The ability to settle into a hot yoga class takes some finesse. It requires your mind and body to surrender in a heated room for a solid 60-90 minutes. I decided to give hot yoga a shot because of a recent back injury, in which my doctor told me to keep it “low impact” for a while. Saddened by the deadlift ban, I wanted to explore movement in different ways.
Even though I’ve taken a few classes, I still get nervous about the heat. Will I puke during class? What if I pass out two minutes in? All totally viable options, however, thankfully none of those scenarios have actually happened yet. I will say it takes a few classes to adjust to the heat and become familiar with the Bikram practice.
Bikram is universal! There are 26 poses that are traditionally practiced in a 90 minute time frame. However, many studios offer “express” hot yoga for 60 minutes along with other styles of yoga in a heated room. As a beginner, I much rather prefer the 60 minute Bikram classes. I low key love the feeling of the sweat dripping on every inch of my body. The detoxification process that happens during hot yoga is out of this world.
Although Bikram consists of the same 26 poses each class, I find it fascinating how the body reacts differently each time. Depending on the day, I may or may not be able to fully master a pose. Our bodies and minds are different every day. I find the transition from work/traffic mode to zen-ness difficult to achieve, which is why I prefer to practice early in the morning when my brain is fresh. Regardless, it feels damn good to get deeper into a pose. This happened to me recently. After getting into a pose deeper than before, my head felt clear and oddly cool, despite the hot room. Hello detoxification!
Hot yoga is raw and real. Once you step onto the mat, that time is yours to shed the things that no longer serve you and to let the practice heal you physically and mentally. Attempting to master all 26 poses while sometimes slipping and sliding is no easy task. There is no failing in yoga. The fact that you’ve showed up to the mat counts!
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I received my Personal Trainer Certification from the National Academy of Sports Medicine in 2016.