I Straight Up Passed Out My First Time Doing Hot Yoga

Still, it was the best resolution ever.

Growth is a process in which we could all use some help.

The week in between Christmas and New Year’s Eve is a weird one. It’s a strange, eerily quiet week that combines the exhaustion of a past holiday with the eager anticipation of an upcoming one. Many projects finally get wrapped up, while others are in planning stages ready to kick off.

Then there’s the idea of a New Year’s Resolution. Coming up with one is pretty easy, actually. Coming up with one that you’ll stick with is the hard part. In recent years, I’ve looked at resolution-making as an opportunity to learn something — not just do something.

In trying to figure out what my resolution will be for 2018, I naturally have revisited some of my past resolutions that I did stick with throughout that year. The one that sticks out is when, many years ago, I resolved to get into yoga. It was great on many levels and I was able to stick with it for a long time.

But, it did not start off well.

Friends told me that I should start slowly…watch some DVDs first, then go to a regular yoga class a few times to ease into it, then “graduate” to hot yoga if I felt I could.

Nah. I’ll just jump right into hot yoga. 90 minutes. 100 degree room. NBD.

It was the Sunday morning class.

My band had a gig the night before, so I was running on minimal sleep, but I did have the presence of mind to not drink any beers that night. One of my top ten best decisions ever.

Carol checked me in and told me she’d be teaching the class. She advised that beginners be in the back of the room and I was cool with that. Carol was the first yoga instructor I ever met and she was crazy super pretty. I wasn’t even in the locker room and so far, I was all about yoga.

Class starts and I was one of maybe 35 people in the room. There was only one other guy in the room and he was next to me on my left. I was already sweating like crazy and we hadn’t started yet.

As we began, we were all reminded that we weren’t supposed to drink water until the first three poses were done. Part of the process. Ok, fine. The first three poses were stupid hard and I started to realize that this wasn’t just going to be stretching in a hot room for 90 minutes, hot yoga was going to unapologetically kick my ass.

“Ok, you can take a sip of water now,” announced Carol. I bent over, grabbed my bottle, took a swig, and then stood back up.

That’s when the wheels began to fall off.

I stood up too fast. I was light-headed and started seeing those blinky stars everywhere. You know those blinky stars, right? Then, it happened. The tunnel vision started closing in — like unplugging an old TV.

Then, total darkness. Awww f**k. I’ve been down this road before and it didn’t end so well that time.

I stick my hand out to my left looking for that one guy. He’ll help me. My yoga bro. My broga. I wave around looking for him. Whiff. Whiff. Whiff. He was just right there. Where did he go? Is he avoiding me? What a dick.

Still, total darkness.

I’m about to fall flat on my face and bust my nose and make a scene. This is going to be awful. I prepare myself for the inevitable and…not kidding…start even thinking about other places to go to yoga because I’ll never be able to come back here ever again. And for real, that guy to my left is avoiding me and what a f***ing dick.

Then, I heard the second-most beautiful thing I’ve ever heard (the first being when my wife said, “I do”), “Vijoy, I got you. That’s my hand on your back. Take a knee and lay down. Sit the next few poses out. You’re ok.”

It was Carol. She came all the way from the front of the class to make sure I didn’t fall flat on my face. She swooped in, somehow pronounced my name correctly, and saved my ass. I instantly started believing in angels.

I sat the next few poses out and when I was better, the embarrassment started settling in, too. Goddammit, I was not going to let hot yoga defeat me. Not this day. And not in front of Carol because holy smokes, you guys, for real. Crazy super pretty.

I got back up and finished the last few poses. Even “camel pose” which suuuuuucks. I walked out of there with my head held high, though. I got my ass kicked and I was hooked on yoga. I fought off the temptation to wait for that one guy in the parking lot and ask him WTF, but nah. F that guy.

Fast forward to today.

I am not sure what my 2018 resolution will be, but my yoga resolution those many years ago is the standard by which all my resolutions are measured. I went twice a week for the whole year.

Yoga isn’t so much about achieving as it is about pursuing. I think that is what I loved most about it.

It’s easy to get wrapped up with goals and objectives, but not all things can be measured that way. Yoga taught me that there are some concepts which can never be achieved, but the pursuit of them is what takes courage, dedication, and focus. The pursuit itself can be success.

Progress was seen in every class. Sometimes the instructor would even call my name out in class, “Nice, Vijoy!” and I’d feel extra special that the tall brunette in the first row heard — especially when she’d become my wife two years later.

May your pursuits be fruitful…


Vijoy Rao || Founder // Magic Room Brand
When you’re doing something you love, there’s no need to compromise.

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