So last night I attempted hot Hatha yoga for the first time ever…an ambitious first step, as it was 90 minutes of varying poses (which proved challenging for a notoriously inflexible individual such as myself) in a studio set at a sweltering 107 degrees. (I do have to mention here that while I was pretty much DYING of the heat, I did have the thought in the middle of my warrior pose that I was grateful to be living in Seattle, where the weather would be a cool 60-something upon emerging from the studio, where as if I was still living in Arizona, the weather outside would probably be exactly the same as in the studio). The classes are held in this fantastic, very metropolitan loft-style building at the new Urban Yoga Spa in the heart of downtown – it’s all so clean and white. It feels very New York to me (not that I would know) and lends an air of sophistication to the city’s traditionally dark-paneled and woodsy Northwest decor. It’s the kind of place I’d normally be a little intimidated by except the fact that the staff is so welcoming and committed to the practice – they seem to just want you to be there.
Overall, it was an excellent experience – so excellent, as a matter of fact, that today I am signing up for their 30-day challenge, which is 30 days of yoga every day (and naturally, a chance to win a prize – year-long yoga, anyone?). It may seem a little hard core for a first-timer – and it is – but for me, I think diving in downward dog first may be just the way to go. During the course of the class, I felt more connected to my limbs than I think I’ve ever felt, and it was a nice awakening to truly appreciate the capabilities of my body rather than punishing it for not being Gisele Bundchen. So I’m ending the day and starting my yojourney with a restorative class…and looking forward to a month of flexing, reflecting, stretching, sweating and connecting with this body that has carried me so faithfully for 28 years.