The Moderately Warm Room

Vinyasa yoga was supposed to be easy. The room is only heated to 85 degrees and the class is a mere 75 minutes, as compared to the 105 degree, 90 minute Bikram practice that I’ve become accustomed to. I wore tiny little Bikram clothes even though I was fully aware that in the Vinyasa world it’s more customary to don a capri legging or a yoga pant. (As a post 30-day challenge yoga aficionado, I’ve decided that I should give those around me ample opportunity to admire my spectacular yoga physique.) I brought a towel, but only as a formality really. I figured the Vinyasa practice would be a leisurely walk in the park, a light jog in comparison to the miles of sprints I’d been doing for the past month. And so I entered the hot room (or as I referred to it in my head, the moderately warm room) with far more confidence than I deserved to have.

You see, before this whole project, I dabbled in the art of Vinyasa yoga. More than dabbled, actually, I bought a 3-month membership at the yoga studio just down the street from my dorm ($25 a month for students, hello steal). I went 3-4 times a week for the better part of those three months, and by the end, I felt pretty confident in my yoga skills. (If I had known the term “yogini” then, I definitely would have worked it into casual conversation with new people I met at parties.) But then of course I took a month off, ran a lot so that my hips tightened up like nobody’s business, and threw myself into a Bikram hot room for thirty days in a row.

Bikram is completely different from Vinyasa, in everything from temperature to dialogue to the direction you’re supposed to face when you lay in shavasana. Vinyasa wasn’t anything like the practice that I had just devoted myself to for the better part of a month. But that didn’t stop me from feeling like I was still going to be effing terrific at it.

As you may have already guessed, that feeling wasn’t exactly spot-on.

You know how six year old girls perform in ballet recitals? A lot of them have the moves down for the most part, but there’s always that one in the back who’s completely clueless. Every now and then she kicks her leg out to the side (in the opposite direction as everyone else is kicking) or spastically shoots an arm up in the air (while everyone else is reaching gracefully towards the audience), and she spends the whole damn dance whipping her head around so that she can look at her friends and see what she’s supposed to be doing.

That was me in the Vinyasa studio.

The movements felt so fast in comparison to the slow, calculated postures of Bikram. My quads screamed in protest with each warrior pose and my arms shook by the third half push-up (the wonderfully named chattaronga). And another thing- I was sweaty.

Not light-jog sweaty. I was Bikram, distance-sprints, lacrosse-game-in-July-with-no-subs sweaty. It dripped from my arms, ran down my legs, stung my eyes and found its way up my nose. This also surprised me, as the room was a solid 20 degrees cooler than the sauna I usually practice in. But as I looked around, I noticed something even more surprising- not everyone was sweating like I was. In fact, it didn’t seem like anybody was sweating like I was. Even my darling friend Annabelle, who has a summer membership at the Vinyasa yoga studio and attended class with me twice this week, told me she had noticed that the tops of my feet had been sweating while hers had not. It appeared I had become something of a sweat anomaly.

This fascinated me. I went home and told my family, called a few friends, and considered sending out a tweet about how very, very sweaty I had gotten at my first post-Bikram yoga class. I googled something along the lines of does Bikram make you sweat a lot in other activities? and discovered a few possible explanations for my overzealous sweat glands:

  • I have a condition called Hyperhidrosis. (Nothing like a good look at WebMD to make you remember that death is imminent.)
  • I was born with more sweat glands than the average woman.
  • I am morbidly obese.
  • I am in good shape.

I chose to ignore the first three explanations and skip straight to the fourth. I’m in good shape! Those who are physically fit usually sweat more! All that Bikram and supplementary cardio have finally begun to pay off!

Well, kind of. 75 minutes in the Vinyasa studio and it hurt to lift my arms for three days, but I’m a fighter. The soreness was gone by my third class. By the end of the week I was noticing a lot of other people in the studio who seemed to be sweating as profusely as I was. To my delight, I also found that most of these especially sweaty people looked to be in terrific shape. (I was probably seeking out observational evidence to confirm my own theory, but I really just don’t want to have Hyperhidrosis.)

So all in all, Vinyasa was sweatier than expected and is well on its way to giving me biceps like Arnold Schwarzenegger.

IMG_2863

I forced my mom and Annabelle into a post-class photo op. (Very few people can look this good while this sweaty.)

In other news, we have a very special week coming up! Tomorrow morning my mom and I shall be embarking on a yoga road trip. Tuesday through Friday we’ll be driving from Rhode Island to Cape Cod, mooching off of friends, hitting the beach, and of course, practicing a lot of yoga along the way. Personally, I’m most excited for 7 am on Friday morning: paddleboard yoga. We’re going to be yoga-ing on a freaking paddleboard. There’s a good chance it’s just going to turn into a sophisticated swimming lesson, but still.

So feel free to check in tomorrow, or the next day, or the day after that, because I’ll be posting every night of the trip. This is going to be a yoga adventure for the books, my friends.

Namaste,
Hannah

6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Charlene Hoyt
    Jul 16, 2013 @ 12:17:45

    You INSPIRE and crack me up every week. Keep writing, girl, and have an epic yoga vacation!

    Reply

  2. Paula Drake (Nanny)
    Jul 16, 2013 @ 12:36:28

    Well done, Miss Hannah!! I look forward to the rest of the week.
    Love, Nanny

    Reply

  3. tallmartha
    Jul 16, 2013 @ 14:22:51

    I have also noticed I sweat more quickly and more easily now that I’m practicing BIkram regularly. It can be annoying to start madly sweating at the first sign of heat!

    Reply

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