Studio Etiquette and Other Tips
For hot yoga it is recommended that you turn up 15 minutes early for class to allow yourself to acclimatise to the heat. Classes start strictly on time so try your best to arrive early…think The Crystal Maze – an automatic lock out once the class starts! There are two changing screens in the wellbeing studio and an area to leave your belongings. If you don’t have a mat or towel you can hire one from us for 50p each (these need to be deep cleaned after each use hence the token hire charge to cover costs) We also have plenty of mats and towels for sale in the shop should you wish to purchase your own. A normal towel will do the job if you don’t have a hot yoga towel but it is highly recommended you bring a towel of some description to go over your mat to practice on as you will sweat a lot. You may wish to also bring a hand towel to keep near your mat to momentarily wipe your brow if it all gets a little too much (-: If you plan to invest in a Yoga mat, please speak to us first if you would like some impartial advice. There are a lot of cheap mats on the market which leach chemicals when the mat heats up. We only sell yoga mats which have been reached the OEKO 100 highest European safety standard meaning they don’t leach chemicals and are certified safe against baby skin.
One very important point to mention if you are coming along to an Oceanflow HOT Yoga class is to come hydrated. Your experience of the HOT studio will be infinitely more enjoyable if your body is fully hydrated. Try not to eat in thr hour or two before class however also try not come come in with low blood sugar levels too. A smoothie or snack 1-2 hours before class is a great idea…no coffee before class!
Unlike the Vinyasa studio, the HOT studio is a silent studio. The idea is to get into a moving meditation, taking your focus inwards and tuning in to the voice of the teacher. When you arrive, we invite you to lay your mat down quietly and lie down in Savasana with your feet facing the back wall and relax the body allowing it to acclimatise to the heat.
What is Hot Yoga?
Hot Yoga is a unique style of yoga whereby the studio is heated using infrared heaters to a temperature of 40 degrees. The style of yoga is Hatha with the classic 26 postures (originally sequenced by Bikram Choudhury) being repeated twice in every 75 minute class. These postures are held anywhere between 30 seconds and a minute. Each class begins with Pranyama (breathing technique) and ends with Pranyama followed by Savasana.
What Should I Wear?
As the room will be heated to 40 degrees it is recommended that you wear lightweight clothes. For guys a pair of boardies you can stretch in plus or minus a t-shirt should do the job. For girls lightweight leggings/shorts and a lightweight vest top or sports bra would be fine. (All of the leggings and hot yoga shorts we sell in the shop and at www.yogaemporium.co.uk are made of the ideal material for hot yoga) Alternatively wearing swimwear is another great option for guys or girls.
Advantages of Hot Yoga
So you may be asking yourself…Why would I ever want to practice yoga in that heat? Although we appreciate this isn’t everyones cup of tea, if you love the heat, the chances are you will love hot yoga. Like other styles of yoga, there are loads of benefits to both the body and the mind, a few of which we have listed below:
1. Flexibility: Warming the body through to the core allows the muscles to warm up and stretch at a much deeper level. The heat will allow you to safely reach new levels of flexibility within your body.
2. Strength: The classic 26 postures are designed to give you a total all over body workout. The practice is low impact and will get you firing up muscles you never knew you had. In particular we focus on spine strength which is key to a long, healthy life!
3. Breath: One of the greatest challenges of yoga is to challenge the body whilst maintaining calm, steady, deep breathing. With such a challenging workout, it is essential that we learn to breathe efficiently and effectively. In doing so, we are learning techniques which are transferrable to the outside world to use as coping mechanisms for stress, anxiety, pain management, allergies, asthma and many others
4. Cardio: You will be surprised at how cardio this relatively static form of yoga can be, particularly when we are in balancing postures that require contracting muscles at the same time. A 90 minute class can burn up to 1000 calories. The way you stretch and compress your internal organs and glands also stimulates and improves your metabolism so you are burning calories quicker outside the studio as well.
5. Detox: The heated room helps you to stretch more and get your cardio, but it also helps you sweat. The postures themselves are detoxifying for your muscles, organs, and glands and sweating furthers that.
6. Focus: By practicing the same 26 postures each session, the routine helps you to advance your practice through repetition. As you advance, you gain tremendous focus and determination. The ability to focus carries over to your daily life. When you can focus on the task at hand, you’ll excel and you can enjoy it more.
7. Healing: The primary purpose of this yoga is therapy. With a regular practice, these postures can help to heal old injuries and also prevent them in the future. This is especially true for, but not limited to, back pain. Don’t skip the postures that are slightly uncomfortable. Hot Yoga is also known to reduce symptoms of conditions and illnesses including diabetes, asthma, high blood pressure, depression, arthritis and obesity.
8. Life: “You’re only as old as your spine is flexible.” ~Joseph Pilates
Stretch carried out a 550 hour master course in Hot Yoga at Ethos Hot (www.ethoshot.com) which is affiliated with the University of Cambridge. The training was extremely thorough and his knowledge of the practice of hot yoga is extensive. The classic 26 postures of the Bikram series were designed in a way that would be suitable for people of all ages and abilities with varying levels of health and fitness to practice side by side. If however you have an injury which concerns you, have a chat with Stretch before class and he can ensure that your practice remains safe and that you stay within your boundaries whilst you work towards healing your body.