It started with wine and ended with hot yoga.
Last fall, I attended a wine tasting event for my son’s school. It was my good deed but even while drinking wine, I managed to keep my head on straight for the silent auction. I dabbled with certain items but then zoned in on a one-week day camp for my son. I monitored the list and waited for the auction to be over.
Voila! I was the proud owner of the day camp certificate. A week later, I received a call from the organizer saying that I had also bid (and won) the hot yoga certificate. It was for two weeks at Moksha Yoga Bedford – a yoga studio that I had seen many times on my way home from the drug store.
Seen but never entered. Driven by but never stopped in.
Yoga is not for me, I thought. I don’t have the body, agility, or time to do yoga.
I began thinking of whom I could pawn it off on (I mean gift it to). Not one person came to mind. The friend I offered it to said hot yoga was not for her. Everyone else lived too far or would likely refuse it.
I then realized my need to get my money’s worth out of the certificate outweighed my fear of actually doing yoga. The one time in my life, I thought, that my frugality may be a bad thing.
At first, I delayed going until during, then after, the holidays. Then, I got sick, so I delayed some more.
Finally, after weeks of carrying that gift card in my wallet, I gathered up my courage and walked in for a tour. Thinking back this seems silly. After all, it was neither a job interview nor a doctor’s appointment. The thought of wearing spandex and going barefoot into a hot room in an effort to relax and get in shape seemed counter-intuitive.
I went in. Everyone was so nice. The tour was great. I honestly couldn’t wait to try the shower with its lovely smelling products.
My first time was yoga with music, which I can honestly say I prefer to other classes. I was new to yoga, overweight and out of shape. The mirrors were enormous! Everyone seemed to have nicer exercise clothes, pedicures, and experience. I walked in, pretended I knew what I was doing, and got through my first class. Then my second. And my third. OK, I think I’m hooked.
My favourite part of yoga? The moment that cold facecloth hits your forehead at the end of class. I don’t know if this is typical of hot yoga or a nice perk the studio does but it’s a real treat. You have put in the effort; you’re sweaty and hot. In those few moments before that facecloth itself gets hot; you have a brief and cool reward for the last 60 minutes of sweat.
Part of the reason for my newfound love for hot yoga is my instructor Laura. She is both helpful and cheerful. She has guided me through moves and recognized my return each time with a great smile.
Hot yoga may not be the bravest thing I’ve ever done nor the most painful, but trying something new and going outside my comfort level has been a great experience for me. Try as I might, I still don’t always breathe right (or breathe at all!), remove the outside world distractions from my thoughts or relax, but I am getting better. Today I only drummed my fingers to the music for a few moments before I stopped myself. That’s progress, right?
And those showers I mentioned at the beginning? They are worth the work. If the thought of a nice shower and a friendly face gets me to class, I’ll take it. And if this helps me feel better and be healthier, so be it.