"Hot Yoga Virgin"
I haven’t had a dedicated exercise routine since running track in high school. Thankfully, I am naturally petite and my lack of physical activity wasn’t apparent. Over the years I practiced yoga on and off but never made much of a commitment until I relocated.
For weeks, my client begged me to join her during her favorite 6a hot yoga class. I avoided attending as long as I could. It was 5:40am on a Monday morning and I was on my way to sweat out my freshly styled hair. I had zero expectations for myself or the class, my only goal was not to pass out.
I laid out my mat, wrapped my hair and prepared to get my ass kicked. As class began, I noticed Jess grinning as the instructor walked in to teach. I look over and to my surprise, a fit, heterosexual, black man warmly greeted us. I believe this is the moment she had been waiting for. Jess purposely withheld this piece of information from me…. I would have come sooner! My hesitation instantly turned into curiosity. Throughout the practice I challenged myself not to give up or rest in child’s pose unless 100% necessary. I did not want to look like the weak b---- in this packed class. I stretched each limb to its capacity and took the deepest breaths my lungs could facilitate. Each movement bathed by dope tunes playing from the speaker. I was in a trance. I let go of my mind for the first time.
Sixty minutes later, I was drenched with sweat and surprisingly energized from such an intense workout. I thought to myself, did I just practice yoga to Drake & Bryson Tiller in 90-degree heat and enjoy it? Yes. It happened.
I signed up for a membership that day and haven’t looked back.
Thank you, Temitope.
-The Yogi Stoner