Friday, February 21, 2014

Hot Yoga is HOT

When I say hot yoga is hot, I mean it in two ways. First of all, it is definitely hot in there. You're in a studio that usually ramps up the heat to the 100 degree range, so you feel like you're in a sauna. A good yoga studio will keep a quality ventilation system. That way you don't get that "stuffy" feeling in there and can still practice your deep breathing without getting light headed (that's usually what happens to me when I'm in a sauna.) As in most cases, arriving early is great because it ensures you get to place your mat where you are most comfortable. My first time I stuck close to the far back wall so I felt slightly less anxious being a newbie.


The second reason I say that hot yoga is hot is because it has become all the rage in the past few years. I've heard people talk about it, read articles supporting all the benefits of it, see the crazy amounts of yoga hashtags on Instagram, etc. It's everywhere, but with good reason.  What's awesome is that it's not just a "girly" activity anymore. My class had a few men in it and they ranged from beginners to full out yogis. When I first went into the class, I was expecting something completely relaxing to sooth my nerves and make me flexible at the same time. And that did happen, but it was so much more. People have the misconception that yoga is easy peasy, but it is actually one of the most challenging things you can do for your body. With challenge comes reward, and yoga definitely provides you that.


Yoga is more than just a "sport," if that's what they even call it. It is a certain mentality and spiritual awakening. What bothers me about the gain in popularity with hot yoga is that some people go into it just because of all the hype. They want to strengthen their bodies, become more flexible, maybe even loss some weight. Sure, all of those things can happen when you practice yoga- but I think there's so much more to yoga that a lot of people aren't really embracing.

If you have ever wondered what yoga would be like, or have been meaning to get into it but haven't because maybe you feel silly (cough cough me) or you're intimidated, I say just do it. Give it a try- even just once. But go into it for all the right reasons. Open up your soul and let the light in. Don't worry if others are judging you based on your beginner skills. I found myself doing that and before I knew it I realized I wasn't getting the full relaxing atmosphere that I should have. All you need to do is let go, take deep breaths, and focus on the here and now.


There are several ways you can practice/learn yoga. Groupon has lots of amazing deals for memberships to studios (the one I got was $35 for one unlimited month of classes, originally valued at $120!) so it's a good way to see if you enjoy it and not break the bank. There are also a lot of yoga videos on YouTube and you can find them for all levels. You can easily do some yoga on your living room floor with some relaxing music on. However, I do believe the experience of practicing yoga in person with an instructor is much better, especially if you're new.

Once my month is up, I'm going to be writing a post describing all the changes I underwent- not just physically but mentally and spiritually, too. Hopefully this will encourage others to become yogis as well!


1 comment

  1. i LOVE yoga. The original yoga is meditation for harmonious consciousness. The focus of the art is to focus all focus on the power that gives life. The postures and the ebb and flow of the body is a manifestation of this inward intention and action. The true art of yoga is to merge with the universe and come to know the power that gives life to all.