Monday, October 13, 2008

The Black Sheep of Yoga

My latest sporting adventure is a little different from my usual extremes of mountain biking and kite boarding. I recently took up Hot Yoga, which involves bending your body into all kinds of unusual positions in a steaming hot 105-degree room. You may be wondering how this could possibly pass for fun but somehow in my mind it does. I guess I enjoy it since it’s new, challenging, and good for your health. In a 90-minute class I get strength training, aerobic exercise, stretching, balance, relaxation and sweating out gallons of toxins. I've really enjoyed seeing my flexibility and balance improve over the past few months. Plus I now have many vacation pictures with yoga poses in them, which makes the pictures more fun.

Unfortunately my silly personality doesn't quite fit with hot yoga. It's supposed to be a spiritual experience. Right. I think the "spiritual experience" is more a sign of heat stroke approaching. My boyfriend and I like to act silly and so are developing a “black sheep” reputation in the class. Just last class we got in trouble for playing footsie between postures. Some people get recognized for doing a good job but we only get noticed for misbehaving. Well I guess any recognition is better than none at all, right?

The instructors say the same thing every class. There is one balance move that I just can't seem to get and the instructor says every class "if you're losing your balance, you aren't kicking hard enough". So I'm thinking I'll show him just how hard I can kick when I see him in the parking lot after class. Or they don’t get the English quite right, like in “touch your knee to your exactly forehead”. Which is different from my regular forehead how? I do believe the postures are good for your health and internal organs but there is one position where they say "20 seconds in this posture is as good as 8 hours sleep". Yeah right. Get a clue exactly guy, it's probably as good as exactly 20 seconds of sleep. Did I mention that the instructor doesn't even do the moves with the class? He just stands up there and tells us what to do. Somehow that just doesn't seem fair but at least he suffers through the heat too.

The class always ends with the teacher saying "Namaste" and the students repeating it. I never knew quite what this meant, and I didn't want to be saying "I will give you my first born" so I never said it. My boyfriend looked it up and in short it means "I bow to you" and is just a respectful greeting. So why can’t they just do what the Jamaicans do and say "Respect Mon"? Anyway, my boyfriend then sent me an email saying "I bow to you – let's come together energetically to a place of connection and timelessness". Hmmm I wonder what he exactly wants.

Anyway, it’s fun and I’m glad I tried something new – you just never know. And who cares if we “exactly” fit in?

Cat "It's Hot in Here" Cathy

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