Each morning, my three-year-old son and I squeeze some citrus fruits for our morning drinks. He has an orange and usually a couple of satsumas as well. I have a lemon and a lime. I cut them in half and we smell the different fruits. For the orange, he says “Yum!”. For the lemon and lime, he says “Yuk!”. Then we put them down and look at the segmented patterns in each, how they all have lots of pockets of juice built around the pith inside. I like doing this, because it shows him that things can be the same, but different. I think that’s a great way for little ones to realise that people can also be treated with the same respect, even though they’re different.
Being a Yoga or Hot Yoga teacher (or both) really is a great lifestyle. You get to do work that you love and truly believe in. Your work directly helps other people. They feel good and they let you know. You’re surrounded by others who also love their work with a passion. This is all really rare in much of today’s employment.
But it’s still work. And because you care deeply, it can be hard work. So, are you ready? Here are four questions to ask yourself to help find out.
If you’re even considering training, then Yoga has already had a big impact in your life. Yoga has come to you through teachers: imagine being the channel bringing big life shifts to others. Teaching Yoga is a big responsibility.
Anahata means sound produced without touching parts together. An unplayed musical instrument is capable of producing any melody. Anahata is a reference to the pure potential that is the force behind any creative act. Love is seen as the most creative thing of all, because it limits negativity and destruction.
We do creative things out of desire. It’s not always out of love. What’s the difference, and what’s the relationship between love and desire? The difference is that doing something out of love is doing it for the benefit of all. Recognising interdependence is an Anahata experience. For instance, with 7 billion or so people alive now, it’s no longer possible to treat the natural world as a set of resources. It’s becoming essential to participate in the life-supporting processes of the Earth, instead of just assuming they function regardless of what we do.
But desire is the access point. Through practice, we create the space to be with desires, rather than act them out. We get to understand our motives and the issues (real or imagined) that we’re trying to address. Acting out the desire is just one response: pausing for a moment means we might find a different response, such as a root-cause fix. In other words, we get beneath the wants to the real needs, we get from the mind’s desire to the heart’s desire.
Ultimately, love is usually the heart’s desire, and the actions borne out of love usually lead to the greater good.
People say that love is vulnerable. I tend to feel that love is courageous. It’s even possible that love doesn’t give a damn about anything except love! So, we can’t talk about love without talking about fear. Fear is the opposite of love in a lot of ways, because love includes and embraces, whereas fear excludes and repels.
I wanted to write a little about what how Hot Yoga – and of course Yogafurie – has impacted my life. Things have changed so much for me in less than ten years, and if I’m honest, I’m really looking forward to the next ten. If they’re anything like as exciting then I really won’t have time to get old…
Let me start by – really quickly – talking about how I got into Yoga and, more specifically, Hot Yoga. At school, I wanted to become a PE teacher. However, I was blessed with a family at a young age. When it came to Uni, I really thought it would be better to study IT and engineering. I thought I’d have more money that way – anyone that has a family knows that money is quite a pressure.
I enjoyed IT generally. It was technically interesting, and I met some great people. But my heart was never in it. I was interested in movement really, and this came out as a love of martial arts which I studied and taught. But then I took a very nasty knee injury in a Judo class. I could no longer practice: all I could do after that was swim and practise Yoga.
One of the things I really like about Yogafurie Hot Yoga classes is that we often set an intention at the start of class. It’s a few minutes to remember why we showed up, and what we might hope to change in our lives. It puts today’s class into a bigger picture of personal development goals.
We often hit the gym, or the road, every January with good intentions and a fresh determination to see it through this time. But determination gets eroded, and we stop working out or going out for that run. Perhaps that’s because we’re not taking time to remember why we’re going to the trouble.
So why hot yoga?
Hot Yoga offers some surprising benefits to anyone looking to de-stress, lose weight, rehab injuries, or increase suppleness and strength. I want to talk a bit more about all of those, but beforehand, let’s look at the method behind intention-setting in our Yogafurie classes.
For those who know me and for those who don’t, I’m the lady who has Dystonia, this means my posture is pretty unusual in my neck and sometime you may notice in my back. This is what you can see. What you can’t see is the prolapsed disc at L5 causing Sciatica, sometimes in both legs, in addition to back pain. Also, you don’t see the severe neuropathy in my feet, both of them, this is extremely debilitating. You might just notice I’m off balance, take easier options and modify when exercising.
I’m not known for being a ‘Yogi’ or a Yoga fanatic, many people will be surprised I even entertain Yoga. Yoga is known for being very gentle and for those who don’t break a sweat, you’re very
wrong! I am known in Bristol for my Grappling, Wrestling, Strongman and generally being a big advocate of sport for disabled. Yoga is hard! You need to be or will get very strong from doing
Yoga is often quite an individual practice. We are all in our own zone – rightly so, we need to introspect and stay with the breath. But every now and then, a Yoga teacher will say: “Let’s all find a partner for the next asana”. Scary stuff – especially if you’re new to the studio.
It’s perfectly understandable to use this as an opportunity for a loo break! The alternative is to do Yoga…with someone else’s body. That can feel a little strange – but it does open up a whole new world of practice and development. Read on to find out more.
Some benefits of partner Yoga
First – and probably foremost – it’s always lots of fun. After a few moments, the whole room will be chatting and laughing. The ice is broken almost immediately and your partner, who was a stranger a few moments ago, is now working with you like an old friend.
What are the benefits of Hot Yoga? Are there any?
A recent newspaper article declared that Hot Yoga is no better for your heart than regular Yoga. The article is flawed however: it focuses on just measures around heart function and in Yoga or Hot Yoga, we always try to breathe full, calm breaths. This breath style activates our parasympathetic (relaxation) response. Instead of getting stressed by the effort, we learn to ease into it – and that’s a useful skill, fully transferable to many other life situations. Naturally, here isn’t a big change in heart measures! We’re calming the heart down all the
time. Looking at heart measures is an ill-informed approach to quantifying the effects of Hot Yoga.
If no one is claiming that Hot Yoga is a cardio workout, then what are the benefits? I recently blogged about a natural substance called heat shock protein. The interaction between Hot Yoga and heat shock protein hasn’t been explored in a clinical or research setting, so my blog really just discusses what I found out from a literature search. Still, it makes interesting reading! So, is there anything really quantifiable?
No sweat: Is yoga a proper workout?
For some it’s spiritualist mumbo-jumbo. But while other disciplines will get you fitter faster, the psychological upsides of yoga are hard to deny
By Catherine de Lange
Namaste! It’s famous for its downward dogs and sun salutations, and each year more and more of us are doing yoga – over 37 million people practiced it in some form or other in the
US in 2016 (see diagram). But is there any evidence for the benefits claimed for body and mind?