doing lately, I decided to give hot yoga a try to stretch everything out and just get rid of some of the tension and stress I have built up in my body.
I live a couple of blocks from the Moksha Yoga on St. Clair West here in Toronto, so since I had never taken a class, I opted to buy their “First Time Student” deal, $60 for a month of unlimited classes. I booked my first class for yesterday at noon, 1-hour of Hot Moksha Yoga (they have different classes, not necessarily hot). It’d been a long time since I did a hot yoga class (I’m thinking like…. 2009ish?) so I was drilling my friends before hand trying to find out what to wear and what not. I wore my little Lulu booty shorts, a sports bra and then a tank top over top just for going to and from the studio.
A really nice employee showed me around and brought me into the hot room to help me set my mat up properly and told me how they always start on their back with their heads facing the mirror wall… so that was nice and helpful so I kind of knew what we were doing. I went into the hot room about 15 minutes before class started just to lay there and enjoy the dry heat and just get warm. The instructor eventually came in (Tess) and her voice was so nice and calming… I loved it.
Now, I’m soooo not a yogi, I don’t know the names of poses or ANYTHING (the only one I know is savasana or something, where you just lay on your back lol) so I was looking around at the other participants the entire time to figure my stuff out, but once I got going I actually felt pretty good. I used to be really flexible so I have kind of a base of flexibility left in me that came in handy… I didn’t need to use blocks or straps or anything, yay!
Something that was really new to me though, was the fact that I was working out in very minimal clothing. I’ve never worn just a bra to work out, I’ve always been really self-conscious but it was really flipping hot in this room so it was almost necessary, and other men were topless and other women had just bra’s on so I didn’t feel weird. Under the advice of the lady that showed me around, she told me to take a spot in front of the mirror so I’m actually able to see myself. I don’t typically like doing this for the exact reason of not wanting to see how insane I look, but I did it anyway.
Once my body started moving and I was putting myself in certain positions, it was almost like an “a-ha” moment… I’ve never seen my body look so strong. Seeing myself squatting on one leg while the other is wrapping around, or seeing the muscles in my arms popping out while I’m twisting a certain way, or seeing my rib cage expand and contract so much while I focus on my breath… it’s not something I’ve ever seen or recognized in myself before.
It was actually a really good feeling to be able to look at myself and see something strong and powerful when I’m so used to looking at myself and picking every little thing apart. As someone who’s always been very self conscious, this was the first time I actually truly felt like even though I can see the roles in my stomach when I bend and twist, or I can see some cellulite on my butt sometimes, that’s what makes my body awesome and I’m really beginning to love it!
Who wants to come with me? It’s only like, 105F in the room! 😀
This is my new goal…. check out her IG, it’s gorgeous….