02 Sep What Is Hot Yoga?
To the new yogi, the phrase “hot yoga” can bring a pretty distinct image to mind: a room full of sweaty bodies contorting into difficult shapes and postures.
Sure, the thought alone can be quite intimidating but there’s more to hot yoga than just one style of practice. Heck, once we break it down, you might even find that there’s a perfect style for you!
So when did hot yoga start? We track hot yoga back to the 1970’s when Bikram Choudry first started using heaters in his yoga room. This experiment was finessed to 40ºC with 40% humidity and developed into the Bikram method hot yoga that’s widespread today. Bikram is a series of 26 postures and two breathing exercises that are performed in the same sequence in every class.
Since Bikram’s hot yoga style first erupted in Hollywood, many other styles have adopted studio heating to their practice. So why add heat?
Working in a heated room elevates the heart rate, which, in turn, makes the body work harder. The increased external temperature causes the body to sweat, which is believed to help “detoxification” by flushing toxins from the skin. The heat also helps the body move deeply and safely into the postures. Essentially, hot yoga is a more “intense” or “work out” style class, designed for individuals who want to develop strength and flexibility while achieving a cardiovascular workout.
Another widespread style of hot yoga is “Power Yoga”, as created by Baron Baptiste. Power Yoga is a Vinyasa style class, taking influence from Iyengar, Ashtanga, Raja and Bikram yoga styles. Power Yoga has a physical focus, working stamina, strength, flexibility and endurance.
We hear you asking, “So, what are Heated Vinyasa classes?” At Power Living we offer a range of class styles including our signature hot yoga class – P.L.A.Y. Vinyasa (Heated). This class is heated to 32ºC and is sweaty, dynamic and intensely satisfying. It is the perfect place to step up and expand both the mind and body. We believe that the use of fire (or heat) is an experience of burning through the hardened exterior layers of the self, casting aside doubt and desire to set your being free.
Heated Vinyasa classes flow between postures, moving with the breath. Class sequences are free flowing and unique, with each facilitator bringing their own influence into the class.
Whether you love or hate the heat, the best way forward is to give it a try and find the best option for you. As always, consult a doctor before starting hot yoga.