Wednesday, August 19, 2015

I Did Hot Yoga With 98 Degrees and It Crushed My Teenage Dreams


When an email asking if I wanted to do hot yoga with 98 Degrees' Nick and Drew Lachey landed in my inbox last Wednesday, I was beyond excited. Sure, the last time I listened to their music was maybe 2002 (peak middle school angst), but how could I pass up an opportunity like this?
After all, I really love yoga. I love vinyasa yoga, hot yoga, aerial yoga, I even love teaching yoga. Then there was the whole 98 Degrees element and bittersweet memories of blasting "The Hardest Thing" in the midst of emotional teenage breakdowns until the track started to skip on my scratched-up CD.
The few days between finding out I was going to do hot yoga with the Lachey brothers and actually doing hot yoga with the Lachey brothers were full of anticipation. I barely slept the night before (this probably had more to do with me drinking coffee too late in the day, but let's just give the credit to 98 Degrees for now).
But when I arrived at the Bikram Yoga lobby on Fifth Avenue at 7:30 a.m. all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, I was bombarded with tons of Bud Lite paraphernalia (they were sponsoring the event), a water bottle and a bunch of forms to sign. Although those first few minutes bore little resemblance to previous hot yoga experiences, I was still fully prepared for a sweaty, hour-and-a-half long yoga class set to some of my favorite '90s tunes.
When I stepped foot in the actual studio, Bud Lite yoga towel in hand, my teenage dreams officially started to crumble down.
The images I had conjured up over the past few days of Nick and Drew calmly leading me through tricky Bikram poses couldn't have been more wrong. Actually, the class was led by a real-life yoga teacher and the Lachey brothers acted as "assistant," assigning 98 Degrees-themed (and kind of lame) names for every pose like, "I Could Be A 98 degrees Backup Dancer Pose." OK ...?

Also, Nick isn't even that into hot yoga. In fact, this was his first time doing it. WHAT?!
Other things I took issue with: The class was only 40 minutes long, I don't think it was 98 degrees in that room -- "It felt hotter than 98 degrees in that room," the Lachey brothers told me via email, but I'm not convinced -- and not one 98 Degrees song was played during the entire class.
OK, so maybe I'm being a little hard on Nick and Drew. Bikram yoga isn't traditionally set to music, so I'll have to let that one slide ... and they were also really nice and funny guys. And although they're not crazy into yoga, they still have admirable health routines that I can get behind.
"I try to get in as much cardio as I can, but I also love to play golf and get outside and be active in other ways as well," Nick told me, while Drew added, "As I have gotten older, I have moved away from weights to more Pilates and yoga-based workouts."
Plus, they have some great suggestions for music if they did have the opportunity to play some during a yoga class. "Eminem's 'Lose Yourself.' It's not very yoga-esque, but it's a great workout song," Drew said. As for Nick? He just wants to play "anything Stevie Wonder."
Even though it didn't live up to my very high expectations for all things yoga and 98 Degrees, at the end of the day I still get to say I did hot yoga with 98 Degrees. Hey, that's pretty cool.