This week, I brought my co-worker to hot yoga, making this her second class…ever. I have to admit, I felt a little weird bringing someone along to my hot yoga sanctuary. I’m so used to going solo — and apparently I have a reputation for “my spot” (front row, second spot from the mirrored wall) because Maria saved it for me and quickly realized I’d be taking a back-room seat this class, per Allison’s request.
I should clarify that Allison isn’t just any co-worker, so this makes this sweat session much less awkward. We started at our firm together as interns and quickly became friends outside of work — we even went to Cabo together and shared a parasail. True friends!
Monday night, I picked Allison up from her place in Queen Anne, and we headed over to the studio for my favorite 7:30 p.m. class with Jenniferlyn. As soon as we opened the doors, I felt the welcome tropical heat thaw my skin, and Allison just as soon remarked, “Dang, it’s so hot in here!” Yes, yes it is. And then I started to see this experience from the eyes of a newcomer.
As we entered the practice room, I ask Allison where she wants to lay our mats down, and she looks at us about two feet into the room and points to the back corner. Ok, back corner it is! We were a few minutes early, and I used the time stretching, while Allison explained to me that she can’t touch her toes but still made valiant attempts to do so.
The first 10 minutes or so of class were fairly manageable. The focus of the class was on ujjai breathing, so we laid still on our mats doing some basic stretching exercises and worked on our breathing. It wasn’t until JL instructed us to raise our feet above our head, interlace our hands behind our head and start doing some serious crunches that I got my first worried look from Allison.
The rest of the class continued just that way — Allison and her worried face. In our down dog she’d look under her arm at me and mouth “What the eff ?!” as the rest of the class was two steps ahead, jumping to the front of their mats and moving into our dancing prayer — Serie A. What seemed like this simple, intuitive move now all the sudden seemed so foreign as I watched Allison follow the steps and move through the motions.
When we moved into our balancing series, she just gave me this look like “no way in hell am I attempting to do that.” I couldn’t keep myself from laughing, and the girls next to us were visibly offended by the fact that Allison was whispering in class to begin with, not to mention using profane words.
She took frequent water breaks and sometimes just sat in child’s pose, but soon the 75 minutes were over, and class was finished. From the moment we entered the door, to our closing Om, I felt like we were in a different country just seeing it all through Allison’s eyes. I thought she’d never attempt hot yoga again, but the next morning she sent me an IM saying how great she felt from last night’s class and how she wants to go again this week. Maybe I have a yogi in the making!