The “Finer” Points of Hot Yoga


First things first. You really need to read this HILARIOUS Craig’s List Ad for a once-used yoga mat. And then we’ll talk.

Go. I’ll wait.

Now, if you’re like me, you have tears of laughter streaming down your face. I was sitting at my desk in a very quiet office when Katie sent this to me (thanks!), and I tried not to let my impending outburst bubble over. Silent tears streaming down my face, giggling as silently as possible, developing hiccups in my attempts to stay quiet, eye makeup probably running amok (hehe, puns). People probably thought I was having an episode.

But totally worth it.

Let’s talk yoga. Regular Hatha Yoga can be peaceful, stretching, nice workout for your muscles, not cardio but certainly intense in some positions. Relaxing and difficult at the same time. I always feel a good muscle ache after. Time for savasana at the end – I always fall asleep, and most likely snore, then snap awake with a snort, embarrassed.


Now let’s talk hot yoga, Bikram Yoga. This is not yoga. This is torture. Everything that man described in his ad is true.

Let’s walk through it. Real life style. You think, oh, I have done yoga before, I’ll be fine. It’ll be hot, but I don’t mind sweating. It’ll help me sweat out my “impurities,” aka the crabby tots and beer I consumed last night. I’ll bring some water, maybe even some Gatorade, I’ll be fine, what could happen? Challenge accepted.


You walk into the room, nay steam room, and find a spot. It’s hot, but not yet oppressive. When selecting a spot, you think I’ll stay away from overweight guy over there. He will be sweaty. Ha! In 20 min, the puddles of sweat will threaten a flood at any time under every person in there. The “sweaty” guy is no worse off. And in a room like that, smells linger. Sweat, fart, BO, etc… it all lingers.

You think, huh, Why is there carpet on the floor, that’s weird. No, it’s not. Yes, it ABSORBS…. Gross… but it also prevents you from slipping. That much sweat on hardwood? We’d be ice skating!

When you stand up, you’re lightheaded; when you sit, your blood pools and your limbs swell; when you drink, there is no such thing as getting enough, but if you drink too much then continue yoga, you will throw up. You are so sweaty that you can get into positions you never thought possible, your limbs are bendy, like Gumby and you think, wow I am flexible, until later when you realize you should NEVER have allowed that position and you will be paying for it for a week.


At some point, your eyes start to swim and you think, is that the humidity, is that my brain dying, or that a heat wave? What IS the boiling point of brain?

By the end of the 90 minutes, holding crazy positions, attempting to wick sweat off your… everything … you lie down in your own filthy sweat puddle and relax, sweat still pouring off of you, and “relax.” And by relax they mean achieve the last step of becoming human jerky.


You finally get up to roll up your mat and leave, your mat is gross and smells and you almost fall over, head swimming, as you roll it up. Your drowned towel is dripping, but you try to fold it, and get out into the lobby AC. The air conditioning hits you like an arctic wind and you exhale and start shivering in pleasure.

Change out of your wet rags and head outside into the elements. In the winter, you will get hypothermia from the drastic temp change and your body will tense up. In the summer, the 90 degrees feels like AC and you will revel in its soothing cool.

You get home and shower, again submerged in wet, and then slump into bed to feel every place on your body go slack and mushy.

Why do we do this to ourselves? Yes it is good for you and you may feel “cleansed” afterwards, but there’s got to be another way! How about a nice run or a bike ride?

Bikram Yoga? I’m not saying I’ll never do it again, as I occasionally like to be hardcore and sweat A LOT, but only in my self-torture moods. And when challenged by my mom. Who is a beast and hard core. And in much better shape than I am.


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