Monthly Archives: January 2012

Hot Yoga: Just a Few Degrees Shy of Hell

Drip, drip, drip.

Drip, drip, drip…. drip, drip, drip.

That was not the sound of an aromatic morning cup of coffee gurgling. Neither was it the merry pitter patter of raindrops on the windowsill. Rather, it was the uncomfortably loud splatter of the sweat of the man next to me as it rained down on his yoga mat.

Cushioning me from the other side was the immense sprawl of a woman who failed to thoroughly cloth her girth. With the exception of her internal organs, I believe I could catch a glimpse of every part of her body. I don’t mean to be rude, but last time I checked, there IS enough polyester in the world to cover up one’s body. (Same admonition goes to you, Naked Bike Paraders.)

In addition to the audible and visual abominations, a third sense was besieged: my nose. I’ve never been an animal lover, so the irony that the studio smelled like a dank dog was not lost on me. Imagine wringing buckets of sweat from hundreds of toxic bodies, dumping it onto a carpet floor (really? carpet in a hot yoga studio?) and letting it fester in a 103 degree cauldron, day after day. This nauseating milieu was the environment in which we were supposed to ‘detox.’

Here in Portlandia, OR, we are inundated with water. Gray skies pour forth cat-and-dog rain (sometimes literally it seems, as the dog population in the city soon promises to outstrip the human) on a daily basis. With such a surplus of H20, you would imagine water conservation would not be an issue. Regardless, I couldn’t help but feel a twinge of guilt when basic human decency necessitated I wash my sweat-saturated yoga clothes and towel daily. Or perhaps it was in reality frustration over my dramatically-increased laundry bill that I cleverly dressed in a more laudable motive?

raining cats and dogs

Anyway – who has time for such introspection. Moving on.

Despite all these annoyances,  I still returned for more. At the conclusion of the hour and a half ordeal, a soggy sense of ineffable well-being radiated from the top of my head to the bottom of my toes. Yet the pleasure stemmed not exclusively from the physical sensation of happy muscles, but also from the immaterial triumph of struggling, skirmishing with the weaker – yet simultaneously stronger – forces of laziness and apathy, and conquering. We are holistic beings, and satisfactions that encompass all aspects of our personhood are far more poignant. Ice cream is delicious, but how much tastier after a 6-hour hike? A kiss is pleasant, but how much sweeter after waiting for so long?

Infinite beings of finite vessels as we tread this earth, we are capable of containing only so much feeling & awareness at any given moment. To make way for the keen joys of love, pleasure, wellness, etc., we must first sweep out the dust of selfishness, despair, laziness, greed and more. A clean house means the party is going to be that much more awesome!

So press on. Stretch. Struggle. Sweat. And rejoice!

And now for some quotes by some really smart guys validating points made by not-as-smart me:

The redeeming things are not happiness and pleasure but the deeper satisfactions that come out of struggle. ~ F. Scott Fitzgerald

Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. And so we must straighten our backs and work for our freedom. A man can’t ride you unless your back is bent. ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.


How Being a Girl Cost Me $124.70

Actually, it’s my mom’s fault too. The fact that she is also a girl (which I am grateful for) cost me half of $124.70, which is …. umm … shoot. I get nervous working out math equations. Where’s my calculator. No, no, I can do this in my head! Just break it down into things you love, Heidi:

  • 100 biscuits divided by 2 = 50 biscuits
  • 24 strawberries divided by 2 = 12 strawberries
  • 70 cups of whipped cream divided by 2 = 35 cups of whipped cream

Let me explain. My mom and I love freezing our food. A year ago, we bought a 1/4 of a cow (yes, that’s a quarter of a whole cow) and jam-packed that freezer full. Being completely adverse to cooking, I’ll designate one Saturday a month and cook enough beef soup to last for several weeks. Several dozen Ziploc bags later, my freezer is bursting and I can circumvent the evil oven for another blissful month.

Unfortunately, this cornucopia of abundance doesn’t just mean Heidi can be lazy. It also means 1. The overloaded freezer has to work harder at its job (freezing my cow and keeping the refrigerator cool) 2. It’s more arduous to shut the freezer door because a 1/4 of a cow is quite beefy (pun intended).

“So what?” you ask. “How heavy can a freezer door be?” Well, I guess that question would be irrelevant if you are Arnold Schwarzenegger, but even though people often confuse the two of us, my biceps aren’t quite there.

Arnold could flick his pinkie and shut our freezer door. When laden with beefy delights, my mom and I have to give it a hearty shove. Honestly, we are not always in a mood for hearty shoves. Particularly between the hours of 9pm – 8am (don’t make fun; I know we go to bed as early as an 11-yr-old boy). This restricted schedule means the door doesn’t get shut properly, the freezer frosts over, the fridge goes warm and global warming becomes a terrifying reality in my kitchen.

Thankfully, last Friday night I went all out and stayed up until 12am (ask my family how shocking this is). Upon arriving home, I went to grab my midnight snack and was horrified to discover all the food was warm and insipid. I say “thankfully” because I was able to save the perishable food, not because I had to pack a cooler for an hour in the wee morning hours.

In addition to my severely under-developed biceps, being a girl also means I can’t fix the freezer. So we called a repairman who didn’t vote for Al Gore (I know this because he apparently had never heard of the World Wide Web and had to be given turn-by-turn directions) and it cost me $124.70 for him to pull the freezer door out and blow dry the frost away. Really, that’s it? Aren’t girls supposed to be connoisseurs with hair dryers??

When this happens again (not “if”), I hope my mom buys a portable electric cooler. It’d make the food rescue mission less taxing if I didn’t have to mess with ice cubes. Then I realized a portable electric cooler would be advantageous even if we were capable of shutting our fridge door. Countless times, I’ve done my grocery shopping on my lunch break, went to a friend’s house after work and had to suffer the embarrassment of  cramming three bulging bags of groceries into their refrigerator. The worst of it is when they discover what a health freak I am because my food looks more like rabbit feed.

Heck, it’d even be great for the wretched Friday evening commute. If I had an icy cold Kombucha (translate: soda pop for freakishly-healthy people), the hour-long ordeal would be more bearable.