This week in boredom prevention…
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 yogabysarah.com- come to a class and for the love of yoga, bring a towel.