I started teaching Hot Yoga 17 years ago which began a lifelong journey for healing. Hot Yoga was the first introduction to being present in my body with single pointed awareness. Standing on one leg and holding the other foot in a hot room gives no room for reflecting on the past or worrying about the future. Hot Yoga was a doorway into meditation. The heat and postures demand concentration which is the first step to meditation. Yes, Hot Yoga will tone, strengthen and increase flexibility but the most dramatic life changing aspect of the practice is the effect on the mind. Yoga gives us the space to create a choice in how we respond to life. Within that gap is pure potential. A recent student captures the ability to tune in and connect to that inner knowledge that brings us back to our natural state:
“…After participating in my first class today since 2009, I can testify that the BENEFITS REAPED ARE IMMEDIATE. Yes, I wanted to faint towards the end of the 1-hr session, but I kept breathing & pushed thru the discomfort & heat. So glad I did!
Why pray tell?! Because the last 3 weeks I've felt lymphedema kicking in. I am a breast cancer survivor (6 months cancer-free)! I had 3 lymph nodes removed from under my armpit to prevent the cancer from spreading and was forewarned that for the rest of my life I have to be mindful of lymphedema. Google it... the symptoms are not cute. Imagine my arm/hand swelling to the size of a football.
I'm not one to sit around and wait for someone to tell me what to do instead I signed up for HOT 8 YOGA knowing full well my body was in need of purification. Can I tell you I walked out of that yoga studio 6 hrs ago with my hand back to normal, swelling gone and the pain significantly reduced. Wow! I'm sitting in bed staring and comparing my hands now in awe of the beauty that is natural therapies. No drugs, just exercise and buckets of sweat. So proud of myself for listening to my 6th sense.
If you or someone you know is in need of a new remedy I highly recommend Hot 8 Yoga!” - Milly B.
With deep gratitude for all the teachers who share this healing practice and the students that keep it alive by stepping onto their mats in a sweaty mess of hope and realization that all we need is available to us when we choose to tune in and listen.
- Deanna Ainsworth / Hot 8 Yoga Director, Santa Monica
Yoga in a hot room , or Yoga in a not hot room, that is the question.
It really is, and it really comes down to what you are looking for in your own practice.
By practice, what do I mean? I mean your goals, your postures that you want to hit, the desire to prove strength. I mean, c’mon, you’re walking into Hot 8 Yoga with a mat, towel and water telling the already seeming annoyed front desk person that you want to take Hot Yoga/Sculpt/Barre/Yin and finding out which of the 17 rooms it could be in, remembering your friend saying they almost passed out, then putting your stuff in the locker room with all the half-naked, and extremely fit other people in there, deciding if you want a greens 3 or is it an orange 4, whatever, going into class forgetting if you keep your socks on or off, finding a spot without annoying the lady with panties on ONLY, what’s that even about, and then laying your mat down, only to realize everyone seems to have the same mat, am I not supposed to be in this club?, hearing all the people walk in and oh shoot I forgot those incredible cold lovely eucalyptus, or is it lavender towels, do I have time?, and then PHEWW . . . . there he/she is, they said hi, they confirmed I am in the right class, and they will take care of me, and guide me, and support me, and encourage me. My teacher is here, and I can disappear for 60 – 90 minutes and I’ll see the rest of the world later.
THAT is your daily practice. All that babble leading up to it is the hardest part, but you made it, and that right there is a feat. Good for you.
So, get at it, keep at it, and keep sweating. There are subtle differences between the heated yoga and not. But with the heat, we are allowed to let yoga kick our tush. We are allowed to get dizzy, and cry, and *WARNING* sometimes, enjoy ourselves. The heat is detoxifying, and let’s our brain believe our body is working at full capacity by watching whatever is being held inside release through sweat. With most workouts society has shown that the most pain is the most gain. But really, wouldn’t the most love to ourselves be the most gain? Did they come up with that saying just because it rhymes?
So moral of the story: heat or not, do the yoga thing. And especially at Hot 8, because we have a good time doing it.
- Brit Middleton