Wowza is this heat oppressive. So…hot yoga-good idea, yes?
I attended a heated vinyasa class this morning, thinking that the cooler morning temperature wouldn’t completely deplete my body’s energy supply during class. Wrong. I experienced many episodes of light-headedness, a general lack of energy, plus a general lack of motivation to power through that lack of energy.
While our bodies can feel that way in yoga at any time throughout the year, this morning’s class reminded me how our bodies have to adapt to the summer temperatures as we continue our regular yoga practice. These days, we must be particularly mindful of how we feel physically when we do yoga (especially in a heated room). We need to treat our bodies gently in class even when our minds and instructors encourage us to challenges ourselves. I do not advocate for doing nothing on the mat, but I do believe that the heat affects us more easily than we think. To that end, let us remember a few tips that will help us enjoy an invigorating, yet SAFE yoga practice during the summer:
1. Hydrate yo body: Have a big bottle of cool (not freezing, as that shocks the body) by your mat and drink throughout class. Also, take several swigs of water right before class starts, as well as when it ends
2. Inhale, exhale, repeat: Breathe loudly. Breathe deeply. Breathe consciously. Doing yoga in heated room, especially during the summer months when we’re sweating profusely anyway, often causes us to feel faint and short of breath. Breathing helps. If we focus on moving our breath throughout our body, we distract ourselves from our feelings of light-headedness. Plus, the whole sending an abundance of oxygen to our brain thing abates those feelings.
3. Relax: Resting poses such as Forward Fold and Child’s Pose are relaxing, gentle, and rejuvenating. Take them often when you do yoga these days. The heat outdoors, especially when combined with heat in a studio, also overwhelms our minds and bodies. We can easily lose ourselves in our whirring thoughts burning through our brains. A resting pose immediately calms us. So take one. Or two or three.
While the thought of doing hot yoga on a hot summer day might completely turn us off, there are ways staying cool and keeping yoga fun.