Tom Matlack started doing hot yoga in 2002. Here, he shares six helpful hints for newbies.
Nine years ago I was a burned-out, divorced venture capitalist with two kids and a pathetic love life. As a last-ditch effort at getting a life, I decided to try something that faintly reminded me of the workouts I did as a collegiate rower. It also reminded me of my mother, who has been a yogi for years (I could digress into deep Freudian theory here, but that would hardly be relaxing).
So I started doing hot yoga at a studio a couple blocks from my office. At first it felt uncomfortable and made me dizzy, and sometimes I did little else but go in and sweat while doing child’s pose. But from the very start I noticed unexpected changes.
I slept like a baby. Seriously, when I got home after doing hot yoga I had to get into bed early. The sleep was blissful. No nightmares, no clenched jaws, just pure sleep.
I felt more at ease with myself in my day-to-day interactions with people in my life. The people who always bothered me bothered me just a little less.
Kind of like a sweat lodge, the process of going into that hot oven and moving my body felt like cleansing in some deep way that left me lighter and freer than I had ever experienced before.
I realized that during the lunch hour class, my brain turned off. For once I wasn’t thinking about my deals, my kids, my ex-wife’s anger, or the women I wished I could date. I listened to my breath, in and out, and that was it.
I started practicing in February, 2002, and in June of that same year I met Elena. I am sure that there were many things that went into the significance of that event. I’m not prepared to give hot yoga all the credit. But it provided me with a foundation.
We were married that December and are coming up on nine years together.
Doing hot yoga can be very intimidating, depending on the exact form you are undertaking. So here are a few helpful hints to get you past the initial few classes so that you can reap the benefits. Who knows, maybe it will lead you to the woman or man of your dreams!
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