My Near Death Experience at Hot Yoga
Fuck hot yoga. Fuck it to hell and back. Nevermind, that’s an oxymoron, because hot yoga IS hell. And if it’s not, it’s the closest thing to hell you can find on planet Earth. Just like Pure Barre, I was conned once again by my wife to go to this class. And just like Pure Barre, I regretted EVERY single moment of it. I can’t say I wasn’t warned though. If Cain’s post on Bikram, or TrochaTime’s post-hot yoga selfie Snapchat (see below) wasn’t enough to deter me from class, I have nobody to blame but myself.
Walking in I wasn’t sure what to expect. I’ve never spent any time in a sauna and I’ve never done yoga. My main concern was that I was super gassy that day and I was already feeling sorry for my fellow yogis (as you can see, you don’t actually need to have participated in yoga to take appreciation in the lingo or trends, for another example of this see yoga pants). I take one step into the room, get hit by dragon’s breath, and immediately scan the room for Khaleesi because she must be here somewhere. The room is honestly ungodly hot. I can hear Sarah Koenig’s whiny voice in my head asking “whyyyyyyy”, like she just found another fact that shows Adnan is so clearly guilty but doesn’t want to accept it because she wants to bang him. But WHYYYYYYY am I here?
First sign of trouble was signing a waiver before class. Bungie jumping, snorkeling, spelunking, those activities I can foresee a waiver for, but yoga? I’m a dead man walking. My cynical attitude ended right around the time three chicks walked in wearing two piece beachwear. Hey, this class ain’t half bad. That was until two bro’s walked in with their bathing suits on too. Well fuck. This could only mean one thing. This is not going to end well for me. Guys with dad bods do not electively show off their bodies, especially when about to perform stretch mark revealing exercises in front of babes in bikinis. This is a last resort for them.
The room feels as though Mount St. Helens has erupted nearby. It’s one thing that the heat is on full blast, but throw in the 30 people whose bodies are all running at 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit in here too, I should have lubed up with some Vaseline or SPF 100 for protection. I’m feeling the heat, and there is no escape.
I was under the false pretense that yoga consisted of pretty much just sitting around, stretching, breathing, and meditating. You actually do calisthenics up in here. I’m showing everyone up from that standpoint, but the heat isn’t getting to me physically, it’s breaking me down mentally. My biggest mistake was treating class like it’s a sprint, while everyone is looking at me knowing damn well that it’s a marathon, just awaiting my imminent demise.
I mean some of these movements aren’t even physically possible. If I tried some of this stuff my ligaments would spontaneously combust, or fold up like an accordion, or fear that my body would permanently conform to that. I probably spent most of the class just mouthing to myself “what the fuck,” over and over and over again when the instructor would explain the next move and then people would replicate it. This stuff is totally unhealthy. But I guess neither is sitting in 110 degree heat for 90 minutes. Hot yoga defies conventional wisdom I suppose.
It may come as a surprise, but the absolute worst part of hot yoga isn’t necessarily the heat, it’s the inability to get dry. My shirt? It’s soaked. My shorts? Drenched. The towel I brought to class? Waterlogged. The yoga mat that was so nicely supplied by the class? It is forever water damaged. I sit here in a puddle of myself, questioning my life decisions. I cannot put into words this discomfort. Fuck those Southwest commercials where the guy throws his Wii controller into his buddies flatscreen, and the voice-over comes in asking “Wanna Get Away?” Sign their marketing team up for this damn class and their next Super Bowl spot is going to be someone sitting in hot yoga for 30 seconds.
A little over an hour in, I’m clinging to life. So much doubt running through my head at this point. I might really die here, actually end brain function, here, in yoga class. What a story it’ll be. Hey how’d Matt pass? He was so young, healthy, and full of life. Oh he died at yoga. Hot yoga. Brought the stretcher in, loaded him into the ambulance, D.O.A. at the hospital. I can’t have that, I won’t have that.
Heat exhaustion is a real thing. I’m seeing white spots, just trying to remain active, conscience, and breathing. Body is going into shock. The sole purpose of sweat is to COOL your body down in extreme heat, hot yoga prevents this. Measure the beads of sweat pouring off me in Scoville heat units and it’ll match the Carolina Reaper. I look to the other side of the room with the hope that someone is going to pull the plug on class, maybe I got lucky and someone called in a bomb threat and we need to end early. Nope, what I see is much worse, I see Satan himself. He’s conveniently holding up the keys to the room, swaying them back and forth, taunting me. He smiles, locks the door from the outside, and drops the keys down his red pants. He might as well have walked over and stuck his trident up my ass. Probably would have preferred that than this shit. It’s time to stick a real fork in me, because I’m charbroiled and I’m done.
I spent the last 15 minutes of class in what is called “turtle.” Oh, you’re unfamiliar with this new age yoga movement? Allow me to elaborate on it. It’s performed simply by laying on your back, motionless, like a turtle on its shell, because you’re fucked. You have no say in the matter and no means of getting yourself out of this position. You have no choice but to look upwards and leave it up to God, because your fate is in his hands now. Just hope he forgets those unrepeatable acts from sophomore year.
Good news is I lived to write about it. Though I did walk home from class looking like I had just witnessed my entire family get maimed. I spent the better half of that night’s sleep writhing in pain, I’d assume from severe dehydration. Experienced massive cramping and stomach bloating to the point where you could have nicknamed me Buddha. So pro tip: if you attend yoga, hydrate.
You know how you do things to make your significant other happy and satisfied? Like shit you would never do willingly but since they want you to do it, and it’s a timed exercise, you just suck that shit up and live to see another day? For guys, it’s probably a trip to the mall, for girls it’s sitting through the game. Well my wife loves this class. And she signed us up for a month of it. But I refuse to come back here. I tried to remain objective, think of the trouble it will avoid me if I just be a good boy and come, but I can’t. I really just can’t. I love her so much and I would do (almost) anything for her, but I told her straight up it wasn’t happening. Like Pearl Harbor, NEVER AGAIN! I would rather be standing in a kitchen with Chris Hansen while he reads aloud my chat log in front of the entire nation, because the idea of that is comfortable in comparison to hot yoga.
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