First Class Syndrome

By October 22, 2015 Uncategorized No Comments

Sometimes I honestly believe it is my mission to re-introduce Hot Yoga to the Winnipeg community. When I first started practicing there was only one Hot Yoga studio in Winnipeg. It was located in the Exchange District in a wonderful heritage building on Donald. Prior to my first class I had refused an invitation to go to Hot Yoga at the Steel Factory in St. Boniface. As a youngster, I was sometimes forced to stay in the sauna at the YMCA and really learned to hate the heat. Little did I know it was because I was about 12 years old and my sweat glands hadn’t fully developed. Iranka was the owner of the Bikram on Donald and after I saw her interviewed on CTV I finally decided to try a class. They had filmed a portion of a class at the studio and I was surprised because it wasn’t anything like how I had envisioned. It was “normal”, healthy and smiling people doing postures that I knew (as a physical educator) would be beneficial for my serious injuries. My story of my first class is well documented and even remembered by some of the more experienced students I teach today. I will write about it more in the future but for today I would like to focus on an email I received and my response.

Here is the email. I will, of course, not include any names.

“Good Morning Todd,
Thank you again for my first hot yoga class. I will have to do some thinking about whether this if for me or not. 90 minutes was pretty tough for an overweight, bad knee, 57 year old. It was great experience non the less.”

Me again. 🙂

Now, I often hear that people find the heat and class more than a little demanding and then a decision is made to not try a second class. WHAT? You must give any kind of new physical activity a chance before you give up. If you have been inactive, stressed, eating poorly, gained weight and generally haven’t been taking care of you then you may feel a bit a bit overwhelmed after your first class. Next class, take it a little easier and let your body adjust to the heat and the activity. Never underestimate your body and mind. Once you start to feel the results you will be over the moon!

Here was my response to the email.

“Hi _______,

Your response to your first class is one I hear often. I always respond in basically the same way. Give the Yoga a chance to work for you. I am also 57, have a “bad” low back and neck and a recently healed torn hamstring. I took my first class last night in one month. I won’t say it wasn’t hard but I took a lot of breaks and worked at my own pace. I know this Yoga and I took it easy but I was pretty spent after class. I had to sit in the lobby for 10-15 minutes to recover but I know that I will feel fantastic after a few more classes.
I encourage you and your friends to give this Yoga a fair try. The heat will stop being an issue in just a few classes and you can concentrate on your fitness and mental goals. One step at a time. I know you will love the results.

Take care,


Me again. 🙂

I will continue to pursue, inform, educate and coerce people to give 26 Hot a chance but please remember that I understand there are students you do have a legitimate heat intolerance. This can be due to many reasons but medication, age (youth mostly) and physiology can certainly be a factor. That is why we offer Warm Restorative at Studio 26. It is the same postures done only once in a warm room for 75 minutes. It’s an option. Some students start in the WR and then surprise themselves by moving into the hot room and finding it even more enjoyable. Go figure!

Have a great day and enjoy the wonderful weather. Then come to class.