This past week I was in Phoenix for some photoshoots. While I was in town I stayed with the sis for a night and we had some good girl time that included seeing Bridesmaids (HIGHLY recommend), eating at True Foods and taking a yoga class at The Village.
Some of you know that I used to teach yoga. In fact, I taught for about 4 years. You don't see too many big yoga instructors. We're a lone breed. I haven't taught since we moved to Denver over three years ago and I haven't really been too active in the yoga community in general for the past three years. It's all well and good. I may teach again some day, but right now I'm enjoying being a student.
The only problem is that I really really hate being that out of shape student. I know no one wants to be that girl, but it's totally amplified when you have a teaching certification. It's 100% an ego thing. I recognize this completely, but it doesn't change the fact that I normally go to fairly easy classes just so I don't look like a fool. That is until I took a class I had no control over picking. Enter: the class I went to with Erin in AZ at the Village.
First of all it was in a heated room. Not hot like Bikram style, but pretty warm nonetheless. It was hard. One time in my peak of yoga fitness I took this Bikram Class and about half way through I nearly passed out because I was so hot. I actually had to leave the building to get some fresh cold air and I remember getting that nauseous, room closing in, buzzing sound. It's the sound of all your dignity leaving your body before you hit the pavement and someone is waking you up by slapping your face. I remember exiting the building, sitting on the bench just outside the front door and seeing the sign for the adjacent Sweet Tomatoes restaurant slowly close in on itself. Funny what you remember. Anyways, I didn't pass out, but I WAS.CLOSE! All of this is to say, me and hot yoga don't have a romantic relationship. Whenever I'm in a warm yoga room I get PTSD of the sweet tomatoes sign and my body says NO NO, RUN! You can imagine my initial panic that happened this past weekend. But I ignored it. And I'm glad I did.
I was dripping with sweat pretty much right away. My routine looked a little like this.
Inhale arms overhead
Exhale swan dive down
(wipe the sweat)
Inhale up half way for length
exhale forward fold
(wipe the sweat)
Exhale down dog
(sweat drips off of forehead on to mat)
Proceed 700 more times
Half way through I looked at erin and mouthed the letters O.M.G.
I finished the class though and my skin was glowing for like the next 4 days. It was like I'd been in a full body sauna for an hour and a half. I also realized that I am still capable of doing the hard sweat your ass off classes, and I remembered how much I really enjoy them. Sure, I have to stop and rest, and yes I can not do every single pose...not even close, but I'm there and I'm giving it my best. The ironic thing is that as a teacher I never ever ever ever looked at people who couldn't touch their toes, or do whatever pose was their ultimate challenge in any sort of strange way. I never honestly had any judgemental thoughts of "this person shouldn't be here" or anything else you'd imagine a yoga instructor thinking. Really, I was just glad they showed up...whatever stage they were at. So why would I think anyone else would be judging me? We really are our own worst critics.
So, today I'm taking a hard yoga class, because if I don't push myself no one else will. Unless of course you're going with Erin, then seriously bring like 5 towels is all I'm saying.