I have a confession to make. I am one of those women you see at the gym who reads magazines on the cardio equipment. I have another confession. I feel superior to other women who read magazines on the cardio equipment, because I am working on level 20 while they are usually on level 4 or 7.
I don’t necessarily think that I am a better person, just that I am getting a better workout. And something I have discovered about reading while working out, is that once in a while I am endowed with a true ‘ah-hah’ moment.
These are rare while I am reading Hollywood gossip, and really I only read those magazines for the pictures, not the articles. Sometimes, though, someone leaves an Oprah, or a MORE magazine at the gym and I end up reading something that actually changes me a little. I return home with a renewed sense of purpose, an inspiration or a fresh perspective.
It was one of these moments that led me to hot yoga. I was deep in the heart of an Oprah magazine. “’Adventure’ doesn’t have to mean trekking through the jungle or bungee-jumping. Being adventurous is to deliberately move outside of your comfort zone,” I read, heart-pounding, face red, and sweat pouring.
That night my girlfriend, Carlie, sent me a text. The week before we had talked about how she did hot yoga, and how I wanted to try it. This was the moment of truth, my moment to be adventurous. “6 tomorrow morning. Meet you there?” I replied, “Sure!” before I could talk myself out of it.
So, I took my nearly 41-year-old tight hamstrings to hot yoga.
I loved it. I loved being hot. I loved stretching myself – both literally and figuratively. I enjoyed the low candle light and the relaxing, but very hip music (nary a whale call or a raindrop to be heard). I thoroughly enjoyed a rhythmic and strengthening hour of Vinyasa.
Allow me to interject with the brief (and sporadic) history of “Sandy and Yoga”.
- I can’t remember when I did my first class. It was the 90s.
- I had a crush on a beautiful, sexually-ambiguous Eurasian yoga instructor in Sydney, so I attended his classes each week for a whole month.
- I do a series of sun salutations before I fly.
- I lived with a yoga instructor, who chided me about doing weights and running, until I did a perfect jump-back from Crow to Plank, which finally shut her up.
- I fell in love with ‘Body Balance’ classes, which combined yoga, Tai Chi and Pilates choreographed to music. Those fed my body and my attention-span-of-a-two-year-old mind, but I moved to America where there are no Body Balance classes.
- I did no yoga for 18 months, and became stiff and sore more frequently than stretching at the gym could combat.
- I tried hot yoga and signed up for two months unlimited attendance.
- I go here three times a week and I feel great.
Thank you, Carlie, for leading me on a new adventure.
I do sometimes question if I love the yoga, or the fact that it is hot in the studio. Living in Seattle, I am rarely hot. Showers are hot, of course, but I mean with my clothes on. Most of the time I am focusing on ‘not being cold’, so the yoga studio offers welcome relief. Still, hot yoga is something I have always wanted to try, but never did ‘til now.
That makes it my adventure du jour. Next is participating in a flash mob…