Maybe it’s my love for tropical weather. That sweaty, sticky, humid air. Something about it gets my blood flowing in all the right directions. They turn up the heat, I roll out my mat, and do this thing called hot yoga.
For many people it might sound like torture to be packed in a room with sometimes up to twenty people doing poses that put you in a pretzel like position. Throughout my first few classes I often asked myself many questions like ” Why am I doing this?” and ” Is this really worth all the sweat?”. Hot yoga has become a regular essential in my life and let me tell you why.
It challenges my mental strength.
Hot yoga is hard any way you put it, any teacher, any pose. Every time I get on my mat, I am challenged to stay calm in the most difficult of positions. Staying connected to the deep breathing that calms the body and mind becomes the true essence of practice . How many stories does the mind tell us during that 75 minute class? The mind begins attaching to feelings, temperatures, opinions about performance, outside plans, dramas. Recognizing that all the truths and tools necessary for this practice and for life are always inside of you, waiting for you to surrender, waiting to be revealed. I find that with stressful and emotional situations off my mat, I now have a bit more patience and understanding. I am able to calmly pacify the mind’s initial reactions to things by using the breath.
In an average yoga class it takes much more than a few sun salutations to get my body connected and warm. In a heated class, every part of your body becomes almost lubricated by the warmth. This makes its much more possible to truly stretch out and release all of the stagnant energy that becomes built up in areas of the body. I feel open and refreshed after moving my body through a class in the heat.
I truly believe that the amount of sweat that occurs during just one class release toxins that have built up for years. Twisting and sweating fully detoxes the organs in the body. I often times choose to live a healthier,cleaner lifestyle because of the hard work I put into cleansing myself on the mat.
A few recommendations for Hot yoga:
- HYDRATE< HYDRATE < HYDRATE MORE> Drink twice the amount of water you think you will need. I drink some water in class, but too much will make you sick. It is important to stay hydrated before and after.
- Bring a towel for your mat and maybe one to wipe your face also. It gets really slippery without one. I have recently invested in the Manduka eQua Yoga Mat which is a yoga towel built in to the top of the mat.
- Avoid wearing makeup, and showering immediately after to avoid breakouts if your skin is sensitive.
- BE NICE TO YOURSELF. Hot yoga is HARD and thank yourself for showing up every time and have faith that putting in the work makes you stronger on and off the mat.
Xx Namaste Warriors
If you live on Maui or thinking of visiting and would like to try: I practice at an amazing studio Mangala Yoga in the Lava Room. I always feel safely guided through all practices. Check them out! Www.MangalaYogaStudios.com