Monday, November 21, 2011
Yoga With a Kick
My husband suggested that a nice addition to my week of teaching cardio and strength training classes might be a nice, relaxing, stress relieving yoga class. So I suggested WE find one to try together.
I'm not a stranger to yoga. My Mom teaches it, and I've taken a few classes in the past. I'm sure they are really good for me. I certainly need the stretch. But rather than relax me, they seem to make me antsy and filled with anxiety. I'm just not use to exercise that doesn't make you sweaty and out of breath.
So I came up with the brilliant idea to try hot yoga. I thought that if I sweat profusely during the class, I would feel like I got a workout--and therefore not feel antsy and anxious (please refer to my earlier blog on being a closet Type A personality). And, sweating rids the body of toxins, and I love the thought of that!
Tonight was our first experience with hot yoga (not to be confused with Bikram Yoga--which is a bit different). Hot yoga is basically a regular flow yoga class taught in a room heated to around 95 degrees.
The yoga center we went to was very welcoming. The light, music, and scent were all very nice and relaxing. The instructor greeted us and was great. She put us (the newcomers) at ease. Assured us that if we were bothered by the heat, it was fine to step out of the room or get a drink of water.
We headed into the room where the class would take place. That's where my anxiety began.
The room was fairly small (easier to get it warm and toasty I'm sure), the class was full, and of course, it was 95 degrees in there. It's a combination that just didn't work for me. But I hoped I would settle in as the class got rolling.
For some reason, over the past few years I have become very heat sensitive. I don't know if it's just because I'm approaching menopause, but I've gone from a Summer person to a Winter person in the last two years. Add to that that I have a very mild case of claustrophobia. Being in a cave for four hours doesn't bother me; however, if I was in a small cave with a lot of people I would have a problem. So the combination of the heat, the small space and the people really had my anxiety up. The final glitch was a woman a few feet away who kept coughing a wet, bronchitis sounding cough. I could just imagine the germs thriving in the heat and multiplying during the class.
I made it through class. A few times I felt my anxiety rise to the point where I almost left the room to get some air. But I talked myself down and continued. And I did enjoy the final relaxation period of the class. I can honestly say that on my own I would never take the time to allow that kind of relaxation. Sure I'll veg on the couch and watch some t.v., but I don't turn the lights low, turn on relaxing music and clear my mind. And my mind definitely needs some clearing.
So I'm glad I tried the class. It's good to try new things--expand your mind. But I just don't think hot yoga is for me. Mark liked it. He loves the heat, and wasn't bothered by any of the things I was (in fact, he accused me of being a germaphobe). Different strokes for different folks!
Hey, I had a good stretch and did some good sweating! But I think next time I'll try a basic yoga class in a nice, big room with lots of space!
(I would be curious to hear from other women in their 40's about the heat issue though. Have you notice that you're becoming more heat sensitive? Let me know!)
- J.J. Kunkle
- I am the owner of The Fit Life, LLC. The Fit Life, LLC offers fitness instruction and nutrition counseling in a holistic way. I focus on personal training using mainly your own body strength--very little equipment. I also hold a certification in holistic nutrition. Because nutrition counseling regulations are very strict in Ohio, I'm still working on what nutrition services I can provide to my clients; however, I'm happy to provide general nutrition information. I enjoy teaching TRX, Indoor Cycling, and Boot Camps.
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