Last week I was lucky enough to attend a hot vinyasa yoga class with a friend of mine as part of the studio's bring a friend week. I ended up going to 5 classes throughout the week.When I arrived Monday morning I didn't know that it was a hot yoga class but figured what the heck and tried anyway. I've done yoga before but not like this. I normally go to the classes offered at the local YMCA over the summer which are primarily stretching based classes. I have taken a few vinyasa classes on campus so I knew a little of what I was getting myself into.
The studio was super cute and colorful which was a nice change from the YMCA. Within a few minutes of walking into the room I was already sweating and starting to get pretty nervous. Monday's class was the closest to cardio I've ever come in a yoga class. I was barely in one pose before moving to the next. The first 30ish minutes of the class were spent doing sun salutation variations, meaning on Tuesday my arms were completely dead. The class was far more challenging than I was anticipating but I actually really loved it.
As expected, my arms felt like bricks on Tuesday. I was a little nervous about going to Wednesday's class given how sore I still was but I wanted to take advantage of the free class. For maybe the first half my arms were pretty useless but somewhere along the way they stopped being sore. Wednesday's class wasn't as fast paced but still pretty quick. I was expecting to be sore on Thursday but surprisingly wasn't.
The rest of the classes went really well with not much to note so I thought I'd mention a few things I discovered during the week I spent 8 hours doing yoga.
Every instructor is different. I went to 6 classes and each class had a different instructor. While the layout of each class was the same so much was different. The speed of the flow, poses, inversions, and even the way they tell you what to do is different. While Monday's class was fairly fast for me, I found after taking some slower classes that I actually really liked the speed. By moving so quickly I didn't have any time to think. At the end of class I was shocked that for just about the entire 75 minutes all I thought about was that class and what I was doing.
I had trouble zoning out during savasana. Normally I am able to quiet my mind and end up in a sleep-like state. It could be that I have a lot on my mind given everything that's happened but I just couldn't get to that place. I did welcome the few minutes of complete silence though.
We don't unplug enough. I am constantly glued to my computer or my phone for one reason or another. Sometimes it's necessary (for school) but mostly I like to read articles and interact on social media. I'm not saying I'm going to give up technology but I do think there is some value in taking some time each day to be completely unplugged. Even running doesn't make me feel unplugged because I bring my phone with me for safety reasons. No matter how much I want to I cannot check my phone during the middle of yoga class. I feel disconnected but in a good way. Like I am taking the time to completely focus on myself with no distractions. It's actually a really good feeling. You should try it.
My triceps, shoulders and feet were the most sore. The few times I've done vinyasa yoga I was sore for 1-2 days afterwards and normally my legs are the most sore. After Monday's class my triceps and shoulders were on fire. Like my arms got tired carrying my textbooks tired. I knew I was out of shape, especially strength-wise but I was really surprised how sore I was. Something else I was not expecting was that my feet were getting sore/tired during some of the balancing poses. On Friday we did a sequence where we started in eagle, went into airplane and then into half moon. By the time we got to half moon my feet were burning. I guess this means I need to strengthen my feet more?
A cold eye towel during savasana is amazing. This was my first time experiencing this and I think it was because it was during a hot yoga class but as we were finishing our last poses the instructor placed a cold damp washcloth next to your mat. It was meant to be an eye towel but some people put it on their foreheads, neck or chest. I can't tell you how good it felt after being hot ans sweaty for 75 minutes.