Tuesday, August 17, 2010

a heated debate

i was perusing around the blogosphere the other day and ran across one of my favorite bloggers analiese wrote about hot yoga. instead of leaving all of my thoughts in a comment there i decided to do a blog post about it. yes, i know, i haven't been posting much as of late and i apologize. i will have someone to speak to my secretary immediately.... oh wait, i am my secretary. so it goes! :)

as some of you may know, amongst other classes, i teach hot yoga. in fact, i am the only person that teaches hot yoga in morgantown.

let me just start out by saying that i am not a fan of bikram, which i wrote about here. bikram felt a little more like boot camp rather than yoga to me, but that's just my opinion.

ok, with that said, my student's safety is of utmost importance to me. i heat the room between 90-95 degrees - hot but not too hot! trust me, if it were any hotter, i wouldn't be teaching it. :) i know one of the many perks of the heated room is so that your muscles will warm up faster but i always start my hot yoga class out the way i would any of my classes - by doing easy poses that warm up the body slowly. and being a licensed massage therapist, i always make sure to mention to my students to honor their bodies limitations.

i think that a student can be injured in any yoga class. in fact, i am one of those students. i injured my sacroiliac joint during an iyengar class.

the most beautiful thing about yoga is that there is something for everyone! if you want to try out hot yoga, i say go for it!

image credit ici


Rachel @ Suburban Yogini said...

Agreed. Hot yoga isn't for everyone. Being Vatta Pitta dosha it makes me sick and migrainey to be at that temperature, but it the heat works wonders on Kaphas!!

And like you say, you can get injured in any yoga class if you don't respect your limitations and honour your body :)

Analiese Marie said...

Hi Melita! Thanks for your comment on my post, and for writing such a thoughtful post here. I have no doubt that students feel safe and supported in your hot yoga class. If geography weren't an issue, I'd love to attend! I think Rachel brings up an interesting point about ayurvedic types and yoga. From what I've read, I think I'm a kapha, and I crave activities that infuse my body with heat! I didn't make the connection between ayurveda and hot yoga before, but it makes total sense!

Melita said...

rachel & analiese - yes, i completely agree with the dosha aspect of it all as well. kaphas need a little extra kick in the pants sometime. :) i have noticed that a lot of pittas (um, like me lol) do hot yoga which sometimes isn't always what we need. (i'm a pitta kapha) but as with everything, moderation is important and knowing your body is key! thanks for chiming in ladies (and for the idea for the blog post analiese). i highly regard both of your lovelies opinions! hugs!!

Eco Yogini said...

this is a very thoughtful post. I also am not a fan of hot yoga, for the safety reasons (overstretching) and i think because of my dosha.

I do wish all yoga studios, especially hot yoga, would preface classes or attendance with what you do Melita. :)

I would probably enjoy one of your hot yoga classes!

TheAnalyst said...

Hot yoga is definitely something I'm interested in trying, but I haven't gotten around to it yet. There aren't many offerings in Syracuse, and sometimes there are time conflicts. Thanks for providing more details about this type of yoga.

Debra She Who Seeks said...

I thought bikram yoga and hot yoga were the same thing? Either way, too hot for me!

Melita said...

eco-yogini - thanks for your comment lovely! i would say that almost every single yoga teacher out there has their student's best interest at hearts and if they don't they probably don't teach yoga anyways, right?! :) hugs!!

the analyst - i would love to hear your thoughts after taking a hot yoga class... get the break down of what the analyst has to say. :) hugs!!

debra - no way! :) while bikram is known as 'hot yoga' there are definitely other types of hot yoga out there. the hot yoga i teach is a vinyasa class in a heated (not nearly as heated as bikram i might add lol) room. :) and yes, definitely too hot for some people. that's the beauty of all the different styles of yoga - something for everyone. :) hugs!!

Anonymous said...

As a pitta vata, hot yoga is a no-no for me, and it concerns me that most people walking into one of these classes is not having their dosha "checked at the door," so to speak. People don't realize, and as teachers, it's our job to inform them.

I'm old fashioned...the heat should be generated internally.

Which brings up a huge issue in yoga classes (all the ones I have attended as opposed to taught): warming up.

Coming from a dance background (and understanding current exercise physiology), there should NEVER be stretching before there is sweating.

And again, the heat and the sweating should be internally generated -- that is how you know you are TRULY warmed up as opposed to just warm.

I start with a lot of spinal and core work on the floor, which is safe for anyone but also guaranteed to get your own temp up!

Melita said...

christine - thanks for commenting. i definitely start my classes just as you said - lots of spinal & core work on the floor before moving on to anything that would cause any injury. hugs!!

Carolyn said...

I agree - not a fan of bikram and all it entails. But my very first few yoga classes were heated vinyasa, and I really liked them. I don't tend to practice it now, but I don't mind them when I do! Anything hotter than 95 though is INSANE!

Melita said...

carolyn - haha you crack me up! i think the hot yoga that i teach will be SO much better during the colder months, don't you?! but i gotta say, they are pretty popular even now in the throws of the summer heat. and yes, i couldn't agree more - 95+ is just ridiculous! hugs!!

Anonymous said...

I used to do Bikram yoga god I used to love it till last year they put carpet down and it smells sooooo bad. I feel toxified instead of detoxed lol.

I do love hot yoga though I used to go to it quite a bit but the teacher has moved blah.

Hey what do you think about Kundalini? I tried that class once its different I am gonna try it again and see if I really like it.

Rand(Om) Bites said...

I am actually considering doing a 40 Day Revolution at a Power Yoga studio. They base the program on Baron Baptiste's book. Heat is the thing that is holding me back. I already generate so much heat doing a Jivamukti practice (based on ashtanga). I would still like to try it, just maybe not for 40 days though. Two of my friends have already signed up! I wish you were in Sydney, then I'd try one of your classes in no less than a heart beat!! x