As the term comes to a close and I move away from Waterloo for a summer work term, I’ll be ending my Moksha Yoga membership. For the past 8 months, I’ve practiced 2-5 times a week at the studio and hot yoga has become a wonderful part of my routine. Today I had one of the best classes in a long time and I’ll definitely miss the restorative, fitness, and mental benefits the practice brings.
That’s not to say that hot yoga doesn’t have it’s drawbacks. Here are my Top 3 Best & Worst things about hot yoga:
Bad news first:
3. It requires lots of clothing and laundry.
If you practice regularly, you’ll have a regular rotation of leggings, towels, tank tops and shorts that need to be washed after being soaked with sweat.
2. It’s time consuming.
Going to hot yoga is not just a quick trip to the gym where you can ‘choose your own adventure’ and come and go when it’s convenient for your schedule. You need to work your day around the class/instructor you want and account for travel time plus shower time. Quick body showers, maintained hairstyles, and/or ‘freshening up’ are not options after a hot yoga class.
1. It’s expensive.
Fairly comparable to a gym membership, but for a student who has access to a gym through my student card, it’s tough to justify the spend.
On a good note:
3. You are exercising even when you’re lying down.
There are very few fitness classes you can fall asleep during. Hot yoga encourages rest and relaxation in addition to strength, balance, and flexibility. Savasana and Child’s Pose are amazing because you can feel the benefits, chill out, and still feel like you’re working on your fitness.
2. The benefits don’t end with the physical.
Yoga is therapeutic and active. Spending 60-90 minutes in a warm room, especially during the winter, is extremely comforting. My stress levels are significantly lower when I attend yoga classes and my mood improves dramatically. I sleep better, feel rejuvenated, and have a greater sense of control over my life. I can apply the breathing exercises, meditation techniques, and greater control over my thoughts and body to my every day life – not something I can say for other sports or exercise regiments I’ve done.
1. The challenge is endless.
I’ve been practicing for a considerable amount of time and have still only scratched the surface of all the poses, variations, and combinations available. The practice never gets old since there is always a way to improve on the old and always something new to try.