Sometimes fitness can be all about assessing where you are physically. I typically always looked at fitness in 2 dimensions, Strength and Cardio. I would say most people look at it similarly. I go to the gym regularly and I run on the treadmill or use the elliptical or stationary bike and then follow it up with lifting weights. After my 20’s I added the obligatory stretch session before getting started, but my motivation was always to get it done quickly so I could get to lifting heavy stuff! What can I say, typical guy! Recently I have noticed that in my 40’s, flexibility has become a real challenge. Tightness in the hips, shoulders, the sore lower back…..all those “signs of aging”. I decided to do a little homework on what I could do that would really help me to improve in this new 3rd dimension of fitness that I wanted to focus on. Based upon a lot of online reviews and some friends input, I think I have found the answer!
That’s right, hot yoga! I have never taken a yoga class in my life and I may have walked in with some serious assumptions about what I was getting myself into, but I thought it was a worth a shot. Twisted is a local studio I was able to find and they have a great class offering for a beginner like me. To set the stage, hot yoga is some of your typical movements, but done as the name implies in a very hot room. This studio keeps the room around 99 degrees and about 45% humidity. I didn’t think I was a sweaty person, but take my word for it, it was dripping off of me throughout this class. While I was trying to follow and learn the poses I found myself worrying about how much I was sweating in front of all of these strangers, but after about 30 mins I think I finally stopped caring and just got into it. The instructor was fantastic, speaking very motivationally, while relaxing at the same time. For someone brand new like me, having her display the poses was a huge help as well.
After one visit I am sure I will be attending more. My thought right now is to try to attend twice per week as I feel my flexibility is probably the weakest area in my 3 dimensions. After class instead of feeling sore or drained I felt refreshed and alive. Trust me, once you get past thinking about how much you are sweating it becomes very enjoyable and feels great. I felt much more limber afterward and hope it just continues to improve from here. Plus there’s all the other benefits such as improved core strength and balance. If you are looking for something new to work into your fitness regiment, I would highly suggest giving hot yoga a try….it just might surprise you like it did me.