08 September 2009
NAMASTE': Happy Yoga Month: What's So Cool About Hot Yoga?
September is yoga month, or so I’ve heard.
Photo by James Baca
Interestingly, three friends have asked me recently about trying yoga—or trying hot yoga--so maybe the publicity will pay off with more practitioners.
I’m just beginning my 17th year of hatha yoga (the physical branch) —and I've practiced with a fair measure of devotion and discipline; and every hour I've invested on my mat has served me at least tenfold off my mat.
By good fortune, not my own wise planning, my asanas (or poses) rooted in the Iyengar tradition. And speaking of good fortune, I had the profound honor of meeting Mr. Iyengar once, and sitting with him, and posing some questions to the guru. (Maybe I’ll post about that later in yoga month.) I still admire Mr. Iyengar immensely; and I’m grateful for my solid instruction in his alignment and his props.
But I defected. For the last five years now, I’ve practiced hot yoga—specifically Bikram yoga and also Baron Baptiste Power vinyasa yoga. Yes, this is that insanely hot yoga you may have heard about: For Bikram classes, my school heats the studio to 105 degrees Fahrenheit (sometimes hotter!), with humidity as high as 50 percent. For Power classes, the studio is not as hot or humid, yet still warm. The heat serves various purposes, one of which is to render muscles more malleable and another of which is to detoxify the system through profuse sweating. Works for me.
What’s so cool about hot yoga?
I aim to tell you. Please tune in again: I’m writing an informative and, I hope, inspirational piece for my three inquisitive friends; and I’ll share it with you, here, too.
Meanwhile, remember this: Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not get bent out of shape!
• Please see the links below for my earlier posts on yoga.