I started my traditional hot yoga challenge several weeks ago. Traditional hot yoga is where you do 26 poses for 90 minutes in a room heated to 105 degrees (also know as Bikram yoga). I have been doing this type of yoga on and off for over 6 years now.
Re-starting my yoga practice after being on hiatus since August was brutal. I was woefully out of shape. I was also crazy dehydrated, to the point where a liter and a half of water, what I normally need before a class, did nothing for me. My body was too busy absorbing the water for itself to use it for class. Add to that my horrible diet lately and you have a recipe for disaster. I could barely do the poses. Every contortion brought new discomfort in my body.
Somehow I persevered. I took a short nap after class. Then I drank water non-stop for the remainder of the day.
I woke early on day 2. I drank liters of water and got my mind together. What a difference a day makes! Class was completely different. My body was back to absorbing fluids the way it used to- once I felt that familiar line of sweat under my glasses on my face, I was reassured. I hit the poses with strength and conviction.
I kept speaking soothingly to myself, reminding myself how much the classes are benefiting me and my body. In moments where it got most difficult, I imagined myself in Trinidad chilling, chipping down the road in my costume.
I was reminded of an ex who used to complain about women using carnival as motivation to get in shape. He believed that you should want to work out because it’s good for you and blah blah blah.
Does it really matter? Motivation is motivation. I see a lot of women in my age group letting themselves go. I know how easy it is to get comfortable and sink into a routine of bad meals, liquor and no exercise, especially when you live in cold climate. I never want to become that. So if carnival motivates me to be in shape, then so be it! I will continue to use all tools at my disposal to live a happy and healthy life. I will never be ashamed of that.
And so, the challenge continues!