It was cold.
It was boring.
I was cooped up inside all day.
It was winter.
I didn't like to workout. I tried the little tear-out sheets of strength moves in Seventeen magazine, tried walking, some running. I could do it for about a week, but then didn't have enough motivation to stick with anything! Then I went on a bike ride. I started out with a small ride, then next thing you know, I'm riding my bike 7.25 miles 3 times a week. That was in the warmer days. I loved my workout! I loved going and getting outside, out of the house, away from all the hectic-ness of life. I looked forward to my bike rides all the time.
Then of course, winter came. It got too cold outside to bike ride. I hate the cold. I lost motivation. I started to buy bigger jeans again.
Then, I discovered Hot Yoga.
Thanks to my little sister Clara who finally dragged me down there one Wednesday after I procrastinated for weeks (as usual) about starting it. I went to a teen hot yoga class, and I fell in LOVE with it after that 90 minutes of intense, chatauranga-filled, sweaty class. I have been doing it since around November or December, and have gone from a size 7, back to a size 3 in jeans. =)
Doing hot yoga, I have been motivated to exercise again, lost weight, built strength, and done things I never thought I would be able to do a few months ago. Headstands? "No way", I thought, "could I ever be able to do that without breaking a bone." 3 months later, and lots of practice in my room, at the park, anywhere I got the chance, and I can not only get myself into a headstand, but jump into a handstand as well!! (I even practiced falling so I won't hurt myself. ;D )
Now splits is a whole other story. I have tried for years and years and years to get into splits. Never could I get it. Now, all I need is a few more leg stretches before class and I can split almost all the way to the mat. Doing these things, realizing how strong and flexible I have become, gives me the greatest feeling of satisfaction. (Along side the weight loss, of course)
If you're not flexible before class, trust me, you will notice more flexibility after a few sessions, and things you never thought your body could to, become possible.
The heated room warms up your muscles, resulting in more flexibility....oh, and sweat. LOTS of it. You sweat a TON, and you want to make sure you hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Before, during and after class. While you sweat you lose lots of water, and you do NOT want to get dehydrated. The sweating also detoxify's your body of all sorts of toxins, making your body healthier. You also sweat out important vitamins and minerals. It's important, while taking hot yoga, to take your daily supplements. After class, a glass of chocolate milk, or something like an Emergen-C packet are great at restoring lost supplements. Better than gatoraide, as I read in a googled article. I also read that if you don't supply your body right while taking these classes, you can result in headaches, light-headedness, weakness, and many other unpleasant and unsafe bodily functions.
The yoga is also very relaxing. Not so much the intense parts, but standing in tadasana with hands at heart center, or childs pose, and especially at the end, while getting massages during savasana, is so calming. Being able to be somewhere, not having to worry about phones ringing, schoolwork, stress, boys and all that drama, basically LIFE in general, just doing something good for myself, something I love and devote my time to, gives me the greatest peace of mind.
If you would like to know more about hot yoga, (otherwise known as Bikram yoga) I would definitely google it, (I will also put some links below) because there is so much more to it than I can explain...and remember, haha. Plus, I HIGHLY recommend it if you want to be bikini-season ready. I know I will be! xD
When the warmer months start back I will continue yoga, but add in my bike rides occasionally, because I do still miss them. I even wrote a poem about my bike rides this year that got an honorable mention in a competition. =)
I hope you enjoyed my little review on hot yoga.