Unknown-2The Hot yoga craze is the one of the millennium, as exercising in saunas and plastic sweat suits of the 90s, was the myth to rapid weight loss and detoxification. Healthy weight loss happens when we change our diet to a mainly plant-based diet, losing 2-3 lbs per week. Detoxification comes from our ability to eliminate…that’s right, to poop. Forget the extreme heat and take a squat!

When we place ourselves in extreme temperatures during our movement practices, especially a faster flowing vinyasa class, we actually inhibit our ability for our internal organs to work properly. We decrease our ability to eliminate over time by burning out our healthy tissues and organs, and possibly damaging our kidneys and liver, according to the study of ayurveda.

Moderately heated classes, moderate begin 80-85 degrees Fahrenheit(as in our heated and some Sattva Vinyasa classes), can facilitate beginner students in relaxing chronically contracted muscles and help them relax into the warmth of their body. At Pranayoga we use infared heating technology so that the heat is more of an internal heat, similar to the heat generated by intermediate and advanced practitioners.

I will never forget the time I walked into the mysore room, after the intermediate practitioners were finishing up with Richard Freeman, and the room felt like a hot yoga room.(The Ashtanga yoga method is not traditionally practiced in a hot room for a reason.) I realized this was from their intense tapas-heat generating concentraion, breath, and bandhas. Bandhas are energetic, naturally occurring phenomena that happen as the yoga students master breathing practices and the breath-linking movement method that is yoga. Bandhas help to seal in the prana, also known as life force or chi.  This is the goal of all asana methods(yoga postures) when aimed at balance and supreme health. When we leak prana, we leak our valuable life force and feel depleted and exhausted.

Being a training institute for Yoga Therapy and Ayurveda, our mission is to help people increase vitality through their yoga practices and lifestyle choices. We take this into all areas of our institute, even with our classes that reflect popular yoga trends, such as aerial and heated yoga. We teach these methods in a holistic and sustainable way that will create homeostasis in the body for every Body!

Yoga asana is a daily practice developed to invigorate us and ignite us into being and serving our families as householders and life purpose of seekers, not to drain us.

Excessive sweating causes a loss of prana, rather than toxins; can cause migraines and issues in the kidneys and water organs as well as create more of the addictive mental quality that many of us come to yoga to balance out. These are signs that your body is not finding vigor, vitality, and balance through your yoga practice.

The science of sweating reveals that we do not sweat out toxins. Sweat is mostly water and minerals that your body needs like electrolytes, calcium, and sodium. Sweat is vital fluid and like all of our systems requires homeostasis and balance.

Yoga means balance, and was developed to balance the nervous system, which is why it has been recommended by physicians and is now begin used in the form of yoga therapy. Our western society however has taken obsession with the vanity of yoga postures and deepening our beliefs, of “not____enough.  Yoga and Ayurveda were not meant to be practiced in vanity, they were meant to bring about great healing. Most westerners are in need of nourishment more than detox anyways, as my teacher, David Frawely says, we are already over-worked, exhausted, and deeply emotionally fatigued.

Is hot yoga just another one of our addictions, in popular yoga culture? I certainly felt it after the first hot yoga class I took.

I loved the sensual feeling of my knees dripping sweat, watching my body become more toned as I stared at myself in the mirror in front of me, and the challenge of trying to breathe in the hot and humid room took a great amount of control with my past of having asthma…and I loved it.  After class I felt like I was in a fog, rather than more clear, had a slight headache(like a hangover) and couldn’t stop thinking about when I could return!(Thankfully I had practiced mindfulness enough to be aware that this was the addictive part of my personality and personal vanity and “not enough_______” coming through.)

Recently I took a hot yoga class(more static Bikram style-not vinyasa flow) and I had the experience of using mind body and breathing methods to keep my body temperature from rising, the same way an intermediate yogin can raise their body temperature in practice, but if you are over-sweating in any class, this is your body saying–slow down.

Over-sweating is a sign that your body is actually depleting your detox organs..which include your liver and kidneys.

Our management and advanced teaching graduates have been trained in the study of ayurveda, the philosophy of wellness for individual body types. They can recommend classes
that meet you and your body constitution where you are. Regardless of what you are looking for in mind body wellness, pranayoga can help you find a method and practice that serves you, for a long time.

Centering our services around Ayruveda wellness and holistic yoga, allows us to flow with the seasons and so the classroom temperatures of our classes will vary seasonally. Think of local farm to table dining. We provide you optimal nourishment, all year round, for the rest of your life.

Practice Daily. Not to Hard. Uncover Deep Peace. 

For more on this Hot Yoga Science. Check out this great podcast, by yogini friend and fellow entrepreneur, Sandy Gross here.

Article by:

Dani McGuire(Vani)

Founder of Pranayoga Institute/Foundation, Yoga Therapist, Ayurveda Wellness Counselor, Birth-Life-Death Doula.

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