Hot Yoga Hair Mask – Awesome Beauty Tip for Yogis

Or should I say …

Accidental But Somewhat Intentional (and AWESOME) Hot Yoga Hair Mask

If you are like me and you go to lots of hot yoga classes each week, you might be looking for an easy, low maintenence hair routine that stands up to all of the extra showers, headbands, and pony tails that can be hard on your hair. 

I came up with a great way to go to yoga and pamper your hair at the same time, kinda by accident one morning when I forgot to rinse out my conditioner in the shower. Not sure if it was laziness or lateness that was the motivating factor (maybe both?), but once I realized that I forgot to rinse, I had the brilliant idea to leave the conditioner in during the hot yoga class to super hydrate my hair and that I would use the showers at the yoga studio to rinse the conditioner out after class. So, I did go all morning with a kind of wet-looking messy bun, but my hair LOVED it. The result was super soft, shiny, thick, healthly-looking hair! Totally worth it. Now, I'll do this every other week or so. 

light-hair-485x728

Here is my hot yoga hydrating hair mask routine: 

Step 1: Shampoo as usual

Step 2: Rinse well

Step 3: Put normal amount of conditioner in hair (lately I have been loving this coconut conditioner)

Step 4: Do not rinse well 

Step 5: Do not blow dry

Step 6: Put hair in a loose but secure bun for yoga class

Step 7: Go to hot yoga

Step 8: After hot yoga, rinse hair well

Step 9: Dry and style as you like 

Pretty simple, right? Let me know how it works for you. 

Love,

Lindsay 

NamaSTAY Hot Yoga Towel Review

I am so excited to be writing my first Hot Yoga product review in, ahem, a very long time. But this towel rocks! I just had to share.

The NamaSTAY Non Slip Yoga Towel

 
I love when I find a product that fits seamlessly into my practice without becoming a distraction. I honestly would rather go without the accessories than have something that I have to continually adjust and fix and keep an eye on while I practice. This is why I think it is totally worth it to invest in quality yoga props, to find a few key pieces that work so well you don't even notice them while you're practicing but you can't imagine being without them ( i.e. clothing that doesn't ride or chafe, a mat that is the right size, a block that does it all). I would definitely put the NamaSTAY towel into this category of quality and usefulness. 
 
 
The color options are terrific and varied and the texture of the towel is plush and soft. The microfiber material is absorbent and becomes even softer when wet. Also, like most yoga practice towels, the NamaSTAY towel grips even better when it is wet. This is especially helpful to know if you practice Hot Vinyasa styles, where you are at times moving between yoga poses at a faster pace. It also makes a difference in poses like Downward Facing Dog and arm balances, where you are using your hands on your mat to support some or all your body weight. 
 
 
My lululemon "The Mat," which is slightly bigger than the average yoga mat, fits perfectly into the sleeves at either end of the Medium Size NamaSTAY towel (they have a handy sizing chart on their website to help you find the best fit for your mat). The name NamaSTAY is spot on as this towel truly stays in place and, if you're like me and you like to get your sweat on, you know how important and helpful this feature is. A good, absorbent towel that doesn't slide around is necessary for safety during Hot Yoga practice. 
 

Try it Yourself

The wonderful folks at NamaSTAY Towels have set up a discount code for you, my dear readers. This code is good for 20% off a NamaSTAY Yoga Towel!
 
Simply enter case-sensitive code: LINDSAY when purchasing a towel at www.namastaytowel.com
 
If you are looking for a product that will support your yoga practice and not distract you from the goodness that comes with a sweet, sweaty flow, then I recommend you get a NamaSTAY yoga towel … or two! As you can see in the picture to the right, my NamaSTAY towel inspires me to kick up my feet and smile. 
 
Keep it Sweaty, 
 
Lindsay

This Craigslist Ad Cracked Me Up!

I realize it has been a while since my last blog post but this ad for a used yoga mat and the story of how it came to be was making the rounds on Facebook today and I found it worthy of a quick share. If you have ever taken a hot yoga class, you just might relate.

Does anyone know the author? Are there any updates since it was published on 9/13/11?

 

Yoga mat for sale. Used once. – $1 (Bellevue)

Yoga mat for sale. Used once at lunch hour class in December 2009. Usage timeline as follows:

11:45a
Register for hot yoga class. Infinite wisdom tells me to commit to 5 class package and purchase a yoga mat. I pay $89.74. Money well spent, I smugly confirm to myself.

11:55a
Open door to yoga room. A gush of hot dry air rushes through and past me. It smells of breath, sweat and hot. Take spot on floor in back of room next to cute blonde. We will date.

11:57a
I feel the need to be as near to naked as possible. This is a problem because of the hot blonde to my left and our pending courtship. She will not be pleased to learn that I need to lose 30 pounds before I propose to her.

11:58a
The shirt and sweats have to come off. I throw caution to the wind and decide to rely on my wit and conditioning to overcome any weight issues my fiancée may take issue with. This will take a lot of wit and conditioning.

11:59a
Begin small talk with my bride to be. She pretends to ignore me but I know how she can be. I allow her to concentrate and stare straight ahead and continue to pretend that I don't exist. As we finish sharing our special moment, I am suddenly aware of a sweat moustache that has formed below my nose. This must be from the all the whispering between us.

12:00p
Instructor enters the room and ascends her special podium at the front of the room. She is a slight, agitated Chinese woman. She introduces me to the class and everyone turns around to greet me just as I decide to aggressively adjust my penis and testes packed in my Under Armor. My bride is notably unfazed.

12:02p
Since I do have experience with Hot Yoga (4 sessions just 5 short years ago) I fully consider that I may be so outstanding and skilled that my instructor may call me out and ask me to guide the class. My wife will look on with a sparkle in her eye. We will make love after class.

12:10p
It is now up to 95 degrees in the room. We have been practicing deep breathing exercises for the last 8 minutes. This would not be a problem if we were all breathing actual, you know, oxygen. Instead, we are breathing each other's body odor, expelled carbon dioxide and other unmentionables. (Don't worry, I'll mention them later.)

12:26p
It is now 100 degrees and I take notice of the humidity, which is hovering at about 90%. I feel the familiar adorning stare of my bride and decide to look back at her. She appears to be nauseated. I then realize that I forgot to brush my teeth prior to attending this class. We bond.

12:33p
It is now 110 degrees and 95% humidity. I am now balancing on one leg with the other leg crossed over the other. My arms are intertwined and I am squatting. The last time I was in this position was 44 years ago in the womb, but I'm in this for the long haul. My wife looks slightly weathered dripping sweat and her eyeliner is streaming down her face. Well, "for better or worse" is what we committed to so we press on.

12:40p
The overweight Hispanic man two spots over has sweat running down his legs. At least I think its sweat. He is holding every position and has not had a sip of water since we walked in. He is making me look bad and I hate him.

12:44p
I consider that if anyone in this room farted that we would all certainly perish.

12:52p
It is now 140 degrees and 100% humidity. I am covered from head to toe in sweat. There is not a square millimeter on my body that is not slippery and sweaty. I am so slimy that I feel like a sea lion or a maybe sea eel. Not even a bear trap could hold me. The sweat is stinging my eyeballs and I can no longer see.

12:55p
This room stinks of asparagus, cloves, tuna and tacos. There is no food in the room. I realize that this is an amalgamation of the body odors of 30 people in a 140 degree room for the last 55 minutes. Seriously, enough with the asparagus, ok?

1:01p
140 degrees and 130% humidity. Look, bitch, I need my space here so don't get all pissy with me if I accidentally sprayed you with sweat as I flipped over. Seriously, is that where this relationship is going? Get over yourself. We need counseling and she needs to be medicated. Stat!

1:09p
150 degrees and cloudy. And hot. I can no longer move my limbs on my own. I have given up on attempting any of the commands this Chinese chick is yelling out at us. I will lay sedentary until the aid unit arrives. I will buy this building and then have it destroyed. 
I lose consciousness.

1:15p
I have a headache and my wife is being a selfish bitch. I can't really breathe. All I can think about is holding a cup worth of hot sand in my mouth. I cannot remember what an ice cube is and cannot remember what snow looks like. I consider that my only escape might be a crab walk across 15 bodies and then out of the room. I am paralyzed, and may never walk again so the whole crab walk thing is pretty much out.

1:17p
I cannot move at all and cannot reach my water. Is breathing voluntary or involuntary? If it's voluntary, I am screwed. I stopped participating in the class 20 minutes ago. Hey, lady! I paid for this frickin class, ok?! You work for me! Stop yelling at everyone and just tell us a story or something. It's like juice and cracker time, ok?

1:20p
It is now 165 degrees and moisture is dripping from the ceiling. The towel that I am laying on is no longer providing any wicking or drying properties. It is actually placing additional sweat on me as I touch it. My towel reeks. I cannot identify the smell but no way can it be from me. Did someone spray some stank on my towel or something?

1:30p
Torture session is over. I wish hateful things upon the instructor. She graciously allows us to stay and 'cool down' in the room. It is 175 degrees. Who cools down in 175 degrees? A Komodo Dragon? My wife has left the room. Probably to throw up.

1:34p
My opportunity to escape has arrived. I roll over to my stomach and press up to my knees. It is warmer as I rise up from ground level – probably by 15 degrees. So let's conservatively say it's 190. I muster my final energy and slowly rise. One foot in front of the other. One foot in front of the other. Towards the door. Towards the door.

1:37p
The temperature in the lobby is 72 degrees. Both nipples stiffen to diamond strength and my penis begins to retract into my abdomen from the 100 degree temp swing. I can once again breathe though so I am pleased. I spot my future ex wife in the lobby. We had such a good thing going but I know that no measure of counseling will be able to unravel the day's turmoil and mental scaring.

1:47p
Arrive at Emerald City Smoothie and proceed to order a 32 oz beverage. 402 calories, 0 fat and 14 grams of protein — effectively negating any caloric burn or benefit from the last 90 minutes. I finish it in 3 minutes and spend the next 2 hours writing this memoir.

3:47p
Create Craigslist ad while burning final 2 grams of protein from Smoothie and before the "shakes" consume my body.

4:29p
Note to self – check car for missing wet yoga towel in am.

 

 

The mat costs $1. The chuckles are free. :)

You can view the ad here. I would personally like to thank the author of the ad for the much needed chuckles today. So, did you get many emails? Did you have any takers? I would love a follow up ad!

 

Yours in Yoga LOLs,

Lindsay

awkward pose hot yoga

You Know You’re a Hot Yogi If …

So, you go to Hot Yoga class regularly. You know all the teachers. You have a group of yoga class friends. You even have your own "spot" in the room. Despite all of this and the fact that you grab every opportunity to rave about hot yoga to your non-yogi friends, and you're pretty sure that yoga can cure anything (really, anything), you are still not convinced that you have earned the title of Hot Yogi/ni.

awkward pose - utkatasana

Well, here are some more indications, some clues if you will, that might help shed some light:

You Know You're a Hot Yogi If …

You practice standing head-to-knee pose while putting your shoes and socks on.

You turn up the heat to do housework.

You’re laundry routine (which is a daily occurrence) includes baking soda and vinegar.

You freak out when you run out of electrolyte supplements.

You spend an uncommon amount of time thinking, perhaps even discussing, your digestion/elimination habits.

When people complain about the heat outside, you find yourself giving them a dirty look.

You do not use body lotion because if you do your Standing Bow Pose will suffer.

When you drink a glass of wine, you think, “Ooh, I’m gonna pay for THAT in yoga class.”

You 80/20 breathe through childbirth.

You tremble (with excitement and/or dread) when you hear the word Camel.

And …

You are already familiar with the 10 Things They Don't Tell You About Hot Yoga.

Thanks for reading and feel free to add to this list.

Keep it Sweaty,

Lindsay

 

 

Cool It, Man! Try Some Minty Water [RECIPE] – Hot Yoga Hydration Tips

When it is hot outside, staying hydrated is essential and requires a little mindfulness.

True, it might seem obvious (drink water or die?) and also true, we tend to be thirstier during the warmer months. Still, we can forget to drink enough water. Go figure.

Then again, even if we are paying attention to our water consumption we can become downright BORED with drinking so much water.

Here’s a healthy alternative. It is refreshing and tasty and has the added bonus of making good use of that extra mint growing (like mad) in your herb garden.

 

Mint-Infused Water

Instructions:

  • -Take a handful of freshly picked mint leaves, any variety, and wash well.
  • -Place the leaves in room temperature water, about 1 large liter-sized bottle, and allow to infuse for several hours or overnight (can also be stored in the fridge for longer).
  • -Remove or strain mint leaves from water.
  • -Add ice if desired and enjoy a refreshing, soothing summer beverage!

Feel free to experiment with the ratios of mint and water. Also, bruising or chopping the mint leaves first will make for a stronger minty flavor.

Another way to infuse your water with natural mint is to make a “sun tea.” Simply fill a bottle or jar with drinking water and fresh mint and place in a warm, sunny location. Your mint tea will be ready in about 20-40 minutes depending on the degree and intensity of the sunny spot.

Mint is so easy to grow and especially manageable if grown in a container. However, if you don’t want to make this yourself, the Metromint water sold in health food stores is an adequate substitute. It just seems a little excessive when it is so easy (and cheap!) to make your own. Another bonus: Mint has many health benefits!

Try it in Hot Yoga Class

Now, this is not for everyone, not all of the time. Sometimes it seems that anything but plain water is icky (for lack of a better adjective) when you’re intensely focused on your sweaty practice, but it is worth a try now and again. Mint is cooling in nature and is also quite soothing if you’re feeling nauseous. I like it, not all of the time, but sometimes it is simply AWESOME.

When Water Isn’t Enough

Maintaining proper hydration is important for overall health and well-being. If you happen to love Hot Yoga as much as I do, it is especially important. You lose trace minerals and overall balance when you sweat a lot and in Hot Yoga class, you sweat even MORE THAN A LOT! Here are some more ways to replenish and maintain proper hydration and mineral balance:

  • -Electrolyte supplements such as Ultima Replenisher (my fav) and sports drinks such as Gatorade.
  • -All-natural coconut water.
  • -Or you can make your own all-natural electrolyte drink (info below).

I like this recipe from Aviva Jill Romm’s “Naturally Healthy Babies and Children”:

 

Electrolyte Replacement Drink

Combine:

  • -8 ounces water (preferably warm or room temperature)
  • -1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • -A pinch of salt
  • -2 tablespoons or more of honey, sugar, or maple syrup

I recommend at least 1 serving (the above 8 oz) on days you sweat a great deal.

 

Please share your tips below!

Lots of Love,

Lindsay

 

More Resources:

You’re all dried up (yoga and water)

Yoga Students – Drink Tap Water (not bottled)

 

26 HOT Yoga Quotes … and Some Smokin’ HOT Photos, Too!

Do you find quotes as comforting as I do? Something about ’em, right? Like, hearing your own thoughts and feelings phrased in such a succinct and beautiful way. They’re not necessarily profound, or even unique, insights but they’ve got that certain something that triggers within you a resounding “YES!”

So, hand-picked by yours truly … Here are 26 of my favorite quotables – some related to Hot Yoga, some about yoga in general and some just because, well, they’re AWESOME! Yours to read whenever you need a lift. Enjoy!

These GLOWING photos are courtesy of Pyro Fusion Entertainment!!

And let the quoting commence! 😉

The cure for anything is salt water – sweat, tears, or the sea. -Isak Dinesen

To sweat is to pray, to make an offering of your innermost self. Sweat is holy water, prayer beads, pearls of liquid that release your past. Sweat is an ancient and universal form of self healing, whether done in the gym, the sauna, or the sweat lodge … The more you sweat, the more you pray. The more you pray, the closer you come to ecstasy. -Gabrielle Roth

The more we sweat in peace the less we bleed in war. -Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit

Yoga maintains youth long. It keeps the body full of vitality, immune to diseases, even at old, old age. The Yogi never becomes old. -Bishnu Ghosh

Sweat, sweat, sweat!  Work and sweat, cry and sweat, pray and sweat! -Zora Neale Hurston

It takes courage and intelligence, you know, to do the stages of Yoga right, and to start with this Hatha Yoga… It’s just you and nothing but you, standing in one spot frozen like a statue with no place to go for help or excuse or scapegoat except inward. -Bikram Choudhury

It’s all in the hips. – Chubbs (from Happy Gilmore)

In the depth of winter I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer. -Albert Camus

Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage. -Anais Nin

Postures strengthen and develop will and body – physical and mental development are intertwined. -Bishnu Ghosh

Suffering is Optional -Unknown

The discipline is to get you to the place where you trust your intuition & the yoga pose is an easy place to practice it. -Erich Schiffmann

I don’t like an alarm clock but it’s useful to me. I don’t like tension but it tells me something needs attending. –Hugh Prather

You cannot always control what goes on outside. But you can always control what goes on inside. -Mr. Yoga

Yoga is the perfect opportunity to be curious about who you are. –Jason Crandell

Yoga exists in the world because everything is linked. -Desikashar

Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habits. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; for it becomes your destiny. -Upanishads

Your hand opens and closes and opens and closes. If it were always a fist or always stretched open, you would be paralyzed. Your deepest presence is in every small contracting and expanding, the two as beautifully balanced and coordinated as bird wings. -Rumi

Yoga is almost like music in a way; there’s no end to it. -Sting

You cannot do yoga.  Yoga is your natural state.  What you can do are yoga exercises, which may reveal to you where you are resisting your natural state.  -Sharon Gannon

Basketball is an endurance sport, and you have to learn to control your breath; that’s the essence of yoga, too.  So, I consciously began using yoga techniques in my practice and playing.  I think yoga helped reduce the number and severity of injuries I suffered.  As preventative medicine, it’s unequaled. -Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Nothing can steal happiness, peace away from you: if anyone does make you angry, you are the loser; if someone can allow you to lose peace, you are the loser. –Bikram Choudhury

On an airplane, you are always told to put on your oxygen mask first. The same way in life, you need to take care of your health first. If you are not happy and healthy, you cannot make anyone else happy and healthy. -Rajashree Choudhury

Observe the wonders as they occur around you. Don’t claim them. Feel the artistry moving through and be silent. -Rumi

Breathe and all will be revealed, love and all will be healed. This is yoga. –Seane Corn

I took a deep breath and listened to the old brag of my heart. I am, I am, I am. –Sylvia Plath 

Please share your favorites in the comments below.

Thanks!

Lindsay

PHOTO CREDITS
Photographer: Starry Night Photography
Artist: Queen Luana 
Models: Pyro Fusion

10 Things They Don’t Tell You About Hot Yoga [Funny]

Time for Some Smile Therapy.

I like to think of it as my contribution to the popular Laughter Yoga movement. Here’s a list of 10 things they leave out of the oh-so-enticing, hot-yoga-will-change-your-life brochures.

1. The stink. Your clothes and towels will find it.  After a few hot yoga classes you will notice it.  And it won’t go away on its own.  Fortunately, there is help.  Here is what has worked for me: White vinegar in the rinse cycle does wonders.  You just have to run an extra rinse cycle at the end.  Baking soda added at the beginning of the wash cycle also helps.

2. Drama Queens If you have been to a yoga class before you may have noticed that some people like to vocalize their yogic experience in the moment, usually with moans of pleasure or sighs of release. However, in hot yoga the vocalizations manifest a little differently. The pleasure moans are not unheard of, mind you, but you are more likely to hear load grunts, groans, scoffs, and even some swears as the so-called drama queen curses the sadistic teacher, the unbearable heat, the invasive smells, their own limitations, etc.

3. Emotional Outbursts Sometimes you might be the one making all the noise a la “#2 Drama Queens.” Giggle-fits a.k.a. “the giggles” are fairly common.  On the other end of the spectrum, you have tears. Yes, right in the middle of class, you’ll begin sobbing for no apparent reason. In hot yoga class you are bumped right out of your comfort zone and confronted with yourself, your limitations or perhaps where you are holding on so strongly that when you are unable to control something (the heat, your body, etc.) you are forced to just LET GO.  It can be pretty intense.  Along with the physical release, you also let go of some serious emotional sh*t (as I affectionately refer to my “breakthroughs”).  Fortunately, the yoga room is a safe place to be vulnerable and you are sweaty enough to hide the tears. So, cry (or laugh) it up. It’s good for you.

4. Creatures of Habit Whatever you do, don’t, seriously, don’t EVER mess with the regulars. You can tell these people by their rituals and routine. They arrive extra early to ensure their “spot” in the room and get pretty darned protective of it. If you do have a run in, best way to avoid a all-out brawl in the yoga studio: quietly pick up your mat and move. That’s it.

5. Bodily Function Overload. You are likely to fart or even throw up in class. Yoga postures twist and compress the abdomen and stimulate the digestive organs. It’s kind of the point. So, yes, farts in yoga class happen. They’ve “happened” to us all. So, it is safe to  say that no one will judge you because of a little tootage.  However, if you have the “death farts,” maybe you should consider skipping a class, you know, out of consideration for others. Also, backbends stretch the lining of the stomach and leave you feeling a little queezy (Holy Camel!).  Often the heat and excessive sweating is enough to make you feel nauseous. It is for this reason most yoga studios and teachers recommend that you don’t eat for two hours or so before class. Either that or they don’t want to clean up your “leftovers.” Ew.

6. Over-Sharing You will get up close and personal with complete strangers. Like, in ways that, if it happened outside the sacred space of the yoga room, would induce bodily function overload. Here are some examples: The Sharing of The Sweat No it doesn’t stay neatly within the confines of your own mat and towel. It’s messy, it splashes, and sometimes on the most inconvenient of places (like in your eyes or in your mouth!); The Roaming Strands of Hair When you finally make it down to your mat after a standing series you notice not one, but two hairs stuck to your arm and neither one of them are from your own body; Your Smells Are Telling Whether it is the garlic in the italian food you had for dinner or perhaps you had tee-many-martoonis last night, the sweat, gives you away every time.

7. T.M.I.! Along the same lines as #6 … You might get an eyeful, i.e. wardrobe malfunction.  In other words you’ll gain MUCH more information about somebody than you want to in this particular, sweaty, bendy context. To avoid wardrobe malfunction: ladies, wear clothes that fit and cover all the right places and guys, please wear fitted shorts, or at the very least, wear skivvies under those swim trunks. Which leads me to …

8. Modesty, Schmodesty You really won’t care that you are practically naked in a room full of strangers/mixed company/acquaintances, also mostly naked. Sheesh, I mean isn’t it enough that you are there – and willingly so?

9. It’s Not The Most Ideal Singles Hang Out Seriously. You will look like crap immediately after – sweaty, flushed, splotchy. And don’t forget about the aforementioned bodily function overload and over-sharing.  It can be a bit much for even the most desperately seeking individual.

10. You will become adept at strategizing as you will find yourself plotting your escape at certain points in class. Okay, after this pose I will roll up my mat, navigate through a weave of sweaty people to the back of the room and tiptoeing quietly, I will scale the back wall until I make it to the door, at which point I will stealthfully open the door and make my way out to cool fresh air FREEDOM!!!

Mostly, I want to tell you that you won’t always like hot yoga and it will probably push your boundaries a little (okay – a LOT). I personally enjoy being bumped out of my comfy zone. I find that is when I really learn something about myself.

Having a sense of humor is important when diving head-on into personal transformation like we do in hot yoga. It is also helpful to know that you are not alone. So, please share your stories and comments below!

By the way, I highly recommend smiling in class, as much as possible.

Love,

Lindsay

 

For some added smiles, here is Nina Paley’s comic “Why I Quit My Yoga Class”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

warriors

What is Hot Yoga and How Is It Different from Other Yoga Styles?

I am simply amazed at the popularity of yoga these days.

With so many styles and talented teachers out there, it is relatively easy to find a style that is right for you, but what is "Hot Yoga" exactly?  A common misconception is that Hot Yoga is synonymous with Bikram Yoga.  While Bikram Yoga is a type of Hot Yoga, there is so much more to this wonderful lineage from Calcutta.  Here is  a brief description of Hot Yoga, its origin and evolution.

I like to think of Hot Yoga as a noun, not simply an adjective describing any style of yoga practiced in a heated room.  It has a very distinct lineage which incorporates alignment principles and subtle variations to the ancient practice of yoga asanas (yoga postures) that differ from other styles of yoga.  These innovations help increase a posture’s efficiency to be more rehabilitative and fitness oriented.

Hot Yoga is a branch of Hatha Yoga (the physical form of yoga).  The goal of Hatha Yoga, or “Forceful Yoga,” is to purify and remove blockages in the body and the mind in order to free oneself from limitations and live a fuller, richer life.

Two basic branches of Hatha Yoga today:

Yoga of Krishnamacharya – Tirumalai Krishnamacharya is referred to as "the father of modern yoga”  and credited as the yogi who brought yoga into the mainstream.  This is probably the most common branch of yoga with offshoots such as Iyengar Yoga, developed by B.K.S. Iyengar, and the Ashtanga Yoga discipline of Pattabhi Jois.

Hot Yoga of Bishnu Ghosh – Bishnu Ghosh was introduced to the healing benefits of Hatha Yoga by his brother Paramahansa Yogananda (author of Autobiography of a Yogi).  He is credited with then bringing what he learned to the common people, that is, people other than sages and holy men like Yogananda.  A Pioneer in the study of yoga asana, Bishnu Ghosh founded Ghosh's Yoga College in 1923 and helped numerous people heal their various ailments.  His student,  Bikram Choudhury, founder of Bikram Yoga, then brought this wonderful healing modality to the United States.

Styles of Hot Yoga

Here are four popular styles from the Hot Yoga lineage:

Bikram Yoga

Bikram Choudhury, as I mentioned, is a direct student of Bishnu Gosh and responsible for bringing Hot Yoga to the United States.  Bikram shattered his knee in an accident and with the aid of his teacher, he embarked on a vigorous yoga rehabilitation that led him to design his own style of yoga known as Bikram Yoga.  Bikram's Beginning Yoga Class is a series of twenty-six postures and two pranayama breathing exercises performed in a specific order, two sets of each, and in a roomed heated to 105 degrees or greater.  It is designed to be rehabilitative, restoring all systems of the body to healthy working order.

Barkan Method Hot Yoga

Created by Jimmy Barkan, The Barkan Method is built on the teachings and principles of Bikram Choudhury and Bishnu Ghosh, but also incorporates postures from other styles of yoga.  Jimmy, who was once given the title of Bikram’s Senior Most Teacher, found that “even though consistency is important to measure results, daily variations are necessary to challenge, excite and help students become unlimited in their practice.”  Jimmy has also developed a Hot Vinyasa (series of postures and movement coordinated with the breath) sequence based on Hot Yoga postures and philosophies.  The Barkan Method has a large network of teachers and studios all over the world.

Moksha Yoga

Founded by Ted Grand and Jessica Robertson, Moksha Yoga is based in Toronto with locations and affiliated studios worldwide.  It is a fundamental sequence of postures practiced in a heated room.  While it incorporates principles of Hot Yoga, Moksha Yoga also integrates the opinions of a wide range of experts and peers in the yoga community.  True to Hatha Yoga tradition, the series works to stretch and strengthen muscles while detoxifying the body and calming the mind.

 

CorePower Yoga

Based in Denver with locations throughout the United States, CorePower Yoga is built on the premise that yoga should be accessible to everyone.  CorePwer studios offer classes at varying levels and varying temperatures ranging from 80-100 degrees.  Classes they offer such as Hot Yoga, Hot Power Fusion and CorePower Yoga, combine a heated environment with the flowing style of Vinyasa and a focus on core strengthening.  They also offer Yoga-Pilates and Yoga Sculpt allowing students to find a practice that is truly right for them.

Related reading:

What to Expect at Your First Hot Yoga Class

Hot Yoga: So, Why the Heat Anyway?

Thanks for reading! I'd love to here from you. Please leave a comment below with any thoughts or questions.

Namaste,

Lindsay

What to Expect at Your First Hot Yoga Class

If you are curious about hot yoga and perhaps thinking about taking a class, read this article I wrote for Hot-Yoga.net first to learn what you can expect before, during and after your first class.

bwcobraIf you have never done yoga, perhaps simply the word inspires images of hyper-flexible people positioning themselves into seemingly impossible, pretzel-like positions. Add the word “hot” to the mix and it really puts an exclamation point on it. Even for those with an already developed yoga practice, it can be pretty intimidating. The good news is that there are some things you can do to prepare yourself, mentally and physically, for the challenge (and, yes, it IS a challenge) …. Click to read full article.

P.S. I love questions! Please feel free to post yours below.

 

Sun Salute

Hot Yoga: So, Why the Heat Anyway?

This is probably the question I am asked most often as a Hot Yoga teacher.

Yes, the room is intentionally heated to about 90-95 degrees and in some studios, even hotter (Bikram studios will be around 105).  While it is true that the heat is not necessary to practice yoga, it is absolutely safe and, in fact, has many benefits.*

Sun Salute

Here are a few examples:

  • The heat warms your muscles which allows for extra flexibility and a deeper release in your body with less chance of injury and improved resolution of injury.
  • Capillaries dilate in the heat. This in conjunction with the specially designed asanas (yoga postures) helps to oxygenate the tissues, muscles, glands and organs more effectively.
  • Improved circulation. The body, as it is trying to regulate a safe body temperature, increases heart rate and volume of blood ejected from the heart with each beat in order to transport heat from the body’s core to the skin surface.  The benefit of this is improved circulation to your extremities.
  • It is great for endurance and willpower. A challenging environment strengthens self control, concentration and determination (if you can do this, you can do anything).
  • Sweating flushes toxins through the skin which, after all, is the body's largest organ of elimination.

All that said, the heat will effect people in varying ways and caution should always be exercised.  The heated room is a tool and not something you should have to survive against.  Always listen to your body and take care of yourself.  Proper hydration is essential before, during, and after class.  As the sweat rate increases in a hot yoga class, body water loss increases, and without adequate fluid replacement, the body’s ability to dissipate heat is compromised.  Electrolyte supplements like Ultima Replenisher are also helpful, especially when beginning a hot yoga practice and acclimatization process.

One final note, I have found that reminding myself of the benefits that the heated room brings during a difficult part of class completely shifts my energy and I am able to push though those layers of self doubt.  It is my hope that this information also helps you in your personal practice.

Here are some related Hot Yoga articles:

What to Expect at Your First Hot Yoga Class

What is Hot Yoga and How is it Different From Other Yoga Styles

Hot Yoga Hydration Tips

Thanks for reading!

Lindsay

 

 

 

 

*Practicing yoga in a heated environment is contraindicated for people with Multiple Sclerosis. Always consult your physician before beginning any exercise regimen.

(ref. "Physiological Concerns while Exercising in the Heat " by Leslie S. Funk www.wellness-design.com )