I didn't know it was possible to lose such copious amounts of sweat.
I participated in my first power vinyasa yoga class at the invitation of my friend Claire this morning. Seattle dawned misty and cool, but the temperature inside the yoga room remained at a steady 90 degrees throughout the class. Claire brought an extra mat for me and I rolled it out next to hers, shot her a nervous glance and admired the rock-hard muscles of the other attendees (in a completely non-creepy way, have no fear). The teacher walked in and introduced herself, and I spent an hour and a half translating terms like "downward dog" and copying Claire's every move, meanwhile sweating buckets.
I've always heard that yoga is quite the full-body workout, but all the testimonials and praise doesn't really prepare you for the experience. The poses improve your strength and balance, since you're consistently holding or lifting your own body weight. Meanwhile, the effort required to hold the poses elevates your heart rate, so you get cardio and strength training rolled into one experience with minimal damage to your body (as opposed to running, which can be hard on your joints).
I couldn't do some of the poses so my option was to hold the easier pose while the rest of the class progressed with the harder variations - "Now, transfer your weight to your arms and your palms and lift your legs off the floor!" Yeah right. But maybe someday.