It is through my couple of weeks of attending their hot yoga classes here that I understood a little more about hot yoga and its benefits. Hot yoga is doing yoga in a heated studio with temperatures roughly ranging from 32 degree celsius to 47 degree celsius. It felt exactly like you are in a hot sauna room or steam room doing various type of yoga poses.
On the other hand, bikram yoga consists of a fixed set of 26 poses with 2 breathing exercises. Bikram yoga is named after its founder, Bikram Choudhury. To avoid copyright issues and legal disputes over the naming issues of using Bikram’s name, many yoga studios would use other names like ‘hot classic’ in place of Bikram yoga. For me, I prefer hot hatha or hot vinyasa classes over hot classic because doing 26 poses repeatedly after some time can get really bored for me. Besides, my body feels different everyday. On certain days, I felt strong whereas on other days, I just want to stretch and relax my body.
Depending on the instructor, you could be doing some Hatha yoga poses or Vinyasa flow series during a hot yoga class. But whether it’s Hatha or Vinyasa, you are bound to sweat buckets. As long as you sweat it out, you would feel like you’ve just did an intensive workout regardless of how much energy or strength you’ve exerted. And if you love sweating out in gyms, you will love doing hot yoga too. Maybe it’s a human-wired thing that the amount of sweat is directly proportionately to the amount of effort put in. Though it may not be necessary true but wouldn’t you agree that you somewhat felt more accomplished when you are able to swim in your own pool of sweat? That is perhaps why hot yoga can be so addictive. At least for me, I am already addicted to it.
To warm up my body further, I would practise ujjayi breathing throughout the class. It’s a warm internal breath that sounds like the oceanic waves. Even without being in a heated room, you would be dripping with sweat while doing yoga if you practise ujjayi breathing. to be honest, it does take some guts to be practising ujjayi breath in a room where no one does it except you as the sound is creates can be pretty loud and it sounds like you are breathing very heavily for air. It took me a while to be comfortable hissing air out from the back of my throat where I could really hear my own breath in the midst of the quietness and stillness in the room.