My First Hot Yoga Experience – By a Regular Joe

by tgiffitness on April 30, 2013

Hot yoga

Today’s guest post is from a guy that I went to high school with. Although he is going to tell you about his first hot yoga experience, there was a time when the two of us would get up at the crack of dawn to attend a regular heat yoga class together. He is a graduate student at the University of Toronto and is an on-again off-again fitness enthusiast. He dreams of one day looking like Brad Pitt, and is trying anything and everything to realize this fantasy… including Hot Yoga! So without further ado, here is Mario Badr’s humorous recount of his first ever hot yoga class…

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In a spur of the moment Facebook post by my friend Diana, I somehow convinced myself to purchase a Groupon for Hot Yoga. I’ve always avoided Hot Yoga because, well, why do I need to sweat more than I already do during a workout? Still though, $45 for 10 classes of yoga was a pretty good deal, sweat be damned! (In case you’re wondering, prices for Yoga classes range from $10-20 per class… And if you want a full year subscription, you’re looking at $1200! That’s crazy. I don’t care what the benefits of Yoga are, at $100/month, I could subscribe to three different kinds of gyms, buy a TTC metropass, or consume 2.25 litres of Jose Cuervo Especial Gold – and I think we all know the monthly benefits of Tequila far outweigh whatever Yoga could offer).

So, on Thursday, April 18th, 2013, I had my first hot yoga experience… I asked my friend and yoga instructor beforehand what suitable attire was for the activity, and was told that wearing a shirt was required. That’s fine, it’s not like my physique is ready for topless activity yet. But after setting up my mat in the facility, a clearly experienced middle aged gentleman entered in nothing but his Under Armor boxer briefs. I was shocked. I was appalled. I had been lied to! (No, I was not turned on. Not even mildly. I can already see my friends snickering). There were a total of three men in the class, including myself, and the rest were women dressed in the highest quality yoga gear. Clearly, I was about to get schooled by yogi-experts. Whatever, Yoga’s not about being awesome, it’s about feeling awesome (or so I’m told. I could have been lied to. Again). They can show me up all they want!

Now let’s discuss “the heat”. At first, the room felt no hotter than the summer I spent in Lebanon recently. In fact, in Lebanon I did several bouts of Insanity in this very same climate. Hot yoga was nothing to be afraid of, I’d done more intense workouts in this heat before! Or so I thought…

When the class finally began, the room got hotter (I’d say at least 5 degrees hotter). Within minutes, I was covered in my own slimy sweat, making several poses difficult to hold or maneuver into as I slipped and fell on numerous occasions. What’s worse is that I had done “Legs Day” the day before, where I did both Squat and Deadlifts. As such, holding a simple Warrior Three stance proved more difficult than carrying an ox on my shoulders while balancing on a bamboo stick. There were several times where I had to take a break, go back into child’s pose, and drink (gulp) from the spare water bottle that Diana had graciously provided. One thing I did notice, though, is aside from the naked middle aged gentleman and maybe 2 of the women, everyone else was just as bad as me! $200 lulu lemon pants did not give them the power to masterfully transition from one position to another as I originally thought it would. (Aside: It is not my intent to belittle the other participants, just to say that, if you’re worried about being an absolute train wreck your first time in Hot Yoga… well, you have no need to fear. Others, such as myself, will share in your burden.)

As the class wore on for what seemed an eternity, breathing became difficult as, I swear, my nose began to sweat from the inside. I was now relying on my mouth to take in oxygen, probably annoying half the class around me. My heart rate has never been higher during a yoga class than it was in hot yoga. Now, I’m no expert, but I’ve been to my fair share of Yoga throughout the years. This class didn’t do much different in terms of poses, but the added challenge of breathing and slipping meant I was doing more work than I usually do.

The class finally drew to a close, and I was one of the first five racing to the door way (right behind Diana)! I rushed to the change room, turned the shower on to its “ice cold” setting, and jumped right in. As I gasped for air, winded by the sudden change in temperature and the shrinking of my… extremities, I came to one realization: I have to do this 9 more freakin’ times!

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When I called Mario to see if he would like to guest post on the blog, he was unable to answer his phone because he was, in fact, at yoga! Clearly, he is dedicated to receiving every minute of the punishment he paid for! If you’d like to read more from mario, head on over to his blog: Mario’s Personal Blog. I highly recommended his latest post “Lessons Learned: My First Year as a Teaching Assistant”, particularly if you are a teacher, used to be a teacher, or have ever tried to teach anyone anything!

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