Sunday, December 5, 2010

Cold Snap/The Winter of My Discontent

It's chilly outside now, and the yoga studio's heating system hasn't been fully adjusted to cope with the change in the weather. We had a cool class tonight. The room was 96 degrees F when class began, and it warmed up as we went along. By the time we were on the floor, it was just about exactly perfect by Bikram's standards.

In a lot of ways, I missed the higher temps. I was feeling a little rusty anyway since I'd done no yoga for a couple days prior to class. I was so stiff in my back, my hamstrings, my shoulders. Trying to stretch my creaky old body in the "cold" room made me long for that sweaty, delicious and simultaneously unbearable heat.

Yet I had a so much more stamina than usual. It's very frustrating to me. I sweat so heavily when the room is 105 or higher. And our local studios are often much hotter than 105. I've bitched and moaned in previous posts about the studio floor with radiant heat. It's like being on a hot pizza stone. Lying on the hot hot hot floor, sometimes I feel as if my blood will just start to congeal like a fried egg. It's seriously stolen my peace more than once.

When the room is "too" hot (but how hot is too hot?), I sweat gallons, and I feel so depleted, so exhausted, so wiped out that I have to really force myself to continue doing postures. At the hottest of the hot studios, I almost never have a "good" class, and by "good" I mean a class where I feel strong most the way through, able to do some semblance of every posture, every set, without having to dig deep and summon up strength and will and guts and determination. When you practice every day, is it normal to need to dig deep every single day? Was I crazy to think that I could do this yoga sometimes without hurting and suffering?

When did my teachers stop saying that "Relax, it's only yoga," thing?

My cold class today was so much easier than normal. It makes me wonder about how often we seem to push through extremes in temperature and humidity. Whenever I'm having a hard time, somebody's always ready to chime in and tell me that it's all in my mind. I dunno. I think I am just finding my threshold, finding the place where it's a challenge but not a beat-down. For my body and my mind. I feel like such a whiner, but damn it, I've been slogging along and digging deep for a long while now. I was hoping, by now, to be a little more fireproof than this.

1 comment:

  1. Our studio is very cold right now. Well, not cold... just not humid. We're of normal temps but only like 11% humidity. I miss the humidity. :( I feel as though I'm in the winter of my practice as well.