Yoga is not just for the pot smoking anti-government hippies anymore! I never believed that, but I love a good title to catch someones attention.
I have practiced yoga on and off for 25+ years. I began as a child imitating my Grandmother and attended various short-term classes. I moved on to books teaching me about yoga (and have since forgot what I read), taking classes in my gym to belonging to Hot Yoga studio. A year and a half ago I was rear ended while stopped at a red light. My body took the brunt of the accident and I ended up with severe whiplash, a thrown out shoulder and 3 partially herniated discs (L3-L4, L4-L5, and L5-S1). During all my MRI’s and x-rays, it was also discovered I had broken a spiny piece of vertebrae off and could have been quite serious as if it happened to move and make its way toward my spinal column. Fortunately, that didn’t happen. The break we figure was caused by a fall down some stairs I had 10 years ago where the doctors said I just threw out my back and ordered bed rest. Alas, I cannot change the past.
During my physiotherapy which I highly recommend if anyone has an injury, we did yoga. Well, they called it stretching, but they were yoga poses I had practiced over the years. Before the exercises, I had heating pads applied to the areas to loosen up and try to relax the muscles. I began to think and read up on Hot Yoga that I had been hearing so much about. As soon as I got the ok from my physiotherapist to try it, I bought an introductory month pass and advised each instructor of my back issues prior to my classes. With the assistance of one instructor in particular (Gerald) who taught me alternate poses if I was unable to complete one, I continually kept getting stronger. I began practicing 3-4 times a week and by the end of that month, I was no longer taking the nasty narcotics and muscle relaxants prescribed and my physiotherapist was floored. I had recovered completely, and a couple of months in advance of his treatment! Not to mention that I was hooked more than I ever have been before. A year later and another rear ending, I practice yoga daily. It may not be a full class, but I manage to bring some aspect of yoga to my every day.
What is Hot Yoga? Hot Yoga is ideally practiced in a room heated to 105°F (≈ 40.6°C) with a humidity of 40%. The heat during hot yoga allows you to move more deeply and safely into postures, warming up the muscles and approaching the postures from a safe place. Hot yoga is ideal for those who want to develop strength, agility, flexibility, and tone along with a cardiovascular workout. The postures and poses involved in hot yoga also help strengthen core muscles, helping with prevention and relief of back problems and other chronic pain or sports related injuries.
The benefits are many:
- Develops strength and flexibility
- Relaxes the mind and improves breathing
- Stimulates the metabolism and increases body awareness
- promotes weight loss
- appetite control
- improves posture
- improves coordination
- decreases headaches
- aids in proper digestion through the breakdown of glucose and fatty acids
- reduces heart irregularities associated with sudden exercise
- helps with anxiety
- increases energy
- fosters spiritual growth
- improves balance
- improves your patience and compassion
- increases range of movement in the joints, ligaments, and other structures of the body
Go on. You know you want to try it now. Hippies beware!
- Hot Yoga (xlyssa.com)
- What Type of Yoga is Best For You (yogafulday.com)
- In conversation with: Craig Norris, hot power yoga teacher, London (sjallison.wordpress.com)
- Power in India (sowmyaayyar.wordpress.com)
- Living Yoga (warmanfu.wordpress.com)