The first time I ever took a basic yoga class, I was amazed at how intense the workout was despite the fact that I did no jumping or running or spinning or lifting.
It felt like I had given my body, my mind, and my soul a workout. I was utterly exhausted afterward, but something about the intensity of it felt really good.
With that experience under my belt, I started journaling ideas on how I could maintain a yoga and meditation routine and keep the energy going.
And so, decided to kick things up a notch and try my first hot yoga class. After doing a little bit of research, I decided on a local studio that offered an introductory hot yoga class for just $5–FIVE FREAKING DOLLARS YA’LL!
I just knew I was the one winning with this deal!
The deal was so good, I even convinced one of my friends to join me! It was her first time doing hot yoga too. Who doesn’t like having a buddy for a new experience!
(Note: In hindsight, I’ve since had to remind myself on numerous occasions that anything that only cost me $5 is likely going to come with some consequences.)
I walked into the studio with above-average confidence (for a hot yoga beginner). I thought I was so super stylish wearing my cute yoga pants and rocking the beautiful teal yoga mat that I’d scored online.
The room was packed from wall to wall with other yoga enthusiasts clearly eager to take advantage of the $5 deal. It was so packed in fact that my friend and I could not put our mats next to each other. We ended up finding spots on opposite sides of the room.
I lucked out (or so I thought) and found a comfy spot next to one of the walls.
And here is where my hot yoga life lessons begin.
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4 Funny Lessons from a Hot Yoga Newbie
Hot Yoga Lesson #1 Do Not Lay Near The Wall
As it turned out, the damn heat panels that put the “HOT” in hot yoga were actually on the wall right next to me. It’s no wonder the spot was open. All the other geniuses in the room somehow knew not to lay right there.
Could someone have possibly given me a friendly heads up or said something like, “You’re really brave to take that spot.” It would have at least sparked me to reply, “Oh, what do you mean?” Which would have possibly led to that person informing me that I would likely melt my face off.
Speaking of melting faces…
Hot Yoga Lesson #2 Do Not Wear Makeup
Remember how I said I walked into the studio looking super cute? Well, my super cute look also included me wearing a little bit of eyeliner and my eyebrow filler.
To note, I didn’t wear any foundation (thank God) but I NEVER go anywhere without my eyebrows filled in. I might step out the house in crazy pajamas or even without wearing a bra, but my eyebrows are non-negotiable.
Of course, I didn’t expect to sweat so profusely that it would feel like my face was melting off! And guess what? When your face melts off, so do your precious eyebrows. Maybe, just maybe, if I’d of been wearing a waterproof eyebrow makeup, all of this could have been avoided, but alas, I. WAS. NOT.
Score: Hot Yoga 1, Eyebrows -2
Hot Yoga Lesson #3 Do Not Put Lotion On Your Body
Not everyone understands the term ashy so let me break it down really quickly. Ashy, as defined by the Urban Dictionary, refers to skin that is so dry it looks grey…like ashes. Funny, but true.
My skin often gets ashy, so I have a daily habit of using lotion or sometimes vaseline to keep the dryness in check.
The day of my hot yoga extravaganza was no exception to this rule.
About 10 minutes into the hot yoga session, it became very clear that the lotion I’d meticulously applied to my face, hands, feet, and entire body was now becoming a yoga death trap.
You can’t do the downward dog pose for very long if your damn hands and feet can’t properly grip the yoga mat! I kept having to return to the child pose to catch my breath and my balance.
Then would have been a good time to break out the yoga socks (if I had them) or use my handy dandy yoga towel…which leads to my last lesson.
Hot Yoga Lesson #4 Bring a Full-Size Towel (Not a Washcloth)
I didn’t realize that when they recommended that you bring a towel, that they meant to bring a full-size towel or a yoga towel that covers the length of your yoga mat.
Nope. Instead, I assumed they meant that I should bring a cute little washcloth to gently pat away the tiny beads of sweat that might roll down my face during the workout.
My tiny square towel was soaked with sweat, lotion, and eyebrows within 20 minutes. It was utterly useless and so was I.
Almost The End, Right?
About 35 minutes into the session, I was ready to quit. I figured I only needed to last about 10 more minutes. The class couldn’t possibly be longer than 45 minutes, right?
Wrong. Wrong again.
When the 45-minute mark came and went, I whispered to the stranger next to me, “Hey, how long is this class?”
Her answer made me feel dead inside.
I realized that on top of my other blunders with the eyebrows, the lotion, the makeup, and the towel, I’d also failed to realize that this class was 70 minutes long.
Seventy $%#@ing minutes long!
Whose version of hell was this? And why did I put myself in it?
I immediately stopped yoga-ing and laid on my mat in child pose for what seemed like an eternity. I thought about rolling up my mat, abandoning my friend, and eyebrowlessly tip-toeing TF out of that hot ass room.
But in the dark crowded space, I couldn’t make out a safe path amongst the rows of sweaty bodies, nor could I actually even see the door to exit.
I took a deep breath. Unwilling to accept defeat, I finally willed myself to try one more time to hold a yoga pose, when the Universe heard my frantic cry for help and made the yoga instructor announce that it was time for the cool down period.
Hallelujah! It was a miracle.
What I Learned From My First Hot Yoga Experience
Yoga, more specifically hot yoga, is not for the faint of heart.
It’s a practice that stretches the boundaries of your body and your mind.
As hard as it was to make it through that rough first experience, I have to admit that my body felt kind of amazing afterward. It was like all the stress and tension was completely eliminated from my body. My core, my limbs, and my mind felt relaxed.
I think hot yoga is worth another try. However, it must be in a yoga studio where the class lasts no longer than one hour and the room temperature is not set at level hell.
My hope is that the next time you find yourself in a yoga class, you randomly start laughing at the thought of my experience. Hopefully, my story also inspires you to get out and try new things!
I was inspired to share my hot yoga story after reading this hilarious yoga story from Laura Mazza. I’m sure you will get a kick out of this one too!