Today was Florida hot, as one might expect. The air holds a certain moisture even when rain isn’t on the horizon. Mosquitoes slog through the wet air with black dangling legs resigned to the southern heat.
The heat doesn’t bother me. I don’t necessarily like it, but I manage. What does bother me is hot yoga. There’s something about the humming sound of the heaters pre-heating the yoga room to 350 Fahrenheit. Let me add that I don’t have anything against hot yoga, either. Only me being in there while it’s going on.
I have friends who love it. I have friends who only want to teach yoga in a room temped at the same degree one might bake a potato. There are many advantages to hot yoga, these Yogis say, and I believe them; just not for me. I have thought that teaching it might be fine if I didn’t have to be in there with the class. If I could teach from an observation deck through a microphone I’d be all for it.
I have been known to darken the door of the hot yoga room. For instance, a teacher in training might decide she wants to teach a hot yoga class for her karma yoga contribution. Damn! In I go, water bottle and Kleenex to wipe away my tears. My friend, new to teaching yoga, gets on the schedule teaching hot. In I go, beach towel and barf bag in tow.
I recently took a hot class. I had to step out to make sure I was still alive. I missed revolved triangle on one side and felt lop-sided the rest of the day. My friends in there were powerful and glistening in their sweat and great effort. I looked green and wilted like kale I dropped in the soup too soon.
I am interested in the new hot yoga at Uru’s second location, URU2. The heat is provided by infrared heaters that warm surfaces instead of heating the room by warming the air. I am intrigued because this technology has been used to treat chronic pain and other ailments with some success. I will let you know how it goes, but also I suggest you try it yourself and tell me how it is.
There is a woman who comes to my classes regularly. She is often hot, and so doesn’t gravitate to hot yoga; she has an internal heater with a broken “off” switch. It’s unfortunate that today, in my class, on a hot Florida day the fan part of the air-conditioning wasn’t working. The room in which I teach open flow yoga never got below 83 degrees in that class and that woman was in there.
I just returned from a workshop with the Teacher of my heart on moving into the Moment, capital “M”. Being with what is, accepting circumstances as they arise – even the air-conditioner breaking on a hot Florida day.
I was in a tizzy, trying to get folks towels so they didn’t slip and fall on the water-slides their mats became from the downpour of sweat from their brows. I’d check the thermostat, see there was no change and send the class into child’s pose to rest. I’d get down in the floor with them, my own brow glistening in an un-ladylike downpour.
I’m at the front of the class, rolling around like zucchini on a skewer, demonstrating an optional arm variation no one is interested in when I look to that sweet lady with the internal heater that won’t turn off and there we are – in a hot yoga class.
It’s not the hottest hot yoga class one might find themselves in. For a seasoned hot Yogi the room is positively chilly, but for me and most participants it’s the closest we want to get.
I announced the irony that I’m in such a situation, having said in the past something to the effect of, “I ain’t teaching none of that hot yoga.” And there I am. Hot yoga 101.
Leaning into the moment with all those people. By the sweat of my brow.
I feel emboldened by all of this. Perhaps I’ll try that infrared class at URU2. For you Tuesday Yogis, please know that the air-conditioning man will be at the studio bright and early and should have everything cooling just fine.
For more on URU2 check the schedule. I’ll be teaching a 7 week intro to yoga series. Each class will be inspired by the chakra of the day. Think of it as Yoga kindergarden – This episode brought to you by the number 1, the letter M and the color red! We will keep the thermostat set at a respectable seventy-something degrees. If you’re interested in intro to yoga hot there are infinitely more qualified instructors teaching those classes.
URU2 class schedule here.