Yoga has evolved a specific approach to body care, which is particularly relevant in today’s world of the viral epidemic. The six actions – or shatkarma – are documented in a classic fifteenth-century text called the Hatha Yoga Pradipika. They are likely to have originated long before the Middle Ages of course.
One of these kriya exercises is Neti: it’s basically saline nasal irrigation. This is routinely prescribed by doctors. And there is evidence that it does help control infections in the upper respiratory tract. At the start of the outbreak in the UK, there were articles stating that nasal irrigation would not help: and in fact, once you have a serious infection, irrigation probably won’t kill it. But, you can keep the tract clean with daily Neti, helping prevent any infection taking hold.
“For me the main reason I wanted to share this story is that there are a lot of people who live with chronic pain and there are a lot of people who live with joint problems, and they might feel limited by the pain, and even the fear of the pain. Coming and exploring this with the guidance of the teachers has been really powerful for me in realising that I wasn’t as disabled as I thought I was. I would encourage anyone to try.”
Joe’s story is an incredible tale of transformation, from living with chronic pain in his hip, needing a walking stick and pain killers, to improved strength, flexibility, no walking stick and a whole lot more self confidence.
Heated Yoga classes really are a thing. For instance, Forrest Yoga classes run at 29oC, and have done for a long time. Yogafurie classes (in Bristol) run at between 30oC and 42oC, depending on which of our seven class styles is running. In this blog, we’ll talk about why heat works for Yoga, and what this means for today’s Yoga teachers.
Yoga is Breath…
…or so many people would say. As it happens, good breathing is the first thing a student learns in well-led Hot Yoga classes. If students do not breathe well, then they will struggle to relax into practise. A fit person could go through years of room-temperature Yoga practise, and never really learn to breathe – their strength and fitness carries them. But fitness does not make any difference in elevated temperatures: the body-mind is under a distinct load, and the only way to relax into that load is to breathe well. In this sense, each Hot Yoga class is an opportunity to help students understand and realise the power of their own breath to influence their mood, their energy and their day. At Yogafurie, we understand and want to make the most of the opportunity in our Bristol classes.
Here to stay
It’s unfortunate that many schools of Yoga have been hit by scandal in recent years. Sadly, many of the most senior figures have been discredited. However, despite the problems, Hot Yoga is here to stay. It delivers unique results – we’ve spoken about breath already. There are other, measurable benefits too. For instance, due to a property called thixotropy, Hot Yoga can help our bodies to better manage the waste products that our cells produce.
I’ve always been a morning person. That’s useful these days, because my life is quite busy. Often, the only chance to get a Yoga practice in is first thing in the morning. It’s not uncommon for me to get up at 4AM. This is very early – and it feels very early at the time! – but it does mean that I can get a really good Yoga practice, perhaps even go to an early Hot Yoga class, and still do a day of work and family life. I just find I go to bed earlier.
Discussing this with someone recently, they said: “If my alarm went off at 4AM, I’d just snooze it”. And I just thought: well, nothing changes if we snooze the alarm all the time.
People come to Yoga and Hot Yoga for a variety of reasons: they want to be stronger, they want to recover from injury, they need to relax and de-stress, and many more. Most boil down to a feeling that something is not right at the moment, and that Hot Yoga can help remedy things.
As part of a busy pre-season training schedule, the Gloucestershire Cricket team joined forces with Yogafurie Hot Yoga. The team have been practicing hot yoga in 35-42 degree heat, working on flexibility, balance, strength and control with the instruction and help of Lead Instructor Ed Wood.
Daphne has found many benefits from hot yoga in her previous 2 years practicing with Yogafurie. Most especially Daphne has found that her regular practice of hot yoga has helped her to manage her symptoms throughout the menopause.
Daphne, 53, attended a Yogafurie hot yoga class 2 years ago and became hooked. That same time starting hot yoga was also when she noticed her menopause and its symptoms kicking in. “I was noticing symptoms such as night sweats, hot flushes and insomnia where I would wake up lots of times in the night and couldn’t get back to sleep.”
10 weeks ago yesterday I broke my spine in a motorbike accident – you can read what happened here. Initially I was told I had broken my L1 vertebra and was prescribed a back brace, crutches and an unholy amount of cocodamol which I never took.
I really needed the back brace andthe crutches after the accident. I couldn’t walk on my own without the support of both. And even with those two to help me, I couldn’t make myself a cup of tea or run myself a bath for the first 2 weeks. I felt close to completely helpless. The only thing I could do was sleep, read, watch Netlfix (obviously) and practice copious amounts Yoga Nidra to hopefully boost my healing response. I knew I was one of the lucky ones, that I could heal, but it didn’t stop the difficult moments getting to me.
The accident was July 17th. It has taught me that I really am not someone to take this lying down (so to speak!). I did as much as I could whenever I could. As soon as I could make my own lunches and dinners, I was cooking. As soon as I could carry lightweight objects, I was putting the rubbish out. As soon as I could drive, or perhaps a little too soon before I could drive, I was behind the wheel.
Written by Kate Hardcastle, a Yogafurie Hot Yoga Instructor and a graduate of Yogafurie Academy Teacher Training
We may have heard of HIIT yoga, OM Yoga Weights and Fitness Yoga used to describe classes and workshops before. What does this mean? Why is fitness becoming a big thing in the many different types of yoga on offer?
Have you ever been in a yoga class and your instructor holds you in plank (uttitha chaturanga dandasana) for so long that you feel like collapsing in a puddle on the mat? How about that inward groan as you lower down into chair (utkatasana) for the twentieth time before you’ve even reached halfway through? Do you experience shaky legs after your class?
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