Yoga combines mindful breathing with poses that cultivate flexibility, balance, stamina, and strength. Yoga will nurture not only your physical but psychological well being as well. Hot yoga, unlike other forms of yoga, is practiced in a heated around room heated to between 95-100 F. “Well, Bikram yoga is too” I can hear you quip. The difference though between Bikram yoga and hot power yoga is their flow of postures.
Bikram is based on a 26 posture series while hot yoga is more of a flowing Vinyasa dance style practice. All its poses are linked one to the next, using a heated room to warm up the body for increased flexibility and to promote sweating. This practice is based on the belief that doing your yoga in a heated environment will enhance the benefits of the practice of yoga.
Benefits of power yoga
- When practicing hot yoga, your pulse rate and metabolism will hit a high, making your blood vessels more flexible and shredding some major calories. Your circulation will be smoother, and your limbs will receive an increase of blood flow.
- Hot yoga will not only improve your muscle tone but will flush out toxins and enhance the working of your lymphatic system.
- It will assist you to relieve stress and build your inner confidence, by helping you realize your strength in the face of obstacles and adversity. Mind over matter ladies and gentlemen.
- The heat in power yoga will enhance your immune system and deal with symptoms of chronic pain and illnesses like carpal tunnel syndrome, fibromyalgia and arthritis.
So what’s a typical hot power yoga sequence flow? This Vinyasa based practice often begins with an integrative posture like the Child’ s pose to help promote an internal focus. You can then follow this up with a downward facing dog pose to stimulate muscular awakening. You will then move on to a simple forward bend like a standing forward fold. These beginning sequences will help integrate into your hot power yoga, your mind, soul and body and will help you get in touch with your mood.
Follow this with a warm-up series which can include three to five sun salutations, then some standing balancing postures. These will reinforce your concentration and enhance relaxation. You can flow then flow into warrior or triangle poses for your balancing poses, which should leave you well warmed up.
Flow into a series of backbends such as the bow pose, upward bow pose, locust pose or the camel pose. This will get you to the core strengthening poses like the boat pose. Flow into the moon phase with the reclining hero pose, one-legged king pigeon pose or the hero pose, and cool down with some inversions. These can include the shoulder stand, headstand or legs up the wall poses. To relax down use the corpse pose, to close up your hot power flow yoga.
How do you prepare for hot yoga?
- Be well hydrated before immersing yourself in hot power yoga. Drink lots of water throughout the day before your hot yoga.
- Avoid overeating before hot yoga and replenish lost electrolytes with a fortified drink afterward.
- Take the class at your pace and only attempt what you capable of.
- If you suffer from heart problems, seek advice from your physician before attempting hot yoga.
- Pregnant women should avoid hot flow yoga.
Tips for a hot power yoga newbie
- Bring some towels
- You will need a towel laid over your mat because there will be lots of sweating happening during postures. Get a yoga towel that has a grippy one side to keep it in place on the mat.
- Do not guzzle copious amounts of water during class. Take small sips in between poses.
- If the heat or poses overwhelm you, lay down on the mat and breathe through the heat.
- Wear form-fitting breathable clothing that won’t get in the way of your poses.