“So Hot I Sweat My Scab Off” is Now Officially a Thing
Every once in a while I make a return to yoga as if I’m trying it out for the first time and have forgotten how much I “nothing” it. It’s like forgetting how crappy candy corn is for 11 months out of the year, only to rediscover it in October and remember how waxy it tastes. Nonetheless, I thought I’d give hot yoga a try because I’m doing two tropical destination half Ironman races next season and figured the humid yoga room could potentially help a bit with acclimation.
I’ve done hot yoga a couple times. It’s not bad, but since I’m naturally a sweaty person, I’m literally the only one in the room whose shins are sweating because I’m perspiring so much. I end up in my shame corner soaking wet while these yoga goddesses in booty shorts, sports bras, and 12-packs are contorting their bodies into pretzels without even a strand of hair getting frizzy. It’s lame. This time around I bought a Living Social (or Groupon, or whatever the daily deal site was) special for a hot yoga place in Capitol Hill and my friend Lauren and I met up to try it out.
We showed up and filled out the “I won’t sue the facility if I sweat myself to death” forms, then dropped our stuff off in the locker room before stepping into the hot yoga room. The first thing I noticed (and smelled) was that the space was carpeted. Uh what? This is a 90-minute yoga session in which the room is heated to over 90 degrees and someone thought it’d be smart to carpet the floors? It stank like musty feet and stale armpit sweat. I was not thrilled.
Lauren and I set up shop in the back of the room. I spread out my brand new yoga mat that I bought off Amazon.com because apparently forest green is an unpopular mat color (pink, on the other hand, would have cost me a monthly car payment). The sinewy instructor entered and started the group off with a ridiculously long series of breaths and shouts. Everyone began to moan as if they were zombies, and I instinctively looked for the nearest ax or blunt object in case I needed to peg someone in the head and make my sweaty escape.
After the B.S. breathing, we began contorting and stretching and yoga-ing. The instructor kept firing off instructions one after another without pausing, making me wonder if she doubles as an auctioneer on the weekends. She’d bark at me and Lauren every so often whenever we didn’t contort to her liking, and she kept calling Lauren “Laura,” which got more and more awkward the longer we were in class.
Pretty soon I was drenched with sweat. I couldn’t see because whenever I’d bend over, all of the perspiration on my face would dump into my eyes. My towel was all spongy so it offered little reprieve. I sighed and kept telling myself that somehow this would help me survive the hot and humid runs in Costa Rica and Hawaii. At one point I looked down and saw that I was so saturated with sweaty nastiness that the scab on my knee (which I got from scraping it on the bottom of the pool during the previous week’s swim class, another reason why swim class is dumb) had hydrated itself and fallen off. It was now perched on my yoga mat in a soggy little ball.
I was literally sous vide-ing myself to the point where parts of me were falling off. It was like shredding a slow cooked piece of pork. Four moves later I looked down and the scab was gone, probably absorbed into the Carpet of Horrors to join the kaleidoscope of DNA that will one day birth a mutant CHUDbaby who knows how to do the Feathered Peacock pose.
Finally the class ended and we escaped from the oven to the cool Seattle air. I weighed myself when I got home and saw that I was 2 1/2 lbs lighter, all of which had gotten absorbed into the nasty floor along with my knee scab. I felt like some sort of disgusting Johnny Appleseed.
I haven’t been back since I sweat my scab off, but I’ll probably drag myself to some more classes to see if it’ll help with the tropical race climate I’ll be subjected to in March and June. I haven’t accumulated any new scrapes or cuts, so this is my narrow window of opportunity to return without leaving a piece of me behind…