On my way to the studio a couple of weeks ago I was listening to the local radio station when they read a letter they received from one of their listeners. The letter discussed how this man had asked her out on a first date and though she was excited to go out with him, she was more than dismayed when she found out he planned on taking her to a hot yoga class. Should she still go out on the date?
Soon, the conversation flipped to other disastrous first date scenarios with people calling in with their dating woes and crazy stories. But I could not stop thinking about the first letter that started the conversation. Now, I know I’m more than a little biased, but I thought it was a brilliant idea for a first date. Well…maybe not the first date, but definitely a stop to make within the first 10 dates.
Aside from the fact that if you are a hot yoga or Bikram Yoga practitioner you probably spend a large chunk of your time getting to the studio, going through the class, and cleaning up afterward and anyone getting involved with you should know about your addiction…I mean, commitment, there are quite a few reasons why getting that special someone to the hot room would be a great idea. Let’s face it, the hot room is a direct reflection of how we deal with situations outside of the studio, so why not see what your prospective partner is made of, as well as, share something with them that you love? Here are few things you might learn about them on your hot, hot date:
Are they willing to be out of their comfort zone? Many people are nervous and scared when they first venture into the hot room and that is normal. The heat can be overwhelming in the first couple of classes and a person can feel exposed and vulnerable as they move from posture to posture. If your new sweetie is willing to try something new this means they have a sense of adventure and are also interested in learning about what makes you tick. They are willing to look sweaty, gross, and less than perfect in front of you and that’s super cool.
Do they take corrections or adjustments well? When the instructor asks them to correct their posture or gives them an adjustment, are they willing to try it out or are they sure they are 100% correct in alignment and form and don’t need their help? You may want to date someone that is interested in learning, not just about yoga, but life. Nobody wants to be with someone that already knows it all. What’s the fun in that?
What comes out in the heat? The heat squeezes you in the first couple of classes like an orange. What comes out? Is it bitter or sweet? If there is a ton of drama or a full on sprint towards the door, you might consider that this person runs from tough situations instead of sticking it out or will bring some drama into your life if you continue with the relationship. This is not to say that I have zero compassion for those that have a hard time with the heat. There are definitely days, even as a teacher, in which I would love to run for the door myself, and I’ve seen a fair share of people have to take a time out from the heat – it’s not uncommon. If they leave the room, but decide to come back and see it through, this is showing you they are willing to keep trying.
What does that backbend look like? You might want to sneak a peek at those backbends. Do they release a little bit and give it a try or do they become rigid and barely look back absorbed in the fear of it all? The spine can tell you a lot about a person. The first backbend in the Bikram Yoga Series is your own personal trust fall and develops over time. But you have to be willing to let go, trust your body, and release control to the situation at hand.
What is the conversation afterwards? On the way home from the studio the conversation might tell you more about that person than anything else. Are they glad they gave it a try? Did they like it? Or is the conversation only about how much they hated the teacher, the heat, the lights, the studio, the crazy person next to them, did you see what that person was wearing, and why in the heck do you like this stuff anyway? Look, they don’t need to become a regular practitioner of the yoga to be a good fit for you. They might never venture into the hot room again and yet still be the love of your life, but they should respect that it’s something you are passionate about and love to do and commend you for taking care of yourself in such a positive way. It’s perfectly fine and healthy to have separate interests, but respect and understanding for these interests is key.
So, if you are asked to go on a date to a hot yoga class I hope you give it a try! Even if the relationship with the one that asked you out doesn’t last, the yoga may be the thing that is there for you on the road ahead, whether it be single, dating, or married. And if you are single and dating and find someone special, share the yoga with them, you might just find your yoga partner for life.
Originally posted to viewsfromthepodium.com on February 24, 2015