Folks, I have a confession to make: I don’t always enjoy hot yoga. I love practicing yoga in the temperatures of 85-90 degrees, but, I do not love yoga over 90 degrees. Dude, it’s bloody hot. Sweat runs into my eyes and stings. Plus, I am so sweaty that I can barely balance in bakasana (crane posture), or other forearm balances, for that matter.
Am I a masochist for continuing to take classes too hot for my body? No way, Jose. I practice hot yoga in temperatures I am uncomfortable with because it is good for me, in more ways than one. Not only is it great for my body to sweat that much, but hot yoga has allowed me to develop really good flexibility, since my muscles are really warm.
Furthermore, I believe it is important to do things that are good for me even if I do not want to do them. It develops a sense of humility and respect for people who do not have choices in life. It is the same principle as running a marathon. It hurts, but the pain is for a good cause. Plus it tests my limits of how much I can handle and still survive. And the old adage is true: “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger!”
The lessons and the benefits of practicing in a room too hot for my comfort level outweigh the desire to avoid it. When I do something that is good for me even if I do not love it, it is important to remind myself of the reasons why it is good for me. And it is an opportunity to practice gratitude for the fact that I am able to make choices in my life. I can never have too much gratitude!