Thursday, May 9, 2013

What is Hot Yoga?

I am primarily a hot yoga instructor and many of my classes fall under this style. Even though I teach these classes, I am often puzzled over how to describe exactly what this nomenclature means. What exactly is "Hot Yoga"? To answer such a question in a comprehensive way, one might be better off writing a book of many volumes. For this blog’s purpose, let me describe my personal understanding of this tradition. As I comprehend it, hot yoga takes its literal inspiration from the land of origin, India. Although a land of many geographical regions, many locations in India are both hot and humid. This is even truer for several of the regions that yoga has come from in recent times. If one has ever spent time in such an environment then one realizes the added benefit to flexibility in such a combination. Turning up the heat in a yoga room imitates this, creating an environment that promotes a persons ability to sink into and perform poses. To achieve the desired effect, the heat is turned up to at least 85 degrees and sometimes humidifiers give an extra touch of moisture to imitate an Indian environment. This sets the context; from here, it all depends upon an instructor’s lineage and choice of poses. Sometimes, it is predictable such as in an Ashtonga, Moksha or Bikrim class. Regardless, there are elements and common poses that one will find in all hot yoga sessions. If you attend one of mine, expect a heated room between 90-100 degrees, a vinyasa style flow and an awesome sweat!

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