In an effort to curb our three-thirtyitis (you know, that routine fatigue that appears after lunch – some might call it a “food coma”), three adventurous Soldgers (myself included) decided to try hot yoga. We figured it’s proven exercise improves your mood, helps to stimulate the mind and boosts immunity, so how bad can it be? Plus,, nine of us really having done yoga before, we just assumed we could take a time out and lie peacefully on a mat and meditate (albeit in a heated room).
Let me tell you – it was not that peaceful! The room was a very toasty 40 degrees and the instructor was overly energetic, repeatedly contorting us into unnatural poses. I think we spent a third of the class in tears (laughter or pain – you can decide!) And it’s HOT – it’s borderline unbearably hot. I feel like I lose at least 5L of water. OK that’s an exaggeration. But it is worse than the image below!
So why are we going back? Or why do yoga in the first place?
The benefits are quite compelling – the combination of postures, stretches and breathing exercises is supposedly fantastic at stretching, detoxifying, se-stressing, toning, and healing chronic pains like arthritis, joint aches, knee injuries, back problems and so on. The heat is supposed to assist you in fulfilling each pose by warming up your muscles.
Additionally, the instructors rarely demonstrate the poses they expect you to perform. .Rather, they talk you through it, forcing you to focus – free your mind and really listen to the words and the proper method of breathing. It also helps you concentrate, which can be difficult with some of the crazy balancing poses!
After each class we’ve felt clear-headed and refreshed and even slightly more flexible (after the pain wears away, that is!)
So even though we whinge about going, and roll our eyes at how it takes up our entire lunch break, I actually think it’s helping us become more zen. Also – i think we’re becoming more conscious of what we eat – one of my colleagues admitted to switching to FRUIT for dessert instead of her usual savoury snacks (and midnight 2-minute noodle runs!)
We’re thinking of taking up membership… stay tuned ☺