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Beginner/New - question!

invisibility32010-07-05 04:05:12 +0000 #1
Hello, my name is Emily. I'm a college student studying Biology, usually in the States but currently in Australia for a semester.

I've been interested in Yoga for a while but haven't had the opportunity to try it until recently, so I attended my first class today, and it was mostly better than I was expecting, but I do have one main question/concern:

It was HOT in that little room. Ok, now I understand the physics of putting 30 or so adults in one small room with almost no airflow, and then having everyone do any kind of activity (or really, at this ratio of people:room size, just sitting there would up the temp and humidity pretty fast!). When we entered, another class had just left so the side doors, which open to outdoors, were opened to air out the room. As soon as we began, however, all the doors were closed, leaving us all in a little concrete sauna. I suppose for most people this is only a minor annoyance, but I really don't like heat and humidity. It was a major distraction for me (and stressful!) and made it extremely hard to focus on what I was doing. One of my roommates said he thinks that there is a reason for having the room hot/this is done intentionally. Is this true? If it's just a case of keeping people from wandering through the room, there's ways of doing that which don't require us to be cut off from the lovely evening air outside.

Like I said, other than that it was awesome: until I finished high school a couple of years ago, I danced ballet/tap/jazz/pointe and I've really been missing the discipline, particularly in keeping up my flexibility, so it felt really good to work tonight (and I was pleased to see that I'm still more bendable than the average person ).

Thanks in advance!

ETA: The style is some kind of Vinyasa, its offered through the school here.

Pandara2010-07-05 04:13:20 +0000 #2
There are types of yoga where they will deliberately heat up the room, I think Bikram is one of them, but I talk under correction here. I once attended a class like that and never again, had more or less the same feelings about it than you.

My advice: Find another group or class, you sound too stressed by this experience - not good, this is the opposite of what yoga should attempt to do.
sarahy2010-07-05 04:21:21 +0000 #3
Yes doors are closed for certain types of yoga. Ashtanga keeps doors closed, and also vinyasa flow or power yoga. Bikram, in addition to closing the doors also supplements the body heat of the room by bringing it up to about 98oF. There are various reasons, one is that the body is more flexible at this temperature, and sweating releases toxins from the body. The reason i like the best is that the closed doors keep all the prana in the room during the practice, everyone is sharing their energy with everyone else. Of course if everyone has had curry the night before they're also sharing various other things .

Yes, it's HOT and humid in the little room, but one does get used to it, and eventually grows to appreciate it (i miss it when i practice alone). Imagine what it's like to practice in india during the hot season, or the monsoon season. Those were the conditions under which yoga evolved. If you liked the practice embrace the environment. If not, there are other styles to choose from.

invisibility32010-07-05 04:55:17 +0000 #4
Thank you both for your replies. I haven't decided whether or not I will give this particular class another try (its the only style offered and I don't have reliable transportation to find somewhere else), but I know I will find a different style when I can. I just don't handle hot and humid well, though I do see now what the benefits of a hot, humid, closed room would be.

Are there any styles that encourage open rooms (or outdoor practices)?

Thanks again!
InnerAthlete2010-07-05 04:30:17 +0000 #5
Hello Emily,

I am not aware of a practice where the doors are open. I am, however, aware that there are practices where the climate is kept "bearable". I set my room to 73º.

There are several incarnations of "yoga" that seem to manipulate the climate a bit higher up the thermostat. In a Bikram class (or "hot" yoga which seems to be the same without the trademark costs) the temperature is 104º. In the style of Power Vinyasa it seems to be in the 80's.

I will not get into the reasoning(s) behind such things nor do I want to churn up the old, worn out debates of whether such a thing is "good" or "bad". These days I just murmur "to each their own" and mosey along - mostly



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