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Getting in Shape

Hot Yoga

Has anyone done hot yoga?  I'm interested in trying it out and there's a studio maybe 5 minutes from my apartment.  I'm worried about the heat though.  My body doesn't always like heat, but I'm sort of hoping I can convince it that heat isn't the enemy. 
Any advice for a newbie?
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Re: Hot Yoga

  • edited April 2012
    Hot yoga or Bikram? 
    Hot yoga is kind of an "off brand" of Bikram in a way, because Bikram is a VERY SPECIFIC set of 26 poses and 2 breathing exercises patented by the guy that created it. 
    I have never done "hot yoga" but have done Bikram. 

    I hate heat as well, but if you can handle a few minutes in a sauna this should be fine. It's at exactly 105 degrees and saunces are much warmer. 
    My advice:
    -take a towel

    -bring a nonslip yoga mat (I suggest The Mat from lululemon, but if you're just trying it out, whatever yoga mat you have will work fine)

    -or call before hand and ask if they have ones for you to use if you don't have your own

    -ARRIVE EARLY. a good 20minutes for your first time. people will already be in there in child's pose relaxing. YOu want to be set up and yoga is NOT a good thing to be late to. It's disruptive of other yogis and can upset the instructor

    -bring a water bottle. A BIG water bottle. and hydrate beforehand.
     
    -Don't eat an how or two before you go. It's better to do while your stomach isn'tdigesting stuff. 

    -for first timers, even those that consider themselves yogis in other respects, it can get to you. YOu may feel dizzy at some points, and or nauseous. If that's the case, don't be afraid to sit down for a minute and just practice your breathing. This is very very common and you won't be the only one taking breaks to sit and drink water. No big deal. 

    - wear clothes that you would be comfortalbe being soaked in. My tip is to put on whatever you plan to wear and go into downward facing dog. See how things move in this position. Shorts that ride up are a no go. That will annoy you the whole 90 minutes and some instructors get annoyed when students fidget with their clothing a lot. It ruins your focus and breathing. Runner shorts are great or loose shorts/capris that have a built in underwear so you're not flashing the person behind you in downward facing dog pose :P Find a top that won't ride up and, I suggest, have a built in bra because the less clothing, the better. Some people go in just a sports bra and shorts. THat's fine if you're comfortable enough. 

    Your body will adjust to the heat. It will make you focus on you breathing which is great, and loosen your muscles up more so you can get deeper stretches (although, don't push it your first time!) It'll be a bit of a shock for the first 5-10 minutes or so, but our bodies adapt quickly. Have faith in your body and enjoy the new experience :) 
  • Great advice above - I've been to hot hatha yoga a few times and it definitely creates a LOT of sweat. You do get used to the feeling of exercising in the heat after a few times.

    The first time I went, our instructor said that our goal was to stay in the room the whole time. It was mentioned above, but yeah if you feel dizzy or sick to your stomach sit or lay down for as long as you need to. Avoid leaving the room because the drastic change in temperature can actually make it worse.

    I love the towels that you can get to cover your mat in so that you won't slide around as much, and I would recommend wearing a thicker headband that can absorb some sweat to stop it from running into your eyes.

    Don't wear makeup, it will be everywhere!

    Good luck and happy sweating! Smile
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  • Bikram is technically called yoga, but is EXTREMELY Americanized and westernized. Bikram himself has compared his style of yoga to McDonalds in how he wants to have a studio on every corner in the USA.  Bikram has only been around for a VERY short time compared to hatha yoga (and the other schools that branched off therefrom).  I would never call other forms of yoga "off brand" as yoga is yoga; Bikram has just come up with a form of "yoga" that is very specific (so specific that Bikram has tried to copyright his sequence of poses).    If you do some research you will find that the yoga world really dislikes Bikram and his style of yoga for what it has done to society's perception of what "yoga" really is.  But this is neither here nor there nor relevant to what you really asked..........

    despite my soapbox lecture, I actually DO quite enjoy Bikram. I have his book and have downloaded his audio of a 90 minute series and despite being an odd bird who is really full of himself, he knows what he is talkign about.

    anyway......firsttimers gave you some good hints for taking a Bikram class. Bikram is quite good for beginners (despite the heat) because the series itself is easy.  Holding the poses and staying in a 105 degree + room? super hard, but the poses themselves are easy as pie and easy to follow along with, so don't feel intimidated going into class.

    I enjoy Bikram classes sometimes - don't get me wrong - they are just SO different from what (most) yoga is. 

    Also, please be careful and listen to your body.  I have done the Bikram sequence probably, I don't know, 50 times in my life (we don't have a Bikram studio in Indiana but I do a lot of Bikram when I travel since it IS so specific and predictable - you are always going to get the same class when you go to Bikram studio) but one time, at a studio in Chicago, they heated the room to about 115-118 degrees instead of the normal 105-108 degrees, plus the floor was heated more than most studios have.  I actually came close to having heat exhaustion in the middle of class, but instead of leaving, I pushed through out of stupidity, and had trouble walking/breathing later on. Bikram can quite frankly just get REALLY REALLY hot.  The Bikram instructors will tell you that you need to just stay in the room and push through any discomfort you are feeling, but I wish I hadn't listened to them that day because I got REALLY sick. This is the only time this has happened to me, and it is not the norm - just listen to how your body is feeling.      

    if Bikram ends up not being for you, I would highly recommend a vinyasa class or an ashtanga class or even an Anusara class.  These are the styles of yoga that I practice every day and I am a happy and fit yogi :) good luck and enjoy!!!! if you have any questions about the different traditions of yoga please feel free to PM me, I am happy to help.  
  • edited April 2012
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_getting-shape_hot-yoga-3?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:238Discussion:287e1b61-111f-4b2c-be49-fa81601ffa41Post:181ee710-24a4-46b4-8f9e-a9066b12de0a">Re: Hot Yoga</a>:
    [QUOTE]Bikram is technically called yoga, but is EXTREMELY Americanized and westernized. Bikram himself has compared his style of yoga to McDonalds in how he wants to have a studio on every corner in the USA.  Bikram has only been around for a VERY short time compared to hatha yoga (and the other schools that branched off therefrom).  I would never call other forms of yoga "off brand" as yoga is yoga; Bikram has just come up with a form of "yoga" that is very specific (so specific that Bikram has tried to copyright his sequence of poses).    If you do some research you will find that the yoga world really dislikes Bikram and his style of yoga for what it has done to society's perception of what "yoga" really is.  But this is neither here nor there nor relevant to what you really asked.......... despite my soapbox lecture, I actually DO quite enjoy Bikram. I have his book and have downloaded his audio of a 90 minute series and despite being an odd bird who is really full of himself, he knows what he is talkign about. anyway......firsttimers gave you some good hints for taking a Bikram class. Bikram is quite good for beginners (despite the heat) because the series itself is easy.  Holding the poses and staying in a 105 degree + room? super hard, but the poses themselves are easy as pie and easy to follow along with, so don't feel intimidated going into class.  
    Posted by butterflyjumper1[/QUOTE]

    <div>I didn't call all yoga an "off brand" yoga. I am well aware that Bikram is one of the newest forms of yoga out there, and it is certainly westernized, as most yoga done in the US is now (In fact, the sexual aspect that original yoga focused on is almost completely null and void in the western styles now). But "hot yoga" came after bikram. At least in the sense that it was more regulated. I'm sure that there were plenty of people doing yoga in extreme heat eons ago :P </div><div>(Source: Science of Yoga by Broad) That is why I called it an "off brand" as oppose to Bikram. Because many places want to offer Bikram but don't want to go through the hoops that the guy requires a place to in order to call themselves "Bikram".</div><div>Bikram is VERY anal about every detail of the class which is why he doesn't allow any studio to make changes to the temp (MUST BE 105, no cooler, no hotter or he can shut the place down), MUST be 26 poses plus 2 breathing exercises or he can shut the place down, etc. It is incredibly detail oriented.</div><div>I asked OP about whether it was hot yoga or Bikram, because she can know EXACTLY what to expect from Bikram for this reason. Hot yoga, on the other hand, is more freestyle. The instructor can do whatever sequences he/she wants to that day, the temp doesn't have to be exact (it's often a little cooler because it may be a room that is used for other classes as well, but not always), etc. </div><div>Honestly, I'm with you (butterflyjump) on that. I like Bikram because I know what to expect and I always feel great, but the guy is kind of a wank IMO. He is suuuper arrogant and thinks that Bikram is ALL you need to be physically fit... Which I think is a joke. </div><div>
    </div><div>I also would suggest, OP, NOT to lie down fully if you feel dizzy. When your heart if going and the blood is pumping, you want to keep your head ABOVE your heart. Lying down could rush more blood to your head, making you feel more dizzy and/or more nauseous. Simply sitting and drinking water should suffice :) </div><div>
    </div>
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_getting-shape_hot-yoga-3?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:238Discussion:287e1b61-111f-4b2c-be49-fa81601ffa41Post:0f90af4f-4146-4966-bf2d-23f3513de9a3">Re: Hot Yoga</a>:
    [QUOTE]Hot yoga or Bikram?  Hot yoga is kind of an "off brand" of Bikram in a way, because Bikram is a VERY SPECIFIC set of 26 poses and 2 breathing exercises patented by the guy that created it.  I have never done "hot yoga" but have done Bikram.  I hate heat as well, but if you can handle a few minutes in a sauna this should be fine. It's at exactly 105 degrees and saunces are much warmer.  My advice: -take a towel -bring a nonslip yoga mat (I suggest The Mat from lululemon, but if you're just trying it out, whatever yoga mat you have will work fine) -or call before hand and ask if they have ones for you to use if you don't have your own -ARRIVE EARLY. a good 20minutes for your first time. people will already be in there in child's pose relaxing. YOu want to be set up and yoga is NOT a good thing to be late to. It's disruptive of other yogis and can upset the instructor -bring a water bottle. A BIG water bottle. and hydrate beforehand.   -Don't eat an how or two before you go. It's better to do while your stomach isn'tdigesting stuff.  -for first timers, even those that consider themselves yogis in other respects, it can get to you. YOu may feel dizzy at some points, and or nauseous. If that's the case, don't be afraid to sit down for a minute and just practice your breathing. This is very very common and you won't be the only one taking breaks to sit and drink water. No big deal.  - wear clothes that you would be comfortalbe being soaked in. My tip is to put on whatever you plan to wear and go into downward facing dog. See how things move in this position. Shorts that ride up are a no go. That will annoy you the whole 90 minutes and some instructors get annoyed when students fidget with their clothing a lot. It ruins your focus and breathing. Runner shorts are great or loose shorts/capris that have a built in underwear so you're not flashing the person behind you in downward facing dog pose :P Find a top that won't ride up and, I suggest, have a built in bra because the less clothing, the better. Some people go in just a sports bra and shorts. THat's fine if you're comfortable enough.  Your body will adjust to the heat. It will make you focus on you breathing which is great, and loosen your muscles up more so you can get deeper stretches (although, don't push it your first time!) It'll be a bit of a shock for the first 5-10 minutes or so, but our bodies adapt quickly. Have faith in your body and enjoy the new experience :) 
    Posted by firsttimersluck[/QUOTE]
    I've done yoga before, so this isn't totally new to me, just never in a 104 degree room.  The studio I'm considereing trying is Bikram, which appealed to me because it's not as instense of a series of poses.  I wish I could wear somethign with a built in bra, but I'd flash everyone the first time I go into childs pose. 

    Thanks for all the advice!
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  • haha I totally understand that.... I was that way when I was a 32DD.. now they ladies have shrunk from working out so much so I'm a 32D and it's a little more manageable... 
    The poses are definitely easier but don't let that trick you! The heat will be great to loosen those muscles but stay with slow, fluid movements to avoid head rushes. 
    You'll have a great time! Give us a follow up :) 
  • I started hot yoga in February just to try it and I love it!  Since it is the same 26 poses each time, you can really see your progress each class...each class I try to hold poses a little longer, stretch deeper, etc.  I can really see my body start to tone and tighten and I feel like I stand and sit taller too Laughing
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  • Bikram is great!! You can burn like 1300 calories in one class. Amazing. I totally recommend it.
  • I am at Vinyasa yoga almost every day, and at a hot yoga class 2 or 3 times a week. Try it! You will love how it makes you look. You'll lose inches, gain strength, flexibility, balance, and calm for your day! :)

    My wedding is just 11 ish weeks away, and yoga is keeping me sane (not to mention keeping my waist under 25 inches lol). 

    Do it! :)
  • I'm a little late to the post but drink LOTS of water after as well! The first time I did "hot" yoga, I didn't drink enough water when I got home that night and had a crushing headache and extremely sore muscles, I was so dehydrated!
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