Farewell Hot Yoga

Well, last Friday was my final Hot Yoga class in Korea. Actually, it was my last Hot Yoga class anywhere. I am never going to practice hot yoga again.

You know, even at my age I still don’t listen to my body. I don’t pay close attention to the quiet signals its flashing. I sometimes listen to its loud screams, but by that point it’s pretty much angry as heck at me and I’d be a damn fool not to pay attention to a stabbing/shooting pain or throbbing head. Right?

From my very first Hot Yoga class, I’d had headaches and upset stomachs constantly. For whatever dim-witted reason, I didn’t heed my body’s SIGNALS to me that IT WASN’T HAPPY. Oh no…I kept on keepin’ on. I thought…oh, it will pass. My body’s simply adjusting to the 100* heat and its purging toxins. How many freaking toxins do I have in my body!?!?!?  Well, I now know that that is all bull—-shite. Seriously. Think about it:  (The following has been taken from a great yoga website, referenced later)

“Thermoregulation: A Balancing Act

The body maintains its core temperature at 98.6º F (37º C) by balancing the rate of internal heat production with heat loss to the environment. To regulate core temperature, the cardiovascular system, comprised of the heart, blood vessels, and blood, adapts during exercise in the HEAT.

Thermoregulation is challenging in a heated environment, especially if the air temperature is greater than the skin temperature. During moderate exercise, core temperature rises and the additional heat must be moved from the core to the skin. Heat is removed from the body to the environment in four ways: radiation, conduction, convection, and evaporation. The first three occur in environments where air temperature is cooler than skin temperature or where cooler air blows over the skin. In a “hot” Yoga class the room is typically heated to 90–105º F (35–40º C), which exceeds skin temperature, and is possibly above core temperature in an exercising person. Assuming a fan is not present in the Yoga environment  (((WHICH IT WASN’T IN MY CLASSROOM))), three of the four ways the body releases heat are not viable options, forcing the body to rely on evaporation (((SWEATING MASS BUCKETS)))) to dissipate the heat generated by exercise.

Sweat and Heat Loss

Evaporation is the body’s primary protection against overheating. Through this process, the body transfers heat from its core by evaporating sweat from the skin and respiratory passages. It is important to understand, however, that sweating alone does not cool the body. To produce a cooling effect, the sweat must be evaporated to lower the skin temperature. By blowing cooler air over the skin, sweat vaporizes and heat is released. Humidity impairs evaporation (((AND THE ROOM IS HUMID–THEY HAVE 5 HUMIDIFIERS GOING))), which increases the rate of sweating, causing a greater loss of body water, which in turn leads to more severe dehydration ((((AND I WAS ONE OF THE FEW STUDENTS WHO GUZZLED WATER DURING CLASS…many of the women drank green tea–or coffee!!! during the class))). In a Yoga class, humidity may be high, depending on the heat source, the room ventilation, and the number of students participating. Humidity will increase if the ventilation is poor and there are lots of students exercising and sweating. A separate concern is the practice of wiping sweat from the body using a towel. If the sweat is removed from the skin, evaporation will not occur, and heat will be retained (((EEGADS…NATURAL INSTINCT–WIPE THE SWEAT OFF)))). Sweating will subsequently increase, leading to a greater loss of body water and increased dehydration.

Dehydration

As the sweat rate increases, body water loss increases, and the need for replacement fluids becomes crucial. Without adequate fluid replacement during exercise, the body’s ability to dissipate heat is compromised. Hydration status prior to exercise is equally as important in avoiding dehydration. This means a 150-pound person who loses 3 pounds during a “hot” Yoga class from increased sweating will experience increased heart rate and decreased blood volume, causing a loss of endurance.

Heat Illnesses

There are several types of heat illness, the most common being heat exhaustion (((YOU MEAN WHEN I WENT HOME AFTER CLASS, SHOWERED and then TOOK AN HOUR NAP!?!?!?))). Heat exhaustion occurs when blood plasma volume is reduced and the heart is unable to maintain cardiac output (heart rate and stroke volume combined). The symptoms of heat exhaustion include a weak, rapid pulse, dizziness, *****headache*****, general weakness, and low blood pressure when upright.”

Wow. This info was taken from this website:  http://www.yogalearningcenter.com/Articles/HotYoga.cfm?Title=Hot%20Yoga

Check it out. It’s a good site. I just wish I’d had the forethought to check it out BEFORE I signed up for 3 months of Hot Yoga. 😛

I’m getting a refund for the other 2 months I paid in advance for, but when I think about all the bodily discomfort I experienced last month, I ask….”why?”  “what did I gain?” Well, I’ll tell ya I didn’t lose anything–meaning POUNDS!!! I went back to my gym on Monday and my weight was the same as my February weigh-in. So, basically, I didn’t slim down, I had recurring headaches and upset stomach problems, I woke-up an hour early a handful of times to go to the early class (!?!?!?!), and ummmm, yah. That’s all. ‘Nuff said. I suppose my flexibility did improve but it would have improved if I would have simply done my stretches morning and night like in the past.

So, my opinion of Hot Yoga is this:  It’s fine for some people. Not me. My body is a delicate flower. I was basically sticking myself in the desert to wither and die last month. How cruel. HAHAHA  Well, maybe that’s not the best analogy?  Eh~~you get my point.

If my class had been this full, I woulda walked right out.

Can you imagine trying to BREATHE in a room this crowded–and heated to 100*!??!?!

“I do yoga so that I can stay flexible enough to kick my own arse if necessary.”  ~Betsy Cañas Garmon

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April 8, 2010. Tags: , , , , . Uncategorized.

2 Comments

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