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Sweating with Sienna - Hot Yoga

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ORONO – We get out of the car and I start to sweat at the thought of hot yoga. Mack, the friend who was dragged on another adventure, grabs towels and water bottles from the car and we slowly trudge towards the yoga studio. 

“Do you think we’ll faint?” I ask in a quizzical (and eternally optimistic) way.

“No, but I hope you remembered to apply an extra layer of deodorant,” Mack retorts.

When we enter the studio, it is about 90 degrees. We automatically realize that everyone already has their own yoga mats and no one else has brought a beach towel. Meghann Foster, our hot yoga instructor, tells us we can grab a mat from the front and that there is usually a dollar rental charge but because it’s our first time, we can use the mats for free.

We grab mats and two yoga blocks each and head to the back of the yoga studio.

Meghann starts the class off with a warning: If you feel like you are going to faint, do not ball your body up. Instead, lie on your back and become a starfish by opening your arms and legs. She also recommends taking sips of water throughout the class to replenish all the water the body is sweating out.

I give Mack a look intended to convey “If fainting is normal than I am going to faint.”

She snorts back, which I take to mean “What have you gotten me into?”

Meghann then begins the class. We lie on our backs, close our eyes and let our bodies relax into place. Meghann calmly tells us to focus on the sounds outside and the sounds inside and then our bodies. She tells us to focus on our breathing and our heartbeat. Finally, she tells us to have gratitude for this moment, for the fact that we can all just lay still.

After finding gratitude, we slowly roll up into a standing position and start lunging and circling our arms. Mack and I find ourselves bumping into each other during side lunges and arm circles. I quickly move my mat away from Mack. The extra space makes my movements only slightly less clunky.

About halfway into the class, I realize that I am sweating. I am not panting or in need of cooler air, but there is sweat pooling on my forehead and I feel sticky all over.

I realize that I have the flexibility of a thick metal pole while trying to perform the tree pose. The tree pose involves balancing on one foot. I ungracefully slip out of this position approximately a million times.

At the end of the class, Meghann turns off the heaters and we lie on our backs again. Meghann says that if anyone would not like a lavender cloth put on their forehead, they should put their hands on their abdomen. We then close our eyes and Meghann begins the gratitude spiel. She places a cold lavender cloth on my forehead while she talks about how we should be thankful for our ears. The lavender cloth smells delicious.

After she has mentioned every body part, she tells us to open our eyes and get into a seated position. She then thanks us for coming and mentions where the mat spray is.

Mack and I leave the yoga studio feeling relaxed and ready for bed. Once we get in the car, we begin reviewing the class.

“I loved it, I just wish I was actually flexible,” I exclaim.

“I like it, but I feel like if the heaters weren’t on, I would have frozen,” she said. She pulls up to my apartment building. “Same time next week?”

“Sounds good to me,” I say with a smile.

“Work on the tree,” she says with a wink as she drives off.

(Om Land Yoga has studios in Bangor, Brewer and Orono. To sign up for a class, visit omlandyoga.com.) 

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