“Oh, I know why you do hot yoga…” It’s a phrase that’s been thrown at me multiple times when I tell people that I go to Sumits on a regular basis.
“No. No, you don’t,” I think silently as I shrug my shoulders and coyly roll my eyes, allowing me to quickly change the conversation with someone who’s clearly not ready to listen.
I’m just a regular guy. Sure, I’m larger than the average bear, but I’m not particularly graceful and not overly flexible, either. I drive a truck. I’m good with a chainsaw. I like my beer cold on a football Saturday with my Tigers. Hot yoga may seem like a dichotomy in that mix, but it’s not.
I’ve recently had a hip replacement and the healing aspects of yoga are not lost on me. After a six-week stint of having to rely on others to bring me food, drive me where I need to go, help me with so many aspects of daily life, I was cleared to return to Sumits again… In just one session, I regained something so simple – I could put on my own socks again! That’s powerful stuff but also an unassuming nod of confidence that I’m going to heal fully and confirmation hot yoga will continue to be a part of my life. I also believe my body (and mind) was in a better place and I have recovered ahead of schedule due to the time spent in the studio prior to surgery. I can’t say how grateful I am to everyone at Sumits – they helped me find new ways to do poses to keep my pain at a minimum.
What has set Sumits apart from my previous forays into “cold” yoga is the mental and emotional aspects that have meant so much to me. Only after going through several sessions did I realize how much more Sumits brings to the table for my yoga practice. The heat adds a layer which requires drishti – that spot of focus during yoga, finding center, zeroing in on the only thing that’s important in that moment. For the hour and a half of class, nothing else matters, just that focus. I have my fair share of problems, to-do lists, and responsibilities, just as we all do. And they can feel consuming if I let them. I’ll readily admit, sometimes I can and do find peace working the chainsaw. But I always find peace when I connect with my drishti. Every class leaves me physically challenged and mentally recharged.
So, I love my truck. I love my chainsaw. I love my beer cold. AND I love my drishti.