I left my Man Friend's place the other morning intending to walk 3 blocks to the metro. I made it one block before I hopped in a cab and paid $38 + tip to get home. That's my relationship with winter, and part of the reason I finally gave hot yoga a try.
My business partner and a few clients have been nudging me. The idea is that it's much easier on my post-carpal-tunnel-surgery wrists than flow classes, helps develop core strength necessary for a physical job, and limbers me up for jogging and standing all day. Plus, the rhythmic breathing provides stress relief. So yeah, yoga is good for people. Blah blah blah.
What really got me in there is what keeps me going back: my skin, OMG!!!!
Mary started talking about how every dead and dry skin cell sloughs off in the shower after a class, and I tried it the next day.
I have never had a facial or anti-aging product produce this sort of glow. I can skip foundation after a Bikram class and get complimented on my makeup. Even my eyes look clearer and brighter. It's January and my skin feels like it's springtime and I just got a full-body sugar scrub at a spa!
Not only that, when I am in the hot room and see sweat pouring down my face, I can't help but feel like an athlete and get sort of impressed. Yesterday I finally folded into a toe stand from tree pose (or whatever it's called). I wake up with no stiffness in my shoulders and can see in the mirror how much further they automatically fall from my ears. I used to wake up almost every morning feeling like one big walking charlie horse, but my calves are much more content. Repeating the same 26 poses every class gives me a sense of discipline, and builds respect for my body while pushing its limits. Whatever worries I carry into the room, I find that the practice leaves me with a complete inability to focus on anything but the positive. In anyone.
And there ain't nothing prettier than self-acceptance.