May 22, 2012  •  In Personal, Reviews

Hot Yoga: 10 lbs in 6 Classes!

One of the steps I am taking on my road to recovery is to exercise — not only for the physical benefits, but for the added endorphines as well.

As mentioned in a previous post, my doctors have recommended yoga to help my neck heal and as a way to help me relax. I also remembered reading that Tony Horton, the founder of P90x, said in an interview that if he had to choose just one type of exercise, he would go with yoga.

The problem was that I have always found yoga to be boring in the past. So to make it more interesting for myself, I decided to check out hot yoga.

(I thought it was interesting to learn that there is a difference between hot yoga and Bikram yoga. In a nutshell, all Bikram yoga is hot, but not all hot yoga is Bikram.)

I was able to find a hot yoga studio near my parents’ house, and as luck would have it, the same company has a studio near where we live. My sister had warned me about the potential dangers of hot yoga, but I knew that my laziness would not allow me to push myself too far. I thoroughly read through the FAQs (what to expect, what to bring, etc.) and mentally prepared myself for my first class.

As I signed in at my first class, I told the instructor that this was my very first hot yoga class. She was welcoming and enthusiastic (without being annoyingly peppy), and told me that my goal for my first couple of classes should be just to stay for the entire 90 minutes. She added that I should not feel bad about myself if I am not able to do certain poses, or if I even need to sit down or lie down to give myself a break during class. Also, if I had to leave the room, I should just make eye contact with her to let her know that I’m okay, and quietly leave.

The studio I attend is simply gorgeous.

During my first class, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that I was not in quite as bad shape as I thought. I only had to sit out a couple of poses, and — the best part — I was able to stay the entire 90 minutes!

As for the heat? I had expected the room to be uncomfortably hot and humid, stuffy and malodorous. However, while the room WAS hot, it was not unbearably so. And the smell? The entire room smelled clean — no B.O. or harsh chemical smells — just a nice, fresh scent. Additionally, ceiling fans would periodically run to keep the air circulated during class. (Later, I was to learn that the studio cleans and disinfects everything between classes, and that they adhere to a very strict range of heat and humidity.)

After just 2 classes, I was able to flex myself to poses I could not previously do, and I found myself looking forward to class more and more.

In other words, I was hooked.

As you can see from the title of this post, I have only been to 6 classes so far due to scheduling conflicts. But in those 3 weeks, I have already lost an astonishing 10 lbs! And I know that it’s not just water weight — how can it be, when I drink an entire 1.5 liter bottle of water during each class?

I also feel much stronger, leaner, and my skin — oh goodness my skin! Nothing is better for your skin than sweating through workouts and drinking tons of water!

Now that my in-laws are back in town and they can babysit, I have decided to sign up for the unlimited monthly package. And I fully intend on taking full advantage of it, with the goal of losing my remaining baby weight and perhaps even more. Even if I never get back down to my pre-baby weight, I know that these classes are doing wonders for my health, both physically and mentally.

I honestly never thought I would love yoga this much. But here I am, a full convert!

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20 Responses to “Hot Yoga: 10 lbs in 6 Classes!”

  1. Sunny says:

    Yay! I used to do hot yoga somewhat regularly and I agree that it’s great for you, both physically and mentally.

  2. Emma says:

    Yes! I’m so glad you’re having a good experience with yoga! It really is great for all aspects of your life. Congrats on the weight loss too 🙂

  3. Amanda says:

    I’m dying to try hot yoga! A bikram place just opened up really close to my house and I’ve been wanting to try it – you’ve convinced me to look into it!

  4. Yay! I love Bikram yoga! It’s so hard though, and expensive. I can’t afford it so haven’t done it in about a year.

  5. Angela says:

    That’s great! I am so happy to see in the photo of your studio that it had hardwood floors. I was doing Bikram Yoga consistently last summer at a place that just opened near me. I loved it. But they had wall-to-wall carpet. I did wonder why they made the choice to use carpet when there is so much sweat, but since Bikram is so scripted and purposeful, i figured they had a reason. Besides, there was no odor…until month 3. The newness of the studio had worn off. Every savasana was putrid.

    • The studio that I used to go to near my parents’ house had carpeting, but it was made of some weird stringy plastic material that looked like it was squeezed together. I have no idea what it is called, or what its true purpose is, but the floors remained dry and odor-free despite all the sweating!

  6. Carmen says:

    They opened up a hot yoga near my house recently and I’ve been debating about joining. My biggest concern is I have awful migraines. One of the triggers is heat and humidity. Did you feel it was suffocating in there? Or was it more like dry heat?

    • When you first enter, it feels more like dry heat, but as the class progresses and everyone starts sweating bucketloads, the humidity goes up considerably. It is not suffocating to me, but I can see how it can be for others. I was told that as a general rule, if you find saunas to be suffocating, hot yoga may not be for you. Sorry. 🙁

    • stac says:

      My boyfriends Mother has severe migraines,shut her down for days,very sad&she is a teacher W/hot yoga for over a year now…very interesting what causes the migraines once we realize 2learn the big picture right in front of ourselves…(-:

  7. Alice says:

    Congratulations on the weight loss and finding a new hobby that you fully enjoy. Glad it’s helping you heal in more than one way.

  8. Mina says:

    so glad you found an exercise that you love! sounds perfect for you!

  9. serena says:

    Wow, I’m impressed! I’ve always been intrigued, but I don’t know if I’d be able to last (I wilt in any weather > 85 degrees!)

  10. Wow! This makes me want to try! The idea of hot yoga always scared me–I envisioned exactly what you said it was not: hot, stuffy, smelly, and overwhelming.

  11. Jean says:

    Glad you found something that works so well for you!

    I tried hot yoga a few years ago, and I almost passed out and had to leave the room. I have difficult time in saunas or hot tubs, so in retrospect it wasn’t too surprising that I couldn’t handle hot yoga. Which is too bad b/c it’s supposed to be great for the body if you can handle it.

  12. Kerry says:

    Normally I just read your posts and laugh/send good thoughts your way accordingly, but I just had to post a comment for this one!

    About a year ago, I also stumbled upon yoga (Bikram at first as well!) as a great exercise & hobby. After I started practicing regularly, I saw a lot of the same benefits that you did! The weight loss and new found upper body were awesome! (I now can do real pushup instead of just “girly” ones.) But the thing that I found was the most life changing was the relaxation and destressing that the practice brought to my life.

    At the time, I had reached a point where my job was essentially sucking the life out of me. I felt used up by the grind and that I had to quit. But once I did, became very frustrated that I had zero energy and motivation to do something productive with the next step of my career because of how tired I was. There were also several big emotional setbacks like the death of my grandfather and relationship drama that hit at around the same time. It was a “perfect” storm so to speak.

    The process of clearing my mind and focusing on breathing and movement was incredibly calming and restorative to my emotional well being. I found myself having a more positive outlook on life despite some very trying emotional times. I swear it was the thing that got me through it all in one piece.

    Now I don’t do Bikram anymore (mostly because my very-chinese-acupuncture-practicing-mother insists that it’s bad for someone with my “qi” weaknesses) but I do practice yoga when I can. When I can’t make the time to go to the studio (it can get so $$$), home yoga is actually pretty fun too. I’ve found a couple of videos I like to follow to fill in the non-studio days.

    Sorry for the long comment but I wanted to say that I’m so glad that you’ve discovered yoga and that you’re experiencing some of that same great effects that I did as well. I hope you continue with it! If you need encouragement, I’d be happy to provide some heckling! =P

  13. Stephanie says:

    I’m seriously going to consider this in the future – hopefully I can find a spot near us that isn’t outrageous in price!

  14. Jane says:

    I’ve done Bikram yoga in the past and loved it but I stopped after my doctor friend told me she had a bikram yoga instructor come in with a dehydrated kidney. She and I agree that yoga itself is good but there’s no medical research out there that shows hot yoga is good for you in the long run. Just stay dehydrated and spread out your days throughout the week =)

  15. Leslie says:

    10 lbs in 6 classes – wow that’s really impressive! And how has the weight loss been after the initial 6 classes ? Would love to know.

    • I’ve lost an additional ~5 lbs since this post was published. I’m not disappointed, since I knew that the weight loss would slow down and I haven’t been able to attend as many classes as I would have liked. However, I am now down to my pre-pregnancy weight and everyone I see these days tells me that I look great and that I don’t look like the mother of 2 young girls, which is a great compliment. 🙂 My goal is to go down another 5 lbs to my college weight, which I definitely think is achievable by the end of the summer.

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