Last Sunday a group of 15 Saint Lawrence students took a trip to Ottawa to try out heated yoga at some yoga studios there. It was a long day, we all met and the L.I.G.H.T house around 7:30 and were on the road by 8:00 am. We were all jittery and excited for our adventure up to a new place and to new yoga studios. Our first class was at a yoga studio in the heart of downtown Ottawa, it had multiple levels and two yoga studio spaces to accommodate their variety of classes and their large number of yoga goers. It was definitely not a class for the feint of heart; it was an hour and a half of hot, hot, hot yoga. Many regulars were in excellent shape; it was amazing to see their body’s move, bend, and flex. So much strength and determination resonated within those four walls. With fifteen extra yogini’s there, the room was filled to the brim. It was hot, challenging, and rewarding once we were laying down for Savasana (Corpse Pose).
The second yoga studio we attended was called Pure Yoga. It was smaller, and had only one yoga studio space, but the ambiance was different than the first. The lights were all golden and dimmed and it was in the lower level of a building so it felt cozy. Many paintings and wall decorations adorned the walls and I felt very peaceful and relaxed the moment I walked in. I think the rest of the crowd agreed. We prepared ourselves for another hour of heated yoga. Already thoroughly exhausted and dehydrated, we all got the giggles and one of our classmates even farted during the first few minutes of class. It was too much…we couldn’t control our laughter. The instructor thankfully found humor in all of this and joined in. She also incorporated music into our hour-long class, providing extra motivation during the Warrior poses and extra relaxation during Supine Twists or Child’s Pose.
Before heading home that evening around 8:00 pm, we ended our time in Ottawa at a little coffee shop called Simply Biscotti. It was simply marvelous and just what we all needed after a hard day of yoga and traveling. We all bought something sweet to eat and something hot and steamy to drink. As stressful as it was to participate in an event like this on a Sunday leading up to the final weeks of the semester, it was also extremely rewarding and centering when all was said and done. The thought of sitting and meditating or stretching might seem counter-productive with the mountains of work we all need to accomplish in these next two weeks, but trust me…it is worth it. I guarantee you will feel a little more at ease and maybe a bit more relaxed and centered about the obstacles between you and Christmas break. So slow down, take some deep breathes, do some Legs Up The Wall, grab a latte, and know that you can and you will accomplish all that is before you!
-Hannah Brook Smith