Movement, Spiritual Journey, Yoga

Working With Disgust, Aversion, And Mild OCD In Hot Yoga Class

All my life I’ve been a little OCD…

A little bit of a neat freak…

A little bit of a clean freak…

Counting sometimes — my horse’s strides; my own strides while walking, running, hiking, biking, working out; the cars of trains…

A bit of an overachiever in school.

Nothing too extreme or problematic or clinically significant.

Working With Disgust In Hot Yoga Class

As you know, I’ve written about how much I enjoy and learn from my hot yoga practice.

Yesterday was no exception.

Hotter weather in Arizona means hotter hot yoga classes.

I’m also on my iodine therapy protocol, and having a bit of bromine detox symptoms, so I’ve been less tolerant of the heat in class.

Usually, I am in there pumping away at every vinyasa and even doing extra push-ups and the fullest expression of most poses.

But the last week of iodine therapy, I struggled in the heat.

Usually, I practice in the hottest corners of the room where I have more space.

However, since the heat was bothering me, I chose a spot in the middle of the room closer to the doors.

Practice was going well. I was tolerating the heat. I looked at my towel covered mat periodically to check how much sweat I was releasing.

Much to my utter disgust, I noticed the top lefthand corner of my mat and towel were fully soaked and submerged in water.

There was a massive pool of sweat accumulating around and spilling over into my area from the gentleman next to me.

Oh. My. Gross!

I was completely disgusted.

But what could I do?!

The towel on my mat was already nearly fully saturated with his sweat.

I didn’t want to use my hand towel to soak up the sweat, because I still needed something for me.

So, I grabbed a couple mat cleaning wipes from the basket in the room and tried to mop up what I could of the flowing river of sweat.

I moved my mat over and back to try and get out of the puddle.

But it was useless.

The man picked up on my disgust and said shamefully that he sweats a lot!

I told him, “It’s ok! It’s hot yoga…I think we’re in the part of the room that is lower and actually pools sweat.” He looked totally embarrassed. Ego deflated.

My disgust and OCD were triggered full on.

I thought about leaving, as the second half of practice we lay down on the mat more, so I would be laying in this man’s toxic swamp.

But, I decided to stay.

I laid in it.

And I felt myself literally burning up that disgust-filled karma.

According to Buddhist teachings, when you have a strong emotional reaction, and just sit with it, feel into it, instead of push it away, you burn up karma. You clear deeply ingrained energetic patterns passed on from lifetime to lifetime.

Well, I burnt up a sh*tload of karma then!

I bathed in my disgust.

I reminded myself again and again that it was simply the ILLUSION of SEPARATION that was causing my disgust in the first place.

This man’s sweat swamp was only gross to me, because I perceived us as separate.

In absolute reality, his sweat is my sweat too.

In relative reality (humans in separate human bodies), I will not practice in that spot again. I will be heading back to my higher corners of the room.

And, I hope that he brings an extra towel with him next time.

Heck, I might even start bringing an extra towel with me for the express purpose of mopping up other people’s sweat when it starts to encroach into my space.

See, there’s a lot you can learn and work with in yuppie hot yoga!

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2 thoughts on “Working With Disgust, Aversion, And Mild OCD In Hot Yoga Class

  1. Would love to know more about the hot yoga for ocd. I think that your blog and passion for this lifestyle is so inspiring

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words, Angela! I will reflect on your suggestion. I posted a Youtube video on the benefits of hot yoga that you may want to check out in the meantime. Take care!

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