By Melissa Wistrom and Uli Gulje
Cost of 1 hour and 20 minutes at Sumit Hot Yoga = $20
Cost of 1 hour and 20 minutes inside the mind of Uli Gulje = PRICELESS
When we lived in Seattle I had people ask me all the time to go to hot yoga. Being ADD I would politely decline, as I assumed that I would be very bored. I assumed very wrong. I love hot yoga! It is awesome. I also love hot yoga at The Sumit. The girls over there are our kind. They are arms wide open, know your name, accepting, Jessi-like kinda girls. If you decide after reading this to try it, I strongly suggest you try it at Sumit.
CrossFit contends that a person is as fit as they are proficient in each of ten general physical skills: cardiovascular/respiratory endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, speed, agility, balance, coordination, and accuracy. As Crossfitters I believe we are pretty good at all but two of these. Can you guess which two? We are busy people and when time is limited the two that are at the bottom of the list are balance and flexibility. That is why I think it is a great idea to take some time out of our busy schedules and commit to do just that. I was going to try to describe the experience of hot yoga for you, but then I read Uli’s blog and I knew I could not do a better job than him. So here it is, you are about to enter the mind of ULI. You have been warned!Sweat raining monsoon-style down my forehead, I’m on my hands and knees, desperate for the mental clarity that will allow me to push forward. Humid claustrophobia slowly chokes me out as my vision blurs and I fear that at some point I may lose control of all muscle function, resulting in what may be me in a pile of my own piss. No house fire should have this kind of sway over me after nearly two decades in the fire service. But this is no ordinary house fire; in fact it’s not a fire at all, except that my eyeballs are melting from the heat. This, as it turns out, is hot yoga, or as I’ve taken to calling it “hot yogurt”; I don’t know, somehow that seems less ridiculous sounding. And it turns out that it’s just like exercising in a house fire, minus all the smoke and the random hoarders detritus. I’ve been drug here by a friend who insists that it’s a nice balance to the workout regimen that is CrossFit. Just as intense as CrossFit, hot yoga encompasses everything I’m not good at: semi-nudity, excessive sweating, flexibility and dignity. I’m told that it’s good for purging all of the toxins that accumulate in your system, and I’m prone to believing it; I taste what I’m sure is a french fry from 1987 working its way through my system. I can’t keep up with all of these flexy, bendable people, and as a result, I look something like a dehydrated walrus on a beach, doing a complex mating dance, minus the seaweed. The friend who’s brought me here is chiseled like a damn Greek God, and by the hostile glares being shot my way from the lady next to me, she’s most agitated that she’s drawn the unenviable spot next to me, a heaving musk ox, as opposed to next to him, all sculpted and shit, cutting manly yoga moves with grace as I slip slide all over my leg hair. This is supposed to be a spiritual experience, like sitting in the front row of a Shamu show at Sea World, except that instead of sea water, it’s sweat getting flung about, as we think about thrusting our hips out and letting go of all of our worries and having a heat stroke. At once, it’s liberating and emasculating. One moment, I’m folded over in half, attempting to twist my torso into a tourniquet, then next I’m down on my mat, imagining that this is how it feels to get slow roasted in a Crock-Pot, simmering in my own juices and hating myself at levels previously unimaginable. When the teacher, who looks like she bounces quarters off her abs as a sideshow act, opens up the door in a brief moment of mercy, I’m giddy with oxygen-deprived joy at the thought of a rush of air across my disgusting corpse. We’re nearing the end of this little hour and a half exile into slimy zen, and all the while I’m convincing myself that this is a good thing, this is going to help with hockey strength, with flexibility, with focus on the positive in my life. I’m withering, praying for sweet release, my toes sweating in concert with the drool that is freely leaving my gaping mouth, my body in full revolt as if to say “what the HELL are you doing to us?” I don’t know, body. I do know that in a half-hour you’re gonna feel a million times better. That long dormant french fry will be purged, our thoughts will focus less on the haters in this life, and we’ll find ourselves at the front desk, willingly signing up for another round of purification at 10,000 degrees.
Your CFE Coaches have been harping on you to perform your mobility work since we started this program. Hot yoga at the Sumit is a great way to work on your mobility, purge those pre-paleo french fries from 87′ and take some active recovery from your CF/CFE workouts. Please stop in to the Sumit and give one of their classes a try, mention you are a CF/CFE athlete and they will give you 25% off. Info about their studio can be found by clicking on the link below.