Hot Yoga.. and How to Survive it
Picture the scene. It's 2013. I'm 28, newly single, and on the pomme de terre of "f***-you-I-got-HOT" missions. The best bit about this flashback is that my then-boss and now-husband, Big Slice, is the hero that introduced me to hot yoga in the first place (the proper toasty classes often give you the opportunity to check out the topless male merchandise before you commit to an awkward Nandos, so I was all the game). Long story short, I was bitten by the sweaty bug, smashing out up to 6 classes a week, and lost 8lbs in the first 3 weeks alone. I began wearing bodycon dresses to the supermarket only because a bikini would have gotten me an asbo. Fast forward 4 years, 1 marriage, 2 piglets and 88,379 regrettable take away dinners, last night I found myself darkening the door of the new Tribe Yoga studio in Quartermile for a 33° Hot Sculpt class. 5 minutes in "..this is going to be tough. If you feel sick, sit down. If you feel faint, sit down..." I was wistfully transported back to my halcyon days as a lycra-clad racing snake; all tidy trees and perfect chaturungas. Oh how the mighty had fallen. After my first ever hot vinyasa class (Facebook reliably informs me it was a dark and damp Thursday night in January 2013) I posted a status update warning others of my initial observations. To anyone considering giving it a whirl, I transcribe it for you here now. Please remember this was written before the influx of shiny air-conditioned studios, before Lululemon made sweating sexy, and definitely before anyone gave a fig about respecting your personal space. I can assure you though that all of it happened. Even the fugitive scrotum. Enjoy.
- Don't arrive late; if you're allowed in, everyone will hate you. You've unbalanced their chi you inconsiderate bastard.
- If you are late, spaces will be limited. Most likely all that's left is a postage stamp in the shadow of the instructor's armpit, or a distant moist corner with the micro climate of Belize.
- At least one person will have come straight from work thinking it acceptable to just take their clothes off and work out in a set of M&S cotton knickers. Maybe don't station yourself behind her.
- If you are at the front, everyone will see you doing it all wrong. Take the shame - it's gonna be a long 60 minutes.
- If you are at the front, the instructor will feel the need to help you with every move. 10 minutes in, half your sweat, is his sweat. Don't freak out - consider it favouritism basting for the remainder of the class you lucky, LUCKY lady.
- If you are at the front, every time someone bails from the class and opens the door to escape, the ensuing gust of cold air will bring you close to orgasm. Closely followed by tears when it rapidly dissipates.
- If you are at the back, there is a strong chance you will be next to a heater. No, it's not burning you can smell, it's the man next to you. He had enchiladas for lunch and is now sweating them from every pour. Chivalrous.
- If you are at the back and you die, it will probably take until the end of the class for anyone to actually notice.
- During the trickier moves, there is every likelihood the instructor's cock and balls will become visible. More than once. Not the outline, the ACTUAL team. He will not apologise for it, nor will anyone react to it. You will want to laugh like a drain which will immediately make you feel like a prude. It's okay though, because he's clearly a sex offender.
- There will be at least one 40-something ample-chested lady wearing a vest with no bra. She will try to engage you in conversation at the end of the class. Her nipples are staring at you, aren't they?
- If you have a delicate immune system, proceed with caution. By the end of the class, the ceiling is an angry rain-cloud-cocktail of everyone's sweat and it's dripping ALL OVER YOU. There's every possibility you now have airborne chlamydia. Time will tell.