So you’re dating someone who practices hot yoga?
Watch out buddy, your world is about to get rocked. Here are some tips to help you navigate this crazy, wonderful community!
(I’ve been practicing Bikram yoga for seven years and here are a few things I’ve learned along the way. Many of these tips apply to other styles of yoga as well.)
1. Suddenly your apartment is taken over by stinky, nasty, wet yoga clothes. Sweat is a part of the hot yoga experience, but the result is the chronic need to do laundry. As a partner or roommate, you’ve now got to deal with their stinky clothes.
Tip: Introduce them to the most amazing laundry invention ever: Super Wash Balls. I can’t claim to understand how these work, but they do. After frequently visiting a Korean Spa outside of Washington D.C., I noticed they used Super Wash Balls to wash their laundry. Since the spa focuses on sweating and hot rooms, I assumed they used lots of bleach and other harmful detergents… not the case. Regardless if you practice hot yoga or not, these wash balls are amazing, save money and protect the environment.
2. Hot yoga can cure anything. If you have a headache, backache, anxiety or insomnia, your hot yoga partner will claim it can be remedied by taking class. Tired? Take class! Anxious? Take class! High blood pressure? Take class! The claims may get so outlandish it will be hard to believe: Taking class will even change the oil in your car!
Tip: Smile, thank them for the tip, and try taking class. It doesn’t hurt to try, does it? As for your car, you’ll still have to bring it in for an oil change.
3. Life is scheduled around yoga class. It may seem weird that yoga could have such a drastic effect on your partner’s schedule, meals, dates etc, but fret not. Even if it seems be a drain on your relationship, it could actually be helping it.
Tip: Practicing yoga is time intensive, but as the partner or friend of a yogi, you will find that over time your partner will be more present when you’re together, happier, more energetic and engaged. Let them schedule life around yoga. Don’t worry if you’re eating dinner a little bit later to accommodate a practice that will end up benefiting you and your relationship.
4. They drink less alcohol. When you’re sweating your ass off in a 105 degree room, that last thing your pores want to be squeaking out is last night’s red wine. If your partner doesn’t seem to drink much alcohol or drastically cut back after starting their yoga practice don’t worry, they’re still going to be fun at parties.
Tip: Don’t pressure them to drink just because they did before. My guess is they will still want to go out and have a good time, but instead of a beer, they may drink a sparkling water.
5. They go to bed at 9:00 PM. Ignore my last tip. Your hot yogi babe will likely end up, like me, curled in bed between 9 and 10 like a little old lady.
Tip: Hop into bed with them…
6. Yoga babe starts taking two classes a day. You thought one 90-minute class in 105 degree heat was already questionably safe and healthy and now your partner is taking two classes a day?
Tip: This phase won’t last long. With proper hydration and nutrition, experienced yogis can take two classes a day. We all go through that phase, it’s good to push the envelope and you’d be surprised, the second class is often easier than the first one! Also, despite what some yogis may say, practicing in a hot room is NOT dangerous or bad for your health.
7. Your partner finds him/herself defending “the hot room.” Unfortunately, like many of the world’s religions, the yoga world can be divided and judgmental. Yogis who don’t practice hot yoga sometimes have a lot of bad things to say about it; as a result your partner may have to explain that practicing in the heat isn’t bad for one’s health, that there are not more injuries as a result of hot yoga and that the hot yoga practice is not overly aggressive.
Tip: Support them in this or any similar fight. It’s up to all of us to support tolerance of different types of people, religious, lifestyles and yes, yoga practices.
8. They become righteous about, everything. Yogis can be snobs. They can suddenly become righteous about their yoga practice, the learning and insights they are gaining from it, the kale they’re eating instead of french fries or their oneness with their body. They may say any of the following statements in a condescending tone: All I can do is plant the seed and it’s up to you to see if your flower grows or You’ll find the time that’s right for you to start the yoga or he/she may shudder at the offering of a bite of your ice cream.
Tip: Tell them to stop this nonsense immediately and keep jamming on your ice cream. No one likes to be talked down to, it’s ineffective, will turn people off and is demoralizing. Anyone’s personal journey may have moments of righteousness, which can be a small affirmation that you’re on the right path, but making others feel inferior about it is annoying and entirely un-yogic.
9. They transform into healthy, beautiful babes. Whatever “babe” means to you, your partner has got it. The beauty of hot yoga (or any yoga) is that it transforms your body into the shape it should be.
Tip: Be grateful, lucky you!
10. They ask you to come to class with them. Asking may turn into pestering, begging and pleading. It’s true, after practicing hot yoga we just want to share the amazing experience with everyone we know, especially those we love.
Tip: Try not to be annoyed, this comes from a place of love. It’s like biting into a delicious meal, sometimes you really want someone else to taste the sweetness with you! To stop the pestering….? Take class, what have you got to lose?
What’s your favorite tip and what did I miss?
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Assistant Ed: Kristina Peterson / Ed: Catherine Monkman