Experiencing Hot Yoga in State College
Let me start off by saying this: I have never done yoga. I am not flexible whatsoever, and I often neglect stretching when I work out. So who on Onward State was more qualified than me to try out State College’s only hot yoga studio? Nobody, that’s who.
I arrived with fellow Onward Stater Morton Lin, the photographer for my adventure, who was immediately told by the instructor, Ed, that there was no way in hell he would be allowed to take pictures. Much to my delight, Morton could only stay if he participated, so the two of us took places on the mat and embarked on our venture into the heat.
Now, on the studio’s website, it says the room is over 100 degrees, but, being the Mythbusters enthusiast I am (disclaimer: I don’t actually watch Mythbusters) I noticed the thermostat was at 97 when we walked in and peaked at 100. Regardless of this numerical discrepancy, I was sweating no more than two minutes into the class. And we were just taking deep breaths! Even this seemingly simple task, however, proved to be problematic, as Ed yelled at me multiple times for improper form.
The less-than-ideal start didn’t deter me, though. I continued on, determined not to embarrass myself too much, or throw up, which is apparently normal for beginners. Instructor Ed made it easy to stay motivated, telling us things like, “this feels like doing every single machine at the gym at once,” or “this should feel like someone is stepping on your throat.” At one point, while we were on our stomachs, Ed told me to breathe in as deep as I could, and then proceeded to push my back, forcing all the air out of my lungs, which, as he predicted, actually felt really good. “Write about that in your newspaper,” he told me, unaware of Onward State’s lack of newspaper.
About halfway through the class, things got dark — literally. The lights were turned off and we started the second half of the class, which was done entirely on the ground. It was a new feeling for me, since usually when I’m laying down in the dark, I’m trying to fall asleep, not work out in 100 degree heat. The end result was surprisingly similar though, because as much as I’m not usually told to say “Hare Krishna,” when I’m asleep, the hot yoga had me feeling as refreshed and happy as if I had passed out for a few hours, and somehow also worked out in my sleep.
After all was said and done, I left the small studio with Morton feeling awesome, and surprisingly happy with the class. As much as I may not go 100 days in a row, like Ed kept urging us to, I had the strangest feeling that I may actually find myself back at hot yoga sometime in the future. If you’ve ever considered going and have $10 to burn, this was an awesome, challenging class for a very reasonable price with an instructor that really knows his stuff.
In fact, at times I even considered changing my lifestyle completely, and start practicing hot yoga every day. It made me feel that much worse when I ended up at Five Guys at 1:30 that morning and ruined the workout.