Last Saturday my sister asked me if I wanted to go to a hip-hop yoga class with her the next day. Drunk on new year motivation I said yes.
I am not a yoga person. I did a semester of it in college because a) it was for credit and b) who doesn’t want to take a class that ends with a 10 minute nap? Five years later, I’m flexible enough but there is no way my body is going to pretzel itself into some crazy pose with my foot behind my head and my arms twisted around each other.
Anyways, I said I would go, so the next morning, I was ready. (My sister, having been drunk on more than motivation the night before, was not.)
The yoga studio was intimidating and very crunchy. But most of all it was hot. I was skeptical (see before picture below).
I was literally dripping sweat the entire time and it wasn’t until an hour into the 90 minute class that I realized that I had placed my mat just below a space heater. Once I accepted that the heater was not going to be turned off, I focused on trying to breathe with the movements. It’s hard as fuck and I was constantly inhaling when I was supposed to be exhaling. Also, why does every transition include a high plank!? Needless to say, the class was difficult. By the end I was exhausted.
My exhaustion was not just physical. It was emotional too. This is going to sound super lame, but I cried. Not like sobbing… but there was a moment toward the end of class when I wasn’t doing much when I felt a few tears run down my face. I’m not sure what I was crying about, but it was the new year, I was relaxed and reflecting, and an acoustic version of Better Days by the Goo Goo Dolls was playing (not a hip-hop song, but whatever).
Apparently this can happen though. She explained that it’s a pretty natural reaction during a moment of calm in the practice when you’ve found your center. She said, “Finding your center is like a superpower”.
When I left the class, I felt great (see sweaty after picture below) and I decided that’s what I would do this year. No, not cry in yoga… find my center. The class helped me recognize the importance of self reflection and taking the time to be with myself for myself.
I’ve been back to the studio three times this week (they offer a free week for new people) and have never been so sweaty and sore. But I’ve also never been so calm and in touch with my mind and body.