Woke up this morning very excited for my Hot Vinyasa class at Sun Dog Yoga! Though I was also a little apprehensive.
I’ve never taken an actual Bikram or Hot Yoga class before, but in late August, at Yoga Vermont, it was in the high nineties in the studio, due to a late-summer heat wave. The studio is on the 4th floor of an old building, without air conditioning, and just 3 small awning windows. Balmy. Regular Vinyasa classes unintentionally turned into Hot Yoga sessions, and I sweat like a beast as my mat turned into a Slippin Slide. I hate the warm weather to begin with, and I often felt lightheaded and weak doing the challenging Asanas in the sweltering heat. Cold showers never felt so good.
But I have to be honest, I was thankful for the hot classes because they were efficient. I sweat more in those classes than I ever had during yoga, and I felt like my muscles were melting into the poses. After one class, I would feel as limber as though I’d been practicing all day long! It really did wonders for opening my body. And I was very focused…….on not fainting 😉
So this morning, I got myself prepared. I got up an hour before class, got into my favorite yoga outfit (I was saving it all week for the special occasion), and had a good breakfast. Technically, whoever sets the many rules of yoga, you are supposed to refrain from eating within 2 hours before practicing, so I usually don’t eat breakfast before going to a morning class (and frankly, it’s just silly to wake up two hours before a 9am yoga class on a Saturday!!!) I admit, this is probably not a good idear on any day. So I figured I’d better fuel up this morning for the 1 hour and 15 minutes of Hot Vinyasa.
I had one whole, glorious grapefruit ❤
It was delicious! When I am expecting to sweat so much, I try and eat something with a high water content to try and nip dehydration in the bud. Of course, I also guzzled a huge glass of water. Since citrus can be hard on an empty stomach (hello, drinking straight acid!), and I figured I should have something else a little more substantial in my belly, I had a granola bar. A very cheap breakfast! Just one, big-ass grapefruit is actually pretty filling since it has a lot of fiber and H2O. And if you buy granola bars in bulk (like at Costco) they are a very affordable meal replacement. Buy ones high in fiber and protein to get the most bang for your buck (think Nature Valley instead of Special K).
Pretty soon I was on my way! The drive over was very cold so I was excited to get into that sauna of a studio! I got a godsend of a parking spot, checked in with my last free pass (thanks Mommy!), and settled in to my favorite spot, right by the window :). It was indeed very cozy inside, but I was surprised because the heat did not feel as oppressive as it did in my classes in August. I guess a hot yoga studio feels a lot different when you are living in a non-air conditioned dorm room in a heat wave in August than it does when you have had a snowstorm per week all winter long and a very chilly car ride to class. Needless to say, it felt very pleasant indeed!
The class was more than tolerable, it was very enjoyable! It warmed my body to the core, and I quickly eased into each posture, without the wooziness that I had experienced before. Hot yoga classes are funny because they are so much easier than a regular Vinyasa class in some ways, but a heck of a lot harder in others. The heat makes the transition between postures (especially those freaking Sun Salutations!) a lot more work. I sweat A LOT, but the more you sweat, the more you get!
Cranking up the heat definitely intensifies the class. It really improves the workout in every way since your body opens up more easily and you are working harder to get through each series of poses. So, as long as you are staying hydrated, a Hot Vinyasa class is probably the healthiest yoga class you can do to. If you are going to spend money on yoga classes, I would suggest Hot Yoga (or Bikram Yoga) about once a week. You are guaranteed to sweat out tons of toxins, work those muscles HARD, limber up–fast, and completely relax, all in just one class.
But the best part of a tough workout?…….
My post-Vinyasa fuel! When I got home, I made myself a banana with nut butters. So healthy and comforting. I used Trader Joe’s Almond Butter
and The Nutty Vermonter Maple & Cinnamon Triple Nut Butter.
YOU MUST GET YOUR HAND ON THESE NUT BUTTERS!!! I’m pretty sure that this is what the ponds in heaven will be filled with:
That’s the Triple Nut Butter of course. It’s made with almonds, cashews, and pecans. It’s all natural, free trade, and made locally (in VT, lol). I buy this nut butter straight from the nutty Vermonter herself at the Burlington Farmer’s Market, which is the most affordable place to get it. It’s pricey, but it is an indulgence, so you deserve it! I used to eat a spoonful as dessert in my dorm room. That way, it lasts a while (if you have the self control to stick to one spoonful per night, lol). Plus, it makes a great gift (Hello, Christmas gift to my mom!). Yumsters!