I do hot yoga, a 90 minute class done in a room heated to 105 degrees fahrenheit. It is very intense. I remember one particular class that felt especially hard. As I lay in that hot room, I questioned my sanity. Why was I voluntarily putting myself through this? I made it through the first couple of poses before I began to feel fuzzy. I decided to sit the next pose out and slowly lowered myself onto my mat. I tried a few more poses, but soon I was reduced to lying on my back for the rest class. My new goal was to just stay in the room.
It was a game of mental gymnastics from that point on. Other people left, and although I wanted to join them, I stayed in the room. I was lying close enough to the door that I felt a gust of air when others came and went. That breeze was like drinking a gulp of fresh water after being stranded in the desert.
I started to do some negative self talk as I lay there on my mat staring up at the ceiling. I thought, “This is just another thing I’m not doing right in my life. Another thing I’m failing at.” Then I heard a still, small voice say, “Give yourself grace.” This is how life is. There are situations that feel brutal; when it feels like I’m being bombarded by hot heat from all sides. I’m reduced to lying down and trusting that I will not die. I have to just stay in the room and count that as a victory. Other people may leave sooner than I do because they are on their own journey. We can reap the benefits of walking alongside each other though. We can give each other bursts of fresh, rejuvenating, life giving air when we need it most.
I knew there were physical benefits of doing hot yoga, but I didn’t realize the life lessons that I would reap. I can’t wait to do it again and learn more.