Ten things to be sure of when doing hot yoga.

For those unacquainted, you pay perfectly good money to enter a sauna-like heated room to practice yoga. As opposed to turning off the air conditioning, or simply going outside. It’s a dry heat (100 – 105 degrees), and this allows for deeper stretches and more calories burned. It’s challenging for sure, and these tips may help you to not die.

  1. Be sure to hydrate the day before. What did I do the day before? I sipped lime-flavored White Claws all afternoon at the pool, and then in the evening enjoyed a couple of glasses of sangria with dinner. So yes, hydrate before hand, or be very sorry during the workout.
  2. Be sure to have a full bottle or two of water at hand during the class. What did I have? A measly 12 oz. tumbler, which was nearly dry halfway through the class.
  3. Be sure to have a full towel for your mat, and another towel for your face, and another towel to sit on when you leave. What did I have? Just a small hand towel for my face. The upholstery in my car needs a good shampoo for sure, and my mat needs a solid wipe down to counter the sweat it absorbed. Gross.
  4. Be sure to place your mat carefully upon arriving at class. I prefer to be near near the air conditioner vents. This will save your soaking-wet-self during the last 10 minutes of class. At this juncture it feels slightly less hot because they bring the temperature of the room closer to that of Earth instead of Venus. You might begin breathing normally sometime soon after.
  5. Be sure to have the most handsome instructor to ever walk the planet leading the practice. Bonus if he has a sexy accent, say, from somewhere south of the Equator. This will keep you from walking out or giving up without at least trying to hold the poses. And you don’t want to embarrass yourself. You don’t want to leave his very presence. It was definitely hot yoga…
  6. Be sure to remember your form, and watch your alignment in the mirror. If you have the most handsome instructor leading your class, feel free to modify. Perhaps it’s okay to hit a pose IMproperly so that he has to come by and correct your posture, with his hands right on your body.
  7. Be sure to have your friends come with you. I went to the first class solo, but will definitely be sharing this with my crew. I’m not selfish.
  8. Be sure to have plenty of time afterwards to go home. You will be drenched and disgusting and in desperate need of a cold shower and more water. Do not plan to be seen by others right away, especially if you get a tomato-face like I do when I am overheated.
  9. Be sure to say prayers of gratitude for your body, and that you did not actually die during the class, though you were convinced of this likely outcome about 7 minutes into the 60 total you just endured.
  10. Be sure to be kind to yourself the rest of the day. And go ahead and sign up for the next class while the image of the most handsome instructor is still fresh. Delaying your registration could coincide with the soreness of your body, keeping you away forever more.

Maybe I’ll review the other studios in town, write about them, and eventually become a secret shopper who writes amazing reviews. I’d need to remove my photo in case people recognize me and start giving me extra goodies in exchange for my writing talents. This could spill over to restaurants too, where I could enjoy free food. Maybe I’m onto something…

Stay tuned for more – there are a few other classes I’m taking while my 10-day pass is good. If you’re in SRQ and you’re curious about this particular studio, send a message and I’ll gladly share.

Thanks for reading, until next time,
Sherri

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Mission accomplished!

This simple 2 word phrase is among my favorite 2 word phrases. A few others are “Thank you”, “Package delivered” and “Let’s eat”. I am an achiever – at times an over achiever – but I’m working on that too.

What was the mission? To run an entire 5k without stopping. Now I totally get that some of you might be marathon runners and you’re chuckling right now. Aw, how cute – a little baby 5k? Only 3.1 miles? Some of you do 5 times that distance at a much faster pace. And good for you if you do!

The point I’m making is that this was MY goal, one that had haunted me for a long time. Ten years ago I had attempted this but always fell short and ended up walking.

But as you may have read previously, I started training in July, and continued with the goal scheduled for early November.

The event was Wanderlust, which is a Mindful Triathlon. I would never consider a real triathlon. Don’t you even know me? This event was right up my alley. It began with a 5k, then 75 minutes of yoga, and finishing with 25 minutes of meditation.

During the one hour drive to the event, I was focusing on the fact that I could – and would – run the whole thing. At check-in, this intention was confirmed so clearly. See, the 5k was not hard core with numbers and microchips and such. It was casual. Each participant received their word for the day to stick onto their clothing instead of pinning a number. Some were affixed with “Peace” and “Joy” and other lovely words.

As I arrived at the front of the check-in line, the word on top was this one.

When the volunteer saw the look of surprise on my face, she asked if I wanted a different word. After a moment of hesitation, I replied, “No, this is the word I am supposed to have.”

With this word plastered on my shirt, I knew for certain I would not be stopping to walk. No way! It had been declared that I was a runner. And I was. I ran the whole entire thing.

The rest of the event was amazing! Practicing yoga outside with 1000 people was an incredible experience. Holding a chair pose after running was another challenge for sure. I found people who shared their face paint, met a cool lady selling bracelets, and enjoyed this view during the meditation.

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The really great part is that I am continuing to run. At least once a week I am getting in 2 to 3 miles and plan to do a few more 5k’s. Of course I’m still practicing yoga, and have even wandered into a studio a couple of times this month. Faithfully engaging in an at home practice for several years, I had forgotten about the energy shared with others in a group practice. The meditation is still a work in progress, but isn’t that the idea?

It really is all about the practice, and the process. But also, there is something transforming about reaching a goal! My good friend Kris was the photographer for the event. I think this photo she took captures the joy I was feeling in doing just that.

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What goal are you working on? How can you state your intentions so that you have the best chance of success? A little goes a long way. Keep after it and you’ll get there my friends!

Thanks for reading, until next time,
Sherri

Ten for ten…

So this morning I successfully completed my tenth day in a row of a morning yoga practice. This has been a goal of mine for a long time, and I’m so very proud of my little self for setting my alarm and getting up early enough to squeeze it in.

My New Year’s Resolution was to begin a regular exercise routine. Of course my actual plans began on February 1 rather than the typical January 1 because of travel. I was being realistic y’all.

So if you do the math, you’ll notice it’s not Feb. 10th. Hmmm….

Because the first two weeks of February, I tried to make myself go to yoga class. I tried to make myself get up early and go for a walk. I tried – and I failed. It was pathetic.

When I was confessing this to my mentor, she made a revolutionary suggestion (lean in and I’ll share). She said, “Why don’t you just surrender that to God? You know, the whole exercise-and-eat-right-thing. Just ask God to help you desire that.”

WHAT?? Are you kidding me? Surrender it to God? Who ever heard of such a thing?!

Why in the world would God Almighty, the Maker of heaven and earth and all things, care one hoot about whether or not I get up early enough to do some down-dogs and eat a healthy breakfast? Shouldn’t he concern himself with big things like earthquakes and hurricanes and other global catastrophes? Certainly he should not be bothered with such minutia.

I don’t claim to understand why. But I know it’s true. He does care. And for the past ten days and counting, I have craved (mostly) healthy foods, drank ridiculous amounts of water and hit my mat each and every morning.

Only ten days in, and I feel stronger, more confident and more flexible. My mind has more clarity. My posture is better. And I haven’t gotten on a scale yet, but I know that if I continue this little regimen, I’ll fit into that gorgeous dress in time for my daughter’s graduation.

I’m just gonna be grateful here. The God I love and serve cares so much for me. He helps me manage even the basic routines of life in a way that is pleasing and good. It’s truly miraculous. I tend to think that God only cares about the big gigantic things. The ones that I really know I can’t do. But the whole “take care of yo’self” bit I should be accomplishing on my own, right?

Clearly that wasn’t happening. Until I gave up and gave it over to the one who can, and does. So even though I didn’t want to “bother” God with this little thing I needed, I did it anyway. I’m learning to accept what I cannot change, I’m changing the things I can, and asking for wisdom to know the difference. It’s really that simple.

So whatever you may be struggling with today, can I make a suggestion? Let it go. Ask God to help you, even if you think it’s silly. What have you got to lose? For me it’s just ten pounds by June. For you maybe it’s small too, like helping keep the laundry under control, or making a decent meal for you (and your people). He’s there on the small mundane levels as much as the lofty ones. He’s not too busy, and it’s never too hard.

Give it up. Let it go. Let him move you!

Thanks for reading, until next time,
Sherri