"I Live For The Heat."

Over the past nine years, the time I am most dedicated to my Bikram practice is in the colder months. This makes sense, as it cold outside... And nothing feels more delicious that going into a hot room to thaw out.

Even better... When you go outside into the actual cold, your body is still so warmed up on the inside that the bitterness of the frigid air barely feels like it's cutting into you. I'm so sassy and warm after class, in fact, that I often walk home in my soaking yoga clothes (because I prefer to shower at home rather than fight the battle of getting into the showers at the studio) and my jacket open.

It feels bad ass to get the looks I do from strangers walking past me. They see a woman with drenched hair... Sometimes dripping sweat from her pants... Jacket unzipped...  Clavicle exposed. (Sometimes, cleavage exposed.)

But the past week I have not felt so delicious about the heat. Mostly because it's been a bit absent.

There is a large difference between the two studios I practice in between Boston and Toronto. The Toronto studio uses force air from outside that is heated up and evenly pushed into the room. Additionally, the room rarely gets hotter than 41 degrees Celsius, which is about 105 degrees Fahrenheit. It's a juicy and humid studio, and a nicely hot one as well. Very even in both humidity and heat. Plus, there's no carpet on the floor. And carpet on the floor, I feel, makes things warmer.

The Boston studio, on the other hand, is much more intense. There is thick carpeting on the floor. Heaters hang from the ceiling to pump hot air in, and fans are used to swirl the hot air around the room. There are definitely "hot spots" throughout the room. And I usually try to stand not directly in one, but close to it. The temperature hovers around 110 degree Fahrenheit, and humidity is pumped into the room from humidifiers. I've seen the thermometer read 87% humidity in recent weeks. Nice and juicy.

So, in other words... The Boston studio is more intense. And the Toronto studio is nice and balanced. Both are great for my practice. But going from the intensity of the Boston studio to the Toronto studio last week made me chilly.

"It's cold in here!" I thought to myself in class last Friday. But I had an amazing practice all three days I was in the city there. My postures were deep. And my balance was excellent. Walking out of the studio, though, I had to zip up my thick coat. And even put on my hood. And I practically ran home to hop into our steam room before showering. (I needed the thawing out!)

I thought coming back to Boston on Monday that I would get warmed up again. To be sure of this, I plopped myself near the middle of the room, in the front. A nice warm spot. And the class was packed with yogis. So the humidity was going to shoot through the roof. And I was wearing shorts and a tank to practice in, just to bathe in all the sweat my body was going to release.

"EXCELLENT!" I said to myself.

But I was wrong. The room was so packed, and we had a few people who were still into their first week, that the door was kept open a bit more than usual. And this is a door that directly opens to the outside. So the bitter cold air from outside was coming in and swirling around.

Normally, I live for the door being opened in class. I mentally beg for it. But on Monday, I was not mentally ready for it. I wanted the heat. I found myself freezing in class. And the walk home was just as cold.

Yesterday, for good measure, I plopped myself into the front spot by the podium.  Another warm spot. And for good measure, I wore yoga capri pants rather than shorts. While my body released a lot of sweat, I was cold the entire time. When the teacher - who is one of the more intense - went to the window to open it, I cringed. I could feel the cold air reaching all the way over to me on my side. I was freezing. Chills ran up and down my arms. When I walked out of the room, I was blasted by the cold air in the lobby.

And outside, it was raining and very cold. I hopped in a cab to get home. WEAK!

I am hoping this is just a phase in the challenge. A plateau my body will overcome. And that the hot feeling returns quickly. But for good measure, I may be parking my mat in the hottest of spots in the room for the next few days.

I never thought I'd say it... But... "I live for the heat."