What I Learned from Sweat

Originally published on Cake & Whiskey's Sip n' Slice blog at http://www.cakenwhiskey.com/what-i-learned-from-sweat/

There is nothing that could happen that could make me forget my first heated vinyasa yoga class.

Not knowing any better, and with no one to tell me otherwise, I opted to practice next to the vent where the steam is released – and the thermometer.

I watched the numbers climb…97 degrees, 98 degrees, 99 degrees…and had no sense of how I was supposed to breathe while in a constant flow, a type of yoga I had never done before.

I ended up taking child’s pose and laying there drinking my own sweat, thinking: people actually think this is a fun workout?! 

I am about a year into a consistent heated vinyasa practice now, and my attitude and breath – and my pouting face – have changed forever. Here’s what I learned from the best push of my life.

1). Heat creates Conviction. When you’re in hot water, when you’re feeling pain, when you’re dwelling, when you need a change, there is nothing left to do but take action. Action is filled with intention, purpose, and meaningfulness. One class, when I wasn’t sure I could make it, a thought bubbled to the surface of my mind: what if I practiced solely with intention? My limbs became stronger, my breath more powerful, and I only felt the flow. Being at the bottom of a cliff is only a motivation to start climbing back up.

2). Self-forgiveness is the Most Important Forgiveness. When you screw up, or can’t keep up, the person next to you won’t care. The class keeps moving. Society keeps moving. No one will dwell on your mistakes or temporary weaknesses but you. Don’t let yourself dwell on them. Be in the moment.

3). Your Inner Stillness Does Not Leave You.  It’s at the corner of your Body and your Mind. When you use your breath as a tool for synchronicity and transformation, you can get there, every time, any time. This is the only for sure thing, as long as you live. To access it is self-realization. To access it is self-acceptance. To access it is peace.