It sure feels good to cool off in an air conditioned building. But would you believe that some folks like to beat the heat by stepping right into it for a hot yoga class?
So I say what the heck and I join the 30 brave people for a little mid afternoon yoga at temperatures that soar to (what does that class thermometer say?) 110 degrees. An hour-long hot yoga class at Pure Yoga East is booked solid everyday, whether it's 30 degrees and snowing outside or in the 90s. In fact, these yoga devotees thrive in the summer sweltering heat.
Heidi Fuld, a yoga practitioner, said your body is already used to the heat when you're outside.
So we go through the usual poses: downward dog, child's pose, sun salutations. Five minutes in and I could feel the sweat starting to roll down my face.
I had to stop and wipe my face. Wow, and I'm just beginning. We had about 50 minutes more of this. But then I could feel something happening as a teacher gently pressed on my back: I feel more relaxed, calmer, and my muscles started to go with it.
Then I wondered: Could this be healthy at 110 degrees?
"What's great is that you don't have to acclimate your body going back and forth," said Tanya Boulton of Pure Yoga. "You're already sweating when you come in and sweating when you leave."
And what about if you have injuries? There's actually a school of thought that believes hot yoga can help that, too.
"The heat expands and make muscle tissue more malleable," said Kaykay Colvio, a Pure Yoga instructor. "And that's the theory behind hot yoga."
I wouldn't be a reliable journalist if a didn't check with a doctor about these theories. So who better to ask than the very astute and always animated Dr. Manny Alvarez?
He said it might be a trend, but he doesn't like it.