After an absolutely underwhelming day at work that left me feeling drained, fatigued and emotionally flat (yes I know they are all pretty much the same things, I’m just trying to make a point here), I decided I needed to do something that would hit my ‘recharge’ and ‘reset’ button. Sure, I could have taken the easy way out and just had a hot bath and a glass of wine, laid in front of the tv and watched a lot of Sex and the City reruns, but I was doubtful that this would leave me feeling a more rejuvenated and centred version of myself…
I recently attended the Mind, Body & Spirit Festival and received a free pass to a hot yoga studio not far from my home called “Bonfire Yoga”. I have a couple of girlfriends who have been doing ‘hot yoga’, not the super hot (god awful sounding) bikram yoga, but just ‘hot yoga’. And they love it. In the interest of trying something new (and not spending any money in the meantime) I decided to give it a crack.
The only session that I could attend that evening was ‘Vinyasa Flow’ and after looking up what that was, I was quite grateful. According to the Bonfire Yoga website, Vinyasa Flow is a style of hatha yoga performed in a warm room to allow your body to strengthen and lengthen with ease.
When I saw ‘warm room’ I was sold. Hot yoga sounded a bit much for a girl who doesn’t like the heat. Or exercise.
So in I walked that evening, full of trepidation, at least 3 litres of water, plus 2 more in my gym bag with my yoga mat and a towel. But I was still quite excited to try something different that would help me feel a little less mentally fatigued in the process. I was greeted very warmly, told what to expect from the class and was introduced to the very lovely instructor Samantha. There was a lovely sense of community and absolutely no pretention amongst the other yoga-goers which was very inviting to a newbie like me.
As I was waiting, the hot yoga class before mine ended and I watched a steady stream of melting people exit the studio. I kid you not, it looked like they had been working out in hell. And I guess they had. However, they looked pretty happy about it.The heat that came from the room was so intense that I felt grateful that I hadn’t decided to go straight into a 60 minute hot yoga session – I don’t think it would have gone too well…I’m a bit of a fainter!
Once the last of the melting hot yoga folk exited the studio, the doors were opened and Samantha went through with a ‘deodorizer’ as she called it. Apparently it was an organic spray with lemon and (I think) eucalyptus. I was grateful for anything to take away lingering BO in a hot room.
So we entered the room, I ended up at the front thinking that it was going to be at the back, rookie mistake. Oh well, at least I could see the instructor – very important for a beginner like me. The room wasn’t oppressively warm or anything but I remember feeling the heat becoming more intense as soon as the doors were closed and the class started.
The actual class itself was a combination of challenging and calming, Samantha was really great at leading everyone through the stretches and poses, walking around the class to help adjust positions. She was so engaging that between listening to her and focusing on my breathing the time actually flew past and an 1hr and 15 min class felt like 30 mins.
I was surprised that I only felt like I needed a few sips of water throughout the class, even though I did build up a nice sweat. The heat also helped increase my flexibility, so I was able to go full pretzel on the first try instead of half pretzel. In fact, the older lady next to me (obviously not her first class) rocked out a double pretzel! I’m pretty sure I saw her feet touch her ears…
By the end of the class, my mind was clear, free of stress and fatigue. Exactly what I had hoped for. My body was also feeling relaxed, albeit a bit weak and covered in sweat. I still do not have good feelings about the downward dog position but I do have good feelings about this class and I think I will go back and try the hot version.
Thank you to the Bonfire Yoga crew for a lovely first experience!
*Disclaimer – This view is entirely my own and is in no way sponsored.