Thursday, July 12, 2012

Yoga Fever with Guest Blogger: Rebecca J. Clark

Win a private personal trainer consultation 
& meet author Rebecca J. Clark
today at the Book Boost!

She's here to chat about sweating it out yoga-style and here's what she had to say...

July is typically the hottest month of the year (and in the Pacific NW where I live, sometimes it’s the only hot month. Sigh.). So I thought it would be fitting to talk about one of my passions, yoga. And more specifically, hot yoga.

What is hot yoga? Well, it’s probably exactly what you’re thinking—it’s doing yoga in a heated room, which makes you very, um, hot. :) There are several reasons for the heated room, depending on whom you ask. Some say the heat increases an individual's flexibility in the poses, which makes sense. Any time you warm up a muscle or joint it’ll be more flexible. Some say it’s to replicate the heat and humidity from southern India, where many forms of yoga originated. Others say it’s because the heat combined with the yoga poses will really make you sweat out the toxins in our bodies. Personally, I like all those explanations.

I’ve taken two hot yoga classes. And those will probably be my last. But Becky, you say, I thought you just said above that hot yoga was your passion? No, no, my friend. I said YOGA was my passion. Hot yoga is just The classes I took were based on the teachings of Bikram Choudhury. He teaches 26 poses in a 105-degree room. For 90 minutes. Talk about a sweat fest. I sweat a lot anyway, but in hot yoga class, I was literally a waterfall. I completely drenched the two towels I brought. My hands and feet slipped and slid all over my slippery, sweaty mat. And don’t get me started on how hot it was. I don’t mind feeling warm. But I hate feeling hot, as in over-heated, like I’m in a 90-minute hot flash from hell. Even with my three bottles of water, I felt light-headed throughout the class. Almost nauseous.

Yeah. Fun times.

Those caveats aside, my warm muscles were able to go into poses I can’t normally go into, which was pretty cool, and good for the ego (even though you’re supposed to check your ego at the door with yoga). And after class, when it was all over, I felt fabulous. I mean “walking on air” fabulous. I have friends who swear by hot yoga. They love the feeling afterward so much, they’re willing to deal with the hell of the class. (I haven’t talked to anyone who actually enjoys the actual class, although I’m sure there are a lot of people who do.)

I’m not willing to deal with the hell of class, but I wanted to replicate the feelings I have afterward. So here’s what I’ve been doing. Now, let me stop here and mention that I’m a personal fitness trainer and gym yoga teacher (as opposed to a “traditional” yoga teacher who’s been through about 200 hours of intense instruction and training. No offense to gym yoga teachers as I am one, but there is a difference.) So, I know good posture and form, and am comfortable doing yoga on my own. Anyway, I have a few yoga DVDs that I love. I’ll pop them in and head into our bonus room that gets direct sunlight most of the day and is like an oven (well, about 80 degrees or so). So the room is warm but not TOO warm. I keep lots of towels nearby, and a gallon of water ready. I enjoy practicing yoga this way. My muscles are warm enough to allow my body to get comfortably into the poses, and I feel fabulous when I’m done.

If you’ve never tried yoga, I’d recommend taking some gentle yoga classes first, then work your way into harder classes, then finally try at least one or two hot yoga classes. You might absolutely love it or you might hate it. I wouldn’t recommend practicing yoga on your own until you’ve taken a few classes from a qualified instructor, so you can learn proper form.

A Note from the Book Boost:  Great post, Rebecca!  Okay, so I have an aerobics instructor certification from way back when and I've practiced Yoga for years (not so much since recently but I need to get back into it).  But I've not tried the hot yoga and I don't see it happening--unless I step out into my backyard on any given day.  I live in the deep, deep south.  The Heart of Dixie, to be exact. And we have almost ALL hot days throughout the year.  That 90 minutes in hot yoga is probably the equivalent of my garage on a normal day!  Thanks for joining us and please tell us more about your latest book.


Once upon a time, he promised her the moon. It's time to deliver.

Louisa D’Angelo used to believe in happily ever after—until the tragic death of her son and the demise of her marriage. Now, five years later, with her life back in order, she has a great career and a wonderful man in her life. So what if the passion and excitement isn't there? In her book, passion and excitement only lead to heartbreak. Then, her ex-husband shows up and upsets her tidy little world.

Gabe D’Angelo never believed in happily ever after—until he met Louisa who taught him how to love and be loved. But their happiness was short-lived. Guilt and grief forced Gabe to walk away. Now, though he's pulled his life together and should be happy, he realizes something’s missing. After seeing her from afar at a family wedding, he knows what it is. It’s Louisa.

The problem is convincing her she's still in love with him.


From his hard wooden seat in the back row, Gabe saw her the moment she began her slow walk between the pews. His chest tightened. She looked beautiful—better than the day he’d left. Her dark curly hair was piled high and fashionably jumbled with loose tendrils spilling onto her face and bare shoulders. The lights from the stained glass windows shimmered in the sable curls, a kaleidoscope of colors to halo her face. 

Louisa wasn’t beautiful in the conventional sense. Her face was too small and pale, overpowered by her wild tresses, and he’d be willing to bet she still hadn’t given in to her mother’s urgings to get her teeth straightened. But Gabe liked those minor imperfections. Always had. To him, she was perfect. For a moment as he watched her, all their old problems, old arguments, seemed so trivial. So avoidable. Oh, who was he kidding? He still loved her. He knew that just as clearly as the day they’d met ten years ago. Which meant it had been five years since he’d walked out of her life.  

Five years.  

Had it really been that long? Yes, of course it had because he’d been counting them, one lonely year after another.

Want More Rebecca?

Rebecca J. Clark has been a personal fitness trainer and group exercise instructor for more than 10 years. When she’s not kicking her clients’ and students’ booties, she’s working on her next romance novel. 

Visit her on the web here:

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Pick up a copy of her book today!  Click here.

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Rebecca J. Clark said...

Thanks so much for having me here today. The blog looks great. And FYI--that picture at the top is not me. I wish.


Marianne Strnad said...

You know Becky, I just can't bring myself to try a class. With me being in menopause now and dealing with the agony of hot flashes-the class would likely consume me! Your solution for hot yoga is utterly brilliant! My family room is ablaze right now as it faces east-ugh. The excerpt of your book really caught my eye-it sounds wonderful-and something I can totally relate too-must be all those Italian names and the heroine's imperfections-lol! Thanks for your post-really enjoyed it.

Rebecca J. Clark said...

Hey Marianne--Thanks for stopping by. :) Always good to see you. I hear you on the menopause...I'm just getting into it, I think. But I'm hot-blooded anyway so I don't really know if I'll notice a difference.

Lynne Marshall said...

Hi Rebecca!
I am so impressed with Yoga. I have taken a few classes over the years, but admit I've never been consistent. As I age I realize that stretching is very important, but when the Yoga instructor starts having me walk up the wall, I just don't feel strong enough to handle it.
Hot Yoga sounds interesting, but since I hate being too hot, I think I wouldn't like it. I get the reasoning though!

Part of what I love about my Curve's gym is that they keep it so nice and cold for us gals!

I have your book on my Kindle and will read it after I've finished another WRP book. Looking forward to it!

Unknown said...

Lynne, thanks so much for coming by. What style of yoga have you tried? I like the gentle styles. Power Yoga is fun, but I'm not looking for a "workout" when I do yoga, but more of a good stretch and meditation. You might experiment with different classes or just ask if you can watch a class or two. The instructor shouldn't mind.

Rebecca J. Clark said...

Lynne, I have no idea why it posted my comments above by "unknown." But I figure you knew it was me, LOL.