Skip to main content

Summer Thoughts: History of Hot Yoga at Home

One of the best parts about living in Ocean Beach (2018-ish) was that I discovered that I really loved hot yoga.  It helped that a great hot yoga studio was just a 5-minute walk away from my house, and that I felt very comfortable going there from my first class, which was taught by a new yoga teacher named Ruby.  

I would always leave drenched in sweat and feeling happy and accomplished.  During this time, I had a stressful family situation in my life and hot yoga on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays always provided me with a 90-minute "self-care" break as well as the stress relief I needed to be more present during the times when I needed to be calm.  

When I moved to Point Loma, I no longer had the hot yoga studio down the street...and then the pandemic happened so all the studios were closed, anyway.  

Hot Yoga at Home (HYH, v.1) 

 I met William in July 2019, and when I was ready to start doing yoga again, there were still no yoga studios open.  He had the idea that we could turn La Mesa house into a hot yoga studio. (July 2020)

On my yoga days, he would get home, turn on one or two heaters, fire up a humidifier, close all the doors and windows, and all I had to do was show up and press play on my yoga video. We had to be careful about the appliances we plugged in or we'd trip the circuits in the house and lose power.  

The living room yoga set-up was tweaked several times to include William bringing pans of boiling water to the "studio" to try to increase the humidity levels.  At this time, I was doing 3-30 minute yoga classes per week.  

HYH, v. 2 

I started watching live yoga classes, streamed in from different states, and noticed that one class was meeting in person but with little yoga cubicles to separate people.  

I told William about what I'd seen, and for Valentine's Day that year, he gave me my favorite present ever: a rectangle shaped yoga cubicle crafted from PVC pipes and shower curtains.  

The yoga rectangle was too big to keep in the house, so we moved it outside.  

I liked my outdoor yoga experience so much that I told William I was also doing to start doing my dance classes outdoors.  (February 2021)

HYH, v. 3 

William drew a new design and expanded the yoga rectangle into what I call the Yoga Dome. (March 2021)

It had much more room for me to move around. 

He attached a sprinkler to the inside, and we started using 2 "Mr. Heaters" (propane tanks) to see if we could get the temperature and humidity to the level of the OB Yoga studios.  I think the closest I've gotten so far is 102 degrees and 28% humidity; the goal is 95-105 and 40%! 

In the early days, he would light the propane heaters for me before he left for work; it would still be dark and a little chilly outside, and all I had to do was grab my thermos of black coffee and find my mat.  About every two weeks, William would exchange the empty tanks for full ones.  

During this phase of the Yoga Dome, we experienced several storms, heat waves and wind so the Dome had to be re-covered more than once with fresh shower curtains and new packing tape. 

Also during this time period, I started studying circadian rhythm and decided that it was important to be outside for every sunrise, which inspired me to start spending about 90 minutes daily in the dome.  

I eventually learned how to light the propane tanks on my own, and I switched up my yoga routine to include therapeutic movements for my shoulder (now pain free) and strength training. 

And then we started discussing making the Yoga Dome a permanent structure, so William drew up a new plan in 2022.  

HYH, v. 4 

This brings us to this summer (and almost fall!)

All of the wood has been cut, primed, and painted, and we've moved the original Yoga Dome to the middle of the backyard so William can start building the permanent dome.  

By moving the original dome over, I will still be able to do my daily practice during the construction process.  

Yesterday, he bought 1,500 pounds of stone to create a floor for Yoga Dome 1. 

When the permanent dome is built, we plan to use this section of the yard for a workout station of sorts.  

HYH, Notes 

Since the day I started doing yoga outdoors, it is rare that I miss a day.  I didn't realize it, but I've now done yoga consistently since the living room days of July 2020...over 2 years!  

Even on the days I had COVID, I would still go outside and just rest on my mat to look up at the clouds and get some fresh air and sunshine.  

I am really grateful that William has always been so supportive of making hot yoga an easily accessible and enjoyable part of my lifestyle.  

I have seen many beautiful sunrises from within the dome, enjoyed a few rainy mornings and even had a couple of visits from our cat, Hari.

Here's to more dome stories and HYH!


Popular posts from this blog

VIP Wine Tasting in Del Mar

Yesterday, we had a wonderful time at the VIP Wine Tasting at the Del Mar fair.   Only 250 tickets were sold, and we got to experience several excellent wines with food pairings from Chef Barry, who works at the Turf Club at the Del Mar fairground.   The event started at 12:30, and we arrived early because we weren't sure what traffic would be like, which gave us a chance to learn about the secret destination that would be open later and inspired me to start looking for a wine-tasting shirt for William to wear on our wintery adventures.   What I Wore | Follow The Flamingos I think my favorite (big surprise) was the Chile & Coffee Crusted All Natural Brandt Beef Skirt Steak with Jalapeño Mashed Potatoes,  paired with a 2018 Costa Azul Cab Sauvignon from Alexander Valley.  I also enjoyed some of the sparkling wines, which were paired with cheese made specifically for the event by a local cheesemaker who only makes the cheese in small batches. As part of the VIP exper

Summer Conversations: We Got COVID

Early 2020.  I was filling the role of a Public Information Officer in the Hospital Command Center at our Hillcrest hospital. UC San Diego Health was caring for COVID-positive patients who had recently been flown in from Wuhan, and I was helping write communications to keep our team members up on the latest developments, like what kind of PPE to wear and more.  I would alternate 8-hour shifts with my colleagues, one of many people packed around a conference room table. I remember the unbelievable moment when we went from 4 to 7 positive patients, waiting for COVID test results to arrive from the CDC in Atlanta, the U.S. Marshalls coming to pick up people who had been discharged, and sharing food with the hospitalists and translators who were providing in-person care for the people just a few floors away from me.   You know the rest of the story or at least your own version of it.   I didn't get COVID in 2020.  Or 2021. But I did test positive for it on July 18, 2022.   Yes, William

Summer Thoughts: 20 Days Out

Another one of my family members joined the Rona Club this week, and as I was sharing my experiences of what worked for me, I started thinking about what I knew, what I didn't know, and what I would do differently to care for myself after testing positive.   My goal is to stay healthy all the time and yet,  I do acknowledge that we know that this is not a "one and done" type of situation at this moment in time.   So, I decided to write a letter to my pre-COVID self to help myself out in the future if the need should arise.  (A friend and I recently discussed the fact that we've all been so intent on "not getting it" and wished that we'd better prepared for what to do if we did. If you've had it, what would you do differently?) Dear Future Rachel,  You didn't want to get COVID, but you did.  You hoped to remain asymptomatic, but you didn't.   The virus was annoying, frustrating and exhausting, but it wasn't scary, and you required no speci