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Thread: Hot Yoga

  1. #1
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    Hot Yoga

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    In the spirit of keeping the boards alive I'm posting . Went to a hot yoga class tonight. I haven't been in a very long time, and never got past the beginner stage. I have never been a physically "fit" person. Tonight's class was so, so hard for me, but I'm so proud that I went. I usually back out at the last minute because I psych myself out by thinking that people will be looking at/judging me. I still didn't fit into the class demographic tonight, but right now IDGAF. I'm about to turn 40 and I'm really liking my carefree, not worrying what others think attitude (that I've never experienced before).
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  2. #2
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    IDGAF is a great attitude. It definitely becomes easier as you get older. I am hoping that it is automatic by the time I am 55! For me the hardest parts have been watching my skin change and feeling myself slow down. I look forward to the day that IDGAF when I look in the mirror and see all that sagging, the wrinkling, and those dysfunctional pores!

    Yoga is one of the most underrated cross training exercises. In addition to being relaxing and all that, it can do amazing things for balance and stability because you use all those little muscles that don't otherwise get much love. I am not a fan of hot yoga, but I try to do at least 30 minutes of regular yoga few times a week. I am convinced that it was the conditioning I needed to finally push an injured hamstring into the "healed" category (this was a few years back). I suspect pilates has similar benefit, but I love yoga for the stretching aspect since my flexibility is like that of a breaker bar

    I typically do yoga at home, mostly for $$ reasons (and I can't go for a full 90 minute class--just hurts my back too much). When I have gone to classes, I never felt like anyone cared what anyone else was doing, which I think is due to the mindset of the typical person who does yoga (and the fact that I always go to lower-level classes). It probably varies by studio, too, but I don't have a lot of experience studio-hopping. I love the Yoga Studio app. It was recently purchased by Gaiam, but they did not change the app (which is good--it's perfect in its simplicity).

    Keep at it! WDGAF!!!

  3. #3
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    I am so happy to be going back to my old health club, where they have great yoga classes and, more of them. My balance and strength improved immensely when I was regularly going. And that, only helps my cycling and skiing. I mostly, also have been practicing at home. I did one summer a few years ago, of a yoga/meditation class at a yoga studio. I was leery, but sad when it was over. Then the studio moved, and it's just too far away for me to go there.
    I have never felt judged in a yoga class, but sometimes I get annoyed by the "earthy-crunchy" vibe that is permeating the room. It doesn't always happen, but since you don't have to be like that to like yoga, I try to control my thoughts!
    I am very flexible, but yoga is not always easy for me. My balance has never been good, and that is not a function of getting older; in fact it has improved a lot since I started cycling and and more advanced x country skiing. But doing an extended tree pose pushes me. I will never do hot yoga, though. I get really out of whack from any exercise in the heat, and I imagine that I would be feeling faint and having heart palpitations pretty quickly. I can build up to cycling in the heat, but I'd rather enjoy yoga than subject myself to doing it in the heat.
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  4. #4
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    What is the benefit of doing hot yoga vs comfortable-temperature yoga?

    I also don't like working out in the heat, particularly indoors. I prefer cycling in summer than winter but typically plan routes with enough shade and air conditioned rest stops to keep myself from overheating. But I really wish they would turn the heat down and get rid of the hot overhead lights at my gym in the winter -- it would save them money and be more comfortable.

    On the other topic, we recently had a big meeting at work and as an ice breaker they started by asking us questions like if you could go anywhere on vacation where would it be and what is your favorite spectator sport. People gave some answers and then we voted to see what was most popular. When they asked if you could be any age what would it be, a woman behind me said 40. Two women sitting next to her and I were the only people in the room who voted for that, and we all agreed on how nice it was to NGAF about what people think anymore. By the end of the exercise it was clear that I am a total outlier among my co-workers since I didn't agree with most of the answers they gave to all the questions, but fortunately IDGAF.

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  5. #5
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    At the couple of yoga studios I've practiced at, I can tell you that no one is paying attention to you or judging you...I promise. If they are, then they're not paying attention to what they should be: their breath, coordinating breath with movement, and their own form. I have enough to concentrate on than to look at what anyone else is doing! Plus, in many cases your drishdi (probably spelled wrong, but means gaze) is supposed to be towards the floor or kept very dim (lids partially closed) so you literally can't see anyone but yourself!

    I think the idea behind hot yoga is that it keeps your muscles and joints very warm for flexibility. The practice I go to here in Mexico is not Bikram, but it's in a studio without A/C or even a fan, in a hot climate, so it is essentially that. Most days I sweat like crazy. I have a towel on top of my mat so I won't slide around, and it is totally damp at the end of the practice, along with my clothes, hair, etc. During the more active parts of the 90 minute practice, I am dripping sweat and wiping it off my face (and sometimes arms and legs) with a bandanna frequently. I really don't enjoy this part of yoga and would much rather practice in a cooler room, but I love the instructor and location (easy walk for me), so I keep going.

    As far as demographics, as a 54-year old American in a class full of 20-30 something Latinas and Europeans, conducted in Spanish, I am completely, totally off-the-charts "different", but I am definitely at the age if IDGAF! I'm doing it for me, not for anyone else.

    Good for you for going, VBC. And ny biker, I think if I could pick any age to be at this moment, 40 would be great! I had no idea how "young" I was then. Like yellow mentioned, I look at my wrinkles, sagging skin, and see how much more injury-prone I seem to be now and realize how wonderful my 40s really were now that I'm in my 50s!
    Emily

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  6. #6
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    At 40 I was just starting my downhill slide into pre-menopausal overweight and getting burned out on exercise. At 45 I was 20 pounds overweight and being told to "accept it." Well. I did not. I don't want to be what I was at 35, which was looking like a skeleton, but I think if I had to pick my favorite age, it would be 50. I still feel that I am in better shape now, at just about 62, than I was at 40. Maybe my face looked a little younger at 40 or 45, but not by much. I hate looking at pictures of myself from that decade. I lost the same ten pounds for both of kids' Bar Mitzvahs and the first one's HS grad. I had started cycling about 7 months before his graduation. By the time the second graduated from HS, I was pretty much in the shape I am in now, at 49, almost 50.
    And, I have always subscribed to the IDGAF philosophy. It's just easier to do this as you age!
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  7. #7
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    I wish there was a good studio closer to me. My favorite studio had to close its doors this spring and the amazing teacher left town. I've been doing videos reasonably regularly, there are some really good teachers on YogaGlo, but I need instruction at least once in a while.

    I've never done hot yoga. I haven't heard much good about it, either, frankly. A warm environment is good for injury prevention (my teacher always said 85F is ideal and that it isn't safe to do hot yoga more than occasionally). But if you like it, go for it!
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crankin View Post
    At 40 I was just starting my downhill slide into pre-menopausal overweight and getting burned out on exercise. At 45 I was 20 pounds overweight and being told to "accept it." Well. I did not. I don't want to be what I was at 35, which was looking like a skeleton, but I think if I had to pick my favorite age, it would be 50. I still feel that I am in better shape now, at just about 62, than I was at 40. Maybe my face looked a little younger at 40 or 45, but not by much. I hate looking at pictures of myself from that decade. I lost the same ten pounds for both of kids' Bar Mitzvahs and the first one's HS grad. I had started cycling about 7 months before his graduation. By the time the second graduated from HS, I was pretty much in the shape I am in now, at 49, almost 50.
    And, I have always subscribed to the IDGAF philosophy. It's just easier to do this as you age!
    LOL, I like that!

    I guess we've all had our ups and downs. In my case, I gradually gained weight in my 30s as we got busy with house stuff, and I didn't cycle or anything else as much as I should have. Sometime during the year I was 39, I remember making a vow to myself that I would not be "fat and 40", so I joined a gym and started eating low-carb. (I was a bit ahead of my time on that one; everyone thought I was crazy, but it worked!) By age 40 or 41, I'd lost 15 lbs, bought an entirely new "chic" wardrobe and was fit and healthy. I started cycling a lot more around age 42 and loved it; got stronger and faster. Since I had my serious cycling accident at age 44 and fractured my pelvis, ten years ago now, I've had more physical issues related to that. So my best years physically were from ages 40-43, I'd have to say.

    I did have a really good year in 2014 (age 53) with 7500 miles ridden and got to my lowest adult weight without even trying (and eating a ton!) but I had more aches and pains than when I was younger, which is I guess to be expected. 2015 so far has not been a good one physically for a variety of reasons (some I documented in "Thread Drift"), and that of course affects my mental state.
    Emily

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  9. #9
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    Emily, I also have more physical issues, too, mostly from the unnamed autoimmune stuff I have. But, I figure what I do, is more than what 98% percent of the people do. My SI joint aches most of the time, and I am always addressing that with stretching, heat, etc. Hoping more yoga will help, too. I am sick of Walter, my PT, and haven't seen him since May. I started aching Monday night, sinuses, eyes itchy, etc. I should not have ridden yesterday, but I did. This morning I felt awful, but I got out there for 11 miles and then went on a 3 mile strenuous hike with a friend. I should probably rest a little more, but I know these things go in phases for me, so I would rather ride less, than not ride, since eventually, the snow will come... but I still feel like I am better shape than at 45 or so.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crankin View Post
    Emily, I also have more physical issues, too, mostly from the unnamed autoimmune stuff I have. But, I figure what I do, is more than what 98% percent of the people do. My SI joint aches most of the time, and I am always addressing that with stretching, heat, etc. Hoping more yoga will help, too. I am sick of Walter, my PT, and haven't seen him since May. I started aching Monday night, sinuses, eyes itchy, etc. I should not have ridden yesterday, but I did. This morning I felt awful, but I got out there for 11 miles and then went on a 3 mile strenuous hike with a friend. I should probably rest a little more, but I know these things go in phases for me, so I would rather ride less, than not ride, since eventually, the snow will come... but I still feel like I am better shape than at 45 or so.
    You're certainly right that you do more than 98% of people -- in any age range!

    Your SI joint sounds like my back, which is perpetually achy. Sometimes I wonder if yoga is making it worse, not better, but I won't know without stopping yoga for a good amount of time to see if it "heals", and I'm not willing to do that just now, since I do appreciate the increased flexibility and strength I get from the practice. But it's a fairly advanced practice (or seems like it to me), and I'm older than anyone else, so I wonder if it's just a bit too intense for my back.

    Sorry you're feeling kinda bad...I am with you that it's hard to take time off. I get very itchy if I don't get my workouts in!
    Emily

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  11. #11
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    YEA! A yoga thread. I have wanted to start one, but well, you know....

    I have practiced on and off for years, and about a year ago we decided to stop swimming for a while and I got serious about it. Now I practice 3-4 times a week. Three times at my studio that offers both hot and cool classes. They have two dedicated rooms. They offer a wide variety from Hot Power Vinyassa to Cool restorative.

    I have to say it has changed my life in all aspects. Aside from improving my running and cycling, all my niggles are gone and I feel more focused and positive.

    I have NEVER felt judged at my studio. I could very likely practice between one of my current high school students and a 70 year old that can throw a side crow like nobody's business. The instructors are hands on and SO supportive. They know us all by name, and every Thursday they have free community classes. In the summer we had classes and workshops outside with food and music. It is awesome. I love the sense of community with the other members.

    It is not cheap, but when I look at the ROI, it is so worth it. Not to mention what it has done for my body as far as muscle definition!

    So yea for yoga and namaste to all of you!!!

    Oh and as far as age, I am 54, and in better shape than ever. Like Yellow, not thrilled about the skin changes, but I think a woman that feels beautiful is beautiful at any age, so I am sticking with that. I think I would not go back more than five years, maybe to get a little of my t op end speed back, but other than that...happy to be where I am.

  12. #12
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    Emily, I am trying to just deal with it. We just planned our vacation for next summer, which will be a family vacation, with both sons and DILs, AND a visit from my former exchange student, his wife, and new baby! We are renting a house on the beach in Morro Bay, CA, so I don't have the pressure of getting ready for a trip with mountain passes! There is plenty of hiking around there, and we could always rent bikes, but I am glad to be focusing on local stuff this year. We will do our trip to the Berkshires, before we go to CA, so that is plenty of hills for me.
    Going to yoga at the new club tomorrow.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by rocknrollgirl View Post
    ....Oh and as far as age, I am 54, and in better shape than ever. Like Yellow, not thrilled about the skin changes, but I think a woman that feels beautiful is beautiful at any age, so I am sticking with that. I think I would not go back more than five years, maybe to get a little of my t op end speed back, but other than that...happy to be where I am.
    That's great RnR! I have been doing yoga on and off for several years, but usually more in the 1-2 x a week range, and then weeks/months at a time with none when life intervenes or we're too busy traveling. I have read and heard that to achieve real gains, you really need to up it to a minimum of 3x a week and stick with it, none of this taking months off at a time like I've done. Kinda like cycling, eh?

    I practiced twice a week for five months here last winter/spring and did make gains, but I am making more strides now that I've been going 3x a week since the first week in August. I was SO sore at first and felt like I was starting all over again. If I can keep it up and not get sidelined by injuries/illness, I can see that my strength, flexibility, and hopefully balance (one my biggest challenges) will improve further.

    I found myself nodding when you mentioned the 70 year old woman and the side crow as where I practiced in Belize, there was a 72-year old tiny lady who was AMAZING. She could do many, many things I couldn't, including a beautiful side crow, and sneaking peaks at her only proved to me that age is only a number. With yoga just like cycling, running, and many other disciplines, consistency and time are key.

    You are the exact same age as me, so you give me hope!
    Emily

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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crankin View Post
    Emily, I am trying to just deal with it. We just planned our vacation for next summer, which will be a family vacation, with both sons and DILs, AND a visit from my former exchange student, his wife, and new baby! We are renting a house on the beach in Morro Bay, CA, so I don't have the pressure of getting ready for a trip with mountain passes! There is plenty of hiking around there, and we could always rent bikes, but I am glad to be focusing on local stuff this year. We will do our trip to the Berkshires, before we go to CA, so that is plenty of hills for me.
    Going to yoga at the new club tomorrow.
    Sounds like a fun family trip, Crankin!

    You'll have to update us re. the yoga practice. Hope it goes well!
    Emily

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  15. #15
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    Emily,
    It is funny, I can do all the hard stuff like crow, and side crow and all the koudinyasanas, strength is not my issue. I am SO tight in my hips and hamstrings. Partly genetic and partly from running and cycling. So the 85 degree classes really help with my flexibility.

    So like sitting in staff pose, awful. Sitting with a wide leg straddle awful. Chataranga....easy peasy.

 

 

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