Hot yoga is new to me. I took up the advice of my Team Challenge coach to try out some classes in order to help my sore muscles that have been preventing me from running. I tried out my first class on Monday and took my second class this evening. I can’t even express how intense they were. I thought I had an idea of what it would be like, but no, it was much more extreme than that.
But let me just start with yoga in general. I think it is a great option for ostomates and those with IBD. I actually don’t know why I haven’t done more yoga in the past. It has a lot of benefits like breathing techniques which can help with stress (which has always been a flare trigger for me); it’s a great stretch and workout while being low impact; and especially for those with ostomies, it has a lot of focus on core strength, but in ways that are easier on the stomach than crunches. Plus, you work on balance and flexibility which just leads to healthier living. I don’t think there is anything in yoga that would be an issue for someone with an ostomy. The only things I can think of would be some of the stretches where you arch your back, because this could potentially pull your bag off, but as long as you’re careful about that, I find it’s a great option.
Now hot yoga is a little different. The class I took Monday was your basic easy, stretching class. Today’s was a more advanced flow, vinyasa class (for the non-yoga people out there, this basically means you’re moving through a series of movements consistently, a bit more like choreography). I can honestly say that I’ve never sweat so much in my entire life. Both times I have left completely drenched.
But this is what makes doing hot yoga with an ostomy a bit more complicated. I found out the first time that I had sweat so much that my bag was loosened around the edges and I actually got a leak in the middle of the night last night. It may have just been coincidence, but I doubt it. I tried something different tonight. I have an ostomy belt from Pouchwear. I thought that it might help with absorbing some of the sweat and keeping the bag dry and it worked really well! This time, the edges of my bag stayed dry and weren’t pulling up. Yes, it’s a little uncomfortable to have an extra layer on, but in my opinion, totally worth it.
I do have to make sure I stay well hydrated while I’m doing this. I’ve downed about a liter of water both times during the hour class. Some of the poses are a little advanced for me, but I suppose I’ll pick them up eventually. Really, the only major issue I had tonight was the some of the poses required most of your pressure on your wrists and I found that my broken wrist is not 100% better. It’s pretty close and doesn’t bother me on a day-to-day basis, but it did hurt some tonight.
Even just two classes in, I can already see that it’s been helping. I’ve been able to stretch out my hips muscles that have been bothering me much better than when I’ve been stretching on my own. I have an unlimited pass for the next two weeks, so I’m hoping to keep it up as I get closer to the race – which is now just 10 days away!
But I’m also new to this, so I’d love to hear from you. Have any of you had any good or bad experience with yoga and/or hot yoga and an ostomy?