This is what happened when I went to a hot yoga class for the first time

I didn’t even know what child’s pose was

As someone who never works out, —like, never— I was a little confused when one of my best friends asked me to go to a hot yoga class with her.

At first, I resisted, but when I found out classes were free during the first week of school at AUM Yoga, I figured I might as well join her.

I'd never done formal yoga before, so I knew absolutely nothing about the different poses, breathing strategies, and gear most people seemed to know. Unfortunately, the only place left for me to put my mat was at the front of the classroom, so I had to awkwardly twist around to ask my friend what a "child's pose" was when we began and copy her.



The first five-minutes was a warm-up spent focusing on establishing a breathing rhythm. At this point I wasn't too hot, but, with the room set at about 85 degrees, I knew it was going to get steamy.

After that, we because the first sequence of the class, which consisted of four rounds of balancing. As an un-coordinated person, I struggled with balancing at first, until the second round I got the hang of it. But, by that point, the entire class was sweating.

"Wow we're only ten minutes in," I thought to myself, confused at how at hot room and a few poses could possibly make me feel exhausted.

The rest of the class consisted of two more sets of four-round exercises, which combined balance with a little bit of strength and core.

The final exercise entailed laying on our mats with our eyes closed, centering ourselves, and "cooling" our bodies down. I was still sweating a lot, but it was relaxing all the same.

Unlike the high-intensity sports workouts I was used to in high school, I emerged from the class feeling clean, renewed, and peaceful, not to mention tight from the workout itself.

It was a different experience for me, but I felt like a new person after this workout, fully refreshed and ready for the day. I'd definitely do this again — as long as it's free and I still get to lay on the map and nearly fall asleep.

University of Michigan