Until a year ago, I thought that I could keep eating whatever I want and still keep the same slim shape thanks to what we call the Asian genetics. But I found that as I was getting *gulp* older, my body could no longer support the lazy lifestyle I have been gloriously living in for so long - and that meant it was time to get whipped back into shape.
I was never the athletic one in school. I did okay in PE class, but I tend to endure it for the grades alone. The only sport I did well in was swimming, and other than that, forms of exercise that involved me and sweat, have always been an unlikely scene.
An actual pie chart of how much time I spend relaxing vs how much time I spend for exercising
It took me half a year to consider Hot Yoga. I never seemed like the type to do this, and I felt that I would lose interest in this just like how I did with the others before.
I remember my first class. I was 10 minutes late for it, and I was afraid that my instructor would ask me to return another day. Thank goodness, my teacher waved me in and asked me to find a spot on the floor. They were already doing the standing series by the time I got set up with a mat and I tried my best to keep up with the others who were working out.
Hot yoga is... hot. And I mean sweating through your forehead to in between your toes hot. You work out with heaters all around, and the windows are kept closed until the end of the session. Amazingly, our workout place always smelled immaculate given that sauna like impression.
You breathe through your nose throughout the workout. I had troubles doing this at the beginning, but as I attended more classes - I found that this gets easier. Nerd alert: I actually tested my pulse rate and oxygen saturation (the amount of oxygen in your blood) while doing this and I saw that breathing alone increase my heart rate to 118 (normal:60-100) and my oxygen saturation to 100 (Normal: 96-100). Not only were these exercises helpful for the poses, but the proper breathing technique helps you with oxygenating your body more effectively.
You do what you can, and are not pushed to do things you are not ready for yet. With hot yoga, you can gauge the things that you can do and you are given options in case you could not perform a certain pose. You focus on yourself and your pose, so you do not feel conscious about how you do compared to the others in class.
You take sips of water for breaks. I do not know how they do it, but each workout lasts somewhere between an hour to an hour and a half and I manage to keep up the entire time. Taking a few sips of water instead of gulping it down helps you stay in form and re hydrates you til the end of the class.
Hot Yoga... will make you work like hell, but you will feel as if you've received an amazing massage afterwards. After each session, I feel more energized and strong. My body does not ache days after and I am not massively hungry either. I feel happier and more optimistic, and I find that I smile a lot more during days when I work out. It might have something to do with physical movement and endorphins, but I feel like this makes me a happier and healthier person overall.
I'm leaving this post here, and I am open to answering questions that you might have about Hot Yoga. And as always, stay golden! :*
Disclaimer: I am not a professional, rather I'm a student who attends hot yoga classes. I made this post in case there are girls out there who are curious about this and would like the perspective of an average person who attends these classes.