Hot Yoga, Soul Searching and Male-Female Friendships

“Men most often know what they want, yet they are not always sure how they feel. Women most often know how they feel, yet they may not always know what they want.”
― Ken Poirot


Now, that above quote may or may not be true. You can decide.
Personally, I’m not sure that I always know what I want, and although I may know how I feel, those feelings are prone to change. Perhaps we are not all so easy to categorize based on gender or culture or ethnicity. But one thing’s for sure, I’ve always shied away from female friendships because I wasn’t sure that men and women could be just friends without things getting complicated. However, my opinions beginning to change on that matter…children-817365_1920

A few weeks ago I was introduced to Hot Yoga by a female friend who’s recently become close to me. This friendship started off as a prospective relationship, but it wasn’t feeling quite natural and yet we still had quite a lot in common. She’s obtained her Masters in Psychology and it’s an area of study that I’m currently working towards; we also enjoy healthy eating and exercise. So it would have been a shame to just let that relationship die out just because weren’t doing the horizontal Mambo. So we blossomed into the type of male-female friends that I’ve not had the pleasure of having so many of in my life.

I believe that as a man (especially when it comes to understanding women), it’s invaluable to be able to have a female perspective at your disposal for when things just don’t make any sense to you. Especially when dealing with your other female relationships. The fact that she’s a Psychologist also means that she looks a little deeper into the why behind my thoughts or actions and I find that to be quite helpful as well. It does make me wonder, perhaps it takes the sensibilities of a woman to balance out some of those rough edges that can come with too much masculinity and perhaps a little masculinity can be beneficial to the life of a woman in the same way outside of a romantic relationship.

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Anyways, I digress… Steph introduced me to Hot Yoga for the first time in my life and it’s not something that I would ordinarily choose to do on my own. I’ve always thought of myself as a fairly athletic guy; I work-out, run and stay active as much as possible. Yoga seemed relaxing perhaps but it just never looked like much of a challenge to me and so, I’ve ignored it. But when Steph offered to bring me with her to a class, I didn’t want to say no to a new experience and so I gladly accepted the invite.

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Plus, I heard there were pretty girls there? 😀

So, we went for a run one night until we were good and warmed up and just a little tired. Then afterwards we made our way over to the Modo Yoga studio and caught our late-night class in that sauna-like hot room. Now, I was a little nervous because I’ve never been the type of person who enjoyed being very warm. I crack my car window in the winter and I hide in the AC on those hot and humid summer days, so I knew this was going to be a challenge. But I enjoy a nice challenge from time to time.

Steph kindly lent me a water bottle and a yoga mat as I was a highly unexperienced Yogi myself. I’d felt a little bit like an imposter as I stepped into the Yoga studio, mat in hand, soaking up the spiritual zen vibes. After we entered the hot room and took our places upon our mats I knew I was in for trouble because my toes began to sweat as I lay there motionless. I wasn’t even aware that my toes needed sweat glands!

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Soothing music played in the background as the lights were dimmed and the atmosphere was set for our hour-long Yoga session. Our yoga teacher broke the peaceful silence from the front of the room by welcoming us and reminding us to drop our worries, find our breath and stay present. I’m a big fan of meditation and so this felt very familiar to me. I was beginning to notice how Yoga blended meditation with some strength, stretching and stability in good measure. I was intrigued.

And so we began… Downward Dog, The Tree, Warrior, Pigeon Pose etc. I was contorted and twisted like a pretzel, muscles shaken by long posture holds and dripping sweat in such abundance that I was afraid I was becoming a human raisin.

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My heart was beating fast and my muscles were working hard as my clothes began to absorb what moisture was once part of me. My water bottle depleted quickly and by the end of the first half an hour, I was already looking forward to the end of class. I also found a lot of humour in it as I fumbled my way through the poses or spooned puddles of sweat out from the inside of my ears. No one else was laughing though and I didn’t want to intrude on the serious atmosphere.

When I attempted the Pigeon pose I thought for sure something was going to snap inside my leg, but hell, it felt good actually. I’d probably never stretched some of those muscles in my damn life. By the end of the class, I was exhausted and felt like I just had jumped into a pool with my clothes on.

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Pictured Above: Definitely Not Me

When the instructor finally thanked us all for our time, I sighed in relief and laid exhausted in my puddle before making my way out of that hot room. I threw my coat, socks and shoes back on and cringed as my wet clothes clung to my body underneath then I stood outside to enjoy the cool air.

Now, It might sound like I disliked the experience, but that’s not really true at all. I had just severely underestimated how easy it would be! Today, as I write this, I have been back multiple times and even purchased a one-month unlimited membership to really get my Yogi on. I find it a great addition to my resistance training and a nice way to combine my meditation practice with some additional exercise. The sense of community is also beneficial in my opinion.

The moral of the story? Make some new friends, male or female, leave your prejudices behind and try something new, even if you aren’t sure that you might like it. You could be surprised!

How do you feel about male-female friendships? How about Yoga?
Let me hear in the comments below! Take care, my friends. ❤

 

 

53 thoughts on “Hot Yoga, Soul Searching and Male-Female Friendships

    1. Ah, a fellow yogi 😛
      Well I totally dig the atmosphere as well as the activity. It’s right up my ally. I’m very sort of, mild hippy. I’m actually such a newbie but I think I will stick with it. I have no idea what the different styles are. Do you do it regularly?

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Wonderfully written, Matt! I have enjoyed the benefits of yoga, and like you, learned the best make it look easy but it is quite a workout. I do like the spiritual and centering qualities, and the practice of both focus and balance. Not sure how Zen I could get dripping with sweat, but it is a good lead in to full on meditation. As for relationships, what the hell do I know! Just glad your happy and our enjoying the friendship for what it is! Namasté bro!

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    1. I never would have guessed hahah. Do you do it often or just on occasion Brad? I will have to try it without the hot room one day because I feel like it makes it way more difficult and somewhat unpleasant. Namaste bro! hahah.
      Thanks for reaching out 🙂
      Still blogging strong I see

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      1. I have tried yoga in the past, but do not currently participate. I do meditate every day still though. Glad school and life are treating you well, my friend! Thanks for keeping an eye on me!

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  2. enjoyed hearing about your experience with Hot Yoga I have done this a few times and I now do Yin Yoga once a week usually, it’s at our local hot yoga studio. Its so beneficial for our minds and bodies. If you have not tried a yin yoga class yet you should totally find one. It’s mostly deep stretches that you hold for a few minutes. If you find a good teacher they will share some amazing words with you while holding the stretches.

    As for the meal Female friendships, I love it. As long as you both are on the same page, which can be hard to find sometimes but when it does happen I think it’s refreshing to balance out the male female energies. 🙂

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    1. Hey thanks for commenting. Actually, I have tried a Yin class once already. It’s definitely a different pace and more relaxing, less difficult. I don’t know if that teacher was as good though because I didn’t get to do too many stretches that felt really awesome but I see the benefit of it.

      I think you’re right. It’s hard to find the right balance in those friendships. Thanks for the comment Kasey 🙂

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  3. Yoga is the best method of keeping oneself fit and healthy. Which pose you have found most difficult? I think you should give a try to Surya Namaskār. 😉😉😉

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  4. Glad to have u back on here Wolfie!
    You made me laugh about your hot yoga experience. I love yoga and i have been doing it for years. But i have a strange relationship with yoga: sometimes i do it everyday and sometimes i go off the mat for many weeks. anyway i agree with u that hot and sweating are not my cup of tea all the time. happy that u enjoyed it. yoga i super!
    as for friendship, u are right: friendship is precious!
    take care my friend and don’t disappear!

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  5. I love any yoga, but hot yoga is my favorite. 🙂
    Male and female relationships have been very meaningful and impacting in my life. For many reasons but this one in particular. Without the emotion that comes with romantic endeavors I can see a mans perspective so much easier and it’s only helped me understand men on a different level. There is an ease about men that is very special. Something I might not have discovered had the relationships been more than friends.
    They’re just as valuable as any others.

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  6. Great post! My roommate is a hot yoga teacher and in fantastic shape… I would not even attempt it, lol. I remember regular “easy” yoga being difficult when I was much younger. But it appears so relaxing…

    I am not a fan of one on one MF friendships. They seem like a great idea until someone’s feelings get majorly hurt, which always seems to happen. One person always seems to have some sort of expectation that the friendship will turn into “more” at some point, even if it was “more” once and failed. Then dreaded drama ensues! Ugh. Now, I try to hang out with M’s in groups only. But that’s just me…

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  7. FIRSSSSSSSSST – I am all for male and female friendships. I think it’s very important for males and females to be friends because it quashes myths that we can’t get along, that we only hang out as a means to have sex, and so on and so forth. But I also think it’s important because, like you say in your post, having a friend in the opposite gender allows you to better understand that gender. I certainly know there are a lot of things about men that I don’t understand that, being friends with males, has helped me to grasp.

    Second – I’m jealous you went to Hot Yoga. I’ve always wanted to try. I did beginners Yoga for a while, and I also did sleepy-time yoga for a little bit. People say that hot yoga is a whole new level of difficult. That’s really exciting that you’ve purchased a pass and have been back. You’re going to be so zen!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I definitely understand your perspective with MF relationships now. Taking sex out of the mix really helps you to get to know the gender on another level rather than just what they can offer to you as a partner. I know that it’s helping me to become a better man to the ladies. I’m still a bad flirt, but working on that. lol 😛

      Let me know when you’re in Ontario and we’ll do some Hot Yoga 😉

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  8. Wow awesome read Soul Brotha! 💛⭐️💫⭐️💫⭐️💫 Yup yup I’m all great with the happy mix! After all, we are essentially brothers and sisters in humanity. We are community. We are family. So happy to hear of your new “adventure” on your journey. And so grateful for your reminder to stay open to the NEW in life. Cheers to the NEW this 2020!!! STAY BRILLIANTLY INSPIRING MAT!!! 💛⭐️💫⭐️💫⭐️💫

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Yeka, so great to hear from you. I hope you’ve been well. 🙂
      Yes I suppose we are all family in some way. We are definitely all connected, but like extremely distant cousins otherwise there’s a hell of a lot of incest going on! 😮
      Great to hear from you. Happy 2020! Stay open 😀

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  9. Hey Mathew nice write-up friend. Enjoyed reading it. Well, I do meditate and do some Yoga too and its really helping me. As far as male-female equation is concerned it’s always a topic of discussion, the more you speak the less is the chance of arriving at any conclusion, so just enjoy their company 😉

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  10. Nice to read your words again. Thanks for sharing your hot yoga experience. I’ve done twice, and loved it. Like you, I didn’t know I could sweat that much. The other thing I noticed was that my skin never felt better. Good luck with your classes this semester.

    Liked by 1 person

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