September 5, 2013

Sticky Situation: Confessions of a Sweaty Yogini. ~ Alisa Stevenson

Please tell me that I am not the only female yogi that sweats like a N.B.A. point guard during their practice.

No, I’m not talking about Bikram—my Northern European blood was not designed to handle desert-like temperatures with suffocating humidity created by an over-abundance of odor-rific sweat molecules. No, thank you. I’m talking about Vinyasa practice in a regular room-temperature yoga studio.

I must confess that I am always a little relieved when I enter the room and see young men throwing down their mat towels and settling in for class. Don’t be confused. I am very happily coupled and madly in love with an amazing man, and have zero romantic interest in said male classmates. My relief comes from pure camaraderie.

As in misery loves company.

As in thank-you-god-now-I-know-at-least-I-won’t-be-the-only-one-in-skimpy-clothing-dripping-pools-of-sweat-on-my-yoga-towel.

I have wished on many occasions to miraculously find a love of Bikram just so that I wouldn’t feel quite so out of place. But alas, it’s just not my thing.

I know what you’re thinking, and you’re wrong. I’m not overweight. I am strong. I am fit. I am healthy. I am well hydrated and my Ujjayi Pranayama (victorious breath) rivals Vader himself. So if you have any hypotheses that I haven’t just ruled out, then I implore you to share.

However, at this point in my life I’ve come to accept that I’m just a very sweaty lady. I know, it’s so sexy you can barely contain yourself.

I have accepted, and dare I say embraced my freakish man-like sweating.

I have learned to not take it personally when the other petite ladies in class stare and try to mask their shock/horror/disgust/pity/confusion at my “condition.” Oh girls, how I often envy you in your not-made-for-swamp-ass colorful head-to-toe spandex with your dry, towel-free mat.

Barely raising your body temperature enough to necessitate putting your hair in a ponytail, I conclude that there must have been a mix-up when my genetic makeup was selected and I somehow ended up with the man-sweat gene. C’est la vie.

And yet, as I mature and grow along with my practice, I have begun to find an unexpected appreciation for my faucet-like pores.

Watching the trickles (okay, rivers) of sweat run down my hard-earned yoga muscles, I feel a strange sense of accomplishment and gratification. As if it’s a badge of honor for how hard I’m working and how committed I am to pushing my physical boundaries.

If this shit were easy and I was satisfied doing just what felt comfortable, then yeah, I’d be brave enough to rock those pale pink capris too without worry of offending my neighbors with visibly sweaty unmentionables.

But that’s not me, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

To those of you who are offended/disgusted by this confession, my apologies. Kind of. But to those of you who can empathize (there has to be at least one of you), then I hope this makes you feel a tiny bit better next time you’re cursing the sweat dripping in (yes inside) your left nostril while rocking your handstand next to dry-as-a-bone yoga Barbie.


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Assistant Ed.: Moira Madden/Ed: Sara Crolick

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Alisa Stevenson