Happy Birthday Bruce Lee! Here are a few of his quotes to motivate, inspire, and show us why the legend lives on.
So what is hot yoga? More traditionally referred to as Bikram yoga (a type of hatha yoga) which is a series of 26 poses or postures (asana) and 2 breathing exercises (Pranayama) performed in a studio heated typically to 40 C (105 F) or over. There are different types of hot yoga classes to choose from. Power yoga is either in a Vinyasa or Ashtanga style and synchronises movement with breath and is more dynamic.
Vin Yin is power yoga followed by Yin yoga postures which are usually performed seated to engage the parasympathetic nervous system. The parasympathetic nervous system aids digestion allowing the body to replenish and recover and slows the heart rate which reduces stress levels. This is also where a chemical called acetylcholine is produced which is the key to relaxation.
Flow styles demand more stamina and participants learn and use a breathing technique called ‘ujjayi’ breath.
With the ever increasing demands placed upon us by everyday life, never before has it been more important for us to learn how to de stress and relax. The simple art of breathing slowly, deeply and evenly has an instant calming effect on the body and the mind and is a form of meditation in itself.
There is no ego in yoga so you work at your own pace and take rest in ‘child’s pose’ should you need to. Some of the many benefits of hot yoga versus normal yoga are increased deep stretches (though some argue that muscles are artificially and therefore overstretched due to the increased heat, I would say as in all fitness classes, observe your body and don’t overdo it) detoxification through heightened perspiration, increased oxygenated blood to every part of your body and an increased production of white blood cells making the body efficient in fighting infections. Yoga fuses the body and mind and raises awareness on the emotional, physical and psychological levels. It enables a deeper understanding of self. You learn the art of ‘surrender’ and how to be connected in the present moment without the mind racing to the future or the past. We are , after all human ‘beings,’ not human ‘should be doings!’ By giving yourself kindness and permission to relax and just be it becomes easier to extend this quality to others. At least, that’s been one of my many benefits.
Be sure to hydrate yourself before, during and after a class. Electrolytes (vital salts) are lost during hot yoga classes due to excessive sweating so be sure to have a potassium rich post workout meal or snack and include banana, green leafy vegetables, avocados or coconut water.