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Wanting advice on hot yoga

Elizabeth782010-07-04 16:58:09 +0000 #1
My name is Elizabeth and this is my first post. I am 30 years old. I practiced Vinyasa without much dedication for a year (never more than twice a week), but recently I have rededicated myself and am in need of advice.

I would like very much to hear other peoples opinions on doing yoga in heated rooms. I wanted to try Bikram and went to a Bikram class in June. I found it to be something that did not resonate with me at all. I then went to another studio that teaches a variation of Bikram's series. The main difference is:

a) the room is 98 degrees as opposed to 105

b) we are encouraged to listen to our bodies, break when we need to, and drink water when we need it.

c) the number of asanas are different (34 instead of 26)

d) We are shown modifications for anything that is currently beyond our abilities

e) other classes are offered in 90 degree rooms that include more of a vinyasa flow.

I have resonated with this studio and it's teachers, and have been going to class 4 times a week for two months. My dietary needs have become more healthy and I have stopped drinking caffiene in the last month (I do not drink, smoke, or use drugs). My ability to handle stress has improved and I am calm in spirit. In short, I feel the benefits of what i am doing.

That being said, I have some concerns about hot yoga. I have heard many yogis are opposed to it. If this is so, may I ask why? I value your opinions. I have also been having disturbing dreams 80% of the time since I began hot yoga, and I am tired on occassion. I also am getting constipation. I know that dehydration seems like the culpret, but I assure you I drink only water, and I drink a LOT (7 bottles a day). How much water must I consume? I am 5'11" and weigh 185 pounds.

Any advice is welcome. Namaste

InnerAthlete2010-07-04 17:08:00 +0000 #2
Hello Elizabeth,

It doesn't matter that other yogis are or are not "for" it (it being Hot Yoga). It only matters how it is for you. Yoga is about a shift from being externally referential to being internally referential. What that means is that we are no longer looking outside of ourselves to determine who we are.

Since you are likely aware of this already AND have ventured to ask this question anyway, I'll add some of my perspective.

I do not see the purpose in doing asana in a heated room just as I would not see the purpose in doing asana in a frigid room. I find people often confuse an environment with Yoga. Simply because one moves and one sweats that does not mean Yoga is present. For example, 90 minutes of pushups, situps, and jumping jacks in a sauna may feel very similar.

In both instances I have some safety concerns for intense physical exertion in high heat AND for the laxity of connective tissue that high heat tends to slyly provide.

Typically the purposes given are a) toxin release, b)intense workout, and c) added mobility or flexibility - frankly these three things do not make up Yoga either and you can achieve them in the sauna routine I mention in the previous paragraph. If there is something more, something that facilitates the student moving closer to the Self and closer to their purpose for being here then to me Yoga IS present. But this would need to be evaluated over time as very few things impact one's relationship with self/others/world in 2 months.

If, as you say, this current practice is resonating with you and is positively effecting your life off the mat (as you outline) then is sounds completely appropriate even though it is not a practice that would suit me.

Without knowing more about you and your diet I could not venture to say what is happening with your dream state. You may be under more stress. You may be having the same dreams but remembering them more now. You may be unearthing some unresolved issues through your life and your practice. No way to say.

Relative to hydration, water is a cleanser not a hydrator. If you want to nourish the cells deeply please add a squirt of lemon juice to the water you are drinking. If you live in a temperate climate it would be appropriate to consume 90 ounces of hydrating liquids each day.

You may also not be getting enough fiber in your diet and/or taking in too much protein. You can easily google foods high in fiber and begin adding them to your meal plans. A reasonable amount of vitamin C may also "move" you. Consult your health care provider before making any changes.



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