One year ago in the hectic city named Ho Chi Minh City in Southern Vietnam I discovered Yoga and what a difference it makes to your life. Both Vietnam and Yoga are now very important parts of my life. Click here if you want to read about how I started my path with Yoga in Vietnam. It has now been 3 months since I left Vietnam and I miss it quite terribly. Actually, 3 months right on the day. Wow.
I am now in Calgary, Canada. For my comeback to Yoga I chose to go with ‘Soul Hot Yoga’ right by Deerfoot Trail on 126th Ave, Calgary. I did a few regular Yoga classes in Vancouver but I was definitely missing the heat. I was more than happy to discover that I am surrounded by Hot Yoga studios in South Calgary and that they offer a 40$ unlimited trial for a month. So… why not make the most out of it, make it a challenge, go 30 times, every day for a month? See what it actually does to my body and mind.
As Hot Yoga is super popular in North America I thought this would be something interesting for a lot of people to follow. How will she feel after the classes? Which class has which effect? Which muscles will hurt afterwards? Will she make it? Does the heat actually make you loose more weight than regular Yoga classes? Are you able to burn up to a thousand calories per class, as the rumors say? Does the heat make it easier for you to stretch? If you google those questions you will get all kinds of results. So I want to give you the chance to actually follow me through my challenge, I will even weigh in and share it with you because well, I don’t give a shit ;). I’ve always weighed about the same, 55kg +/-. As right now, 1 day before I start my challenge, I am in the + section, 57,5kg (127 creepy pounds), I wouldn’t mind loosing some of that during the challenge. But it is not the point. I’m curious. I wanna test the rumors and really get to the bottom of that blazing topic of ‘Hot Hot Yoga’ . If you are too, well here we go! Day 1 will start with a class that is called ‘Power Vinyasa Flow’ at around 30°C. I want to take it easy for at least the first two classes before I actually enter the hot room and ‘Soul Hot Yoga’ offers a couple of warm classes for explorers.
Updates & Progress
- UPDATE DAY 8: I am down a pound, almost two, after the first week. That is not much could as well just be a good day to jump on the scale ;-). But we will see how it continues!
- UPDATE DAY 15: Those hamstrings are slowly loosening up. I can’t believe it. Generally, I feel the strength building up in my body! The strength to focus on my breath, controlling it, keeping my legs and core strong to work with the poses. And..slowly but surely, I am able to get out of my head and thoughts. This is just wonderful.
- UPDATE DAY 18: Hi there hips. Hello almost split.
- Beginning of 4th week: Challenge had to be interrupted for a trip to Vancouver!
- Towards the end, awareness Day/ Practice 19: My body is in the right place. It flows with Yoga and it ‘talks’ to me. It is showing me what it needs, what would feel good right now, and what is too much. I distinguished and perceived this mostly by being guided into a pose first by the instructor, which I would modify then by listening to my body. It might just be bending the head in another way, rearrange an arm or a leg, and then later on the instructor would share modifications for the post with us and enlightening enough, my body knows what’s good for it! My body is getting to know Yoga! I am getting to know my body! Super. Just Zupa.
Day 19: Warm Explore
7.30 – 8.45 PM
I had to interrupt my continuous practice for a trip to Vancouver and I couldn’t wait to get back to it tonight. It was so awesome. Cheryl turned out being a wonderful instructor, I liked the choices of poses she set up and decided to follow each other, her instructions on breathing, smiling in the mirror, her words and choice of music. At the beginning of our practice she told us to think about on thing, one thing that made us come to class, something we would like to achieve and somehow the word ‘Forgiveness‘ was the one popping up in my brain. I really have no idea why and I tried to think about it. Do I have to forgive anyone? Maybe even myself? Forgive little faults I might have made and stop chasing prior conversations and behavior of mine, accepting myself and others around me, follow desires and accept and acknowledge the possible and the impossible. Listen to my body and mind, just as you have to do in Yoga.
If you force yourself into it (whatever it might be) it’s gonna be bad right away, or you are going to feel it later. Just forgive your hamstrings about not opening up yet. Forgive your hips if they are feeling a little stiff this day. And embrace them and cheer for them if they feel awesome the other day. Every day is different but we can make the best out of it.
I found out some ways to leave my annoying thoughts about cabbages, kings & everything under the sun and relax and find myself nowhere but in this room and in the pose. It helps you a lot to focus on your breath and ease into a pose, instead of feeling pain and feeling too weak to hold it. You are always stronger than you are, the problem is just that you think the opposite. My help turns out being nature. Which is an incredible insight. The first time, the first ‘help’ that I found was imagining dancing leaves in a forest, dancing with the music which is playing. Now it is all kinds of things, snow landing on my warm skin and melting, me melting deep into a thick layer of cold snow, clouds passing by through the sky, a sunset or a sunrise. All that distracts me from which seems impossible to let go of. Is nature my element? It seems like. I feel like I need to be more active with it, be outside more to give my soul what it wants.
I am not regretting that break too much, I have to admit. I did feel a little weak from time to time, doing one class after the other on top of exhausting work shifts. And I don’t really want Yoga to feel like pressure just because I set up a challenge. Also, I was facing what every female has to face once per month, and some experts say we should back up during our period. I wanted to know more about it and found this short article right here helpful and it makes sense enough to believe it and go with this advice next time. Which will be next month I guess! Haha, so funny tonight….! As every day, every evening, every practice is different, your body is different every day, every cycle turns out to be different to. So don’t feel like you’re being forced into resigning from your practice when life’s shitty already! Instead, listen to your body and decide. If you’re feeling lazy and weak or are in actual physical pain, grab a book and drink tea. If you’re just feeling a little out of energy and are facing some headaches, attend some of the restorative classes. If you’re just feeling like you’re damn awesome, go and do whatever you want!
Sounds good, right?!
Copyright for ‘Smile’ Picture: Rebechan