Sunday, 5 February 2012

Blessed are those who are flexible, for they shall never be bent out of shape

This week in boredom prevention…

Hot Yoga

I’ve been a reasonably dedicated yogi since 2007. As the winter blahs begin to set in and my trip to Jamaican beaches approaches I decided to renew my yoga membership. The yoga studio that I go to in St. Catharines, Yoga by Sarah, offers a number of different classes, but I swear by their hot yoga. For those of you unfamiliar with hot yoga, it is, as the name implies, yoga done in a super hot room… I mean, SUPER hot. The room is heated to 100 degrees Fahrenheit and the class lasts 70 minutes. After those 70 minutes, every inch of your body is soaked in sweat, sometimes it’s your own sweat, sometimes it’s your neighbours- yogis love to share.
 Of all the poses I’ve sweat and struggled through I have discovered my favourite: Bird of Paradise pose (picture below):
Being a former gymnast, my stubborn feet insist on turning out at all times, my back is permanently arched and my hips are so open that staying parallel is almost impossible. Although flexible, none of these attributes are beneficial in yoga. Through a whole lot of sweat and even a little bit of blood I have come close to perfecting my Bird of Paradise and that's quite the accomplishment for a girl with a bend-and-snap kind of back.

 Hot yoga is also known as Bikram Yoga, a system of yoga designed by Bikram Choudhury popularized in the 1970s. Bikram’s classes run for 90 minutes and consist of 2 breathing exercises and 26 postures. The hot room is intended to reproduce the heat of India, where yoga originated and Bikram is from. Bikram Choudhury’s classes are very specific and he is often known for his legal battles against anyone using a heated room for their yoga practice. Therefore we call it hot yoga… not very yogi-like is he? Despite his legal conflicts, I maintain that the man is a bloody, I mean, sweaty genius.
 The heated studio helps you to get deeper into your yoga poses, it is also said to prevent injuries, as your muscles are warm and less prone to tearing. It also increases circulation throughout the body and organs and supposedly detoxifies the body. Basically, you sweat a whole bunch and your heart rate is extremely high. If you can’t handle the heat, come down from your headstand. 

Please ignore the provocative tone of the host's voice; there is nothing attractive about contorting your body in a pool of sweat for 70 minutes.
Also, check out come to a class and for the love of yoga, bring a towel.


  1. I love yoga! But I have never tried hot yoga before. I'll definitely need to check it out!

  2. Very informative post! Hot Yoga sounds like it would be really relaxing but very, uhh, slippery. I sweat enough when I'm in a sauna sitting still, let alone exercising.

    Yoga in general has kind of intrigued me lately. Thanks to all my old war wounds, I can't exactly work out like I used to. Yoga seems like a nice, low-impact way to stay limber without tearing a ligament. Might have to try it sometime.

  3. I did hot yoga one summer and loved it (even in the summer heat!). And while savasna at the beginning and end of class is probably my favourite, I feel I should pick a more trying pose as my favourite, in which case I will say tree pose.

    Thanks for the reminder on what a great acitivity this is Jenna!

  4. I have always wanted to try this... except I've never done yoga before. But someday, I am going to try it!

    I'm glad that Yoga by Sarah has it though because it's close to my house! And the video is very informative.

    Great post Jenna!

  5. I've been hearing a lot about hot yoga lately, and I think it's time to give it a try. Thanks for the post Jenna!

  6. I love hot yoga! I used to do it at least 3 times a week. Thanks for the post, you reminded me how much I miss it.

  7. Hi Jenna!

    I think your bird of paradise is inspiring and I'm hoping you'll let me use your pic on my blog? (with a link back here of course) Please let me know if you don't want me to use it and I'll take it down immediately.

    Thank you!