The hot and sweaty truth

Kathy Krugerchange, find your flow, yoga27 Comments

So it’s been hot. Insert understatement. From Victorians with their hottest January night on record and South Australians with their bushfires (although both capitals have been un-seasonally cool and wet too), while people in Perth have scorched much of the month. Sydney has sweltered. Brisbane has melted in the mugginess. (And scientists have found 2014 was the hottest year in more than a century – in Australia it was the third hottest year on record, while seven of our ten hottest years have all been within the last 13 years – don’t get me started on people who deny climate change)!

On the Gold Coast it’s been sultry, but with a breath of coastal breeze (ahh) – although it’s particularly hot and sweaty around here.

Not sultry between the sheets from anything going on between the sheets – it’s too hot for that (at least that’s one excuse).

I’m talking sweaty and stinky from hot yoga. I’m planning to do yoga every day in 2015 as a rule (even if just a few postures at home) – so that not doing yoga becomes an exception. I reckon this is a great way to look at changes you want to make, new habits you want to form. Have a default position but don’t be so inflexible you can’t veer from it.

But back to the hot and sweaty yoga – or more particularly, back to the laundry.

Exhibit A.


Airing my dirty laundry

This is three days worth of stinky towels and sweat-soaked gear. So far I’ve managed 15 out of 19 days actually doing a class, so when it comes to the washing, it’s a case of rinse and repeat.

I’m in the rinse and repeat rhythm of hot yoga (if not washing) and in many ways it has become my comfort zone (as opposed to the laundry)!

We’re talking a yoga room heated at up to 39 degrees that gets humid normally, but when it’s stinking outside, steams up so much it’s tropical (in fact on really steamy days they don’t even bother with any heating, we get sticky enough just from the collective body temperature – gross, I know).

And by sticky I mean dripping in sweat – running in droplets down your nose, saturating your yoga gear and slicking your skin – I did mention it’s sort of gross.

But still I feel comfortable in the hot yoga room, or sort of.

It’s hard to be comfortable when saturated in sweat, perspiration stinging your eyes, but when you do find a familiar ease, you know you have arrived in a place you really need to be. In the hot yoga room, everything else melts away (pun intended) – thoughts, worries, judgment and you are left with just your sweaty self and your hot breath that takes your slicked body into and out of movement, sometimes without you even realising it.

I know regular runners get into that same sweet sweat zone – red and uncomfortable from pounding the pavement, but somehow they find calm and comfort too. My jogging memories were of just starting to reach that zone after a run of regular training before my feet and knees would play up so much that I couldn’t wrap my mind around the discomfort.

The thing is we have to get out of our comfort zone in order to find our comfort zone.

Change isn’t just about NOT doing the things you’ve always done (breaking those bad habits) but about doing NEW things. It’s MORE about doing new things.

Despite having practiced yoga, on and off and sometimes seriously for over 12 years, when I did my first hot yoga class just over 2 years ago I’m only slightly exaggerating when I say I thought I could have died. I didn’t, and as regular readers know, went on to complete yoga teacher training (channelling red for the first chakra below)!

I'm still this red after having a shower

Reprising this embarrassing pic – I’m still this red after having a shower

We also do yin yoga (not in a hot room), and as I’ve mentioned before, this slow and restorative practice also puts you in an uncomfortable place –surrendering into postures for up to 10 minutes at a time. Each class is about finding a new comfort zone, slowly, patiently (and a little painfully).

We can get out of our comfort zone by jumping out of planes – I will do this one day – although I’ve already flown in army choppers for a formation landing, been up in a glider (with no engine) an ultra-light (with only one engine) as well as hot-air ballooning.

We can (and here’s a good use of the word should) do any number of things that bring challenge, excitement, fun, adventure and adrenalin into our lives.

But beyond bucket list experiences, we want to stretch into new comfort zones doing things that keep on counting – and this can be hard work, and yes, hot and sweaty.

Whether it’s a physical stretch (like yoga) or a mental stretch (also like yoga) the key to getting into the right kind of comfort zone is allowing yourself be uncomfortable first, just as getting yourself out of a ‘bad’ comfort zone (say sitting on the couch) also means being prepared to put up with discomfort.

In our air-conditioned lives we don’t do discomfort well – but maybe it’s time to get hot and sweaty.

How do you get out of your comfort zone to form a new healthy habit? Linking up with Essentially Jess for another IBOT and With Some Grace for FYBF.

PS – if you want to focus on good health, I have a new guided meditation for you (six minutes guided, four minutes independent). Meditating on what we want to achieve is a great place to start. Hope you like it.

Namaste sign off_edited-1

Kathy X 


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Kathy KrugerThe hot and sweaty truth

27 Comments on “The hot and sweaty truth”

  1. deb dane

    Fabulous Kathy. I have a friend who does hot yoga three or four days a week at least. I have considered it but not sure it is for me. I hate humidity but know that the heat would loosen up muscles right? Making getting into poses easier? Good on you for your (near) daily practice. Commitment with a smudge of flexibility.

  2. coloursofsunset

    I sort of know the sweat you are talking about. I played tennis at 2pm Saturday afternoon and the whole time I was thinking, “What ARE you doing!?!? Why are you here?!!” and my clothes were dripping wet by the end of it. But I felt GOOD! It’s the same at my group personal training. I am often sweaty and gross leaving there, but feel so good. For me, the hardest part was when I first started running and then a few months later going to personal training, when I was so overweight and felt so uncomfortable in tight clothes and sweat in places I didn’t know COULD sweat! All the best with yogaing every day! x Aroha

  3. Min@WriteoftheMiddle

    Totally agree with you that you have to get out of your comfort zone in order to achieve goals. I’ve got to admit that I’m an aircon girl and I couldn’t totally not do the hot yoga. I do not cope with heat and humidity well at all. Hec – I don’t cope with summer well at all. I’m much more me in autumn, spring and winter! 🙂 Speaking of yogs – I did a six week beginner yoga course last year and then never went back. I am a nut because I absolutely loved it! I wasn’t that good at it but with time I would have improved. I think the reason I didn’t go back is that the studio I was going to (5 mins from home) just didn’t have the ambience/atmosphere I wanted. I have a friend who I used to work with who has opened her own yoga studio that I absolutely love the sound of (haven’t been there) but it would be a longer drive for me – maybe 20 mins. I should get off my butt and just go there. In fact – next Tuesday’s post is an interview with her which might be of interest to you! 🙂

  4. Deborah

    I look a bit like that pic every time after I exercise. The circuit and PT classes I’m doing are at a yoga studio and it’s only just got aircon – but not in time for last weekend’s heatwave!

    I’m not a fan of summer and felt the heat particularly, but… if I’m exercising i expect to get sweaty anyway, so I get to a point I no longer care!

  5. Maxabella

    I think I do a version of hot yoga a few times a week when I’m sweating over the stove in the middle of a Sydney summer. I just need to add a few more moves and I’m there. Thanks for your advice on breaking out of comfort zones. This year I am trying to remember Dr Phil’s advice that if you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you always got. Or something. x

  6. EssentiallyJess

    I didn’t even know you could do hot yoga? I think I would be bothered by lots of people sweating in the same area, more than being hot. I like the idea that becoming uncomfortable is just part of becoming a new kind of comfortable. That’s a good way of looking at it.

  7. mummywifeme

    15 out of 19 days is absolutely amazing. You are so dedicated. I just couldn’t do hot yoga in this weather though. I almost pass out walking to the bus stop let alone doing yoga 😉

    1. Kathy Kruger

      Seriously behind in responding to comments – must be all that yoga. I’m prioritising and it’s working so far – probably a different story once we are back into school/work/dance routine sadly.

  8. Tegan Churchill

    Where I am at in my fitness, just 10 minutes gives me that sweaty goodness. It does feel good that I’ve pushed my body that little bit further. On Friday, after a stinking hot day and half the night, it started raining. Paul and I jumped up and started dancing in the rain. It felt good to be moving and having fun. Mr 5 loved it too.

  9. toniazemek

    Love this and congrats on sticking to your daily dose of yoga. I really struggle with the heat and actually I struggle with getting out of my comfort zone too. Certainly some food for thought in your post. Thanks for sharing it with us x

  10. Robomum

    I love working up a good sweat and since becoming fitter, I enjoy it even more. The other week I left the gym a sweaty mess and within two minutes I was completely dry – the wind was that hot. I haven’t tried the hot yoga ut from what I’ve read I might like it.

  11. Bec @ The Plumbette

    Well this was a timely read after I scoffed two Timtams! I need to actually do some exercise let alone change it up! You look so fabulous and I bet you feel grounded after a work out even if you do feel hot and sweaty.

  12. This Charming Mum

    There are Bikram places springing up all over Brisbane and I would love to try it. I’ve only just reconnected with yoga after having more a gym focus last year and I feel like a total beginner. My friends tell me that hot yoga is incredibly cleansing (physically, mentally and spiritually) which appeals. I just hope I can stand the heat (in more ways than one!)

    1. Kathy Kruger

      Sorry for the late reply Lara. Give it a go and be prepared for it to feel bad until you get used to it – the heat does add to the internal cleansing of organs and it really helps you to zone out even more than in a regular yoga class I reckon. I was on and off with yoga for about 12 years before getting into hot yoga and your body always has that muscle and breathing memory – once you can get that going again it makes all the difference.

    1. Kathy Kruger

      Malinda – it is an acquired taste and I do like to mix it up with yin yoga (not hot) and my own few postures at home. Running is a great meditative habit if you can keep it up without the joint issues.

  13. Pingback: Let the sun shine – the third chakra | Yinyangmother

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