I am always aiming to be more zen. When I want to rip into our neighbor after the tenth scrape of his chair across the kitchen floor (who sits down and gets up so often in a span of 20 minutes? As a concerned neighbor, I think he should see someone about that). When the driver in front of me is deliberately driving under the speed limit, like they are purposely trying to hold me up. When my boyfriend eats my last Skinny Cow salted caramel diet bar (the only thing I look forward to some days). When I’m asked the same questions over and over and over all day long, and then, “What should we eat for dinner?”, when I get home. I need more zen in my life. It’s certain. Coincidentally, I also need more fitness in my life, so yoga it is.
My friend and coworker, Amy and I purchased Groupons for The Studio in Midtown. We decided that last Thursday would be the day to start. The only class we could both attend was Heated Vinyasa. If that didn’t terrify me enough, Katie, another friend and coworker, thought Thursday would be a fine day to start a squat and plank challenge. I would just like to go on record stating that whomever makes a squat challenge with 50 squats on Day 1, does not, in fact, need to do a squat challenge, and therefore does not know how many squats the layperson can actually do right out the gate.
Immediately following our 50 squat nightmare, my students came in for the start of their day. I was sweating and could hardly catch my breath. I was asked six times if I was alright by my concerned 3rd graders. Then, upon sitting down to take roll, my leg gave out and I almost fell on the floor. I’m just glad my students are still super innocent, or it could have appeared I was drunk. I’m honestly gonna give it my all with this squatting business, but the last day requires 250 squats. I wonder if I could get a good deal on wheelchairs on Amazon?
Because I’m a masochist, I actually didn’t bail on Amy and our yoga date. Throughout the day, we stole glances at each other that communicated, “Do you really want to do this? Should we go get Cold Stone instead?”, but not an actual word of protest was uttered, so we both found ourselves removing our shoes upon entering The Studio, and wondering how gross the floor might be.
Heated Vinyasa yoga is a type of yoga that connects breath with movement in a room heated to 95 degrees. Basically, heated Vinyasa means sweating your balls off while you ignore the fact you have done so, because you must always concentrate on your breath during movement. I cannot do this. I can either breathe or move, not both, especially when I’m sweating from places I did not know existed.
It should also be known that this heated room will stink. Like so, so bad. So bad. I kept smelling a horrible stench that I thought had to be the men in the room; I couldn’t possibly smell like that. Well, during a stretch that brought me too close to my feet, I discovered the smell was, in fact, me. It was my sweat. It was the stank of my feet because I wore my Toms all day. It was the smell coming from crevices that aren’t usually sweaty. It was ME. That was a very humbling moment.
The stretches spanned from beginner (I felt like a total pro when I was able to meet my knee with my elbow) to Never In My Life Will I Bend That Way. When your ankles are sweating, they are kind of hard to grab. Finally, those sweet words, “One more set and we will move into our floor series” were uttered. I love horizontal fitness! New to yoga, but not to Pilates, I’ve always been a huge fan of any exercise that is spent, for the most part, on the floor. Can it get any better for an über lazy person?
It was during the floor series that I came up close and personal with my neighbor’s sweaty taint. There really ought to be a proximity rule in yoga. If I can taste your balls, you’re too close. I felt mildly violated, so I got into child’s pose and thought only of happy things.
Despite the high temps and the fact that the sweat coming off of everyone’s body seemed to hang in the air, my first heated yoga experience was pretty positive. The Studio is clean, welcoming, and close to home. Amy and I both agreed that we got a positive vibe, and we will be back this week.
The thing I know I need to work on the most is my “ohm”. I have always had a hard time with the “ohm”. I get the giggles big time, because everyone is so serious and their “ohm” sounds so zen, while I just sound like a gutted pig. I doubt I’ll actually practice this guttural yoga staple, but maybe I’ll just mouth it next time.
Here’s to being zen. Maybe soon, I won’t care about everyone who annoys me, because I will be a calm yoga person, the kind who can say ‘Namaste’ seriously. Someone who has more peace and joy. Here’s hoping I can become a ‘yoga person’.
If you want to read more about my experience and my review of The Studio, you can find me on Yelp. I’m Katie “Eh” P. I can’t figure out how to change that, or how or why I’m “eh”…