Hot Yoga is a CRAZE isn’t it? I almost feel like the two words are forever joined. I can’t remember the last time anyone said to me, “I just tried my first yoga class.” All they say is “I just tried my first HOT yoga class.”
You can find people everywhere telling you why it’s right and why it’s wrong…so I will tell you my personal opinion.
I love sweating and I love working hard. My training of others and my personal workouts are all marked with intensity. I don’t look to find intensity in a thermostat.
I take Hot Yoga Classes on a semi-regular basis. I consider myself a pretty informed student as I am a certified instructor myself with a strong bent towards biomechanics and functional anatomy. I am a personal trainer and I have a biology degree. I’ve been practicing and teaching for 6 years. All of that to say, I’m certainly more informed than most people walking in to a Hot Yoga class.
What I think…I think a body moves easier in a heated room. I don’t necessarily think that makes it better. While in a hot class, I will feel like I’m getting deeper in to poses than I have before. I get excited about my progress, my body’s increasing pliability and I crank up that intensity, trying to work as hard as I can. I leave feeling wonderful, de-toxed, and like my pores have all been cleaned by the immense outpouring of sweat. I always wake up the next day with some tweak in my low back, my hip, my shoulder.
I teach (and participate at times as well) in yoga in a room temperature environment. While practicing, I feel very aware of how far my body wants to move in to a particular pose. I can feel if my body says “stop” or “that’s too far”. It takes me longer before I feel like my body can flow into poses like Wheel, or a bound Extended Side Angle. I will get there eventually. As I warm up I still crank up the intensity and here is the best part…I still feel that wonderful buzz of accomplishment contorting my body into those crazy looking poses. I still feel detoxed and “wrung out” internally. I still sweat. I don’t wake up the next day with tweaks.
In the end, I feel like I work inside my Real body in a yoga class that isn’t heated. I feel safer, I feel more in control, and wholly better the next day.