Working out in extremely hot & humid conditions or simply hot yoga

As a kid, my favorite part of the zoo was that hot and humid tropical exhibit.  So combining that heat and humidity with yoga should make for some good times, right?

Before trying out Hot Yoga Downtown, I’d been to 2 hot yoga classes before, but at a different studio and it was a different style of hot yoga.  Hot Yoga Downtown has a large wall of windows facing Central which is cool, but a little intimidating for a newbie.

Hot Yoga Downtown uses the Bikram and Barkan methods.  There were some iffy moments (camel pose anyone?) but I got through the class without passing out.  It was an hour and a half and the room is kept to 105 – 110 degrees.  There were students of all levels in the class.  There were some obvious regulars and first-timers, but there were many who appeared to be right in the middle. 

The positions are challenging to achieve and even the simpler positions are challenging just to hold.  Students are encouraged to try every pose and move into the more challenging poses only after the basic pose is accomplished.  Afterward, my body felt wonderful and my mind was clear.  I was sore the next day around my obliques and upper back.  Not “ouch” sore but the good “I worked hard” kind of sore.  I like that yoga allows me to see my strengths and gently reminds me (in an obvious kind of way) of where I could use some work.

First Timer Tips:  Arrive 10 minutes early to check in, get situated, and clear your mind before class starts.  Bring your mat, water, a large towel, a small face towel, and an extra set of clothes to change into afterward. (This is a sweat-inducing workout!)  If you can’t stand the heat get out of the yoga studio!  Kidding – actually, don’t leave.  Word is, cutting out interferes with the group energy.  I can’t speak to that, but try to stay and count it as one of your accomplishments for the day :)

Do you practice yoga in the tropical exhibit at the zoo or do you frequent a local studio instead?

Details:  Hot Yoga Downtown, 724 Central Ave SE, (505) 243-4688,  http://hotyoga-abq.com/

~R

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