How having a friend in the hot tub makes all the difference!
At Kripalu there is a wonderful hot tub, and a cold plunge. I was afraid of the cold plunge. On a previous visit I had put my toe in there and a calf, but that was about it. In the cold water it felt like rigor mortis was crawling up the inside of my leg. I just couldn’t make myself do it. I told a new friend about this, someone I had just met at the Albany Airport. We were waiting for the Kripalu Shuttle and she told me about how great it was to go back and forth between the hot and cold water. I was jealous! It sounded so great, but I just didn’t think I could do it! I wasn’t able to before…
Right then and there she generously offered to be my cold plunge mentor. It turns out that that was how she overcame her resistance to the cold water, too. I hesitated for a moment out of fear. The cold plunge was a small pool, and most of the women bathe naked. I was a little concerned about my personal space, but I really wanted to try so I said yes (of course!).
Then one day after the Program Session at Kripalu we were near one another putting on shoes. It was time.
After getting good and hot in the spacious hot tub, I followed my mentor over to the little cold plunge bath. She went right in, hugging herself and breathing fast, and said something like, “oh my god,” several times. I went right in, all the way to my neck. I was smiling. And it was so easy with my friend there. I looked into her eyes and felt courageous. It was very cold, but the coldness seemed secondary to teamwork, doing this thing together, and showing that I could do it, too. I was in no hurry to leave, so we stayed for a couple minutes. And when I went back into the hot water my body released so much more. It was wonderful! And for the rest of the visit I did the hot tub to cold plunge and back to the hot tub again whenever I could.
It was a success!
Modified from a version posted originally on Yogic Muse.