By Eleanor Bartel
Whether it's power, vinyasa, hatha, Bikram, or Baptiste, yoga performed in a heated studio has become a popular new trend. Hot yoga can be a taught in a variety of styles, but the yoga itself is always performed in a studio that is most typically heated between 90 to 105 degrees Fahrenheit. The idea is that the heat will help students deepen their practice by allowing the muscles and ligaments to relax and stretch in the warm environment. Many practitioners also believe that by sweating in the heated studio, students can detox their body. Hot yoga is an intense experience, but it can be suitable for yoga beginners. Even novices can benefit from a hot yoga class, as long as they have an experienced teacher to prepare them.
Hot Yoga Introduction
If you have a new student coming into your hot yoga class, make an effort to give them a tour of the studio before their first class. Be sure to go into the heated room with them so that they will know what to expect. Show the student where you keep your mats, if you have any available for rent, and where they can get water. Make sure you discuss what they will need to bring, such as a mat, towel, and water, and what is appropriate for them to wear to class. You can show them where they can keep their things and where they can shower. Be sure to go over what they should not bring into the actual class (like cell phones!). Before their first class, it can be helpful to give out information about proper nutrition and hydration as well. Students should be well-hydrated before they arrive to a hot yoga class in order to avoid fatigue and nausea. It is also best to perform hot yoga on a mostly empty stomach, so advise eating a light meal no later than 1 and a half hours before class. This may seem like a lot of information, but it will help the student be prepared for their first class.
Listening to the Body
Encourage each student, whether they are a total beginner or a more experienced practitioner, to listen to their body during class. Sometimes, the heat can be overwhelming, and a student may feel nauseous or faint. This can happen even if someone has taken classes more months – perhaps they didn't get enough water that day, or they are feeling run down. Encourage students to stay in the room if possible, resting in a restorative pose such as Shavasana or child's pose if they need to. Make sure students are drinking enough water and replenishing electrolytes if they have dizziness or lightheadedness during class. Don't pressure your students into remaining in the heated room at all times. Let them to listen to their bodies and leave if they need to. This is especially true for beginners, who are not yet accustomed to the heat.
Discuss Health Conditions
While most people can benefit from hot yoga, even if they are a yoga novice, some people with certain medical conditions should not try to do this practice. Before a new student signs up for your hot yoga class, encourage them to consult their physician to ensure they are healthy enough to participate. Some contraindications may include pregnancy, cardiovascular conditions, and chronic diseases. People taking certain prescription medications may also need to consult their doctor for more information before they can safely participate.
Hot yoga is a wonderful type of practice that is very unique and rewarding. Many people find themselves returning to hot yoga again and again because of the amazing feeling it gives the body, both during the practice and after. Both beginner practitioners and experienced students can participate in hot yoga classes of various levels in order to get all the benefits from practicing yoga in these special heated studios.
© Copyright 2014 – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division