Yoga Me Do What?

So this past Wednesday I participated in hot yoga (Bikram yoga) for the first time with a couple of friends. Both have been before but had been awhile since their last class. They also seemed very nervous, maybe scared, of going back again. I have never done yoga before but wasn’t sure what all the fuss was about. I was starting to get nervous also. They told me that it gets hot. But I have been using the steam room at the YMCA and since they fixed it, it is also very hot. But there I can get up and leave once  I have had enough. Usually about 10 minutes. Then I can go cool down and come back if I want. But with this class I would not be able to leave.

I get there and line up for the community class. It is $7 and is a first come first serve class. We got there early and was about fifth in line. Several more started to line up behind us. At this point I was the only male waiting for the class. We filed in one by one, paid and got ready. As I was taking my shoes and socks off and getting ready I noticed the room was getting really crowded. Seems like this was going to be a full class after all. And I did see several other men waiting. This was a relief. My friend asked if I brought water. DAMN IT! I totally forgot since I left the house later then I wanted because I couldn’t find my yoga mat right away. Yes! I bought a yoga mat about a year ago but never used it. Luckily they sell bottled water there so I grabbed me one. It was well worth it by the end of the class I would eventually find out.

When the time was ready, we filed into the room and placed out mats and towels on the floor. Of course I was in the front row with a big mirrored wall in front of me. It was nice and dim and my nerves were getting the better of me. What in the hell was I thinking? Was I going to enjoy this? Would I pass out and die?

Well none of that happened. The instructor was very good at explaining each pose. I’m very glad I went to a community class first so I didn’t look like a complete fool learning each pose. I liked that the instructor allowed you to keep a basic pose or offered a more advanced pose if you wanted to push yourself. I tried a couple of the more advanced poses. Let’s just say I will be sticking with the basic ones for a while. As the class wore on, sweat was pouring off me. The towel over my mat felt like it had been dunked in water. My shirt also was heavy with sweat. I enjoyed the few breaks where I got to just lay down and relax and zone out. These are called savasana (corpse pose). I like these. I liked them a lot. I finished up the class and poured myself out of the studio.

I felt tired.

I felt good.

I felt accomplished.

I did it. And I think I did pretty well for my first class. I looked at my watch and saw I burned 740 calories for the hour and fifteen minute class. My average heart rate was 117 bpm. I’m not sure what I was expecting from a yoga class. But I wasn’t expecting it to be such a workout. That many calories rivals what I burn in an hour running. The instructor came up afterward and told me I did great for my first class. It seems I had picked one of the hottest spots in the room for my first time. I was soaked from head to toe. And I mean I felt like I had been in a dunk tank. Next time I will bring a much needed change of clothes. I had to take my shirt off to drive home because it was so soaked.

Will I do it again. DEFINITELY!