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If you have ever been to (or heard of) SXSW, you know it’s a whirlwind of technology, inspiration, and innovation that brings people from around the world to Austin, Texas every March. Between all the awesome brand activations, powerful panels, popups, JUMP bikes, and Texas BBQ, finding peace and quiet amongst the madness can seem, well, totally unattainable.
Enter The Big Quiet.
Imagine a mass meditation session—for all of us tech and culture junkies—during SXSW at the iconic Long Center for the Performing Arts overlooking downtown Austin. Now, picture 2,000 people with their eyes closed humming in perfect synchronicity as they clear their mind (and soul) to the sound of live music. That happened, all thanks to The Big Quiet and founder Jesse Israel at Pure Golden Hour, presented by Michelob Ultra.
It was not only my first mass mediation, but it was also the first-ever mass mediation at SXSW—and it was pretty epic. I honestly didn’t know what to expect (or wear). While most people might have tuned in for Miguel (or the free drinks), it quickly became clear that this was *way* more than your typical musical meditation experience. With Jesse’s soothing voice and inspiring words—accompanied by a string ensemble—leading the audience through breathing and visualization exercises, I was totally amazed at how the massive crowd became instantly unplugged.
My desire to Instagram this transcendent experience with the trendiest people dissipated as we closed our eyes. I had no idea I could find my zen in a place with so much amazing stimuli. I lost all sense of time as I became one with myself—and with the strangers around me. We were all feeling (and sharing) in the self-love. Our breathing was in perfect harmony. Our humming in unison drowned out the traffic, the birds and the go-go-go bullshit. No booze. No food. Just us. I finally felt like I could breathe since touching down in Austin on Thursday.
As Jesse slowly brought us out of our meditative state, I was soothed by the positive energy and calm vibes flowing throughout the seated crowd. Renewed and refreshed, we all found our center. Once the session was over, we listened to the curated performances by Cautious Clay, Bishop Briggs, and Miguel (insert all the swoon) alongside the string ensemble. The singers (and the violin) never sounded so good.
We were no longer a crowd of SXSW badge holders from around the globe—we were all connected by these memorable moments, thanks to The Big Quiet. I never knew I could find something deeper than myself in such a meaningful place. Let’s just say, the next time Jesse is leading a mass mediation, I am there—no Miguel needed.
If you’ve ever taken a hot yoga class, you know it’s always going to be one thing—outrageously hot. Not the “let’s hang by the pool and get that sun-kissed glow” kind of hot either. I’m talking that “I can't believe I have this much sweat in my body” and “I may or may not pass out” kind of hot. It’s nothing to mess around with, and after a year or so of not being able to go, it’s easy to forget just how serious that heat can be.
To get the maximum enjoyment and benefits out of your heated yoga classes, you need to prepare yourself before and take care of yourself afterward. Luckily, I’ve been taking some classes (sweating enough for the both of us) and I’ve listed my five favorite must-dos to help you readjust to your heated classes and get back to the hot yoga summer that we all want.
Heated classes are difficult in nature. The normal difficulty of regular poses is mixed in with the added challenges of sweating and dealing with the humidity and the heat (at times, I’ve seen the thermostat climb to 108 degrees—yikes!). Depending on what type of yoga class you’re taking (sculpt, Bikram, power vinyasa), the difficulty level and temperature are going to vary. It’s also important to remember that each person in the room is going to practice in a way that’s unique to them. Hours slept, hydration levels, food intake, and different lifestyles are all contributing factors that make our practices different. What you practice on your mat is your own––trust your body and only do what feels right to you. And remember, it’s okay to take breaks!
The rise in temperature mixed in with the humidity that we all know and love creates the perfect recipe for sweating—like A LOT. You go into a heated class dry and come out feeling like you just took a dip in the pool. Before heated classes, I had no idea it was physically possible to sweat that much. If you’re going to a heated class, especially after a long break, it’s easy to forget just how much you might sweat. Is it possible to lose that much water if you haven’t consumed it first? Trust me, going into your heated class super hydrated is going to make a world of difference and help you feel good throughout your practice. And don’t forget to take some sips of H2O while you’re practicing!
Heated classes are challenging, but I can’t stop going. Nothing quite compares to overcoming the challenge— and experiencing the cleanse my body feels after I’m done. It’s the perfect blend of hard and rewarding, but I couldn’t do it if my body wasn’t properly nourished. On the days I know I have a heated class booked; I like to make sure I am eating right. I make sure to take my vitamins and fuel my body with fruits, vegetables, and my favorite superfood shake. I hold off on food about an hour before my practice, so I feel comfortable. After the class, I like to replenish with a big protein shake (boosted with collagen to aid with muscle recovery and skin elasticity). There is no one-way path for properly nourishing your body but making sure you’re fueled for the challenge of a heated class is essential for getting the most out of your practice and feeling good on and off your mat.
Increasing and maintaining your water intake on the days you take a heated class is important, but sometimes you need something a little extra. If you’re sweating that much, you’re basically an athlete (at least in my book) and if you’re performing like a rockstar yogi, you need to hydrate like one as well. That means replenishing those lost electrolytes. Reward yourself and your body for the hard work and treat yourself to your favorite drink. I switch off between electrolyte-boosting drinks and coconut water depending on what I’m in the mood for that day. Adding these to my post-practice self-care routine has helped me feel more hydrated after and ready to take on the world again after especially sweaty classes.
Usually, a yoga mat is all you need for your practice––but heated classes are a different ballgame. I’ve gone with just a mat, and I’ve slipped all over the place. Let me tell you, there’s nothing worse than having sweat drip all over the place while you’re trying to hold a pose that makes you grip your mat for dear life (never again). Make sure you bring a towel to place over your mat, this will help with support and grip. Bringing a smaller towel is also a good idea. You can use the smaller towel to dry yourself off during water breaks or whenever you’re feeling just a bit too sweaty. This is a small step that makes a world of difference during those super-hot classes.
So, there you have it. Five of my favorite tips (more like lifesavers) that have helped me readjust to those heated classes I love so much. Getting back into it is a challenge for us all, so know you’re not alone. No matter where you’re at in your practice, remember to be kind and gentle to yourself––celebrating your health and your body’s ability to do what you love. We’re all just getting back out there, together.
Ready to jump back into your hot yoga routine? Browse Mindbody to find the perfect class for you.
While you’re at it, check out some Intro Offers near you that can help you get back to your cadence of hot yoga classes.