Hot Mess Yoga

After the workout!

Now is probably a good time to mention that I tried out for the NBC television show, The Biggest Loser.  Not just once, but twice.  The first time, my cousin asked me if I wanted to audition with her because it was a season that was known as the Family Edition and she needed another member.  I wasn’t exactly sure how to take that invitation. When I sit back and think about ALL my family members, and I have a pretty large family, I was a little perplexed as to why she chose me? She must think that I need the attention of a screaming Jillian Michaels.  Let me clarify something right here. As I said, I have a large family in terms of amount of people and they are not big in a physical sense. I certainly would not want to offend any of them. After all, Christmas is not that far away and the gift pile seems to get smaller every year as it is.  Anyway, my cousin and I worked together to make a video and we sent it to the producers. After a few phone calls back and forth, we did not make the cut.

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The second time I went as an individual down to Boston to audition. I stood in line for several hours waiting to meet with the producers.   There was a moment of clarity while I was standing in line;  it  was evident that I was not “big” enough .  This was confusing to me.  After all, my doctor said that according to the BMI scale I was obese and  then there was my cousin’s invitation for our first audition. To my surprise, I DID make it to the next level of auditions.  I had to take a psychological exam.  After taking the exam, I never heard from the producers again. Let’s hope that it was because of my lack of substantial size and NOT my test results.

Since I can’t pawn off the responsibility of getting healthy on the Biggest Loser, It’s time for me to be responsible and figure this out. What’s the first step in getting healthy?  I thought I would start off with Yoga.  I mean, it looks easy enough, right?   There are a couple of  yoga studios in the Upper Valley area that are offering a great deal, 30 days for $30 for new students.  I jumped right in and even enlisted my sister.   

There are many different types of yoga classes to pick from; vinyasa, restorative, bikram, anusara, ashtanga, just to name a few.  I looked up class descriptions and decided just to go with the one that suits my schedule the best, since it seemed a bit overwhelming.  

I felt  pretty uptown walking into a fancy yoga studio in Hanover wearing my new Fabletics outfit and full makeup because after all, you never know who you might meet. There were signs addressing me as a yogi, the floor was padded, the room was dimly lit and the color scheme was quite soothing. In our excitement, my sister and I arrived way too early and there weren't  any other yogis there as of yet.  We could not tell where the front of the room was because there were no mirrors, as I expected there to be.  I was relieved not to have them.  Nothing worse than comparing myself to the other attendees of the class.  So, we just kinda milled around looking like we were stretching and fully confident in our abilities in hopes that someone would appear soon.

The class that we were taking was described as a vigorous vinyasa class. As people came in, we figured out how to position our mats and chose the back corner of the room, next to the large heater.  I felt I could hide in the corner and no one would notice while I struggled through the poses.  

People started to pile in.  The class was jammed packed and I quickly noticed that I was by far the oldest person in the room.  Not only that, it started to look like a filming of a professional yoga video.  Not that there were cameras or anything of that nature, but the outfits, the bodies and the beauty were perfect.  I was also surprised by the number of young men who practice yoga and by the looks of them,  yoga is a good workout. If you know what I mean.

One young woman turned to me,  looked over my outfit and introduced herself politely. Then she asked me if I realized that this class was ‘hot yoga’.   Hot yoga?  Here I am dressed in full yoga armour-ment  with  a long sleeve t-shirt, long tight pants, standing  next to the heater in the corner of the room!  How hot does hot yoga get? And how vigorous is this vinyasa thing?  It was too late to turn back , the class began and the instructor turned on the heater.

Just for your information, I looked up how hot the room temperature was set at in a typical hot yoga class.  On the average the temperature can be between 90 and 105 degrees and I was right next to the heater.  I made it through the warm up with what I thought was a very long hot flash, and I did start to feel the tingle of sweat starting to break.  Then the vigorous part started to kick in.  Did you know that ‘downward facing dog’ pose is a resting pose? We started with the down dog and went  through a series of poses, such as warrior, cobra, sun salutation, etc.. over and over again. Did I mention earlier that I thought yoga would be an easy place to start? The room began to get really hot with everyone’s body odor on the rise. I too was dripping with sweat so much that my mat felt  like a slip and slide. There was a time or two that I just “relaxed “ in down dog and looked around the room.  I was amazed at the grace and beauty of the poses and found myself gawking. I immediately averted my eyes if someone made eye contact in fear that  I would appear to be the dirty old lady in the back of the room eyeing young men lustfully.

Near the end of the class, which is my favorite part, we lay in corpse pose to relax. I was feeling a little bit like an actual corpse at that  point, but as I began to relax into the pose I felt fantastic.  The instructor meandered around the room spraying a lovely scent for aromatherapy. I did notice that she lingered over my sister a bit longer spraying repeatedly. I know what you are thinking; there goes that Christmas gift.

We ended the class in crossed legs as we all chanted ‘Ohhhhmmmm’.  This makes me giggle due to my silly immaturity. We put our hands together to say Namaste, which means I bow to you.  However, to me it means thank gawd I made it.

I realized that I had been so self absorbed in my own torture that I never checked on my sister. Holding back southern burps while bending repeatedly takes a lot of concentration. I turned to look at her and we immediately started to laugh.  Her normally beautiful, long red hair had kinked up in the humidity of the room  and she looked  a little like Carrot Top, the comedian.  I felt my own and I clearly had humid hair too.  I was drenched with sweat and my makeup was smeared all over my face and I had raccoon eyes. So much for feeling ‘uptown’!

Overall it was a challenging and rewarding experience. I think I’m hooked. My sister and I walked out together and she said, “ Are you hungry?”  I replied, “ Chinese buffet?”  Oh well, two steps forward, one step back.  Progress!

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