Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Hot Yoga Isn't for Everyone!

I have been debating about writing this blog for quite some time now and keep on putting it off for various reasons but I can't hold my tongue still (or my fingers) any longer.

First of all for all of you who just love hot yoga, bless your hearts but let me share a revelation with's not for everyone!  It's fun but it's not the whole package.

I can't ever begin to count the number of times someone who has never,ever done a yoga class before chooses hot yoga to be their first yoga experience and usually their last.  It's a fast paced class, with challenging flows and oh yeah, it's 95 degrees in the room (but we're not Bikram) so it's hot.  I talk to them before class and give them a head's up ask if they drank a lot of water, etc. and the rest is up to them. They leave class sweaty, exhausted and sometimes never to be seen again. They usually don't come back to try other classes and take advantage of their free week.

Well meaning hot yoga fans bring their friends, sister's, spouses to share with them what they enjoy but again it's not for everyone.  It's not like sitting in a sauna and chanting "om" you are moving people!  Stories, I could tell you I will. The daughters that bring their moms who haven't done any type of physical activity in a very long time to try out the class, never to be seen again. The bodybuilders who think it's a piece of cake, never to be seen again.  The boyfriends who were ambushed and weren't even told it was a hot yoga class, never to be seen again.  The first time students who didn't know they were suppose to hydrate or not eat heavy prior to class come out of class early (which is fine) but never to be seen again. 

I have taken a few hot yoga classes myself and I have decided that I sweat just fine in a Vinyasa or Ashtanga style class thank you very much.  One size yoga does not fit all. So it's wonderful that we have so many different styles and levels of yoga to choose. For most of us hot yoga is something that you need to work up to. I wouldn't run a marathon or even a half marathon without training for it, I wouldn't bench press 100 pounds without starting at a lower weight.  In a hot yoga class you are using different muscles groups and a lot of stamina and endurance.  You want to get your mom, spouse, etc healthy and off the couch? Do you love them enough to attend a basic/beginners class with them as a show of support? Come on a give it a try you might even find that it's a nice balance with the hot yoga class.

Some of you may be saying that I am biting the hand that feeds me (pays my rent, utilities, teachers, etc) by discouraging students from coming to hot yoga.  Not at all!  I am encouraging them to start out at a level that most fits their needs and take it from there.  Then you can get your asana kicked in hot yoga with your BFF's (does anyone even say that anymore)?

Hot yoga, are you really ready for it?  Don't let it be your first and your last experience of what yoga is really all about, a truly amazing experience inside and out.

....and don't forget to breathe no matter what style of yoga you practice.

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