Week Eight – Hot Yoga and the Old Stone House

Once – a few months after I moved to Nashville for law school – I came across an unfamiliar scene. As I walked down a scenic side street, hundreds of red and gold leaves were swept up by the wind. They began to dance in my path, some lightly touching my hands and face before moving on.  Pleasantly taken aback, I twirled and laughed like a small child. When the last leaf settled, I called my father and described the breathtaking incident to him. My father’s laconic reply was – “Yes, Lacey. That is called autumn. It happens in places outside of Florida.

As the above anecdote makes clear, I can appreciate the feeling of a crisp autumn wind and the beauty of a light snowfall. Alas, I am a Florida girl at heart. By the time that mid-January rolls around in Washington, my enthusiasm for winter freezes up and my more cynical side begins to feel that – after all – seasons are overrated.

Accordingly, I have spent my evenings of late bundled up in my covers whilst planning excursions for when spring and summer return. On Saturday, I booked tickets to Bonnaroo – a music festival held each summer outside Nashville (See New Thing # 28). However – because I cannot wait until June to thaw out – for Week # 8 I decided to stave off any further seasonal effectiveness by attending a hot yoga class.

Yoga_FinalI arrived at StudioDC on Sunday afternoon for a 90-minute Vinyasa Flow Yoga class conducted at the balmy temperature of 95-100 degrees. Vinyasa yoga is characterized by a series of fluid movements; the poses run together (“flow”) to become almost like a dance. I reveled in the heat during the warm-up stretches. As the class progressed, however, it became clear that vinyasa is a true workout. My quadriceps protested as we held a side-plank. Other moves made my lack of balance painfully apparent. I spent much of the class with my toes spread out and gripping the matt in an effort not to collide with the person next to me.

Surprisingly, the heat was enjoyable and didn’t seem to make the class any more difficult. Although 95-100 degrees seems intimidating, it is very tolerable without the glare of the sun beating down on you. After weeks of grey, cold winter days, I relished the warmth and the sweat pouring out of my body. Only one complication arose when I tried to raise my foot behind my body and my slick hands caused me to lose my grip. My arms windmilled forward ungracefully and the instructor caught my fall. After giving him a sheepish smile, I finished the class without further mishap.

HappyBaby_Final

The classed ended with a few minutes spent in quiet reflection. As we lay on the floor, eyes closed, the instructor sprayed lavender scent around the room. With the ceiling fans turned on and circulating fresh air, I realized for the first time how hot I was – my face pulsed with warmth. I left the class with the impression is that hot yoga is a solid workout and a pleasant way to re-charge and begin a new week. I think I will make the Sunday afternoon class a staple of my routine. Hopefully, next time I will be able to spare the instructor my clumsiness and keep my feet on the ground!

Photo: I wasn’t able to snap any shots of my impressive yoga-moves. So, I’ve included a picture of my nephew Andrew doing an apt demonstration of the “Happy Baby” pose.

Bonus New Thing – the Old Stone House: Sunday was actually a surprisingly mild day in DC. So, in the morning I took my dog Callie on a 4-5 mile “urban hike” to Georgetown and back. During the walk, I stopped in at the Old Stone House – the oldest untouched building in Washington, DC. The Old Stone House was built before the Revolutionary War in 1765. The simple, three-bedroom home was built from stones quarried near the Potomac River. If you live in Washington, the Old Stone House is definitely worth a visit. It was interesting to leave the weekend foot traffic along M Street and seemingly step into a time 250 years in the past.

OldStone_Final

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